Previously, we covered the first four golden rules in looking for a contract manufacturer. Here are the rest.
Golden Rule #5 How Long Has the Company Been In Business?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) should be able to tell you how long the company has been existence for and what their rating is. Note that the BBB rates companies regardless of whether they are BBB accredited.
Golden Rule #6 Ask If They Have Product Liability Insurance
If the company you are speaking with does not have product liability insurance, you dont have any coverage from them in the event something happens to your product. Protect yourself and partner with a manufacturer that has product liability insurance.
Golden Rule #7 Insist On a Facility Tour
Partnering with a nutraceutical contract manufacturer means you are making a significant financial investment. With that being said, you have every right to ask for an in-person tour of their headquarters and manufacturing facilities. A red flag should immediately go up if they are unwilling or unable to honor your request. In some cases, they may direct you to watch a virtual tour posted on their website. Should this happen, see if they use live video or if they are using stock images that can be found on websites like Google Images, iStockPhoto or Getty Images to represent themselves.
Golden Rule #8 Question of R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Visit industry message boards, blogs, forums, etc. and ask members if they have heard of the contract manufacturer you are considering working with. People who actively contribute to these websites possess a good deal of knowledge about the industry and will know whether the company is reliable. You may also want to ask your representative what awards they have received over the years, as they symbolize both excellence in the field and financial stability. Most major awards websites contain lists of previous winners, so you can confirm whether the company was recognized.
Supplement contract manufacturing can be an extremely rewarding experience if done properly. Asking a prospective manufacturing partner the aforementioned questions and receiving satisfactory answers will go a long way in helping you find a company you can rely on now and in the future.
Jason Provenzano is the president and founder of Nutricap Labs, a New York-based vitamin and supplement manufacturing company. Among his many accomplishments, he won the 2011 American Business Award for Executive of the Year in the Health Products and Services Industry, was named a finalist for Ernst and Youngs Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was honored as one of Long Islands top executives in the fall of 2010. He was also selected by Natural Foods Merchandiser in the spring of 2010 to lead a webinar on GMP certification. His company is a three-time Inc. 500 honoree and won the 2010 American Business Award for Best Overall Company of the Year.