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When Should A Company Go In-House with Its Manufacturing?When Should A Company Go In-House with Its Manufacturing?

Jim Roza

March 29, 2013

2 Min Read
When Should A Company Go In-House with Its Manufacturing?

It should come as no surprise that many of the supplements sold in health food stores and the mass market are not produced by the company whose label bears its name. They are manufactured by third-party contract manufacturers that in, some instances, not only produce the bulk tablets/capsules, but handle the bottling and labeling. 

This works fine for small companies just entering the supplement industry. Capital and personnel not withstanding (setting up your own manufacturing facility is no small endeavor particularly in this new era of GMPs), when does it become obvious to bring the manufacturing of your product in-house?  Well, if youre experiencing any of the following situations, I think it may be time to at least consider the possibility of manufacturing on your own or at least find a contract manufacturer who is worth their salt so that you can sleep peacefully at night.  

  • Do you have concerns about the quality of the product that is being produced?

  • Is the quality of the documentation (i.e. specification sheets, COAs, test results) lacking critical information?

  • Are your products testing below label claim?

  • Are you finding that there are frequent deviations from your specifications?

  • Are you having difficulty getting quality issues OOS (Out of Specification) resolved in a timely manner?

  • Does your contract manufacturer lack transparency?

  • Are you experiencing frequent delays and/or out of stocks?

Becoming your own manufacturer allows you to be hands-on with the quality of your product but for anyone who has gone through the experience, it gives credence to the axiom, What doesnt kill you makes you stronger. Some may think that this statement is a bit strong. I dont.

Given that the manufacturing of dietary supplements is in essence quasi-pharmaceutical with all its inherent trappings, its important to have a realistic perspective as to what it will entail before one sets out on this course.  Otherwise youll end up cursing yourself for making such a bold move. Finding a better contract manufacturer to fit your needs is your best fallback positionif you feel that more time is needed before you make that giant leap.

The best advice that I can give in that instance is to research your prospective contract manufacturer thoroughly before making a selection, but thats a subject for another post. 

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