Patrick Brueggman is President & CEO at Vitaquest International, one of the largest custom manufacturers in the supplement and functional foods business. He has spent nearly two decades helping companies innovate in the nutraceuticals and personal care industries, working alongside some of the world’s major consumer brands.
Switching supplement contract manufacturers can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth transition and maintain product quality.
Addressing these points in advance leads to clearer business vision, so that you can better communicate objectives to your new contract manufacturer.
Consider experience, capabilities, and reputation. Prioritize trustworthiness and expertise to establish a partnership that aligns with your needs.
Cutting corners could have disastrous effects for brand owners.
This step is critical, especially if your product(s) was in production with another manufacturer. If it was a reorder and timing is crucial, get quotes from other manufacturers to explore options. In the event you need to start over, prior time-consuming due diligence will have already been completed.
Confirm they can meet your current demands and can scale with your business over time. Consider their track record and experience handling similar production needs for other clients, especially those who transitioned from another manufacturer.
Give yourself plenty of time and ensure the specifications of your product are the primary talking point. A quick manufacturing lead time will mean nothing if the product fails to meet your specifications – or worse – falls short of your consumers’ expectations.
Reputable supplement manufacturers are transparent and honest about realistic expectations. A great partner will ask smart questions and work on problem-solving as hard as you do.
Ask about department procedures, investments, and certifications to ensure a reliable and empathetic partner, and compare their answers to other manufacturers. A trustworthy company sympathizes with your needs and values your partnership more than the sale.
Make sure the manufacturer is doing the actual work. Many companies promote vast capabilities yet sub the business to the cheapest supplier. This can mean your product will be made in a facility that does not have necessary certifications. To verify you are dealing directly with the manufacturer, ask what specific certifications they have. Here are a few:
Transitioning to a new supplement contract manufacturer can be complex and stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Open communication, collaboration, and adherence to quality and regulatory standards are the key components of a smooth transition.
NOTE: WholeFoods Magazine is a business-to-business publication. Information on this site should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before making lifestyle changes, including taking a dietary supplement. The opinions expressed by contributors and experts quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher or editors of WholeFoods.