By Martin Zindel
This is not only a question of costs, but also of trust. That is why we have drawn up a checklist with which you can easily check potential producers. Just answer the following questions:
1. Complete solutions: Does the manufacturer offer ‘everything from a single source’, i.e. a range of services from recipe development to the ready-to-sell product?
2. Certifications: Is the supplier certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 and HACCP? Is the manufacturer also able to carry out production according to Good Manufacturing Practice criteria?
3. Quality management: Can you be sure the manufacturer controls and documents all phases of production?
4. Product quality: Does the manufacturer offer you quality?
5. Internationality: Is the manufacturer also well positioned for global business and does it have practical experience in the export business?
6. Delivery times: What information does the manufacturer provide on delivery times? Can they react quickly in cases of particular urgency?
7. Security of your intellectual property: Can you be sure your concepts, ideas and formulations are in good and safe hands with the manufacturer?
8. Customer Service: Do you have a personal contact person who is available to you at all stages of the production process?
9. Individual solutions: Does the manufacturer offer you the consulting competence to develop an individual product?
10. Services: Does the supplier also offer support that goes beyond the development of recipes or production, such as the evaluation and optimisation of recipes and labels?
11. Competence: Does the producer employ long-standing employees who have up-to-date specialist knowledge through regular participation in seminars, training courses and trade fairs?
12. Specialists: Are you supported by a team of experts throughout the entire project—from the preparation of the quotation to the delivery of the finished goods?
13. Market expertise: Do your contacts know your needs and also the wishes of your customers?
14. Financial stability: Is the company stable and well established in the market?
15. Transparent offer: Did you receive a detailed commercial offer from the supplier, which shows all characteristics of the product and the production process in detail?
16. Equipment: Did you receive clear information on the machine and also personnel equipment of the supplier?
17. Modernity: Does the manufacturer insist on the use of the latest technology and machines from renowned manufacturers?
18. Product range: Is the producer able to offer a wide range of dosage forms?
19. Production and storage capacities: Did you receive clear information on the manufacturer's capacities and reserves?
20. Decision paths: Does the manufacturer have flat hierarchies and quick decision possibilities?
21. Responsiveness: Is the manufacturer able to react quickly and flexibly to short-term changes?
22. Personality: Is the ‘chemistry’ right between you and the provider?
How many questions could you answer with a clear ‘yes’?
Closely examining your contract manufacturer is crucial. Only when you are sure you have found the right partner should you say ‘yes’ to the partnership.