After figuring out which product to put out in the market, the most critical step to your product’s success is the supplement manufacturer you hire. The simple fact that your reputation and financial wellbeing depend upon the quality of your products can help you understand the importance of a good supplement manufacturer. Thus, choosing the right supplement manufacturer for your products is a decision that requires careful consideration.
Suppose you are new to the supplement manufacturing industry and private labelling. In that case, you might have a hard time figuring out what questions you should ask a supplement manufacturer. Asking specific questions is essential as they can prove to be the thin line between success and failure.
We have outlined some essential questions you can ask as a contract manufacturer before you start working with them. Asking these questions will make your decision making easier and will help you secure your finances and reputation.
Ask if they offer/conduct HPTLC testing
Ensure that the supplement manufacturer you are hiring has an in-house testing facility where each raw material batch is tested via high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). You will come across many supplement manufacturers who will tell you that they carry out DNA testing. However, DNA testing is not the appropriate identity testing method as the DNA is already compromised when the plant has been dried and pulverized into powder. At this point, what’s left of DNA are mere fragments.
Another scam you need to be aware of is private label supplements manufacturers telling you that they test raw materials via high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for identity. HPLC is ideally used for measuring potency and cannot be used for identity testing of herbs and herbal powders with accuracy. For any manufacturers that you are working with, who claim to test every batch of raw materials at arrival, do not forget to ask for proof of lab results.
If raw ingredients are not tested via HPTLC, then your product has a 10% chance of being a scam without you even knowing.
In-house manufacturing and turnaround time.
Suppose the dietary supplement manufacturer you are hiring does not manufacture in-house. In that case, you are likely to experience longer lead times and a potential loss of control. The practice of outsourcing production by a contract manufacturer might not sound as prevalent at first. Still, you might be surprised to know that almost 95% of the largest contract manufacturers in the USA outsource their manufacturing to other companies.
Do they have the following Certifications?
You can easily judge how legitimate a supplement manufacturer is by asking if they are certified and follow the federal Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations. A certified contract manufacturer’s facility is audited at least two times per year. You can ask the supplement manufacturer you are planning to hire if they are certified from the following organizations. Also, remember to ask for proof of membership.
1. NPA Certification by Natural Products Association
2. UL Certification by Underwaters Laboratory
3. NSF International
4. Experience in Certifying Organic
5. Experience in Certifying to be Non-GMO
Do they offer low or small minimums?
Working with contract manufacturers that accept small orders can be ideal if you are starting with a small amount of capital. Working with such contract manufacturers allows you to be more in control of your capital and also your cash flow. If you are testing new products to sell, ordering small batches from a low minimum supplement contract manufacturer is the ideal and a cost-effective way to test which products will sell.
Working with a contract manufacturer with low minimums can also be ideal in keeping your product shelf life fresh. Working with a manufacturer with low minimums will help take away the stress associated with managing the shelf life of large orders. It will also ensure that your customers receive a product that has a longer shelf life.
Staying aware and keeping your labels in compliance with the FDA regulations is your responsibility. Still, good private label supplement manufacturers will warn you of any changes in regulations. You are better off working with a supplement manufacturer who makes an effort to stay up to date with regulations and adjusts supplement formulas accordingly.
Do they use excipients and lubricants?
It would help if you worked with a supplement manufacturer that can manufacture your products as per your specifications. Suppose you want them to manufacture excipient free supplements for you without any fillers and lubricants. In that case, that’s precisely what they should do. If you want them to manufacture excipient free supplements and they are not able to do so, you should look elsewhere.
Do they offer dropshipping?
You can cut on a massive chunk of expenses if you work with a contract manufacturer that also offers dropshipping services directly to your customers. Shipping companies like FedEx and USPS do not allow fulfilment companies to charge cheap shipping rates. The company can only charge you low rates if the company sold you the products.