Things to Consider when Choosing a Contract Manufacturer (CMO)

With the growing popularity of nutritional and dietary supplements, the demand for quality manufacturers is on the rise. There are many companies producing these products so it is important that you review various aspects of each company before deciding who will best fit your needs not just immediately, but in the future as new projects present themselves.

1. Does the CMO have a commitment to product quality and the expertise necessary to differentiate/innovate products?

When looking to partner with a CMO, the first thing that most people look at are the product capabilities. If you are a company who is looking to grow and diversify your product or brand, then you may want to look at the types of forms and delivery systems offered and find out what type of support your potential manufacturing partner can offer you. If they have a knowledgeable team that can help create science based supplements, you can be sure you are getting a quality product. Also, you may want a team that can make suggestions on new and revised formulations as they pertain to ingredients, product form and delivery, and packaging choices. No matter what your needs are, you want to choose a partner who will work with you to ensure that you are getting the best product to fit your brand’s identity.

Alcrea’s Solution: We manufacture traditional tablets, capsules and powders. More innovative product options are available in CapliquesTM (two-piece liquid capsules), liquid sprays, and other liquids. There are opportunities to further customize your supplement by using colors, banding, printed logos, flavors, and delivery systems for an end product that is unique to your brand. On-staff PhDs and scientific experts are available to assist you in formulating your product and overseeing the quality control during the manufacturing process. We strive to deliver supplements to fit our clients’ needs, as our product development and technical team weigh in with ingredient suggestions for higher efficacy, lower cost, or other suggestions in accordance with the parameters you define for your product.

2. Does the CMO offer a full range of services and how will that affect your cost?

The variety of services available can also be important when evaluating a potential manufacturing partner. Product variety will allow you to explore different supplement forms and delivery methods. In addition, it will benefit you in both time and cost savings if your CMO offers assistance in other areas. These may include scientific expertise for creating new applications or performing raw material/finished goods testing with on-site laboratories. Further offerings including marketing expertise and graphic design support can also be valuable as the manufacturer can fully integrate the processes necessary for delivering your product.

Alcrea’s Solution: We offer services and expertise from product development and manufacturing to quality control/testing and marketing. With our in-house laboratories, time and cost of testing your raw materials and finished products can be reduced. Also, we have the ability to custom design your label, custom package your nutritional supplements, and assist you in compliance review. Alcrea Health becomes a business partner, from product concept to ready-to-market product delivery, that enables a foundation for a mutually successful endeavor.

3. Is the CMO in compliance with FDA CFR III requirements for manufacturing?

It is not uncommon to see or hear about violations and warning letters being sent by the FDA to supplement manufacturers. While the process of mandating and enforcing this set of regulations is ongoing, it is important for both you and your consumers to have products manufactured in a facility that is audited for FDA compliance. Certifications/Accreditations and manufacturing procedures indicate a commitment to following regulations. Touring the facilities where your product will be manufactured, packaged, etc is also a good way to validate the company’s standards.

Alcrea’s Solution: Our manufacturing facilities are audited annually and hold many certifications including NSF GMP Registration, NSF GMP for Sport Registration, Danish Medicines Agency GMP Registration, Organic Certification, and Foreign Site Registration with Health Canada. Our on-site laboratories are ISO 9001 Certified and ISO 17025 Accredited. We also maintain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that can be reviewed with clients during site audits and welcome potential and existing clients to tour our facilities at any time.

4. Does the CMO have a favorable reputation for credibility and consistency?

It is important to know how long your potential CMO has been in business and where your products will be manufactured. Some assume that contract manufacturers do not care about the ingredients that are put in a product and will not help when problems arise, which in some cases may be true. Not all manufacturers hold themselves to high standards of quality and integrity. You should expect consistency in the delivery and quality of your product and services that the manufacturer commits to. When you select a company to manufacture your product, you are becoming partners and it is important that you receive the level of service that you are paying for and can depend on them when issues accur.

Alcrea’s Solution: Alcrea Health has been in the business of custom manufacturing quality nutritional supplements for over 60 years. We are a publicly traded company (Toronto Stock Exchange) with sales of 425 million dollars forecasted for 2011. Our team understands what it takes to have a successful brand and goes to great lengths to be sure you receive the product that you agreed to.

5. Is personalized service and client confidentiality important to your CMO?

When working with a CMO, you want to be sure that you are treated as a valued partner in the development and manufacturing of your nutritional supplement. It is important that your contract manufacturer understands your goals and you understand their processes and how they will satisfy your needs. Also, it is important that you are aware of who you can reach out to. You do not want to be left with questions or concerns due to unreturned calls or conversations with someone who does not have knowledge of your project.

Alcrea’s Solution: We provide dedicated teams to each client so that they are always able to reach someone who is familiar with their account whenever needed. Also, we encourage face-to-face meetings so that all parties are on the same page and our team understands what is required of new products to coincide with your brand’s identity.


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