As technology advances and products continue to become more and more sophisticated, it’s becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to rely on contract manufacturing. Contract manufacturers typically are called upon to provide manufacturing services for customers that don’t have the capacity or capability to perform the manufacturing in-house. For example, the pharmaceutical industry frequently makes use of contract manufacturing for the manufacturing of certain highly sophisticated drug substances and products. What’s more, the pharmaceutical segment of the contract manufacturing industry has experienced significant growth in recent years.
Although the rise of contract manufacturing has made it easier for certain manufacturers to serve their customers, it also has opened the door for more risk to them. By outsourcing some or all aspects of manufacturing to contract manufacturers, companies essentially put their trust in a third party to keep the promises they make to their customers. Any issues or problems that arise at the contract manufacturer’s facilities can have serious repercussions and reflect poorly upon the brand of its manufacturing customer. Manufacturers that want to take advantage of the many benefits of contract manufacturing without the risk need to be aware of how they can vet contract manufacturers to help ensure the best results.
For example, contract manufacturers in many cases need to have specific third-party certifications to verify that they are in compliance with all relevant industry standards. A manufacturing company needs to check to see that the contract manufacturer it works with has all such certifications before contracting with it. Likewise, a good contract manufacturer is one that is an active partner in the manufacturer’s efforts. Rather than being simply a gun for hire, an effective contract manufacturer will work closely with a manufacturer to collaborate on R&D as well as regular problem solving.
With so much riding on it, manufacturers need to choose carefully when they decide to work with a contract manufacturer. The following guide lists many of the most important factors manufacturers should consider when selecting a contract manufacturer. It isn’t always possible to do everything on your own in today’s manufacturing landscape, but it’s your responsibility to make sure that the partner you choose is the right one for you and your customers.
Author: Chris Bekermeier is Vice President of Marketing at PacMoore. PacMoore is a food contract manufacturer that offers food processing and packaging services. Bekermeier received his B.S. in business management from Eastern Illinois University and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.
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