How Do You Know If Your Contract Manufacturer Is Right For You?
Synergy Food Group Operations Director, Adrian Hall explains if your contract juice manufacturer is right for you so that you can understand and find the ideal Contract Juice Manufacturing or Private Label Beverage Manufacturing partner for your company.
Now getting the answer to this question very early in your decision-making process is going to save you a lot of stress and a lot of hassle down the line. We want to give you the right tips to be able to know how you make that decision.
So the first thing to be conscious of, is are they happy to give you testimonies from some of their other customers.
Or are they happy to put you in touch with some of their other customers, for you to get peace of mind in knowing how they work, how they operate, what are the pitfalls, what are the things they’re good at.
Being armed with this information very early in the piece, will make it very, very easy for you to know whether there’s some good synergies there between what you do and the way you like to work and the way that the contract manufacturer likes to work as well.
We also want to understand if it’s the right time for you as well, potentially while you’re still in that setup phase, you don’t have a big customer base, you’re still building your website or, working out how you’re going to get your product to market.
It might not be, the right time to engage a contract manufacturer. Reason being, if they go through that whole process of designing how they’re going to do it for you and doing samples and then they want you to commit to an order.
If you’re not quite at that at that phase yet, you don’t want to be stuck with placing orders for stock, that you have no way to sell. So make sure all your ducks are in a row and then go and communicate with a contract manufacturer about getting the job done.
Ask yourself if they’re already making products that are aligned with the kind of product that you want to bring to market.
You don’t want to be approaching somebody who specializes in meat to make your fruit salads for you.
You want to find somebody, if you’re in the beverage industry, who’s already making beverages.
Who’ve got the machinery already to be able to bottle it, to be able to package it, to be able to wrap up the pallets.
These things are all going to save you a lot of costs down the line, and they’re going to eliminate a lot of opportunities for things going wrong, because it’s already something that they specialize in.
Ask yourself if their costs and the margins that they’re expecting are they aligned with actually what you’re able to pay.
Having a very clear idea of that will help you in that decision-making process. You might have your heart set on working with somebody, but at the end of the day, if their cost structure is just far too high and their overheads are too high, it may not be the right partner to be working with.
Find someone who’s happy to work with you in getting that price to where you need it to be.
Leading on from that one…
Are their pricing comparable to what else is available in the market?
Now, this one’s really important.
Don’t just have one conversation with one contract manufacturer, call a number of people.
Speak to big guys, speak to little guys, speak to franchises.
The more conversations that you have, the more of a clearer picture you’ll get of what it actually costs to make your product.
And if the costs of the contract manufacturer that you want to work with, aren’t aligned with what the industry standard is, you need to potentially raise that with them and ask them why.
Find out if there’s little value adds that they offer as a contract manufacturer that others in the industry don’t.
Potentially, they have a design team who might be able to help you with tweaks to how your product looks or feels or maybe they can warehouse the product for you or potentially they can even distribute it as well.
Sometimes these things don’t cost any extra. So it’s certainly worth asking the question. This might be something that helps tip the scales in choosing one company over another.
Find out what are their payment terms, what are their lead times, what are their minimum orders?
A lot of times, a small business, when you’re starting off, you don’t have limitless cash. You need to be very, very conscious of how you’re spending and where are you spending it.
So making sure that the contract manufacturer that you choose is aligned with what you’re actually able to pay, and when you’re able to pay it is imperative.
Look for a lot of alignment in how a contract manufacturer would make your product.
Can they make it the exact same way that you can make yourself?
For example, you may have a beverage manufacturer who specializes in nut milks, but you want to bring a juice to market.
Do they have to change their machinery in order to do that?
Do they need to make modifications or change the labeler, or maybe get a different bottling line?
All these things are going to add to your cost at the end of the day. So make sure that they’re able to do it exactly how you want it done. And if not, make sure it’s something that you’re willing to compromise on as well.
Are they reliable?
You want to make sure that you can pick up the phone and get in touch with the decision maker straight away.
You want to place an order. You want that process to be really, really seamless, and you want to make sure that the product that they’re providing you, your product is exactly how you want it.
Perfect product, neatly presented, neatly packaged in the numbers and the quantities that you ordered and that makes that whole process really, really seamless.
So make sure that they’re reliable enough to meet all of those little steps along the way so that you don’t have to worry about spending half a day on the phone, trying to get an answer about when you can get stock.
And finally, but definitely most importantly, you need to ask yourself if this contract manufacturer is aligned with you as a business.
Do they share the same business motto?
Do they have the same goals and the same aspirations?
Are they invested in your brand?
That will really tell you whether it’s the right contract manufacturer for you or not.
If they don’t share those same values, chances are, they’re not going to be invested in your products and you’ll become a number, which will cause other issues down the line.
At Synergy Food Group, all of our contracting customers are part of our brand. We treat them as if they were our own and we love watching them grow and flourish and start from a startup and end up as a big company. We love watching that journey along the way.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about how we do that, contact Synergy Food Group and learn a bit more about how we can take you to the next level.
Synergy Food Group contract manufacture for Australia’s leading juice & specialty beverage brands.
We were the first Australian company to innovate fruit and vegetable based Cold Pressed Juice, utilising High Pressure Process (HPP) technology, plus we produce a variety of specialty beverages such as Nut Milks, Protein Waters, Functional Beverages, Superfood Smoothies & Coconut Waters.
Some of our clients also use our juice as a premium ingredient to enhance other products such as Ice Cream, Cider & Beer.
Situated in central Sydney has allowed us to build a strong network of Farmers and Producers to source the freshest ingredients.
Synergy Food Group is licensed to produce both raw unpasteurised juice & juice utilising HPP technology and we are SQF certified, ensuring the highest food safety standards.
Our clients range from large retail chains, to boutique juice & specialty beverage brands who have a passion for providing high quality, innovative products to their loyal, health-conscious customers.
Whether it’s for the markets, cafes, restaurants, retail outlets, supermarkets, or international distribution we’ll tailor a cold pressed juice brand or specialty beverage that you can be proud of.