What to Look for In Contract Bottling Companies
Not all contract bottling companies are the same. When you are interviewing and vetting potential bottling companies, it's important to find the company that will be the right fit for your needs. Rather than just going with the low-cost option or the even the firm you've been working with for recent production, there are several questions you can ask to determine which bottling company is the right partner for you.
What industries do you work with?
Many contract manufacturing companies specialize in certain industries. This enables them to get a thorough understanding of the challenges and needs facing firms in those industries. For example, if your company produces automotive additives, it's important to work with a contract manufacturing firm that is familiar with the regulations and standards affecting automotive additive products. Typically, it's better to work with firms that work with fewer industries as they have an in-depth knowledge of those few industries rather than a shallow knowledge of a lot of industries.
What is your experience with contract bottling?
When interviewing contract bottling companies, ask what type of experience they have and how long they have been providing contract bottling. Firms that are newer to contract bottling often don't have the experience of what works and what doesn't work. You always want to work with a contract bottling partner who has seen it all and can provide actionable insights to you, especially if your firm is new to the manufacturing space. They can often save you the costs of trial and error.
What services do you offer?
This question seems very straightforward, but it's critical to know what manufacturing capabilities your potential has to offer. Think in terms of the future. While you may only need assistance with bottle filling at this time, you may need assistance with manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing in the next few years. Contract manufacturing companies who offer the services you'll need in the future ensure a seamless relationship, allowing you to add on services as you need them rather than having to hunt for a distribution partner down the road.
What type of inventory tracking do you provide?
Your inventory is the lifeblood of your business and is typically where most of your capital is tied up. It's essential that you know where your inventory is at every stage of the manufacturing process. Always ask a potential contract bottling company about their inventory tracking tools. If possible, get a demo of the tracking tools to ensure that it will fulfill all your needs and streamline your in-house processes.
How do you add value for your clients?
This question can be the major distinguishing factor when comparing contract bottling firms. Instead of just meeting your needs in terms of liquid filling or chemical blending, your contract bottling partner should be adding value to your business. Are their services customized to your specific needs or is it a one-size-fits-most service offering? The ideal contract bottling partner will bring significant value to your business by streamlining processes, increasing time to market fulfillment, providing process improvements, or even improving the procurement process on your behalf. Steer clear of firms that simply list their service offerings and find a firm who discusses how they can help your business thrive.
How can you help my company grow?
Whether you have a clear plan for the future or are focused on your success now, growth is likely one of your main goals. You don't have time to re-interview bottling vendors every few years. You need a contract manufacturing partner who can grow with your business while also helping your business expand. By asking this question, you can learn what services and strategies the potential contract bottling company offers that are scalable and adaptable to ensure the future success of your company.
Interested in learning more about what makes a contract bottling partner the right fit for your firm? Contact us today for a personalized consultation.