Tips to consider while choosing Third Party Manufacturer for your products

Currently the phenomena of Contract Manufacturing/Third Party Manufacturing are growing too rapidly. We can say that this trend is fundamentally reshaping the Pharmaceutical industry in India. Third Party Manufacturing is essentially the practice of establishing a manufacturing agreement between two companies. The third party manufacturer, specializes in manufacturing operations  produces  products on behalf of the marketing company. The marketing company can place orders in batches of all sizes and specifications, effectively delegating the manufacturing functions. Indeed, the third party manufacturing model works very well across many industries but in Pharma Sector it is booming like anything. Tips to consider while choosing Third Party Manufacturer As a responsible Pharma Marketing company, choosing a right third party manufacturer for your products can be a critical decision for you. You are making a commitment that could last for several years, your products touches lives of millions directly; you can’t afford to take this decision lightly. You should do a lot of research and up-front work to make a quality decision but be assured that all this will pay for you in the end. The best third party manufacturing companies are those who not just produce your products, they recognize and treat your products as if they were their own. They are thorough in their operations and diligent about providing qualitative and cost effective solutions. Price and quality both are important considerations while choosing third party manufacturer, but there are many other factors to consider:
  1. Research company reputation
Do your research properly about your manufacturer after all you are going to spend your hard earned money and all your marketing efforts on the products manufactured by them. Have a thorough look at a manufacturer’s current and past customers. Do they maintain customers long term? What position and reputation they enjoy in the industry. There are dozens of websites and digital resources you can use to study reputation, from governmental to commercial  websites that cater to the legal and compliance history of many manufacturers.
  1. Equipment & Technology
The right contract manufacturing partner will be able to utilize the proper technology and equipment for your products. Are they using equipments & technology matching with industry standards? If new equipment is needed for a much customized process, clearly establish early on who is responsible for paying for it, and how long it will take for it to come online.
  1. Responsiveness
The most important criteria while choosing manufacturer should be the responsiveness of their team. When you are looking at your watch and counting down the hours and minutes, do they share your sense of urgency? Do they answer the phone whenever you need to reach them? If they are slow at cracking the deal, why would they perform better at executing or processing your orders?  Are they showing too much desperation for winning your orders? Can you expect a manufacturer to respond appropriately, behave honorably and do what’s right if a problem arises? Focus on their responsiveness and select the manufacturer who is giving you honest and transparent solutions.
  1. Regulatory compliance
Regulatory compliance should be top of mind when enacting initial research on third party manufacturer vendors. you can ask for all the Regulatory compliance certificates they are having.
  1. Strategic Locations
A manufacturer with strategic locations is a must. It is advisable to choose your manufacturer from nearby location.  Transportation can greatly drive up the cost if the third party manufacturer is located too far from your market area. If they are located not too far, you and your quality control team can visit time to time the unit and can keep track of production process. But this benefit can’t  out pass the value of quality. To get qualitative products, you can choose manufacturers from too far areas also.
  1. Team quality
Manufacturing starts and ends not with machines but with the people involved from the top of the operation all the way to the bottom. Therefore the success of your project will depend largely on the people assigned to your project.  An ideal manufacturer will have an entire team that’s full of knowledgeable competent people who are strong and well-respected in the company.
  1. Assess scalability
In finding the right third party manufacturer, you need to know the capabilities of your vendor and then assess your scalability. Will you be the largest client for this company?  Or will you be smallest? Either extreme can pose challenges. If you are the smallest client, will your production be blocked in favour of a bigger client? If you are the largest, will they be able to give you adequate and timely delivery? These are all things that need to be taken into account. At the end of the day, it’s not the PRICE but the quality, responsiveness, the communication  with your supplier and the team, and the technical expertise keep pharmaceutical companies with a particular third party manufacturer. It’s interesting how most companies may focus on price initially, but it seems that a low price isn’t as important if there are supply interruptions, late deliveries, quality issues, lack of communication. At that point, price doesn’t seem to matter as much.