Green Flags: What to Look for in a Manufacturing Partner

a person wearing a neon coat

In 2019, the brand Jaclyn Cosmetics plummeted before it could even take off when their first line of lipsticks was found to have some dubious particles like mold, hairs, and some strange bubbles. It was a highly anticipated launch, but so many of the brand owner’s fans were turned off by this incredibly terrible but ultimately avoidable rookie mistake.

The excuse that owner Jaclyn Hill gave was that the laboratory that manufactured her products used a towel with fibers to clean their equipment, and those fibers were left on the big tub where the lipsticks were being mixed. Not a lot of people bought this excuse, but whatever may have caused this terrible quality control (or lack thereof), one thing was sure—the manufacturer the brand partnered with messed up in a massive way.

Upcoming brands and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn so much from this blunder. But one lesson stands out from the rest; we need to partner with the right manufacturing companies and laboratories, especially if we’re trying to launch products that will go on and into people’s bodies.

Entrepreneurs launching a line of new products or merchandise need to partner with the best possible manufacturer or laboratory. Here are some green flags and key qualities in a manufacturing partner that business owners need to look for.

A Clean Facility That Has the Necessary Permits, Certifications, and Licenses

Business owners need to do their due diligence, which means doing an ocular inspection of laboratories or manufacturing companies they want to partner with. This means they cannot miss the step of checking if their prospective laboratory has the necessary qualifications. Here are some tips for inspecting their facilities:

  • In the United States, manufacturing companies should have certifications on design and production quality control and assessment, material safety and sourcing, and others. Don’t hesitate to ask your prospective manufacturing partners if they have these certifications, and you can even ask to see them yourself.
  • When inspecting the facility, make sure to follow their procedures on health and safety. Where the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) and others. Insist on seeing for yourself the machines and equipment, like the piston filler depositor machines, to see if they are of the highest quality and if they are properly maintained.
  • More often than not, manufacturing companies are open to having prospective partners visit their facility. If they say no, consider that a red flag. They should be open to visitors, especially if they have nothing to hide.

A Skilled Team of Professionals

professionals

Another item on your green flags checklist is a skilled team of specialists and scientists who have the necessary degrees and knowledge about the product you want to come up with. The types of professionals you will be working with will depend largely on the type of product you want to launch and envision.

For example, if you want to do something on tech and devices, something like a Bluetooth-powered tool, then you need to ensure that the manufacturing company boasts of hardware and software engineers, as well as industrial designers. If you want to launch a new makeup line, then you want to ensure that the manufacturing company has a talented team of cosmetic chemists and scientists.

A Clean and Proven Track Record

In the case of Jaclyn Cosmetics, another brand owner allegedly warned Jaclyn Hill about the lab the latter was going to work with. The owner of Makeup Geek, Marlena Stell, considered Jaclyn a mentee and warned her that she had a bad experience with that lab. Jaclyn still went ahead with the partnership.

When considering a manufacturing company, make sure that they have a clean and proven track record. You can know this by asking business owners who have worked with them before and getting their opinions about their experience. Don’t just ask about the output; ask them about their partnership experience as well. If you want a more quantitative insight into their work history, don’t hesitate to ask potential candidates if they have some case studies that can prove that they have come up with high-quality products for their clients. Doing the necessary research into their track record will give you a clearer grasp of the manufacturing company’s ability to deliver on its promises, and you can also manage your expectations.

A brand is only as good as its products, so aspiring entrepreneurs need to ensure that they work with only the best manufacturing companies in their industry. Look for these green flags to ensure the success of your vision for your brand.

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