How to Find the Right Private Label Manufacturer

Jun 14, 2019

How to Find the Right Private Label Manufacturer

Find the Right Private Label Manufacturer

It is essential to find a skin care manufacturer that can fulfill all your requirements. This is the only way to ensure that the product you bring to market is the one you envisioned in your business plan. It doesn’t matter how perfect your business setup, marketing strategy, or customer service is, if your end product falls short of what you promised your customer, your private label business is sure to fail. For that reason, you need to determine from the outset what you need in a manufacturer. It helps to identify which aspects you are willing to negotiate on, and what are absolute deal-breakers.

Determine Your Needs

When private labeling a skin care product, you must first decide how much control you want over the formulation process. Assuming that you are not reinventing the wheel, the skin care product you have in mind will already exist in the market. Determine how original your potential product is by looking at the competition. What sets your product apart? Is it mostly the branding that makes your product unique? Or are you uncovering a new market segment by solving a problem in an original way, maybe by adding an ingredient that is not traditionally used in, for example, anti-aging skin care formulations? This will be the determining factor between selecting an existing stock formula from a manufacturer and working with a chemist to create a custom formulation.

Vet their Cosmetic Laboratories

If you are planning on producing a custom skin care product, you will need to work with a cosmetics formulator or chemist. You can either contract this out to someone or do it yourself if you happen to be an expert. Look for a skin care manufacturer with a team of in-house chemists that you can work with to arrive at the perfect formula. It will be necessary to draw up a shortlist in order to vet the manufacturers based on expertise. Inquire about the sophistication of their R&D departments and speak to existing customers to get more insight. You should also understand their factory processes and evaluate the quality of their raw materials to ensure that it meets your brand’s quality standards.

Integrate the Steps

The private label business model has several steps, starting with an idea, and culminating in a branded product in the hands of your customer. The better integrated these steps are, the more seamlessly you can execute on your idea and the higher your chance of success. Some manufacturers will do more than just take care of the formulation of your skincare product, and will accompany you on the journey from start to finish.

Apart from formulating your skincare product, manufacturers can help with the design of your packaging, complete the printing of packaging designs in-house, and take care of distribution. Because they have experience in the market and are also in control of manufacturing the product, they can better predict the timelines and help you make informed inventory management decisions. This way you are far less likely to run out of stock at a crucial point when your customer base is growing exponentially.

If they provide other services, consider what it would cost you to outsource these to other providers, and what you would gain from having an integrated solution.

Understand Their Business Processes

Ultimately you should select the manufacturer that meets all your requirements, but also allows you to be more competitive in the market. Ask the following questions to help you narrow it down:

  • How long have they been in business and how much experience do they have in your market segment?
  • Do they have the lab-testing you require, such as stability tests and determining shelf-life?
  • Which are the most competitive on price and MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)?
  • What is their maximum production capacity, and what is their turnaround time?
  • What are their lead times, and does it match your go-to-market strategy?
  • What are their payment terms, and does it align with your budget?

In short, there is no such thing as too much information when selecting your private label skin care manufacturer. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even at the risk of sounding inexperienced. Never assume shared understanding, as this could be detrimental to your success.

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