Outsourcing your skincare manufacturing services requires a thorough examination of your business. Finding answers to the following questions (among others) will help you do it thoughtfully and intelligently. Here are seven questions that are worthy of investigation as you consider creating a strategic partnership with a private label skincare manufacturer.
1. What is the turn around time for my custom manufactured product from the day I begin my exploration to the time I receive my first order of finished goods?
Obviously, this question is dependent on so many factors that are contingent upon where you are with your product and your company. If you are already in business with existing formulas and existing packaging this may take far less time than it would if you are just starting from scratch, though even this is not a certainty. If you are matching formulas and the private label skincare lab is responsive and you are responsive this can be done in less than two months or even more quickly, depending the degree of difficulty in the formula.
If you are just getting started it may take longer. It may be quick if you are working with existing base products and doing very little modification to the base products. However, if you are modifying the products substantially, you may go back forth and in and out of the lab before you arrive at the exact product that you want.
In either case once the product or products are approved and your packaging and labels are in place you can count on anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.
2. How can ensure that my skincare products are what I want each time?
This is a discovery. Because the product is a living organism the consistency may vary. You will discover this over time but it is worth asking the chemist what to expect and by all means pay attention to the variations as you go through the sampling process.
3. What is the shelf life of my skincare products?
Of course this depends on the type of product but know that most formulas contain living ingredients. Go through each product with your lab representative to clarify the stability of the preservative system and the accompanying shelf life.
4. What will my skincare manufacturing partner need from me in order to be able to manufacture and package my products?
One obvious answer is packaging, including labels (in the event the packaging is not silkscreened). In addition, a contract will need to be signed that will detail the terms and conditions that both parties have agreed to uphold. Of course there may be more, so be curious and ask a lot of questions.
5. How many years of experience does my private label skincare manufacturing partner have in this business?
While experience is important it is not the only factor that determines the quality of the lab or guarantee that your experience will be a good one. As is the case in many businesses, a newer skincare manufacturer may be more aggressive and progressive.
6. Will I receive personal service?
The best way to find this out is to call each potential private label skincare manufacturing company and gauge the level of service you receive with that very first phone call. If they answer the phone and are receptive and responsive you will get an indication of how things may go as you move deeper into the relationship.
7. How much assistance will I receive for shipping domestically and internationally?
Shipping assistance can include help with registration documents, storage of the product and excess packaging, opinions about packaging and design, how to maximize the value of each order, and many other sales and ordering questions. There a million questions that need to be answered and great private label skincare manufacturers will know the answers and will make this information available to their customers one way or another.
My best advice is to find the private label skincare manufacturer that responds most positively to your questions and is not offended or unresponsive to curiosity.