Here’s what to do before hiring a CBD contract manufacturing company.
If you’re deciding whether you should hire a CBD contract manufacturing company, contract packager, or co-packer, it probably means your CBD product is selling in such numbers that your current production output can’t match it. While this is a sign of growth, it has its growing pains.
While the thought of relinquishing some of your control to another entity might make you feel uneasy, at least you can be assured that your pain point is due to your CBD products’ growing popularity.
Before settling on a CBD packaging solution or thoroughly vetting potential co-packers, analyze whether a CBD contract manufacturing firm will give you the best ROI. Ask yourself if there are possible ways you could improve your CBD packaging line that would be financially better than hiring a co-packer. Before discussing what to look for in a co-packer, let’s take a look at the signs that you need one in the first place.
Identify Your Primary Limitation
Many CBD companies outsource to co-packers because the services they offer are far beyond what they can do themselves. If you're looking to outsource due to manufacturing constraints, what are those constraints, and can they be lifted? For instance, is it a space limitation, a worker shortage, lack of equipment, or difficulty delivering products to a specific region?
Maybe you've tried solving your current issues but decided that the most cost-effective and efficient solution is hiring a contract packager. Perhaps you can't expand your facility, or you experienced such a sudden burst of sales that such an expansion wouldn't meet the short-term demand. Whatever the case, make sure you truly need a CBD contract manufacturing partner because it's not a decision to take lightly.
What to Look For in a Co-Packer
If you believe that a co-packer will fix your primary problem for the best ROI, consider carefully who's on your shortlist. There are specific characteristics that a reliable co-packer should exhibit before winning your business.
They're Safe - Because you're working with CBD, government regulations are strict. The products need to be safe for public use, especially if the CBD is in an edible or beverage form. They should have certifications such as Safe Quality Food (SQF) to demonstrate their ability to handle products responsibly. You'll have the final say about ingredients, but the co-packer should at least have suggestions in this area.
They're Experienced - This doesn't mean that you should hire a co-packer only if they have an extensive history with CBD and reject them if they don't. The more experience the co-packer has in general, the more likely they'll be able to solve problems, make wise decisions, and avoid mistakes — and that's what's most important.
They're Transparent - You should expect transparency and Certificates of Analysis (COAs). Both help you to monitor the production of your products. Their facility should be open to investigation so you can personally see how they're producing your CDB goods.
Use Your Judgment & Ask Around
Even if you've looked over a co-packer's credentials thoroughly, you may still have a pit in your stomach over whether you should hire them or not. It may be because you don't want to give up control over your product or because you have a genuine concern. Make sure you investigate their reputation. They may look great on paper, but finding out how they've treated other companies will be telling.
If you find that a co-packer presents well and seems to shine in all the right areas, but industry peers and CBD manufacturers warn you to stay away, listen to those warnings. You're handing over your product and brand image to another company — and their mistakes can impact your credibility. The more research you do now, the more headaches you can spare yourself later.
What Can a Co-Packer Do For You?
Aside from making the products themselves, CBD contract manufacturing firms offer many different packaging services. They’re a potential partner for creating the best products possible, and that goes far beyond just putting your products into containers.
CBD Packaging Design - With graphic artists on staff, they can create new designs and logos for you. Even if you’re not interested in changing your branding, they will know the rules and regulations about what can and can’t be included on CBD packaging.
Storage/Distribution - They’ll not only make your CBD products, but they can store them and ship them, as well.
Inventory Management - You can expect excellent warehouse management so you can keep track of your inventory, too.
Printing - You may need to include printed cards or booklets with your CBD products. This is something your co-packer should be able to create and incorporate into the packaging process.
Packaging - This is the big one. Co-packers can create, fill, cap, and package your CBD products. They should have the capability — including an accurate CBD packaging line — to do all of this work well, meeting your quality demands.
Improve CBD Labeling Efficiency with the Right Equipment
Whether you're outsourcing CBD production to a co-packer or you're a CBD contract manufacturing company yourself, you can see dramatic increases in output with efficient, durable, reliable, easy to use Pack Leader USA labeling machines.
To see how your CBD packaging line can get a serious boost, check out our guide to labeling CBD packaging better. It includes tips and advice from our labeling experts. When you're ready to transform your production line, set up a free consultation to learn about Pack Leader USA labeling equipment. We're happy to help you find the right labeling solution for your CBD output goals and budget.