Not all contract manufacturers are equal: They can differ in testing and quality control, capacity, dedication to quality, talent on hand (product management, chemists), and so on, in a lot of ways. If you work with a contract manufacturer, you also know the success of your business relies on your ability to partner with a manufacturer as dedicated to your brand(s) as you are.  

So how do you know if you have a good one? And when do you know it’s time to switch to a better one? 

We’ve put together seven warning signs of a problematic contract manufacturer and one whose promises are “too good to be true.”

Contract Manufacturer Warning Signs

An unreliable contract manufacturing partner can cause issues that damage your reputation. These seven “red flags” or warning signs can help you identify manufacturers who may not be able to meet your needs over the long term, so you can save time and resources on partnerships that won’t be conducive to growing your brand. 

#1: They Are Lax About Complying With Laws and Regulations 

There should be no doubt the contract manufacturer you’re considering (or currently using) complies with all applicable safety regulations and standards, including regular inspections and audits, which ensure the product’s safety and quality.

#2: There is a Lack of Transparency

If a contract manufacturer is unwilling to share information about their manufacturing process or refuses to answer your questions, it could be a sign they have something to hide. An example of this would be if they’re “a bit hazy” about their quality control and quality assurance processes. Do they have them in place? Are they rigorous about enforcing them?

Ideally for you, these questions would be answered in the bid process. At PCI, we are transparent and forthcoming the minute you approach us with your bid request. Whatever requirement you are pricing – one big order or an ongoing partnership –  you will discover that we are just as concerned about your brand’s reputation as you are. 

#3: Promises Seem Too Good To Be True

Beware of contract manufacturing companies that offer production speeds or per-unit prices that seem too good to be true. They might cut corners or use subpar materials to meet those prices and deadlines, compromising the quality of your product.

#4: They Don’t Like Being Asked For Documentation

If a contract manufacturing company seems hesitant or uncomfortable when you request documentation about their manufacturing processes. it may be a red flag that they are not following best practices, or that they are having issues with quality control or regulatory non-compliance. Even if none of these are the case, it still points to a lack of attention to detail, which is also a red flag.

#5: They’re Unsure Of Their Equipment Tolerances

Tolerances determine exactly how much room for error exists when manufacturing. If a contract manufacturer can’t document how they test these tolerances, they’re‌ setting themselves up for mistakes. And setting you up for poor or inconsistent quality as well.

#6: They Only Pay Lip Service To Being Environmentally Friendly 

Some contract manufacturing companies may claim to be environmentally friendly. but only pay lip service to sustainability—such as making vague promises without concrete actions or implementing minimal changes that do not significantly reduce their environmental impact. It is important to thoroughly research their environmental practices and certifications to make sure they’re truly committed to sustainability.

In addition to our unparalleled technical capabilities, PCI is committed to sustainability and corporate responsibility. We strive to minimize our environmental impact and are EPA-certified in all our operations. When you work with PCI, you and your customers can rest assured your product is manufactured with the utmost environmental care and responsibility.

PCI: The Contract Manufacturer Who Will Address Your Concerns Head-On

PCI is a reliable contract manufacturer with over 30 years of experience as a leading provider of custom manufacturing solutions. PCI has earned a reputation for excellence in quality, innovation, and customer satisfaction.

Our experienced engineers and technicians work closely with you to understand your unique needs and requirements, making sure each project is tailored to your needs. We are committed to delivering superior quality products, on-time delivery, and outstanding customer service, making us the preferred choice for contract manufacturing. 

Talk to PCI About Your Contract Manufacturing Project

PCI has taken years to develop manufacturing processes to safeguard your product quality and efficacy. We take compliance seriously, believe in transparency, help fulfill your brand promise, and are rigorous about documentation and environmental sustainability. 

PCI is the ideal partner for all your contract manufacturing needs with a proven track record of success, a commitment to excellence, and a dedication to sustainability. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you bring your product to life.