And How to Find a Contract Manufacturing Partner That Can Support Overflow Capacity
If everything were as scientific as creating your product formulations, your entire order workflow would be equally predictable. As any CPG product team can tell you, predicting order volumes isn’t a perfect science. Estimates for your busiest (and slowest) buying seasons use the past as a guide. That’s a mild way of saying that everyone in the CPG business is making a series of educated guesses.
Here’s a simple fact: Order volumes fluctuate, and sometimes they do so in a way that is unexpected or unusual. COVID-19 saw cleaning products flying off the shelves at record rates and even the largest brands learned precisely what “at capacity” meant.
The issues that created those capacity challenges can always revisit companies of any size. Staffing shortages could make it tough for a big brand to finish product runs on time. Shipping backlogs from major logistics providers can make it that much more difficult to get your products to the distribution center (DC) on schedule.
How can you make sure your liquid cleaning products always end up on the store shelves on time?
Finding Support for Burst Capacity
Let’s say, for whatever reason, your current slate of vendors and/or your internal production facility isn’t able to satisfy your present order volume. Seasonality often puts pressure on even the most well-resourced facilities. The COVID pandemic also taught the world that supply chain disruptions can cause further issues when it comes to satisfying unexpected spikes in order volume.
Finding a manufacturer that can pivot their internal workflows to satisfy burst capacity is often a tall order. Many liquid contract manufacturing vendors, for example, demand exclusivity to prevent your team from collaborating with other facilities.
The goal, ultimately, is getting products to the DC on schedule and within your delicate margins. Whether it’s for your busiest buying season, or just to help with an unexpectedly large order, a manufacturing partner should be willing to protect your IP and have the internal processes in place to collaborate with other manufacturing facilities.
Back to those margins. Not all project-based liquid cleaning product contract manufacturers have the trained staff and equipment that can pivot workflows to accommodate a single order in a cost-effective manner. For example, PCI regularly works with clients to meet their burst capacity needs at costs that won’t drive up prices for your end customers.
Work with a Vendor Based in the U.S.
When you need a responsive, timely vendor, you may not have the contingency to wait for an overseas shipment. With more companies looking to reshore all of their packaging needs, it’s that much more difficult to find liquid contract manufacturers that can help with additional burst capacity and seasonal order increases within the U.S.
Locating, researching, and procuring a contract with a U.S.-based liquid contract manufacturer can pose a big challenge when you have a time-sensitive order sitting in the queue. Centrally-located liquid product manufacturers are rarer still. It’s why we operate our manufacturing headquarters in the heart of the midwest, accessible to distribution centers throughout North America.
Seamless Product Quality and Brand Consistency
Every single bottle is an extension of your brand. Ideally, your team needs access to a seamless process that still guarantees your customers will enjoy the same quality and product consistency. Even when you’ve never worked with that vendor, you should be able to hand off your spec formula and the end user will have the same experience no matter where it was bottled.
Liquid contract manufacturing vendors don’t all share the same exact business models. Some develop higher profit by developing original formulas for clients, or providing contract services by reselling their own IP. PCI’s model is slightly different. We only create products from spec. At our facility, our in-house chemists recreate our client’s exact formulas, protecting the brand experience even if we only fulfill a single order.
End-to-End Turnkey Contracting Services
When you contract a vendor for a short run to shore up capacity issues, you deserve the same level of care and attention to detail and service.
Larger facilities often don’t have the margins to allow for smaller orders, or non-exclusive business. PCI offers a true turnkey service, even when we service order volumes that are lower than our competitors.
We maintain internal workflows to handle burst capacity while also providing the same valuable, turnkey service we offer all of our clients including:
- Adhering to your specs
- Project management that honors your timelines
- Industry knowledge to follow safety and regulatory requirements
- Flexible filling lines and equipment (we can handle packaging from 1 oz to 1 gallon)
- Labeling, packaging, and logistics services (so your products end up on time at your or your client’s DC)
Need Help With A Specific Order?
PCI values your brand history as much as you do. We have the staffing, expertise, and chemical engineers to help you keep your order flows moving smoothly and without disruption.
If you need help with a single order, or are looking for a new vendor for all of your products, our team is standing by to help you with your next quote. Contact us today to talk about your next job.