September 24, 2020

7 top reasons to consider it, 13 questions you must ask, and cautions to keep in mind as COVID-19 continues to impact the supply chain.

Steve Holtby, President & CEO, Soft Gel Technologies, Inc., …not[es] that contract manufacturers can provide instant expertise and infrastructure. This, he says, “can allow companies to expand their product offerings quickly without massive capital outlay.” That can be especially important with challenging products. “Many companies are too small to warrant starting their own manufacturing facility, or they do not want to deal with all the regulations needed to comply. This is especially true for softgels, which is a unique and complicated process. One of the challenges of making softgels is that the operators who run the encapsulation machine have to be well-trained and competent to learn the techniques for a smooth and efficient operation. In addition when formulating products, specific shell/fill interactions, which include chemical reactions of fill components with the gelatin and the plasticizer, and migration of fill components in or through the shell and vice versa, have to be considered.” 

Holtby suggests having them lay it all out, asking: Explain to me in detail the new product process, including lead time, possible delays, and what to expect. Everyone can make a good product when everything goes as planned, says Holtby, who suggests asking, “What are your procedures to handle unexpected problems such as testing issues, raw material shortages, etc.?”