A technical review in the context of a co-manufacturer search refers to the process of evaluating and assessing the technical capabilities, expertise, and facilities of potential co-manufacturers. This review is a critical step in selecting a co-manufacturer for your products and ensuring that you will be a good fit for the co-manufacturer’s facility. This process can vary from a few weeks to several months before you are able to move on to Trial and Development.
How do I prepare for this important step in the co-man search process? After your inital discovery call with a potential co-manufacturer, you will enter into a phase called Technical Review.
- Gather all your information. Here is our checklist!
- Current process & equipment used
- Packaging (either spec sheets for your packaging, or images of similar packaging you’re looking for)
- Volume forecasting
- Determine your priorities.
It is best to have this information prepared before your first call so you can be prepared to answer questions and share this information immediately after your call.
They will need this information to fully understand your production process and requirements. We understand this is sensitive information, but they are not able to properly quote or assess your process without it!
Here are the 4 pieces of information you should have ready to share:
Now, we understand that for most start-ups, you might not have finalized any of these elements, especially volumes. That’s ok! What is most important to convey to manufacturers is not your exact volume projections, but how you’re going about determining them. That will give manufacturers a more realistic sense of your business, and if their model will be a good fit to work with you. Some manufactures need more regular volume commitment, while others can be more flexible. There isn’t one right way, you just need to be transparent about where you’re actually at in order to find a good match.
While it would be wonderful to find the golden goose co-man who offers flexible MOQs, all the certifications you could imagine wanting, really competitive rates and is down the street from you, the reality is you will likely need to compromise on something. It is important to go into your first meeting having a sense of what is most important to you and your business. That may mean you have to find a co-man further away because the local one doesn’t offer an Organic certification, or it may mean changing your packaging because you found an amazing co-man but they just don’t do stand-up pouches. Writing a list of priorities will help you determine which partner is best suited for your project.