Creating a Mutually Beneficial Relationship with Your Manufacturer

Choosing the right manufacturer for your Natural Health Products is one of the most important decisions that will help determine your brand’s success. By applying some key selection criteria, you can find a manufacturing partner that will be the perfect fit.

Before getting into the contract manufacturing business, I owned a nutritional supplement brand and was faced with many issues including defective products, delayed shipments and poor communication with the manufacturers. These frustrating and costly experiences led me to start my own manufacturing company.

From the very beginning, I made quality the foundation of everything we do with detailed quality assurance systems and procedures. Another integral component of GFR Pharma’s success is our dedicated and highly experienced team.

By focusing on the customer, offering numerous delivery systems and packaging options, and sharing our technical and formulating expertise we have helped our loyal clients grow from small brands to industry leaders. By investing in our client’s success we’ve also been able to expand GFR Pharma significantly.

To find a supplement contract manufacturer that will meet your needs, consider the following questions:

Written by Richard Pierce,
CEO of GFR Pharma


10 Questions to Ask when Choosing a Natural Health Supplement Contract Manufacturer

Do Their Manufacturing Certifications Meet Your Needs?

To narrow down your list of potential contract manufacturers look at which ones have the certifications that you need. Determine your final product specifications and then create a list of requirements for your potential contract manufacturing partner.

If you want to use label claims such as Organic or Kosher, your manufacturer must have the appropriate certification. Certain product types or categories require specific certifications. For example, dairy products, such as whey proteins, that will be exported to the European Union or Australia must be made in a Registered Dairy Establishment.

Verifying certifications is just the first step in finding the right partner; once you’ve established that a short list of contract manufacturers meet your basic requirements, you can dig deeper with the following questions:

Who Will You Be Working With?

Look for companies, like GFR Pharma, with long-term industry experts who are accessible when you have questions. A contract manufacturer should add value at every stage by being able to help you find the right ingredients, dosage formats and other technical aspects of manufacturing. They can also be a valuable source of industry knowledge and the latest market research trends.

At GFR Pharma, in addition to a dedicated account manager who keeps the lines of communication open, our clients have access to other production, quality and technical staff members to quickly resolve questions and issues.

Ask around to see which manufacturers are highly regarded in the industry. In the manufacturing business, reputation is everything and many of our clients have found GFR Pharma through industry word-of-mouth referrals. Above all, you must have complete confidence in the honesty and integrity of the manufacturer to safeguard your brand’s quality, proprietary formulas and reputation.

Does the Manufacturer Have The Capability to Produce Your Product and Future Line Extensions?

When choosing a manufacturer you should plan ahead, making sure they can produce multiple dosage formats in various packaging options. This will enable you to grow your product line into different dosage formats and offer your customers more convenient packaging formats like stick packs.

Companies like GFR Pharma are committed to continuous innovation to meet their customer’s needs now and in the future. GFR Pharma continually invests in new capabilities, technologies and training to stay at the forefront of supplement manufacturing.

Can the Manufacturer Help You at Every Stage?

A contract manufacturer that can do everything from assisting with formulations, through to manufacturing and packaging, will reduce the time needed to get your product to market. Look for a contract manufacturer who regularly offers these development services and is cost-efficient.

An integrated service provider plans ahead to make sure the entire product and packaging works well together. They will help formulate dosage formats that run well on production equipment and meet regulatory standards. If you are looking to export products, your manufacturer should be able to help you prepare the documentation requirements of the export country.

Our clients find that by relying on GFR Pharma as their full-service manufacturer, they are able to spend more time on marketing their brands and driving sales.

How Does the Manufacturer Monitor Quality?

A foundation of quality is a necessary requirement for supplement manufacturers. Certifications are evidence of a comprehensive quality system managed and maintained by a trained and strict quality team. GMP manufacturers like GFR Pharma operate under written Standard Operating Procedures that cover every area of manufacturing operations including personnel requirements, equipment functioning, sanitation and maintenance.

Ask the manufacturer what quality control measures they use to prevent defective products. There should be steps taken throughout the production process to inspect the quality of the raw materials, finished product, packaging, and final labelling.

In the supplement industry, there are very few second chances if you lose your consumer’s trust with inferior products. GFR Pharma takes the time to manufacture high-quality products right the first time, and every time.

What are Their Areas of Expertise?

Ask manufacturers about the products that they specialize in. Those who often manufacture products similar to yours will be the most efficient and have the technical know-how to avoid common manufacturing issues.

While some manufacturers exclusively manufacture a single dosage format or product, you don’t necessarily want to be constrained to a single type if your product line grows in the future. Look for comprehensive manufacturers like GFR Pharma who offer various specialties.

Where is the Manufacturer Located?

The location of a manufacturing facility is a factor in the decision making process but becoming less important as technology allows brands to work with manufacturers across the country or even around the world.

GFR Pharma takes advantage of being near major trucking routes, and its proximity to the US border to quickly and efficiently ship finished products and receive raw materials from around the globe.

The perception of your brand’s quality is heavily influenced by the country of manufacture. Canadian-made products are highly regarded around the world due to strict and comprehensive regulatory measures put in place by Health Canada. International trade certificates can be obtained for Health Canada-registered products allowing them to be exported world-wide.

Is the Manufacturer the Right Size?

Another consideration when selecting a contract manufacturer is their size compared to yours; you don’t want to potentially outgrow a manufacturer’s capacity. GFR Pharma has the production capacity to handle small to multi-container sized production runs – we are positioned to grow with your brand!

GFR Pharma continually invest in new capabilities, technologies and training to stay at the forefront of supplement manufacturing. No matter how big or small, GFR Pharma gives every client full attention; we make it our goal to exceed their every expectation.

What is Their Usual Manufacturing Lead Times?

Another factor to consider in choosing a manufacturer is their production lead time. When you ask how long it would be from purchase order to product release, the natural tendency is to choose a manufacturer who can deliver a finished product in the shortest time. However, short lead times could potentially indicate that a manufacturer is cutting corners. GMP manufacturing standards require testing of all ingredients before use in production which extends the manufacturing timeline but guarantees a quality, safe product.

GFR Pharma provides a realistic completion date based on raw material procurement and testing lead times. Our production management and supervisors meet regularly to ensure orders are closely monitored and kept on schedule.


Does the Manufacturer Offer Competitive Pricing?

When choosing a Natural Health Product manufacturer, trying to cut costs can result in quality issues, regulatory headaches and increased expenses down the road. Make sure that a manufacturer meets all your other needs and expectations before considering pricing.

GFR Pharma offers competitive pricing along with the uncompromised quality and outstanding customer service required to take your brand to the next level. Think carefully before choosing your contract manufacturer as their standards of quality, timeliness and communication will directly impact your brand’s success.


If you’d like a competitive quote or to learn more about how GFR Pharma can help your brand grow please contact us.


Please forward my sincere gratitude to the GFR team. You guys are seriously, seriously on-it!
Chris GFounder
We appreciate our relationship with GFR. From QC to communications, we have found working with GFR to be a pleasure, highlighted by excellent communications and reliable delivery dates. Thank you.
Michael BentleySierraSil Health Inc.
In all my years, I can honestly say, no other company I have ever worked with has provided me with such an unparalleled level of care and service. Literally, GFR Pharma has provided my company with the best level of service I have ever experienced. You are that good, that efficient, that professional.

If there was a problem, it was fixed. If there was a challenge, it was met. If there was a deadline, it was met.

It’s time for an official thank you.
Great first experience manufacturing my product with GFR. I am definitely going to be utilizing your services in the future for more of our products and look forward to our next project with you. Thanks again!
We cannot wait any longer to express our appreciation for your help during our production process.

We thank you for your professional suggestions and the quick responses to every question we have had; you have been so patient in helping us with every one of our inquiries.

Your guidance throughout the entire product development and production is a tremendous support to us.
I always prefer to make our products at GFR if possible, because I am confident with your product quality and service for us.

We are growing well steadily in the Korean market and so orders are continuous and items keep increasing.

I really hope to work closely with GFR with most of our products.
James T.President