Starting your own dietary supplement line is a unique challenge, as manufacturing supplements can be a lengthy and difficult process. There are, however, well established steps to consider along the way that will expedite the process when followed correctly. The following are some of your most basic guidelines for creating your product, staying in production, and being successful on the market.
Understand the Relationship with the Manufacturer
As you can no doubt imagine, supplement manufacturers are one of the biggest pieces of your puzzle. You can’t very well move a new product on the market without someone trustworthy to make it. You’ll want a manufacturer with a strong track record of producing FDA approved substances who cares about your product just as much as you do.
It’s important to note that while the manufacturer mass produces your product, it’s your responsibility to provide the final formula. You’re also responsible for ensuring the safety of said formula, so you want to make sure you’re legally covered before moving on to production. This includes any necessary testing, such as allergen testing as a common example. You also have to test a sample of the final product once it’s produced. The FDA holds the supplement company responsible for infractions such as mislabeling, unapproved ingredients, or failure to comply with any other good practices. Likewise, the manufacturer is held responsible for any breaches of good practices which occur on their end. It’s as important for your manufacturer to trust your practices as it is for you to trust them, as a hold up on either end hurts both parties.
Be Prepared for Audits
Once you pass initial screening and start preparing your product for the market, you need to keep up to date with changes to good manufacturing practices, as updates come quite often. Typical audits cover a wide range of materials from documentation to sampling to warehouse conditions and anything in between. There is a huge list of things you can do to prepare, but here are some basics.
Well in advance, you should get a notification about an impending audit as well as what it’ll check for. This will hopefully give ample time to ensure your documentation is in order. You should be able to retrieve anything that is asked for quickly to show your operation is well organized. A failure here can cost you big.
Beyond this, it’s important to make sure your staff knows the auditor is coming so they can prepare. It’s always advisable to speak with the auditor before they leave, in case there are any issues that can be sorted out immediately. Beyond that, always follow up on the audit report ASAP.
Keep Updated on the Market
Of course, following all the best practices out there may not help you if you lose touch with your own market. As with any business, it’s crucial to stay knowledgeable about any changes or trends. Fortunately, there are plenty of market reports out there which illustrate current trends as well as offer insight into predicting ones to come, and these reports range from basic free ones to documents that come at a cost. If you find the information compelling, it might just be the boost you need to expand your business.
By keeping your product in line with good manufacturing practices, maintaining a trusting relationship with your manufacturer, and keeping a lookout for the unexpected, you can build a very successful line of dietary supplements.