Looking for a co-packing partner means comparing your options – making assessments based on locations, facilities, capabilities and more. How do you know which co-packer will be best for you? It’s important you find a strategic partner with the facilities and expertise to meet your needs and work with you to help your business grow.

We’ve come up with the following tips to help guide you when you’re choosing a co-packing partner.

1.      Compare a co-packer’s services against what you need

The first step of the process is to assess your needs. Each co-packer will have different areas of expertise, which is why you need to find one who can complement your in-house capabilities:

·        Are you looking for a turn-key partner to source the supplies you need, offer solutions for warehousing, and distribute your products?

·        What strengths does your team have? If you have sales and marketing experts, a turn-key co-packing partner could be a better choice. If you’re prepared to handle supply and distribution, you should consider making the most of that in-house skillset.

2.      Look into a co-packer’s reputation and history

You need to thoroughly research any co-packer you’re considering. Learn how long they’ve been operating and evaluate their levels of expertise.

·        Learn from your network. Ask businesses with needs similar to yours what experience they have with co-packers working with your industry.

·        Research a co-packer’s team. Do the leaders have a wealth and variety of experience in the industry?

3.      Ensure the co-packer is dedicated to safety and quality

Before choosing a co-packer, research the safety and quality programs they have established:

·        Do they undertake quality inspections on a regular basis?

·        Are HACCP plans in place?

·        What employee safety procedures and policies are set up?

·        How often are their facilities audited?

Ultimately, you should work with a co-packer committed to making safety and quality the number one priority.

4.      Research each co-packer’s certifications

It’s important to make sure their facilities are properly certified, depending on the types of products your co-packer will be handling.

·        GFSI Compliance

·        HACCP, AIB, and BRC Certifications

·        Segregated Nut-Free and Nut Zones

Demonstrating current certifications proves a co-packer has already taken necessary steps towards developing dependable quality-control systems throughout the facility and nurturing responsible attitudes and behaviors among team members.

5.      Take a tour of the warehouse

Taking a tour is the best way to ensure a co-packer has the right teams and equipment in place to ensure the best results for you. You’ll be able to walk through the complete process to see exactly how products are processed and handled.

Pose questions including:

1.      Do their on-floor sanitary practices match their claims? Keep an eye out for proper allergen management practices, the cleanliness of the machines, and the staff’s attire.

2.      Are they paying attention to the safety of their employees? Floors should be kept clean and clear and fire exits always free of obstacles.

3.      Is their warehouse organized and well maintained? Make sure storage racks are ordered, any stray skids are in a pre-designated location, and environments are at proper temperatures.

4.      Do their employees like working there? You should engage with their employees and ask how long they’ve been working for the co-packer and what they like most about their jobs.

Having a well-maintained facility staffed by productive team members will help a co-packer maximize their effectiveness and deliver the best results to you.

6.      Be sure you’ll be able to communicate with your co-packer

It’s important you be able to work with your co-packer if any problems come up during production, storage or distribution. As a general rule, the more transparent a co-packer is at the outset, the more trustworthy they’ll be as a business development partner.

7.      Ask the co-packer for referrals

Before choosing a co-packer, check out testimonials to learn what their customers really have to say about them.

You can also ask a co-packer for a list of clients to contact, especially ones with similar needs. You can ask them about their experience working with that co-packer, paying attention to decision making, communication, and issue resolution.

Making an informed decision will give you the confidence that you’re choosing the right co-packer. That means working with a partner committed to helping you develop and grow your business.

WG Pro was established in 1993. Since day one, it has been committed to delivering high quality service and great value to its customers to help them grow their businesses. It has become a state-of-the-art co-packing facility prepared to handle a range of products in a variety of industries from across the globe.