How Contract Manufacturers Can Guide Your Quality Systems

How Contract Manufacturers Can Guide Your Quality Systems

Planning for the Future: How Contract Manufacturers Can Guide Your Quality Systems


Quality is one of those words in business that is used so regularly, the original meaning of the word has lost luster. Depending on the market you serve and the customers you target, your personal care brand’s definition of quality can mean anything from regulatory systems to ingredient performance.

However, quality is a valuable screening tool for a personal care contract manufacturer and the right one should be willing to share their metrics.

Here’s how our President Tom Lehman believes your personal care contract manufacturer can guide your quality system:

  • OTIF: On Time, In Full

    “Important tool for measuring your partner’s ability to complete an order within the agreed timeframe. It’s also a great way to measure communication – if something cannot be completed based on market factors (force majeure, etc) how early is that discussed with you so your business can adjust accordingly.”

  • DPMO: Defects Per Million Opportunities

    “Great gauge to determine how regularly your final customer will experience a quality failure or concern. This is a baseline for continuous improvement and should be one of the first metrics you ask for when reviewing a CMs quality system.”

  • RFT: Right the First Time

    “It’s all about efficiency! If a product is produced right the first time, the speed to market increases. If the formula and specifications aren’t a perfect fit, it’s a great time to see if your CM partner will be transparent and engage with you on areas for better alignment.”

  • QC: Quality Control

    “This is a process that helps to keep sight of quality during live production and is measuring attributes of both bulk and finished product. As above, this phrase has been adjusted by various companies and industries to mean different things. For MK, it means active partnership alongside operations, not a police force terrorizing the shop floor.”

  • QA: Quality Assurance

    “Post-run review by a separate team from the QC. QA ensure more eyes, with a different skill set, are reviewing the finished product. This is the final quality step that uses ANSI tables and statistical sampling to break down the run and look for any potential defects that may impact our customers on shelf.”

Qualifying with metrics leads to informed decision making, not only about your own brand – from trends and forecasting – but the data will also objectively measure your contract manufacturer’s performance. Robust systems developed by your chosen CM partnership should work together to define what quality means to you, discover what elements are critical to quality and how to measure it appropriately with necessary controls.

All of this investment and energy committed to the product during manufacturing is meant to be an advocate for YOU, inside the contract manufacturer’s walls – which translates to fewer headaches for YOU, on shelf. Your CM should be an expert in the manufacturing and production of personal care goods. The less they distract you from concerns in quality, the more your team can dedicate to sales, marketing, engagement, and other brand responsibilities.



Mansfield-King provides exceptional formula development, product launches/extensions for mid-size and larger national brands, and is part of PLZ Aeroscience Corporation – Personal Care offering a breadth of beauty and personal care contract manufacturing services from aerosols to private label. Learn more here:, and