Developing New Products with Specialized Toll Processors
For most companies, developing new markets and staying on the forefront of their industry is critical to the survival of the business. Forward thinking companies know that R&D is invaluable and that developing new products drives future profits. Committing capital to purchase equipment for markets that have not been fully vetted can be a difficult choice for many companies. This is the reason that many companies have turned to specialized, focused toll processors to help them achieve the growth and diversify their customer base.
Whether it is a handful of powder, or an entire supersack, companies often go through a litany of trials before settling on a product that works for their customer. Once they do finalize the product, the demand is often rapid and companies are in a waiting pattern if they need to procure and set up a process line. Having an immediate reliable starter production facility can keep the momentum up on new product roll outs.
Using a toll processor/contract manufacturer to help with the development and trial of new products is often the cheapest AND most efficient. Many small toll processors specialize and focus on one type of process equipment and optimize these machines every day. This experience running the equipment regularly helps them develop performance setups that are not learned from studying the OEM equipment manual. Developing a new product with a toll processor’s experience is the fastest and surest way to finding the best setup. Specialized tollers are often solution driven rather than trying to sell a specific brand of equipment.
R&D groups working with specialized toll processing companies benefit immensely by allowing them to use the most advanced equipment to develop their products. They can then rely on these contract manufacturers to continue to do more trials. All of this development can be done on a short or long-term basis without ever capitalizing equipment. As companies are developing new products, they typically need various sample variations to hit their customer specs. Once the spec is met, companies need to provide larger samples for continued development. Working closely with contract manufacturers to develop products means that when customers need more material, you can be confident it will be of the exact same quality because the toller has a defined process on specific machinery to produce the same spec on a larger scale. As the demand for powders increase, tollers typically have the capacity to respond every step of the way.
Most specialized toll companies have their own laboratory in house as well. This provides instant feedback on the ongoing testing and trials. Companies can rent out a machine or bay to trial the products and make tweaks and changes. Most contract manufacturers have specialists on staff who spend their day running powders. They are the most knowledgeable people when it comes to making adjustments to the equipment to ensure the customer is getting the most out of their product. These specialized “guys” are great for developing new products. Rather than testing and buying a machine based on a small-scale test, tolling allows companies to optimize the process.
Many companies find that after working with a small specialized toller, it doesn’t make sense to buy the machinery for themselves. Equipment purchase requires a large upfront capital investment and the need for labor and specialized knowledge to run the equipment which is not easily learned overnight.By tolling with the same company, you maintain very high product consistency on what ships to your customers. It is in contract manufacturer’s best interest to process the material as efficiently as possible guaranteeing the highest quality.
The next time you are trying to figure out how to develop new products to enter new markets, consider what benefits a toll processing contract manufacturer can offer to reach your goals with minimal capital commitment.