PACKAGING NEW PATHWAYS TO SUCCESSFri Aug 18, 2017
“How can we control our own destiny?” The question was posed by a virtual-based startup for advanced health supplements with both a vison and formulation idea. Originally an R&D and marketing firm, their mission has always been to solve the greatest challenges in health with science; helping people live longer, healthier lives. Led by a team of multiple top scientists, clinicians and health professionals worldwide, the company hit the ground running in 2014 with its first product, a pill designed to support long-term well-being.
Having invested a great deal of time and money into research and development, the company was focused on maximizing production efficiency while reducing their bottom line. Due to the high cost of maintaining operations, and understanding the challenges that come along with it, they were in search of a solution that would allow them to shorten production lead time and avoid scrambling during the uptick of business. As a startup without a firm grasp on future production demand, the company was seeking to eliminate the guessing game.
Prior to Sonic stepping in, bottling was being handled by the capsule manufacturer; however, as demand increased, they outstripped capacity. In search of a new solution, the company underwent an extremely careful selection process to ensure that the chosen operations provider was not in any way affiliated with a competitor.
Upon referral from a shared business contact, Sonic Packaging Industries was brought in to answer the call. The evaluation process started with Sonic conducting a usage, needs, and cost comparison between the product packaging and the labor-intensive packaging application as well as a full review of regulatory and technical requirements. Shortly thereafter, Sonic reached out to a neighboring cPMG co-packer and strategic partner, Multi-Pak Packaging, to create a home for the new suite. Renowned for their perfectly clean FDA record, unparalleled service and dedication to investing in their customers, Multi-Pak agreed to help engineer a dynamic solution that would respond to the company’s production needs with speed and agility.
After thorough evaluation, Sonic proposed a new contract packaging path for the company: the design of a one-off custom suite with full integration to afford on-demand access to production without the hassle of operational lead time or overhead costs. With skin in the game, the company agreed to take a leap and do things differently.
Housed in a temperature and humidity controlled environment at Multi-Pak Packaging’s 21CFR 210 & 211 Certified and NSF Certified facility, the new production suite features a fully automated pharmaceutical bottling line with state-of-the-art equipment including:
- Rotary unscrambler
- Multi-tab tablet counter
- Twin diverter
- 6-spindle capping unit
- Sanitary conveyors
- Turn discs and pacing wheels
- Master case sealer
The production involves two major operations: componentry and packaging of the final product. The company provides the product and components, and Sonic and Multi-Pak supply the project management, packaging services and quality assurance.
Rollout of the Sonic-Multi-Pak solution began in key production phases, with the purchase of the capper. 12 months later, the company has a fully automated line and branded suite that is now almost complete.
Thanks to exceptional planning on behalf of Sonic and Multi-Pak, the company experienced no issues during implementation. Suite operations were initiated concurrent with prior operations to strategically avoid any lapse in production.
BECOMING AN EXTENSION OF YOUR CUSTOMER
Rather than engaging in the traditional purchase order-invoice relationship, Sonic and Multi-Pak are pioneering a different approach. “It’s a story that hasn’t been told in this industry,” notes Sonic Packaging Executive, Doug Rofheart. “We invest in them and they invest in us. It’s a true partnership.”
As proof of this partnership, Sonic is investing in the startup by implementing a reverse purchase agreement; crediting the company back per unit on the first million to help speed up realization of ROI.
Together with Multi-Pak, Sonic has revolutionized the company’s packaging operations. With a new state-of-the-art production suite, the company has systematically optimized production while driving down costs and boosting efficiency. Full automation has afforded an 80% efficiency increase; allowing the company to redistribute resources towards their true passion- research and development. To top it off, overhead costs have been eliminated thanks to Multi-Pak’s team owning and maintaining the equipment full-time.
The quality assurance benefits afforded by Multi-Pak’s top-notch FDA registered, inspected and CGMP compliant facility have afforded the company additional peace of mind knowing that both their product and production are in good hands. “The company has developed a strong customer base, and we understand how important it is for them to be in stock,” notes Multi-Pak Co-founder and CMO, Debbie Culligan. “We work together to ensure that their needs are consistently being met.”
Prior to implementation of the suite, it was not uncommon for the company to experience operational lead times of four weeks or longer. Now, production is waiting for them. Lead times have been eliminated; allowing the company to effortlessly respond to upticks in business on an as-needed basis. The company controls both the timing and capacity, and now also has the ability to transition from one, two or three shifts on-demand.
A BRIGHT FUTURE
Thanks to the new suite, the company is now managing their own production destiny. Operations have been underway for a little more than a year, and ROI benefits are not yet fully realized. Additional acceleration is anticipated with expanded suite capabilities set to begin operations in October 2017.
With a dedicated suite and bright future ahead, as the company continues to expand, Sonic and Multi-Pak are prepared to meet additional growth. The next phase will be for Sonic to inventory for the company, and plans are already underway to showcase the branded suite at Multi-Pak.
“There are a lot of things in this business that keep me up at night,” notes the company Co-founder and COO. “The one thing I don’t have to worry about is Sonic’s part of this business.”
ABOUT MULTI-PAK PACKAGING: Multi-Pak Packaging is an FDA registered, FDA inspected and cGMP compliant contract packaging provider serving some of the largest companies in solid dose, OTC, Pharmaceutical, Nutritional Supplement, Animal Health, Consumer Health and Medical Device. Based in New Jersey, Multi-Pak operates in a 90,000 square foot state-of-the-art climate controlled facility, which meets and exceeds FDA standards for 21 CFR, Parts 210 and 211 and 21 CFR Part 820 Quality Systems Regulation, Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Devices. With capabilities in sourcing, packaging, assembly and fulfillment, Multi-Pak operates a “Dynamic Production Floor”; featuring a new probiotic center and an array of innovative packaging and supply chain solutions optimized for direct-to-consumer logistics. Founded in 2005, Multi-Pak was the vision of John and Debbie Culligan, who built the company upon a shared goal: to deliver “best-in-class” services which translate into strategic advantages for the client.
ABOUT SONIC PACKAGING INDUSTRIES: Sonic Packaging Industries Inc. is an ISO 9001:2008-certified contract packager and packaging solutions provider specializing in single use and metered dose delivery Systems. Sonic serves medium to large manufacturing and brand marketing corporations from diverse industry backgrounds, including diagnostic, pharmaceutical, medical device, dental and OTC. Providing custom packaging for a variety of materials, we can fill gels, liquids, powders and tablets/capsules. Sonic can design, develop and fill both the primary and secondary packaging based on the desired customer inputs/outputs and regulatory requirements. Our plants are FDA registered for medical device and drug products as well as ISO 13485 and ISO 9001 certified.
Founded in 1995 by Howard Thau, Sonic works as your outsourcing packaging partner from concept to customer to discover and create the best delivery system and process for you and your specific product.