Tips for Start-ups

What can I prepare before sending an enquiry?

We would love to help you out with your first steps in providing outsourcing needs. With experience in contract manufacturing, contract packing, fulfilment, logistics and supply chain management, our members are adept at providing practical advice in bringing your products to market. Being prepared is key so that’s why we give you a few tips.


  • Have you written a business plan?
  • Have you defined your target market?
  • Do you have a USP which differentiates you from the competition?
  • What volumes constitute a viable business for you?
  • Do you have the financial backing in place to support growth?
  • Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs) are key because they determine the initial cost of the services provided or the unit price per item, to get the project into production. In addition the packaging materials, ingredients or components will all have MOQs.
  • For manufacturing/filling projects there will be set-up and clean-down charges. These will apply whether there are 100 or a million units, so that cost needs to be factored in.
  • For some products, laboratory or stability testing may have to be conducted, so these will need to be accounted for too.
  • For food projects, ascertaining shelf life is critical. You don’t want to commit to an MOQ of say 5000 units, to find that they haven’t been sold by the sell-by date.  Be aware that organic recipes may have a shorter shelf life (preservatives are there for a reason).
  • It is important to appreciate that new product development and trial runs may be expensive and that they form part of your investment programme in the business. Bear in mind that volumes need to be sufficient to make it worthwhile for the contractor.
  • Part of the value of using an outsourcing partner is that they will have experience of the quality issues surrounding a type of product. Sometimes aesthetics will be important, for example using the best packaging format and labelling to create a desire for customers to buy your product.  In other cases such as food or personal care, there may be specific regulations that need to be complied with in the manufacture, performance or labelling of the product.
  • Where applicable, it is advisable to use a contractor who holds the necessary Certifications for your product.

Ready to send your enquiry?

If you have ticked al boxes you’re ready for your enquiry to go out to all relevant members. Just push the button: 

collaboration with USA’s CPA

CPA, The Association for Contract Packagers and Manufacturers, is the national, not-for-profit trade organization for the contract packaging and manufacturing industry in the United States of America.

Do you want your enquiry to be handled by our partners from teh CPA just follow this link:

Contact us

For general enquiries about ECPA or the co-packing industry, please contact us via this contact form.

If you have a contract packing project that you are looking to outsource and you want to find ECPA members with the appropriate facilities to help, check out our List of Members page.