Understanding Toll and Contract Manufacturing

Toll manufacturing — also referred to as toll blending — and contract manufacturing are common ways to cost-effectively create a variety of liquid products. While both are viable options to quickly produce your chemicals, you’ll have to choose one process over the other. So, toll manufacturing vs. contract manufacturing: which one should you choose? Let’s go over the basics of each and help you choose the right process for your operation.

What is Toll Manufacturing?

Toll manufacturing/toll blending refers to mixing and processing a chemical formulation for a fee or “toll.” It’s extremely common for companies in the automotive, petrochemical, oil and gas exploration, and aviation industries to outsource their operations to a third party in this manner. These companies will supply the raw materials to the manufacturer, who then does all the heavy lifting to create the product. Often, these products are distributed in bulk containers such as totes or trucks.

Curious to know more about toll blending? Check out our in-depth blog here.

What is Contract Manufacturing?

With a turnkey contract manufacturing alternative, the third-party manufacturer gets more involved in the contract manufacturing process and supply chain. In addition to completing the blending, the manufacturer also packages the product and provides other production services, as needed. They will be in charge of sourcing all materials, including the ingredients to make the chemical and the packaging materials.

It’s important to note that the manufacturer will be constrained with what is already on the market for packaging materials. Brand owners looking to differentiate their product may look into creating their own bottle mold and work with an injection molder to create it.

Companies should also know exactly what chemicals they want to spec before signing on with a contract manufacturer. For example, various vendors’ raw ingredients may act differently compared to one another, and it’s important to know that before starting the contract manufacturing process.

Toll Manufacturing vs. Contract Manufacturing: What’s Right for You?

To recap, toll blending involves the business providing the raw materials to the manufacturer. Toll blending may involve the customer providing all or some percentage of product materials. Conversely, turnkey contract manufacturing allows the business to rely on the manufacturer to source the product materials.

The pros and cons of toll manufacturing vs. contract manufacturing will differ from client to client. If your business wants to prioritize control over the raw ingredient and packaging sourcing, toll blending will be your best option. This control may help your business realize economies of scale by sourcing raw ingredients to supply a large market and delivering those items regionally for production. Additionally, this sourcing method maintains input quality control by minimizing raw ingredient variability into the final product.

For businesses that don’t want to deal with the logistical headache of sourcing their own materials, turnkey contract manufacturing will be best. This process can help prioritize speed-to-market and transfers a large amount of work and responsibility to an experienced contact packager.

Work with an Experienced Chemical Blender

Since 1977, Crystal Packaging has been supplying high-quality chemical blending services to businesses across the U.S. Located in Henderson, Colorado, Crystal is now a leading provider of toll blending, contract packaging, windshield wash production, and other contract services for multiple industries. We’re also the foremost specialty chemical contract packager and private label manufacturer in the Rocky Mountain region.

Our 70,000-square-foot facility features multiple blend tanks and more than two million gallons of storage. We maintain high-speed filling lines that allow us to fill, label, package, and palletize containers of varying sizes, streamlining your operations and reducing the time needed to get your products where they need to go. Additionally, our facility has truck and rail access for fast shipment.

We’re committed to quality, which is why we have more than 300 satisfied partners. We offer an on-site, full-service lab for testing services and product verification. We also maintain a wide variety of industry certifications and compliance standards, including GMP, ECOCERT, and Safer Choice Standard accreditations, along with an EPA registration.

Let’s Get Started

Ready to begin your toll blending or contract manufacturing journey? Reach out to our team for an initial consultation.