Key points to check during a factory visit in the Philippines

Is it important to visit the factory of a potential supplier? If it’s the your first time to coordinate with them, yes. Nothing beats knowing more about the company that will help you create your brand!

Visiting your virgin coconut oil manufacturer helps establish three key points:

  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the company

  • Establish a good relationship

  • Get personalized support or information that you would have not received in online inquiries

If it’s your first time to visit a factory, we’ve got some key questions and points that will help you make the most out of your visit.

Plan your visit

  1. What are your main requirements for your potential supplier? How much do you need supplied in a month? What licenses and certifications should they have?

  2. Visit multiple companies during the duration of your stay in the Philippines. Research the different virgin coconut oil manufacturers in the Philippines then plan your route.

  3. Be able to list down your company’s needs. Do you need certifications? Do you need specialized support? Do you need permission to have photoshoots of the factory or the farms?

  4. Plan what you want to see. Are you visiting to personally assess if the company can deliver high-quality virgin coconut oil? Or do you want to learn more about the company’s story to help your marketing team brand your product?

Virgin coconut oil manufacturers have been around for more than a decade; therefore, there are certain companies that specialize in different types of oil. Here are some items to check when you visit their factory

1. Top Management Priorities

Before anything else, you should ask what are the priorities of the top management. By knowing what the owners invest in, you can have a clear idea on whether the company’s priorities align with your objectives.

  • How did the company start? Interview the owner/s. Ask how the did the company start. What is the company mission and vision?

  • What are the company’s priority projects? Ask what are the current priority projects, you can see how the company spends its resources on a daily basis.

2. Production Capacity

When considering a supplier, you should definitely take into consideration the production capacity. Consider your objectives in sourcing your product. Is the company capable of supplying it?

  • Do they have experience in purchasing raw materials? Ask where the raw materials are sourced. Does the supplier exhibit knowledge and experience? When a company knows its raw materials well, it can give you not just the best price, but also the best quality raw materials for your products.

  • Where is the factory located? Are they situated in an area that is in close proximity to their raw materials? Or is it far? If it’s far, the higher the amount that is added on top of the original price of the oil.

3. Virgin Coconut Oil Production

Are they dedicated with providing high-quality virgin coconut oil? If so, in what way? Usually, organic certifications are a good way to see a company’s commitment to delivery high-quality products.

What coconuts do they use and how long are they stored? Coconuts play a key role in producing fresh oils. Coconuts processed after a week or a month have a much lesser quality. It's also important to use organic-certified coconuts!

Don't forget to do a quick Freshness Test. Compare the aroma and flavor of a freshly harvested organic coconut with the oil they produce. The closer the aroma and flavor is, the fresher the oil.

4. Quality Management Systems

Product Consistency is very important: Is there a clear presence of quality control systems?

  • Clear and adapted production processes (industrialized, clear working instructions)

  • Solid quality control processes (i.e. incoming good inspections)

  • Systemic data collection and storage (allow problem root cause analysis in case of product defect)