“No” is the answer you’ll get from most people. For a company like the Mibelle Group, the answer isn’t any different of course. In addition to developing new products, sales and marketing, our business also involves manufacturing products. For all of these steps we cooperate with internal and external partners. I’d like to limit myself here to partnerships in the area of production. Why? In my view, it’s a crucial part of the journey that a product undergoes until it is finally “held in the customer’s hand”, yet it rarely receives much attention.
Over 90% of Mibelle products are still produced at our own factories in Buchs, Frenkendorf and Bradford. We therefore know what is required in order to manufacture good products in the right quantities and with a consistently high level of quality. Why don’t we manufacture everything ourselves? This is generally because certain products sometimes require special machines, only very small quantities are needed or our own production sites are working at full capacity and investments in new facilities can’t be made quickly enough. For instance, the construction of a new filling line can cost several million euros and can take up to 24 months. We therefore use a whole network of partners in order to extend our production capacity.
As a full-range supplier, there are products we want to include in our range that we can’t or don’t want to manufacture ourselves. For example, this includes wet wipes for various applications or aerosol packaging like the ones used for deodorant sprays.
Apart from special machines, you also need the expertise that the various different producers have. We work closely together with them to ensure that they produce Mibelle products in accordance with our specifications.
Mibelle products are also sold in other regions of the world, for example in North America and Asia. A good proportion of them are produced at our own production locations and exported. A small percentage of them are also filled by local manufacturers, especially if we want to give the product a “local touch”. The “local touch” might involve different perfume oils to achieve a typical scent or different packaging forms and colours. To do this, we need to have a good market knowledge of the local contract manufacturers in order to select the right partner. In India alone there are several hundred possible partners and we have to choose just one or two who are right for us. We then agree the requirements for the manufacturing and quality assurance processes. During the initial phase the production is also supervised by employees from Mibelle.
These and other forms partnerships help us to serve our customers every day. And no matter how we produce them, a Mibelle product is and will always remain a Mibelle product.