By Eric Peterson | Feb 07, 2022
Contract manufacturing of personal care products
A chemist-turned-attorney, Collier says he "was looking for a change" when he connected with co-founder Jordan Erskine to launch Dynamic Blending in 2015.
"I just had that entrepreneur bug -- I wanted to do business instead of sue businesses," says Collier, who worked as a formulator for a similar contract manufacturer of personal care products with Erskine earlier in his career.
The duo started out with contract formulations. After two years of buildout, Dynamic Blending commenced manufacturing operations in 2017 with four employees in 4,000 square feet.
Five years later, the 160-plus-employee company occupies 126,000 square feet. "We've expanded quite a bit," says Collier. "We almost have the whole complex now."
Likewise, the company's capabilities have expanded, and it now offers private-label and custom hair care, body care, oral care, and other products.
The company ranked 17th on the 2020 Inc. 5000 after posting 11,491 percent growth from 2016 to 2019. It placed 240th in 2021 after posting 1,863 percent growth from 2017 to 2020.
Located all over the world, Dynamic Blending's customers range from "the biggest skin care companies in the world to small mom-and-pops," says Collier. "Our customers sell into Walmarts and into Targets, Amazon, everywhere."
The minimum order is 1,000 units -- versus the 10,000-unit industry norm -- allowing small businesses to grow into larger runs over time. "We offer low minimum-order quantities," says Collier. "A lot of it was because we had to -- we couldn't attract the larger customers."
"What we've found is that that's been beneficial to us long-term. It's allowed us to onboard large brands, and we continually have this flow of smaller brands and startups that are looking to get into the industry, and some of those have exploded. One hit $120 million in revenue last year, and they were a new company and had six employees."
While most customers' names are undisclosed, PepsiCo enlisted Dynamic Blending to make Tropicana a custom toothpaste for Tropicana as part of an advertising campaign in 2021, the idea being that its raspberry flavor would go much better with a glass of OJ than the usual mint flavors do.
"We did it in 45 days," says Collier of the project. "We had a stock formula that had already gone through stability testing and we just had to adjust some flavoring profiles for it. They launched it and it was on the Food Network -- a huge success."
"We wanted to change the business model," says Collier, from transactional to a "true partnership" with customers. "We wanted to provide a value-add to our customers, so we created a full in-house graphic design and marketing team that we use to help the brands that we help. Those services and any other service we can give them to make them successful, that's what we do."
Dynamic Blending's certifications include ISO 9001, NSF Organic, and U.S. Hemp Authority. "We have almost every certification you can possibly get," says Collier. "We do OTCs, but our quality system is to drug standards. When our customers come through, that's another huge benefit for them. Even though it's a mom-and-pop and we're maybe doing 5,000 units for them, they're getting a quality of a drug-manufacturing facility. That's what most businesses want: They want to know that their product is going to be made right and they're going to get what they paid for."
Challenges: "Managing the growth, and specifically managing the financing of purchase orders," says Collier. "The bigger the company I deal with, the longer the term it seems they want."
"Most people don't realize that when you create a manufacturing facility, you are the bank -- you become a bank."
Opportunities: Being ready for "waves of different product categories" ebbing and flowing as trends shift. "Right now, it's massive in oral care," says Collier, after a big uptick in CBD products in 2018-19 and natural deodorants in 2020-21.
Needs: "People," says Collier. "It's always looking for the right people. With the way the labor market is right now, we've had to look at automating as much as we can."
To that end, the team at Dynamic Blending works with multi-functional robots that assist with packaging and other tasks: "We're bringing in robotics to our production lines, not to completely eliminate the human component, but there's just not enough humans who want to work in the industry right now."
Then there's a need for more customers looking for contract manufacturing. "We have a ton of capacity," says Collier. "I'm always looking for more clients."