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Episode 2: Scaling Your Manufacturing in a Capital-Intensive Industry

March 07, 2023

"I have to create opportunities for myself, right?" It was the thought Jordan Erskine had after years of working for other manufacturing companies, first for a cosmetics and skincare contract manufacturer, then for a large dental care manufacturer. But after 15 years in the industry and armed with an MBA, Jordan reached out to his co-founder Gavin Collier and proposed starting a business. With a space and some angel investments, they launched Dynamic Blending in 2015 as a small lab creating formulas for brands, with an outside manufacturer.

But Jordan, with his experience in manufacturing, knew he could do it better.

"Quickly we realized we need to do it all. We have to figure out a way to do it all because everybody's doing it wrong. Nobody's taking care of the small guys, or the startups, or people that could have good ideas," Jordan explains in our podcast episode. Today, Dynamic Blending offers not only formula creation and manufacturing, but branding, package design, marketing assistance, fulfillment, and more. They recently ranked seventeenth on Inc. 5000's list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies.

But how do you go from an idea to competing against some of the biggest companies in the world in a low-margin, capital-intensive industry? Jordan explains how in our latest podcast episode.

Finding Solutions to Operational Efficiency

From the start, there were a number of operational and cash flow challenges Dynamic Blending faced: entering one of the most capital-intensive industries, operating on low margins, waiting on materials, and "being the bank" for customers until payment is due. All of it necessitated not only the ability to manage operations, but to tightly manage cash flow, inventory, and forecasting as well — in addition to the documentation policies and training needed to abide by regulatory requirements.

"We use a couple of different technology pieces a lot on the custom software side to help process improvement, and also to digitize a stale workflow process from a documentation standpoint," Jordan explains in our episode. It was a matter of "working with [R&D's] software engineers and our IT groups to use APIs so that our MRP system and our inventory systems and everything like that can all sync together." They would need to find a solution to this to scale successfully.

How do you stay competitive and differentiate yourself in an industry where many cosmetics manufacturers have been around for years? For that, Jordan also cites using technology to not only improve the customer experience — for example, by "building out a full digital form that [customers] can fill out from their tablet, their phone, wherever…not a lot of our competitors are doing anything like that" — but also innovating on the manufacturing side, like installing robotics on the production line.

In This Episode…

Not only has Dynamic Blending adopted a number of technologies to improve operations, but they look at how they can enhance the customer experience as well — not just deliver a product. Listen to our conversation with Jordan Erskine to learn more about how Dynamic Blending embraces innovation to stay competitive as a newcomer in a legacy industry.

Topics include:

  • The growing pains Jordan experienced breaking into a capital-intensive industry, and what strategies Dynamic Blending puts in place to hedge low margins, materials wait time, and cash flow.
  • What technology they use to bolster their operations in order to digitize workflows, track samples, and abide by regulatory requirements.
  • How they differentiate themselves from their competitors by improving the customer experience through technology and their new Experience Center for clients.
  • How Dynamic Blending scaled their operations, from their first single-head filling machine to lines that run 60,000 units in eight hours.
  • What the future of Dynamic Blending looks like, including its focus on green chemistry, sustainable packaging, and widespread robotics adoption.
  • Advice to entrepreneurs who want to modernize their manufacturing operations, and how working with marketing and advertising teams may be the key to new customers.

Connect with Jordan and Dynamic Blending

Website Jordan’s LinkedIn

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