"Having the opportunity to grow the business in a lot of different areas is what we are looking for. This is all while continuing to focus on our core expertise which is solid dose manufacturing and packaging."
2021 marks 50 years for Contract Pharmacal Corp (CPC). What are the key components of building a company that has endured the test of time?
The CPC story exemplifies the American dream. John and Harriet Wolf started this business 50 years ago in a garage in Connecticut. When I began my career at CPC 13 years ago, we were approximately 200 people in two buildings. Today we are 1,400 people across 11 buildings. Since the day we opened our doors in 1971, we have been driven by quality, visionary thinking, and a strong foundation of values. Currently owned and operated by the second generation, Mark and Matt Wolf have been defining the state of excellence that are critical to the goals of exceeding our customers expectations. Production has more than quadrupled during my time at CPC and we are on track to beat our record number from last year.
How has CPC been able to continue its operations while also providing a safe workplace throughout COVID?
Our business was deemed essential from the get-go so we never shut down. We quickly put many precautions in place such as mask wearing, temperature checking, social distancing, installation dividers where we could, and allowed certain departments to work from home. A lot of our operations require people to be here. When you are a manufacturer you need the machines running, so ensuring safety was very stressful. As a result, our production capabilities were impacted. Adding to this complexity was the fact that bottles and caps were not available. Therefore, lead times on materials were longer and it pushed us to think differently and to focus on what we have, what we are capable to produce, while also considering the timing on future productions based on expectations from our vendors.
Did COVID bring about a spike in demand for certain CPC products?
There was a lot of enthusiasm around the “COVID cocktail” consisting of vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc. We brought in a lot of new equipment to support capacity growth.
What has been the impetus for CPC’s continued acquisition of manufacturing facility space?
We strive to do a good job of assessing our business needs and our capacity utilization today, six months from now, and where we see ourselves in three, five and 10 years. We know certain business avenues that we are going after, and we know how to set up the bodies to support that. The big one for us is space. As we take on new business, we need more of everything. It is not as simple as wanting to make more tablets and going and buying a tablet press. We also have to feed that tablet press more raw materials, which means my incoming warehouse has to receive more raw materials. My incoming raw material testing laboratory and quality control lab has to release more materials and my finished goods lab has to release more materials on the backend. As a result, we have to store more finished goods. The business has to be able to absorb the growth depending on what we are looking to do. This additional space now allows CPC to grow certain areas of our operations that we are looking to streamline and find efficiencies.
What are the most important aspects of CPC’s growth strategy moving forward?
We see many opportunities to grow organically with our existing partners. In addition, we are excited about opportunities in additional retail business and the prescription generic space, as the Florida Pharmaceutical Products (FPP) acquisition is continuing to blossom. There are many products we are working on in the pipeline that will support our generic operation, which is a promising area for CPC.
In addition, we are looking closely at novel technologies and different packaging solutions along with different dosage forms. Having the opportunity to grow the business in a lot of different areas is what we are looking for. This is all while continuing to focus on our core expertise which is solid dose manufacturing and packaging. On the back of our success throughout 2020, more companies now look to CPC as a company that can deliver despite the chaos of the external world.