To receive the weekly EBS newsletter
      Home            News          Advertising       Events         About us      Archive Issues     In-House Test Centres   
25.03.2024 The value of well-connected toll processors

Ben Beattie, Manager of Forbeats, explains the benefits of toll processor experience in the bulk processing industry.

Toll processors often play an indispensable role in today’s chemical industry, providing manufacturers with the additional capacity to meet demand and fulfil orders.

Experienced, well-connected toll processors and contract manufacturers also bring the necessary expertise and problem-solving skills to operate safely, deliver high-quality products and meet deadlines.

Flexibility and extensive services
Given the range of processing operations that manufacturers require from toll processors and the various hazardous chemicals which need to be handled, the flexibility offered by an experienced provider can be highly advantageous. Companies that provide full-service, end-to-end solutions, have the agility to seamlessly handle both one-off and ongoing operations and can take on the full gamut of processes and chemical handling requirements. They also have the in-house capacity and capabilities to fulfil demand efficiently and within timelines.

A key element of that capability is the toll processor’s workforce. An experienced company will employ a highly skilled team, giving manufacturers the confidence that the firm can operate independently and efficiently while streamlining processes and minimising risk. They will also be able to implement strict quality controls to ensure safety, eradicate inadequate processing and reduce wastage, ultimately removing any processing bottlenecks for manufacturers.

Additionally, experienced toll processors also provide key services, like packing and repacking to custom requirements, bespoke packaging, labelling, logistics, warehousing, import and export clearance, administrative paperwork and handling batch traceability. For manufacturers, this extensive range of services helps to streamline outsourcing, increase efficiency and reduce the overall cost.   

Problem-solving in a volatile market
The changes brought about by Brexit, the ongoing war in Ukraine and disruption to shipping in the Red Sea cause significant challenges for the bulk processing industry. Moving goods between the EU and the UK is both more complex and burdensome in terms of bureaucracy, while shortages of border control staff mean delays to imports and exports. The conflicts also mean some essential chemicals are harder to procure while others take longer to get here, with shipments going around Africa instead of through the Suez Canal. These factors all impact supply and production.

Learning from and adapting to these challenges, experienced toll processors have become increasingly well-connected, developing their own supply networks. This has enabled them to source delayed or hard-to-get materials from surplus and access distribution and import/export services to extend their capabilities. In addition, many providers see the wisdom of maintaining an up-to-date surplus goods database and putting contingency plans in place to mitigate disruption to supply or production. When these activities are combined with an increased focus on stock control, the forecasting of orders, and expertise that optimises processes and costs, this level of problem-solving ensures toll processors can react quickly to demand, effectively plan production schedules and deliver end-to-end solutions despite ongoing challenges.

Streamlined and safe operations
Safety is of paramount importance in the chemical industry and manufacturers need complete assurance that their toll processor or contract manufacturer has the capacity, capability and expertise to handle, process and store hazardous materials safely and in compliance with regulations. Failure to do this can result in production and product quality problems, wastage, damaged reputations, financial penalties and, most importantly, risk to life.

Experienced toll processors will be fully aware of the strict regulations governing the handling of hazardous materials and will always operate in compliance with them. They will have ISO9001 certification, assuring they meet global standards for quality management, as well as dedicated COMAH facilities for their hazardous chemicals and the know-how for safe processing and packing – attributes that frequently ease operational bottlenecks and lessen manufacturer concerns. Additionally, they will also be clear about the hazardous substances that they are not equipped or experienced to handle and will decline contracts accordingly.

Safety procedures will include the use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) which contain vital information about how individual substances should be stored, processed and transported. This ensures that employees who work with the chemicals can handle them with safety and without causing harm to end users or the environment. The hazards highlighted by MSDS will also trigger a risk assessment so that necessary precautions are taken during storing, processing and transportation.

Specialised plant and equipment are also needed to process different types of chemicals safely. Choosing a toll processor that has this apparatus is not only crucial for safety purposes; it also reassures manufacturers that their contractor can speedily scale up operations if required. At the same time, it enables them to take advantage of economy-of-scale cost savings without having to compromise on quality.

For bulk processors seeking to outsource production, partnering with an experienced, full-service toll processor or contract manufacturer provides numerous benefits that cannot be overstated. Fully equipped, operating safely and with the flexibility and problem-solving experience to deal with today’s challenges, they offer manufacturers prompt solutions with assured quality and quick turnarounds.

Forbeats is a global specialist in toll processing and contract manufacturing in the chemical and food industries. For more information, visit


Ben Beattie, Manager of Forbeats

« Back