Before raw ingredients even reach our manufacturing facility they’ve already been tested many times to confirm their quality, purity, and potency. Several times a year, our Quality Assurance (QA) team travels to destinations around the world to visit Synergy WorldWide/Nature’s Sunshine ingredient vendors for routine audits. This is, of course, after the vendor has undergone a meticulous selection process to evaluate their processes and procedures. The fact that our QA team conducts regular vendor audits, physically visiting the sites where our ingredients are harvested or produced, sets us apart.
The vendor selection process begins in Purchasing. If a new Synergy product calls for never-before-used ingredients, experts from our Purchasing department search for vendor candidates around the world. Once a vendor passes an initial round of screening, the QA team then works with Research and Development to perform an on-site audit of the new vendor. New vendors must be audited before Synergy uses any of their materials, while existing vendors are audited every 2-3 years. Today, many of the company’s preferred vendors have been supplying raw materials to Nature’s Sunshine since the 1970s. Risk assessments based on country, material, and supplier, are conducted every year and play a part in deciding which existing vendors are due to be audited.
When we begin inspecting a vendor’s facility (or farm, orchard, plantation, etc.) we make sure that they follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) — a system that was created to minimize the risk of any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product. Synergy products are also tested and manufactured following GMP requirements.
A typical inspection begins with Synergy QA experts overseeing every step through which a particular raw material will undergo. During this process, all of the on-site facilities are meticulously evaluated, including the bathrooms where sanitation items like soap and hot water is confirmed to be available. Vendors without access to hot water for proper employee hygiene immediately fail. This is just one example of our strict standards against which a vendor is evaluated.
The vendor’s on-site quality control areas and practices are evaluated next. This way, Synergy is able to ensure that the vendor’s quality processes match our own. Following this evaluation comes the most time-consuming part of vendor audits: documentation assessment. Our QA team asks for random sanitation, quality control, specification, stability, pest control, GMP training, employee training, calibration, validation, environmental micro monitoring, change control, and recall procedure documents, all to ensure that the vendor is maintaining consistent, clean, and safe processes.
In addition to information about the raw materials, our team speaks to the vendor about their green initiatives. What are they doing to be eco-friendly? What do they do with hazardous waste? How do they maximize their energy efficiency? How do they recycle? Are they involved in any sustainability projects? Synergy prefers to partner with and support suppliers who are passionate about doing their part in preserving the earth.
The investment into field audits and all of our QA procedures is made year after year to solidify our reputation as the premier provider of dependable, effective products that synergistically combine science and nature. Nothing but excellence will do when it comes to the products you trust from Synergy.