Accucaps Industries Limited got its start 25 years ago producing two very different products: paint balls and bath beads. Today, the Windsor-based company manufacturers a wide range of soft gelatin capsule products for the pharmaceutical industry and the consumer marketplace.
The company’s over-the-counter (OTC) products include nutritional supplements, vitamins, cough and cold medications, allergy capsules, female hormonal products, prenatal vitamins, analgesics, pain medications and skincare products. Both the pharmaceuticals and OTC products are produced at Accucaps Industries’ facilities in Windsor and Strathroy, Ontario.
“We are considered a leading contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO),” says Diana Trepanier, director of procurement and strategic sourcing. “We are recognized by our customers as the ideal partner in the research, development and commercialization of their products. We look to partner with our customers and our supply base to ensure quality products are delivered to the market.”
Trepanier is among a growing number of women working in the supply chain field. “More and more I see women getting recognized for their contributions and what they have to offer to many organizations,” Trepanier says. “I oversee the supplier and spend-management strategies with our key strategic suppliers. I have seen the evolution from the paint ball days through to the strategic focus on key pharmaceutical and OTC products we manufacture today.”
Accucaps Industries Limited has many new products in development and currently is looking to grow in the areas of pharmaceuticals, hormone and high-potency products.
The company maintains a significant presence in both Canada and the United States, but global expansion plans are underway despite some obstacles. “We’re looking to expand into Europe and Australia,” Trepanier says.
From a supply chain perspective you have to have key suppliers that you can rely on and partner with in order to be successful, Trepanier says. “Our customers and suppliers are considered extensions of us,” she says. “We look to partner with them and innovate together. We work with our suppliers to ensure we have a good idea of what is going on in the markets on a global level with regard to new products and emerging trends. We partner with like-minded organizations that are constantly looking forward to ensure we have visibility on what is affecting our products and the competition that may be coming in from other global areas.”
Accucaps Industries Limited has experienced significant growth over the past five years and has worked diligently to satisfy a growing customer base, Trepanier says. As a result, the company expanded its market-ready packaging capacity and doubled soft gel manufacturing capabilities. It also established a team of research and development professionals who are focused on the development of products that utilize soft-gelatin dosing technology, high-potency product development and commercial production capacity, Trepanier says.
Accucaps Industries faces a variety of challenges, including developing strategies to hold down costs, Trepanier says. “We’re seeing more and more imports,” she says. “There’s tough competition coming in from China.
Despite the challenges, Accucaps Industries Limited supplies more than 20 Rx SKUs and 35 consumer products to the market.
Trepanier credits the company’s chemists and research and development team for helping the company grow. “They are very passionate and very excited about working on new products, keeping the innovation pipeline full,” she says.
The company last year opened a new specialty products suite at its Windsor facility, a significant development for the company, Trepanier says. When at full capacity, the suite will employ more than 20 people in production and research and development. The investment positions Accucaps Industries Limited as one of a limited number of businesses with the capability to research, develop and manufacture innovative, high-potency pharmaceutical products, she says.
The segregated and contained specialty products suite was designed and implemented with new engineering controls, processes and procedures. That way, chemists and the research and development team can confidently work with highly potent active ingredients in a safe and effective manner for both research and development activities and commercial production, she says.