Hello from NZ,
We are in the process of moving into manufacturing our own product - up until now we have been a retailer of other peoples products. We will slowly phase in our own products as we gain proficiency.
I am yet to decide on a tempering machine. I am going to spend quite a bit on a powerful air conditioner/dehumidifier to control the atmosphere in our little factory.
At this stage, we will only be chocolate melters - but eventually will develop more into bean - bar chocolate. One step at a time!
What are the main mistakes others have made when setting up their manufacturing? What issues should we be aware of before starting out?
Thanks so much in advance for your advice
Our mistake was not to plan the floor space properly, you need to a have a good flow and prevent your staff to run up and down all day to get things done. We have opened 5 months ago and because planning wasn't right we have been moving things around every week! (bean to bar www.cocoafair.com)
Have a lot of multiple electric points so you can move your tools around easily. Check your machine electrical consumption and invest in a proper electrical board otherwise you will have to add on a lot with huge costs.
have 2 big sink for washing and an air compressor for drying your moulds.
Buy a continuos tempering machine (Fbm boscolo, Selmi etc) with dedicated belt for coatings.
don't try save on the tempering, you will waste a huge amount of hours by tempting to temper with machines that are cheaper.
have a small "shop window" it will help you make money.
Hope it helps!