What goes around comes around! I was very pleased to see this article from the Dec. 2012 edition of Atlantic Magazine focusing on the current trend of bringing offshore manufacturing back to the good ole’ U.S.A.! Granted, I have always considered GE more of the exception than the rule due to their massive size, but I also consider companies like GE to be a trend setter and in many ways a barometer for trends in business.
It’s difficult to argue that the shift to offshore manufacturing could have been avoided entirely, as discussed in this article, there were several factors at play that made the economics of domestic manufacturing unreasonable. Fortunately, many of those factors have changed due to a variety of circumstances and American manufacturing is now on an upward trend.
In my travels amongst American manufacturers I have seen several cases where the decision to take the development of a product offshore simply didn’t make sense. I’ve seen just as many cases where that decision not only hurt the domestic supplier, but ended up costing the end-user more money in the long run when they realized offshore manufacturing was not the golden ticket they thought it was!
Lastly, I encourage the consumer to consider American made products when the option is available. I know from my own experience that when I buy American I may spend more, but I only buy the product once. When I buy a comparable product made offshore I often buy it two or three times.
I strongly urge anyone considering an offshore manufacturing solution to give serious consideration to U.S. manufacturing before following the trend. I also encourage those people financing many of these projects to buck the system, go against what they learned in Economics 101, and calculate “True Cost” vs. “Part Price” when influencing the workflow of manufacturing.
To view the article referenced from Atlantic Magazine click here.