U.S. manufacturing: alive and kicking

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Made in the U.S.A.

For years, “Made in the U.S.A.” implied “overpriced” to manufacturers and consumers alike. The pressure to reduce costs drove many manufacturers to seek less expensive offshoring alternatives to the seemingly more expensive domestic ones. Coupled with the fact that our economy hasn’t been in tip-top condition the last few years, it is no wonder that many have bought in to the apocalyptic belief that U.S. manufacturing is dead.

A recent Software Advice blog post, “Five Strategies for Growing as a Domestic Manufacturer,” suggests that U.S. manufacturing is in better shape than we give it credit for and that it is, in fact, on the rebound. The article recommends that domestic manufacturers who wish to remain competitive and be poised for growth take the following approach:

  1. Prepare for re-shoring production: Rising labor costs, expensive transportation and lengthy delivery cycles have motivated domestic manufacturers to reassess their offshore manufacturing operations. Consumers’ growing environmental and patriotic awareness has also added pressure. Some manufacturers are opting to re-shore and finding “innovative ways to reduce costs.”

  2. Invest in your workforce: Investing in a more skilled labor force gives domestic manufacturers a “skills advantage” that can ensure greater productivity, greater efficiency and long-term growth.

  3. Design for the developing world: Manufacturers who are able to capitalize on the world’s emerging markets can expect to remain strong. Industrial equipment and high technology are two examples of the types of manufacturing where domestic manufacturers have a competitive advantage and where products are in high demand.

  4. Master supply chain visibility: Relying on spreadsheets and manual processes to manage a complex supply chain can be “inefficient, expensive and error-prone.” The article suggests investing in supply chain management software that manages and automates this process. (And if it’s a question of getting your product record in order, we would recommend looking at bill of materials (BOM) management or product lifecycle management (PLM) software too.) Doing so will not only increase productivity, but reduce cycle times.

  5. Improve environmental responsibility: Consumer concerns, federal and state mandates and the opportunity to reduce overhead costs are all reasons that domestic manufacturers should explore the “green” options and technologies that are available to them.

You can read the full blog post on the Software Advice website.

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