Is “Made in the USA” making a comeback?
In the last few months we have heard about companies moving some production back into the US. You can find examples of this with Apple bringing production of portions of the new iMac back to the US to be produced by an unnamed partner, and the new Gorilla Glass on the front of the iPhone 5 is being produced in Kentucky. In addition, both GE and Google have also been forerunners of the trend of bringing production back to the US.
The primary motivations for this increased US production are shipping costs, lead times, difficulties with managing distant manufacturing, and issues with quality. In addition, labor costs of manual labor are skyrocketing, with costs of professional and management staffs rising to be comparable with those in the US.
On the other hand, the examples above are large public companies with deep pockets and investors demanding higher profitability. However, a small bicycle factory in Portland, Oregon has seen an increase in demand for US produced products. Chris King’s bicycle factory has seen an increase demand for bicycles produced in the US from an unlikely source. Annual sales for Chris King bikes are around $10 million. Half of these sales come from orders from abroad, including Europe and Asia. This small 100 employee company has been flourishing in manufacturing its products in the US. This can be primarily attributed to exporting their products abroad. The founder and owner have been in contact with the Obama administration on how to boost more American exports abroad. These types of exports are easier for more premium brands. People are willing to pay a higher price for a superior product. However, their marketing plays to customers’ willingness to pay a little more for a product that will last years, rather than pay less and get a piece of junk. Mr. King’s bicycle manufacturing in the US is a very small example of how a company is taking to heart the production of quality American made products. This company is a good role model for other companies that are similar in size.
At InPursuit we help companies from a small “ma and pa” shop to large publicly held companies. When working with clients, our focus is on us meeting with them individually to exactly define needs. We personalize our search model for each client and each individual job, and present excellent candidates who will make long term contributions to our client. Our primary industry is manufacturing, and we are pleased to see the trend for manufacturing and production making its way back into the US. In order to increase production in the US, companies need to have top notch employees. We are here to help. We can help boost your sales team or find you top notch engineers.
We hope everyone has a prosperous New Year!