(Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m. EDT) — What do American business executives owe to their employees and customers? What do they say to their employees when their jobs are being outsourced to China or India? Are they proud when they tell their customers their equipment is made offshore by cheap labor and antiquated processes?
It appears our executives have given up on the American ingenuity to design and manufacture a cost- and performance-competitive product.
American-made molding machines are almost dead and now auxiliary equipment is next, with two major suppliers outsourcing to China and India. We understand that there is a large market for this equipment in both countries that can only be supplied there locally — but not at the same quality level as is expected here. But passing this equipment off to American customers, who have to produce products of higher quality or complexity, just doesn't work.
Toothpaste that can kill us. Dog food that kills our pets. Toys that are harmful, if not deadly, for our children. If these products, which are so important to our health and the well-being of our loved ones, don't get the attention to quality, then why does our industry think our manufacturing processes will be even close to adequate when done abroad? If products for children and pets aren't getting the consideration, do you really think a piece of metal or machinery will?
The decline of manufacturing in the U.S. has resulted in the devaluation of our dollar. This decline is sped up as each company moves production offshore. Our economy will not grow if all we have is everyone selling to each other. The only way for us to succeed in the world market is to manufacture products or rely on the natural resources that are diminishing. Kudos to Bill Bregar — his Viewpoint column in the Oct. 15 issue “ 'Made in U.S.' label can be powerful tool” [Page 6] was right on.
My company, Dri-Air Industries Inc., will continue to manufacture our products for the domestic market locally in Connecticut with a label “Proudly Made in the USA.” When the cost of stainless steel skyrocketed, we didn't take part in the mad rush to Asia to find cost-cutting measures. We just wouldn't make the sacrifice in quality. There are creative ways to manage costs without sacrificing quality. Skeptical?
Well, next time you are near East Windsor, Conn., I'll give you a plant tour. It's not rocket science, it's just a strong commitment to quality, our country and supporting our local economy that drives our manufacturing processes at Dri-Air.
We will continue to supply equipment specifically for your application rather than standard off-the-shelf products. We will continue to export our products to strengthen the dollar. We owe that to our customers, employees and our country!
I hope it is not too late for our industry to stop this exodus of jobs. We all have to be effective managers to produce high-quality equipment at competitive prices to leave our children and grandchildren a workplace that is challenging and rewarding. From our perspective, the dam is cracked and is in dire jeopardy of breaking.
Dri-Air Industries Inc.
East Windsor, Conn.