Anecdotal evidence continues to pile up that some manufacturers are “reshoring” — bringing work back to North America.
The story is becoming familiar. Companies say the advantages of bringing work back from places like China are the shorter supply chain, reduced lead time and stable pricing. With prices rising in China, and North American manufacturers becoming lean and more efficient, the cost difference that started the offshoring trend in the first place isn't as significant.
In the past few days, Plastics News has covered Whirlpool Corp.'s KitchenAid brand bringing production of its hand mixers back to the U.S. from China, and Readfield, Maine-based Saunders Manufacturing Co. Inc. relocating some plastics work from China to LC Industries in Jackson, Miss.
In the KitchenAid story, staff reporter Rhoda Miel writes from the International Home + Housewares Show that the company is in the process of moving production now to Greenville, Ohio, which is already home to KitchenAid's larger stand mixers.
That shift will mean new business for suppliers of the mixers' injection molded parts, said Larry Simpson, global business development manager for KitchenAid small appliances. Among other parts, the mixers' bodies are injection molded plastic, some of them painted and some using a molded-in-color process.
In the Saunders story, PN's Brandi Shaffer writes that Saunders President and CEO John Rosmarin said the company is “committed to produce as many of our products as possible here in the U.S.A.”
The company started a “Made in USA” product line in 2008.
For all the consumers who claim they can't find American-made products — and for everyone who was ready to write off American manufacturing and prepare us for an all-service economy — this should be an eye-opener.
Tips for a successful NPE
As we count down the days to NPE2012, I spotted an item last week with good tips for exhibitors at any trade show.
The source is Mike Thimmesch, director of industry relations for Skyline Exhibits, who wrote “18 Hidden Rules of Trade Shows” for Trade Show News Network.
Some of my favorites:
* The larger the crowd of people already in your booth, the more other people will want to visit your booth.
* The person who complains the most about the value of trade shows is usually the one who knows (and tries) the least.
* The more fun trade show attendees have in your booth during the show, the more serious business you will do after the show.
* The more years you exhibit at the same show, the more you will have repeat customers visit you in your booth.
* The faster you follow up your trade show leads, the greater the sales you will generate from that show.
Seems like common sense, right? But why do so many exhibitors ignore these tips?