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Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Blogger
Re: Balance of Trade
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   2/12/2014 6:53:26 PM
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@JLombard, we are in agreement, I think. There's definitely a widening gap. It's important to remember that this is a trend that has been a long time coming. 20 years years ago (i say dating myself) I was asked to write a retrospective on electronics products  manufacturing in the US for EBN's 15th Anniversary Edition. Even then, I was hard pressed to come up with uplifting news. We started the television manufacturing business with Zenith and then it was taken over by the Chinese. Car manufacturing, largely overseas. Those are just a couple of examples.

We are seeing some re-shoring by big manufacturers but it remains to be seen if it will be enough. I live in the Silicon Valley and we have all watched Tessla with great interest (and of course the automobile has become more of an electronics story generation upon generation). Other big organizations have also been in the headlines:Apple, GE, and Google. And it's not all behemoth organizations. I've also read about Zentech (CM), Peerless Industries (audio-visual mounting systems), Sleek (audio headphones)/ Will it be enough?


What do you see as the key things that need to happen to address these issues? What are the gating factors to a come back?
Apple, Caterpillar, GE,
Apple, Caterpillar, GE,
Apple, Caterpillar, GE,


JLombard
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Stock Keeper
Balance of Trade
JLombard   2/11/2014 11:42:18 AM
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Hailey,

I'm not sure that the idea of a "new middle class" is entirely valid. We have to maintain the "old" one first. Without a manufacturing backbone to provide something to sell besides IP and entertainment to the rest of the world, or provide jobs to support the internal economy and contribute to real GDP, we will continue to import more than we export, which is unsustainable in the long run.

The next generation is already saddled with more debt than any other previous generation. It is the civic duty of Corporate America to look at this situation and do what they can for the long-term health of the country, before we descend into second-tier status.    

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Blogger
THe new generation
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   1/31/2014 8:53:51 PM
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I think the next generation of consumers is going to demand more customization than ever before. My teenager, for example, recently went online and designed her own pair of Converse sneakers. She was willing to plunk down a premium to express herself. We also have the example of the Moto Phone Blok (see a picture here: Component Supply May Be Moto PhoneBlok's Achilles Heel). Clearly, these same customers want products as soon as possible so close ot home manufacturing becomes a key differentiator. Does anyone else have examples of customization that have caught their eye?

Hailey Lynne McKeefry
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Blogger
Positive
Hailey Lynne McKeefry   1/31/2014 8:49:55 PM
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This has a number of potential positive ramifications..but particularly of interest to me is this idea of a new middle class. The ever-widening gap is concerning.  This may be the first generation in a long time that doesn't do bette than the parents before them. That's a sobering reality.

Eldredge
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Supply Network Guru
Shipping inventory
Eldredge   1/29/2014 10:47:09 PM
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While other cost factors involved in shipping materials and finished goods is an obvious consideration in understanding off-shoring costs, I hadn't really thought much about inventory cost  during shipment. Whatever the reason, it would be nice to see both manufacturing capcity and know-how increasing domestically.



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