@barbara, thanks for sharing the link. Very informative. Just curious to know if this attitude toward's China is short lived because its election year or are we seeing larger shift in the American policies?
When assessing the pragmatic needs of a business, it's sometimes worth reflecting on the major qualms people have about involving their business with an offshore or foreign operation. One of these is that the concept of justice in many countries is shaped more by a legacy of violence than a spirit of cooperation.
It may very well be that Mexican labor costs are low because during strikes in Mexico people get killed. Knowing something about police tactics south of the border, it isn't surprising to learn that police use snipers with live fire to contain demonstrations (there is video footage of this).
My thinking on this is that when we enter into business with a foreign country living under an authoritarian shadow, we are bringing more than a purchase order to the table. We are coming from a place where class mobility, and other values we cherish, lead to prosperity. That way we encourage people away from violence and toward a more refined social contract, rather than a race to the bottom line.
As you say, "The prospect of another major supply chain movement so soon after settling in overseas is daunting, to say the least." And that's a huge factor. If you already have operations running in China or elsewhere in the region going somewhat smoothly, it is highly unlikely you'll even casually consider starting all over again elsewhere: the start-up costs and research time involved is absolutely massive, in most cases.
But that being said, for companies that have yet to outsource... it would be very unwise to think of China as your only option. You've got to seriously consider your options south of the border given the current economic conditions, in my opinion.
@Gerry--for some of us, you are preaching to the choir. Others seem to be catching on. The following article talks in-depth about US companies that have moved operations to China and are becoming disillusioned:
You are also not alone in recommending Mexico--Texas A&M did a study some years ago about many of the advantages. I also am told that QC out of Mexico has improved a lot. Let's hope people are listening (or reading)
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.