In the electronics industry, a “Made in America” label is something that is much talked about — and sporadically achieved. That trend may be shifting.
Making products close to the customer has plenty of benefit, and support for domestic manufacturing — especially for small and midsized manufacturers — is increasingly available. This topic was central to a recent meeting of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) San Francisco Roundtable this month, which tackled the topic of “The Evolution of Manufacturing.”
Manex Consulting, for example, is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is tasked with improving the competitiveness of US manufacturers in the global market, said Greg Cho, director of supply chain at Manex during a panel at the San Francisco Roundtable meeting. The program funds 60 organizations to achieve the goal of helping manufacturers do better.
“The US as a platform for SMB manufacturing is a great one,” said Cho. “Manufacturing has been the backbone of the US economy and it's ingrained in the culture.”
Eventually discussion turned to the challenges faced by American manufacturers. The biggest one by far, most agreed, was finding and attracting talented workers. “If we aren't attracting top talent, it will be difficult to have the highest quality and delivery standards,” said Cho. “It's not seen as a glamorous job.”
Even with challenges, there are indications that American manufacturing is on an upturn. The infographic below, created by the City of Fremont, Calif., which has tasked itself with attracting more manufacturing, shows some of the latest statistics.
What are your thoughts? Is American manufacturing ready for a big comeback?
— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN