We hear a lot of talk lately about companies moving their production out of China and bringing it back home. With increased transportation prices, rising labor costs and intellectual property risks in China, this comes as no surprise.
The most recent press has come from Google with their announcement that the Nexus Q is “Designed and Manufactured in the USA.” Although some may argue with their claim because of the large percentage of overseas components used, you certainly have to give them credit for trying.
Anyone in the computer hardware or consumer electronics industry knows that with today’s global supply chain, the idea of a fully “Made in USA” product is virtually impossible. However, we are very proud of the fact that several of our best selling products are still “Assembled in the USA”. This has been part of our strategy for many years and we will continue to invest in and grow our US based production facilities. Here are a few reasons why:
- Market Flexibility – As a relatively small supplier that regularly competes with some of the world’s largest companies, this may be our single most competitive advantage. Local production allows us to build to order, provide customized solutions or bundles and adjust quickly as market conditions change.
- Quality Control – What can I say; it’s simply easier to control quality (and many other factors) in your own production environment than it is at an outsourced factory 6000 miles away.
- Productivity – Worker productivity in the USA far exceeds that of most low wage countries, and depending on what data you believe it ranks first or second in the world. While the wage gap is significant, labor costs in China and other countries continue to rise as do transportation prices.
- Pride – This may not seem like a reason that would typically satisfy shareholders or the bottom line, but we like to think about it this way. If you return a product to us, it’s quite possible that it will be processed, inspected or repaired by one of the same employees that actually assembled or packaged it in the first place, and nobody wants to see their hard work come back. Nothing is more motivating than pride and I know of no better way to ensure a quality product than to make it personal to the person or people that actually put it together.