Back in the U.S. Back in the U.S. of A.
The past 18 months have sent global manufacturing and supply chains into a tizzy. Between COVID-19, Suez Canal blockages, pipeline cyber attacks, administration changes, and the ongoing shortages of raw materials, the United States may need to change its policies, and in doing so, manufacturers may be forced to rethink their business operations.
What is Reshoring?
According the the Reshoring Initiative's website, "Reshoring is the practice of bringing manufacturing and services back to the U.S. from overseas. It's a fast and efficient way to strengthen the U.S. economy because it helps balance the trade and budget deficits, reduces unemployment by creating good, well-paying manufacturing jobs, and fosters a skilled workforce."
In short, the U.S. will need to take a hard look at its reliance on offshoring and consider whether or not onshoring can help stabilize supply chains and how sustainable manufacturing can and promote a stronger economy and help strengthen a consumer-driven economy.
While offshoring was once believed to promote world peace, the pandemic put a monkey wrench in things as countries prioritized access to ventilators, PPE, and vaccines.
An article in Forbes, published last fall, noted that “The U.S. is starting to rethink the value of reshoring some of its essential manufacturing. But there are several hurdles to overcome. Companies will need to figure out how to employ more U.S. workers at higher living wages while staying competitive economically.”
The hurdles are significant, but the potential benefits are even greater. New manufacturing technologies — like FluidForming — can help companies clear the hurdles and start reaping the benefits.
Benefits of Reshoring
In 2020, reshoring exceeded foreign direct investment in job creation. Biden is proposing a 10 percent Made In America tax credit and a 10 percent surtax on offshoring. Which would certainly support and promote onshoring (FluidForming Journal).
Reshoring U.S. manufacturing has the potential to lower transportation costs, dramatically reduce carbon emissions, improve sustainability, ease supply chain strain, improve the quality of goods, create high-paying jobs for American workers, and revitalize struggling communities.
Localized production also facilitates just-in-time, LEAN manufacturing, by optimizing the workflow to more quickly produce more specialized products for less capital investment.
Even in third-world countries, employees are demanding better pay and benefits. In addition, rising fuel costs and the rising prices of raw materials affect profit margins on goods made offshore. Now's the time to conduct a cost-benefit analysis on the price of doing business on foreign soil.
Although the “buy local” movement is small, it's growing. More and more consumers are willing to pay for quality and to support the American economy. Depending on your customer base, a MADE IN AMERICA label could be a huge benefit.
FluidForming Americas, Inc. is a member of the Precision Metal Forming Association and is AS9100 Rev D, ISO 9001:2015 certified.