For years, conventional wisdom has held that outsourcing work to countries with inexpensive labor can save businesses money. Lately, however, talk has turned to “reshoring”—buying the components you need in your manufacturing business from suppliers based in the United States. The following are some of the benefits the manufacturing industry can reap through buying domestic.
How Reshoring Can Help
Buying American-made parts increases your company’s manufacturing flexibility in four ways:
1. Shorter lead time
The shorter the distance between you and your supplier, the faster you’ll get what you need.
2. Shorter time to market
Shipping components overseas can involve unforeseen snags and delays, which can leave you stranded and waiting for deliveries, rather than getting your product to market at the best time. Shipping items domestically requires less time and often involves fewer problems.
3. Lower shipping expenses
In today’s markets, trimming costs only makes sense. Eliminating overseas shipping may be one place to start cutting — and you know that even small reductions in outlay can mean a big difference in your bottom line.
4. Minimize supply chain disruptions
The longer the chain, the more chances for a problem to pop up and short-circuit the entire process. Being closer to your supplier means fewer chances for snafus.
With closer suppliers, you’ll also find it easier to collaborate on ways to improve component design, eliminate waste on either end, and just generally make your products with greater ease and efficiency.
How to Find U.S. Suppliers
Young companies or small manufacturers may have great products but not know how to leverage the supply chain to get their wares in front of the firms that need them. That’s where e-sourcing comes in. With e-sourcing, you place an RFQ (request for quotation) and suppliers use a software-based process to submit bids. They can revise and lower their bids over a set period of time. Think of it as a giant online components auction. Reluctant to try it? This may give you some incentive: According to one e-sourcing company, prices from e-sourcing are generally 10% to 20% lower than historical prices.
What You’ll Need
Be prepared before you jump into e-sourcing. You’ll need to set out clear, specific requirements for design, quality, quantity, service, delivery, and any other of your needs in order to get the best results. E-sourcing doesn’t necessarily work for all of your manufacturing needs, but there’s still no need to look overseas for custom-made parts. Ordering from a U.S.-based machine shop online can ensure you get customized parts designed to meet your specifications. All this can be accomplished while keeping your business domestic.
These days, streamlining is important in every phase of manufacturing. Reshoring and buying parts from other U.S. companies can be an integral part of the streamlining process.