COVID-19: A Wake-Up Call for American Industry and Its Supply Chain
By Anthony Romero Sales and Applications Engineering Manager – Prospect Machine Products
As stated by Brig. Gen. John Adams (U.S. Army, retired), president of Guardian Six LLC, in an article for IndustryWeek:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is the straw that broke the camel’s back. From ventilators and personal protective equipment to medicines, we’ve come to learn that China controls the production and distribution of these essential items. Large swaths of our economy are left without an industrial base to ramp up in times of crisis, even when doing so is a matter of life and death. Scrambling to have auto manufacturers produce ventilators during a pandemic has certainly clarified the crisis.”
In manufacturing, the return to the U.S. of production being done offshore (called “reshoring”) was a strong trend even before the coronavirus pandemic. However, its importance and criticality has been even more evident in the last few months.
When it comes to deep draw metal stamping , there are several advantages to having a U.S.-based contract manufacturer servicing the American continent (especially North and South America). Some of these benefits include:
- Proximity. Less geographic distance between the design center and the contract manufacturer facilitates face-to-face communication and the development of a strong customer/supplier relationship. Although there are several modern communication tools like video chat, screen sharing, local toll-free numbers, and customers setting up their own virtual meetings knowing the supplier’s schedule (self-service meeting scheduling) that assist with communication, there is no mode of interaction that is better than physical meetings. When people sit down together, body language, tone of voice, facial expression and other factors play an important role in developing trust between buyers and salespeople as well as between designers and manufacturing engineers.
- Trade agreements. The USMCA and similar trade agreements improve the commercialization of products and services offered by U.S. contract manufacturers. Prospect Machine Products has numerous customers in Mexico, where such agreements are beneficial.
- Language. Although the primary language in technical and business discussions is English, it just so happens that many U.S. contract manufacturers have bilingual personnel, allowing dialogues to be conducted in the native language of the Latin American customer (often Spanish or Portuguese).
- Transportation. The relatively small distance between U.S. contract manufacturers and assembly centers in North and South America results in lower transportation costs compared to those to and from Asia.
- Contingency plans. Most U.S. contract manufacturers are ISO:9001 2015 certified, so they are required to have contingency plans in place enabling them to react quickly to disruptive events.
- Response to market volatility. Customer service personnel at U.S. companies communicate frequently with customer production planning departments, enabling a rapid response in the event of market volatility.
- On-site technical training: Seminars and technical assistance can be provided at the customer site explaining the deep draw metal stamping process, raw materials, quality in deep drawn components, and other subjects. As an example, Prospect Machine Products provided a recent “Lunch and Learn” session in San Miguel de Allende – Mexico at a large OEM that supplies components to the American automotive industry. See previous blog
All these benefits are enjoyed when doing business with Prospect Machine Products —a Connecticut, USA-based company.
Have a deep draw metal stamping project where the timeliness, quality, and affordability of components is critical? We’re happy to talk with you about how Prospect Machine Products can deliver the parts you need and the value you want. Contact us!