Next-shoring: Your Manufacturing Future?

The rapid pace of change in a few key areas has reshaped manufacturing strategy.  New developments have led to “next-shoring”, which means locating suppliers and manufacturing facilities near to locations where both customers are as well as sources for innovation.  Innovation, according to most sources, occurs most easily when manufacturing is nearby.  And this became one shortcoming of offshoring. In the recent past, locating manufacturing in low labor cost countries was a high priority.  Recently,… Read More

US Manufacturing Jobs (and more)—Then and Now

There’s a lot of political noise lately about jobs and especially manufacturing jobs.  So what’s realistic and what’s the story with all this?  We found a couple of articles that provide clues (links at the end). Most of us involved in manufacturing know of the good old days when the US was king of the world, manufacturing jobs were plentiful and paid well with generous benefits.  All that was due in large part to the… Read More

Work for a big company—big advantage…or not?

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when people sought employment with big firms and stayed with those firms for a career. Then it was believed, and probably rightly so, that salaries and benefits were a big advantage for employment with major companies.   It appears that this belief has been relegated to the dustbin of history, probably forever in our view, according to an article from the Wharton School of Business… Read More

Complex Sourcing Project (in process)

For over 10 years we have been interested in obtaining government contracts for manufactured parts or even products. After all, given we have a large and varied network of custom manufacturers, we should be a desireable connection for contracts.   Now we are in the midst of a significant government contract for a multi-year and multi-million dollar project. This work is a good example of the sort of thing we do. Perhaps it would fit… Read More

Impeachment in Procurement?

President Trump’s first few months have been immersed in controversy, and the term “impeachment” often comes up. Apparently, some people seem serious about that. Former Speaker Boehner recently noted that impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, which sounds useful to keep in mind. It’s not a business procedure either, but we found an intriguing and very short piece in the 5/23/17 Next Level Purchasing Association’s blog that recommended creating a contingency plan… Read More

Big Company Profit Growth? Why?

Recently we found a report of profit growth for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 of nearly 14% in the first quarter of 2017. Given the poor overall economic growth (GDP growth was 0.7% in the first quarter—a 3 year low!), there’s the obvious question of what’s going on here? This report from USA Today (link at the bottom) article says that stronger demand for US goods by foreigners is the reason. What follows… Read More

Don’t Answer an RFQ is Advised?

Amazingly, we found an article recommending NOT answering a quote request. This would appear to represent perhaps the worst advice in our situation we’ve ever seen! The article appeared in the March 7, 2013, edition of Inc. magazine, and was also featured in a Linkedin group. The title is “Death by RFP: 7 Reasons Not to Respond”. The first thought in this article is this: “Flattered to be asked to respond to an RFP? You… Read More

Low Cost Innovation—the hidden benefit!

Your suppliers may be a low-cost path to ongoing and effective innovation. Here’s a quote from a thought provoking article from the Procurement Leaders 8/26/14 blog: “Properly managed and incentivized by procurement, suppliers can be a great source of innovation. In fact, in some companies, supplier-initiated innovation happens regularly through such things as suggested design alternatives, alternative manufacturing approaches, even ideas on streamlining internal processes.” If you are fortunate enough to have such a supplier relationship,… Read More

Customized Fabrications: Stairs, Rails and More!

A recent addition to our network of shops is a fabrication shop with complete services for complex and  certified welding of virtually any material.   Another specialty is customized structural products such as cat walks, metal stairs and handrails.   This shop can handle sheet metal work as well as plate/heavy fabrications, and especially those requiring difficult weldments.  Here are just a few examples of the specialized outstanding service available to you: A set of switchback… Read More

Convention of States: More Political Fun Awaits!

A potential political bombshell may be coming to a legislature near you!  A recent article in the Toledo Blade dealt with the Ohio Legislature considering resolutions for a Convention of States.  If successful, this is a move for amending the US Constitution. For several years this convention of states movement has been slowly proceeding.  So far, 10 states have passed such resolutions, with North Dakota the latest.  If Ohio’s actions pass, Ohio would be the… Read More