Energy Policy Affects US Manufacturing Competitiveness

Cheap and abundant energy is one factor that has helped the US manufacturing competitive position relative to global alternatives.  Reshoring has been enhanced by that very factor.  Over the past year we have all seen a number of factors influencing that position.  It’s not clear who’s gaining or losing, other than apparently Russia’s oil and gas revenue has not changed much. Or perhaps that’s not true.  It’s difficult to sort out the wheat from the… Read More

Data Presentations: Beware Of What You See

Many years ago we found a 1954 publication, How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff. There were a number of useful thoughts in this book, which was an introductory presentation of how to use, and abuse, statistical data.  This ssubject is important enough to warrant another article.  All of us are subject to statistical presentations that may tell a distorted story.  Beware! If you are at all attentive to graphs, charts, and related presentations you are… Read More

Achieving Procurement Happiness

When a new manufacturing supplier is needed, how do you get a good candidate?  This becomes a greater problem with distance and project complexity, not to mention specialized certifications that might be required. Perhaps you wish to reshore something?   Or get a supplier for a startup? We at Proficient Sourcing LLC can help with all these.  There is no cost, there’s no obligation, either.  Our mission is very simple: to provide supplier recommendations (yes, often… Read More

Supply Chain Problems: Just the Beginning?

The past year has witnessed all manner of economic disruptions due to supply chain problems.  We have seen how these problems have interrupted and delayed manufacturing supply systems, and possibly given reshoring efforts an unexpected boost. Manufacturing over the past 50 years or so has required ever more sophisticated and complex use of new minerals to produce defense systems, computers and other electronic devices, exotic superalloys are now needed for many specialized purposes.  Among others,… Read More

Labor Shortage Solutions – Out of the Box!

Just about every day we hear news of labor shortages in this business or that business, and seemingly everywhere. Is there a retail business or fast food restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter, that’s not seeking employees? There are some unorthodox steps available to some businesses, and many of these are things we have direct experience in times past. Some were quite successful! When we attended a retirement party at a very large corporation,… Read More

Procurement Practices Contributing to Supplier Performance Problems? Can it be True?

Do any of these apply to you and your company and it’s procurement practices? OEMs are trying to become more flexible in order to respond more rapidly to market conditionsand opportunities. They are relying more heavily on their suppliers to perform manufacturing operations formerly done in-house. At the same time they are trying to reduce the number of suppliers in their supply base. As a result, OEMs are growing more concerned with improving the performance… Read More

Chips for United States

Big current news stories summarize nicely the economic effect caused by semiconductor chip shortages.  The big stories were car prices skyrocket and Intel, once the world’s #1 chip producer, is building an enormous chip factory near Columbus, OH.  Here’s the Reuters story on that: Jan 21 (Reuters) – “Intel Corp said on Friday it would invest up to $100 billion to build potentially the world’s largest chip-making complex in Ohio, looking to boost capacity as… Read More

Inclusive Economic Growth via Manufacturing?

A McKinsey & Company article of Jan 12, 2022 is labeled as part of the Davos Agenda. This alone gives us pause. Do you trust the Davos crowd for sound advice? Please let us know your view on this subject. In any case, among other things, this McKinsey author bemoans the decline of US manufacturing, as it’s driven inequality and hurt its global competitiveness. Further, revitalizing manufacturing could add lots of well-paying jobs with digitization… Read More

Get better RFQ responses!

We at Proficient Sourcing live and die with RFQ traffic, and it seems that the buying population would be interested in better responses.  Maybe we can help. Most of what we see is an RFQ to manufacture or fabricate some metal or plastic part.  The RFQ wants a price and delivery for a stated quantity, and sometimes an “answer by” date is provided.  That’s about all we usually see. It’s also useful to note the… Read More

Steel: Fun Facts and a Video

We work with OEM buyers to provide sources for manufactured parts and assemblies.  Proficient Sourcing has been doing this work for many years and several companies now rely on us to provide credible suppliers for their outsourcing needs.  Generally our large and diverse network of high quality suppliers has been able to address OEM needs.  However, recently, deliveries have been hampered by steel shortages and price increases.  This seems to be especially acute for steel. While… Read More