Economy

US Economic Forecast – Coronavirus Spike

Given the recent spike in coronavirus cases, what’s the latest US economic forecast?  Cynics would note if you take a dozen economists in a room you’ll get a dozen different opinions.  This is probably more true in the highly partisan political climate, adding more confusion. So we listened to a video from ITR Economics, a non-partisan forecasting firm in New Hampshire that has a pretty good record of accuracy.  And the good news is ALL… Read More


Economic Forecast and Reshoring News

The next couple of years should be good growth years for the US, and us in OH.  A time for expansion and taking advantage of good times.  All the economic indicators they use are upward pointing even with an uncertain virus situation.  Reshoring into the US should continue, as this is the place to be for manufacturing! This is the headline from ITR Economics in a webinar we saw recently.  ITR is a firm that… Read More


Target Pricing: Good Idea to Share with Prospective Vendors?

Recently we introduced a potential supplier to an equipment OEM.  The OEM has several fairly large machine parts they want to source to new machining sources.  The desired vendor will be capable of handling thousand pound steel parts, which require complex machining operations.  Not quite 5-axis, but their parts have very intricate details. Typical machine shops do not have the quality infrastructure to be comfortable with such requirements or size, and since the OEM’s parts… Read More


Prominent Article, but Bad Advice

A major business magazine recommends NOT answering RFQ’s.  What baloney!  We strongly disagree. Proficient Sourcing’s business involves responding to buyers seeking new manufacturing suppliers for custom parts or assemblies.  In most cases the buyer needs a NEW supplier because of any of several situations.  In these cases the buyer depends upon a responsible response to the inquiry, which is usually a drawing, sometimes with specs, and a request for quote. Amazingly, we found an Inc… Read More


Payment Terms – Fair or Large Company Arrogance?

Recently a major US corporation announced a new policy in order to “raise money for investment” in their operations by extending their payment terms to net 90 days. This was heralded by some news outlets as a wise maneuver, and would permit the corporation to invest in new facilities, buyback stock, or some other helpful things. We wonder helpful to who? How about the effect on their suppliers? Not mentioned! This giant company arbitrarily changed… Read More


Covid-19 Pandemic Exposes US Supply Chain Weaknesses!

We have tried to stay tuned to global supply chain developments, especially the US relationship with China during the Covid-19 pandemic as it exposes more weaknesses.  With most sophisticated OEM’s supply chains linked to some non-American source, such developments could have colossal effects for years to come. This sounds like an incredibly difficult diplomatic situation.  How this turns out could have major effects on our supplies from China, and also other countries affected by the… Read More


US Supply Chains: Weaknesses Exposed by the Covid-19 Pandemic

We have all witnessed the chaos in supplying critical medical supplies during the past few months of the covid 19 pandemic, especially in and around New York.  Why has this supply chain issue been such a problem for the US?  After all, we were the #1 manufacturing country in the world for the past 100 years until just the last few years! Political leaders are quick to say this is something we need to fix,… Read More


Coronavirus and Your Supply Chain

What is happening to our customers? While manufacturers may be in conditions varying from complete lockdown to full operations, the state of the overall economy means life as we knew it is no more. Beyond cash flow, primary worries must include the condition of our customers and the state of our supply chains. At least the resumption of “normal” busiiness is now scheduled for most places to begin on May 1. Those of us in… Read More


Starting Up After Virus Limitations

We do not know what operating conditions currently exist in our reader’s companies. We just heard the latest week’s unemployment numbers, and expect similar to be the case for the next few weeks. Eventually we’ll all start up incrementally or full bore again, but what will our world look like? Here are a few thoughts about the virus limitations, and we would greatly appreciate your comments to our blog. If you are curtailing operations, your… Read More


US Energy: Some Thoughts and Happy New Year to All!

For our first Newsletter effort of 2020 let’s start with a subject of great significance — US energy. Since one of the major advantages of US manufacturing is cheap and abundant energy, it’s an especially important subject for those of us relying on machinery. While we claim no special expertise, we believe there are several important issues to keep in mind as we move forward, and we welcome corrections/comments to our blog. President Trump reported… Read More