Economic Growth in Manufacturing Underway?

Several recent news items report US economic improvement, and especially in manufacturing. This is particularly hopeful news for us all, and for the country at large. As our US Senator’s recent report says, “Manufacturing has a larger multiplier effect than any other industry. For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.48 is added to the economy.” We are vitally interested in US manufacturing, especially in the Midwest, and doubtless you are as well. While the… Read More

Real Buyer-Seller Situation

Today we present a real buyer-seller situation in process.  Our opinion is we are missing something, and encourage you to offer opinions, suggestions, and advice on our blog. Proficient Sourcing helps companies find suitable supplier candidates for custom manufacturing.  We have had a superficial relationship with an OEM making very precise products that use a variety of close tolerance metal parts.  We are interested in competing for this machining business, and have quoted a few… Read More

Beware of Killing a Golden Supplier Goose!

Do you, the customer, take steps to ensure your suppliers’ margins are satisfactory?  The subject of supplier margins was a recent article from Directworks,  a company that provides sourcing and supplier management solutions purpose-built for manufacturers.  The main point was that just like the customer, the supplier company must be profitable.  Accomplishing that should be in the interest of BOTH sides if there is any interest in a long term healthy relationship.  Our opinion on… Read More

Where’s the Best Place for Low-Cost Manufacturing??

It’s the USA and Mexico, according to a recent survey of senior business leaders.  And the USA comes out #1 as well.  When evaluating low-cost locations worldwide for the production of goods bound for the North American market, small and mid-size manufacturing executives say the USA and Mexico are at the top of the list, beating China by a margin of over four to one. This study was completed earlier this year (2014) by Entrada… 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? 1. OEMs are trying to become more flexible in order to respond more rapidly to market conditions and opportunities. 2. They are relying more heavily on their suppliers to perform manufacturing operations formerly done in-house. 3. At the same time they are trying to reduce the number of suppliers in their supply base. 4. As a result, OEMs are growing more… Read More

Building a Collaborative Supply Chain

A company can often generate substantial improvements via collaboration with their suppliers.  In most cases there are mutual benefits and interests served by the collaboration of all parties.  It would seem active efforts to stimulate collaboration should be common and ongoing, but they are surprisingly rare in our experience. A large OEM with a long list of suppliers surely analyzes this list and prioritizes suppliers via some method—perhaps even the Kraljic Model discussed in our… Read More

Can Washington Stay Out of the Way?

“Today, manufacturing is poised for a comeback. There was no medal ceremony, but for the first time in history, manufacturing in the United States surpassed the $2 trillion mark. Taken alone, the manufacturing sector would rank as the world’s eighth-largest economy. Manufacturing output has soared since the end of the recession, and manufacturing employment surged in the last months of 2013”. This is the beginning of an article from Cerasis’s blog, which often contains thought… Read More

More good news for US manufacturing

Should we be optimistic about work coming back from China?  We think so, and we found more reinforcing information.  In our 9/11/13 newsletter, many problems were noted that should negatively affect China’s economy and thus help bring work back to the US.  Another article adds to this, and points out why the US, Viet Nam and Mexico should be the primary beneficiaries. According to this second article, “Problems in China include the rise in minimum… Read More

Customer Supply Chain Management

Infor ( is a global software company with products to help manage most aspects of a business. Recently they offered a white paper that outlines their Concept to Customer supply chain management approach. We found the white paper a thought provoking treatment of a difficult and complex subject. We hope you agree. If so, you can download the white paper from the link at the end of this article. Here are extracts from Infor’swhite paper:… Read More

Capability: Machining: Vertical Turret Lathe

We have had several situations involving heavy parts that need machining.  When the height of the part is relatively short, as is the case with heavy discs that eventually hold turbine blades, a vertical turret lathe may be the machining equipment of choice. With a vertical turret lathe the workpiece is set upon a horizontal rotating table and depending upon the equipment’s design, tools are applied from both side and above.  Live tooling exists in… Read More