News

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


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


Energy Policy — What’s Going On These Days?

At Proficient Sourcing we are always interested in the subject of energy.  Cheap, reliable and abundant energy is vital to manufacturing in the US, and represents one of the primary competitive advantages we have to encourage reshoring.  But current events are unusual enough to jeopardize US energy advantages. Interestingly, 2021 will see the first increase in coal fired power generation in the US in several years, per the Energy Information Agency.  The primary reason is the… Read More


Reshoring: The Case Strengthens

Several important current news factors support reshoring manufacturing as a high priority for the US.  Among these factors are efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15, supply chain risks for critical items such as medical supplies, semiconductors, rare earths, and employment difficulties throughout the economy.  All these strengthen the case for a robust manufacturing sector.  So what to do? As we all know, for decades the private sector has shipped a great deal of… Read More


Recovering US Manufacturing Competitiveness

The March 25, 2021, article on Market Watch discusses how the US can regain it’s former position as the world’s most competitive manufacturer. The compelling thought is the US has the world’s primary position in scientific research and discovery, which should drive manufacturing innovation. Why, then, haven’t US manufacturers been able to translate that big advantage into a global competitive advantage? And why have countries such as Germany and China become so prosperous with inferior… Read More


Jobs, Jobs, Jobs – Chapter 2

A great deal of the current administration’s spending seems to be directed to increasing jobs in America. Whether green energy or infrastructure, what’s made the news usually includes some reference to new job creation. Is this credible? Can the federal government make a meaningful contribution to the country’s employment, and if so, where and how? One thing for sure is subsidies for some businesses will surely create new jobs. The emphasis on green energy in… Read More