US Manufacturing Might…or Might Not?

In this holiday season, the economy is on everyone’s minds. Will the retail sector continue to keep our growth chugging along? Will the stock market sink lower? Will central bank rate cuts stimulate more investment and growth? Will the dollar continue to devalue against the euro and other world currencies?

Horst Engineering’s Vice President of Operations, Arthur Roti, came across a PBS story about how Midwest US manufacturers are staying competitive. The video coverage explains how lean manufacturing driven productivity improvement, and innovation, are helping manufacturers thrive. The story demonstrates that for some products, the cost gap between foreign (mostly Asian) imports and US products, is closing. There are clearly examples of work that was previously outsourced to places like China, returning to the US supply chain. At Horst Engineering we have experienced this repeatedly over the past few years. Though we have lost work to foreign competitors, parts that were shopped around in places like India, Mexico, and Eastern Europe, have returned.

This is very good news for us and for our peers in the industry. Our Mexican operations have grown as well, and they are part of our answer to the competitive pressures that we face to reduce our costs. Still, our expansion in Nogales, Sonora; is only part of the solution. We are expanding at both our domestic and international locations and we strive to continue that growth by making more products that would otherwise have been sourced in low cost countries (LCS) or “emerging markets” as many of our customers prefer to call them.

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