Manufacturing is Returning to the United States
In 2016, leading technology brands collectively announced billions of dollars in investments in US manufacturing, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and supporting reshoring. But manufacturing today is not the same as when it left: Gone are many of the large steel mills, auto plants and computer factories and in their place a greater volume of small batch-manufacturing facilities from large enterprises, SMBs and start-ups providing specialization, customization, and higher-end engineering.
What’s starkly different from the previous linear economy epoch of smokestacks, landfills, and post-industrial decay is that new manufacturing is lean, agile, and supports a circular economy whereby waste is minimized and resources including components and materials are re-used, re-manufactured, refurbished and recycled.
“Globalization is no longer simply one-size-fits-all,” said Linda Li, Chief Strategy Officer at Re-Teck, a Reverse Supply Chain Management (RSCM) provider. “Effective globalization requires a global determination to cater to the needs, preferences, and regulations affecting customers at a micro-level. This is entirely possible with data-supported insights and the array of customizable software and services and it’s leading to a new, exciting period of localized manufacturing in the United States by world-class brands.”
Li points out that many of these firms focus squarely on innovation as an existential differentiator and typically look to third parties to support their supply chain for innovation and manufacturing, and technical support for product lifetime and Reverse Supply Chain Management for when the product needs to be upgraded and replaced.