“Made in the USA, Again: Manufacturing is expected to return to America as China’s rising labor costs erase most savings from Offshoring”
No, this is not a title from a Michael Moore movie but the title of a press release published early this summer by The Boston Consulting Group. BCG is a global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy. The company just completed a strategic study concluding there will be a manufacturing renaissance within five years in the United States.
According to the BCG study, it is not just the Chinese labor market (rising at 15-20% per annum) that is the reason for work to return to the US but a number of other factors such as the increasing value of the yuan, inventory carrying costs, and transportation costs. In addition, some US state governments are offering excellent incentives for companies to build plants locally, and the American worker is becoming more flexible on work rules that will help increase US employee productivity over the China worker.
Products that require less labor and produced in modest volumes will most likely shift back to the US, but the high volume parts that are labor intensive will still remain offshore. However this is a much better scenario than the past 10 years where moving parts and production offshore was in vogue at many companies based in the United States.
Now this seems like good news for those in die casting who have survived the Great Recession. However US manufacturing still has its challenges ahead of it. Have you tried to hire any skilled workers lately? Many in the manufacturing sector are having difficulties obtaining knowledgeable help in maintenance, tooling, and process. These skills shortages exist not only in the US but also in China, India, and other low cost labor countries around the globe.
With that in mind, NADCA offers high quality education and training to the die casting industry. In the past it was difficult to train large groups of plant employees due to travel costs and time out of the facility. With the internet, NADCA is able to deliver education to large groups of personnel at much lower costs today.
A great concept that is very user friendly is the Webinar. I’m sure many of you have heard or attended a Webinar in the past. Today, NADCA has over ten Webinars in education and R&D which helps transfer both education and technology to NADCA members at minimal cost in time and money. If you have not yet attended a NADCA Webinar you are missing a great value for your company.
Formal education delivery is also shifting from classes at NADCA Headquarters in Wheeling, Illinois to online courses, in plant courses, and local Chapter courses (where members send students to classes near their plants). Even with this specific die cast knowledge training available to our members it will be necessary for die casting human resource departments to work with the local community colleges and technical schools to develop the basic skills needed in die casting plants such as mechanical, electrical, tool making/repair, and basic math skills.
As this edition of DCE rolls out, NADCA is gearing up for a die casting specific exhibition in Columbus, Ohio starting September 19th. NADCA is excited to once again be hosting die casting specific shows which is a change in direction from the past joint exhibits with AFS. This event will feature three days of Congress sessions during which technical and management presentations will be given by experts from around the world. These presentations will showcase the latest technology, ongoing research and successful management tools that will assist die casters in enhancing their competitiveness.
In addition to the Congress sessions, there will be a tabletop show that will feature more than 80 exhibitors, the International Die Casting Design Competition, a design luncheon, and an awards banquet.
After the Congress the NADCA Marketing Summit will be held in the same location with experts in the areas of web based marketing, the use of social media as a marketing tool, and various topics on best practices of marketing in an internet age.
If you have not made plans to attend the Exhibition or the Marketing Summit please consider doing so today. These events are additional NADCA services that you will find invaluable to keep abreast of the changing times in die casting.
See you in Columbus, Ohio in a few weeks.
Thank you for supporting NADCA.