Archive for August, 2011
Reshoring Manufacturing To The US Is A Gradual Process

A Textiles & Apparel Company CEO explains the decisions he made in repatriating production to the US - reasoning that applies to many manufacturers in other industries.

Lonnie Kane is the CEO for California-based Karen Kane, a fashion designer of women’s clothing founded in 1979 & carried in department stores throughout North America. In a recent interview with Bloomberg Business, he shared the motivations that led his company to repatriate its production – now at 80% – back to the US, the impact of the US and Chinese economies on those decisions, and the role of government on supply chains & manufacturing.

His thoughts, experiences and advice apply to manufacturers within many industries and demand chains – not just textiles & apparel. Here are some salient highlights from the interview, my take on their importance in assessing a reshoring strategy, and the full video of the interview (you can watch it below).

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Challenging The ‘Manufacturing Labor Shortage Vs. Automation’ Myth

There is a prevalent argument used these days to explain the steep job losses within US manufacturing.

The gist of the argument goes something like this:

“Advances in the automation of manufacturing technologies have resulted in drastically higher productivity and, therefore, they’ve reduced or even eliminated the need for people to perform those tasks.”

It’s an entertaining, almost intoxicating argument to anyone with minimal manufacturing experience.

But I’m not buying it.

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Why Compliance Is Transforming Social Media For Manufacturing & B2B

The more rigid or regulated the business or industry, the more likely we'll see tighter controls on Social Media access and communications channels.

Social Media is still in its infancy. Not to say the adoption rates are low – we’re already well on our way to critical mass now – but it’s only just developing in defining its specific roles to bring real value to myriad demographics, groups & industries. This is nothing new.

When the Internet cow left the barn in the mid-90s, its applications were basic, unrefined and simplistic. Investments were made based on potential rather than actual value. Even today, the rules are still being rewritten as to how the Web in general influences and serves behaviors and markets. And Social Media is in the same spot the Web was back then: just now leaving a period of great discovery, and entering an era of vast underutilization and redefinition.

This is particularly true for business. And especially for industries in manufacturing with complex design and supply chains.

Compliance – and for that matter, governance, too – will become the defining topics for how and why industrial and technology companies utilize Social Media over the coming decade. And it may already be effecting the results you’re seeing now, without you even knowing it.

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