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).
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.