U.S. Manufacturing 101 for small companies and startups

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We frequently receive emails from companies seeking advice on manufacturing in the USA. Some want to launch a new product made here. Others want to reshore a product and bring it back home. We love to hear this enthusiasm for making things in America. We’ve turned to guest writer Millar Kelley, research analyst with the Reshoring Initiative, to point potential Made in USA companies on the right path.

The time is right to make more Made in USA products available to U.S. consumers

Are you considering opening a new company, or moving production from offshore to the U.S.?  Changing locations or launching a new product is always a challenge, especially for smaller companies. The challenge is typically to determine whether twenty to thirty small overhead costs make up the difference for higher U.S. manufacturing costs. Hopeful companies first need to accurately evaluate whether their product is right for U.S. production.

Here are some tips to get started. Follow the links for more in-depth discussion.

1.  Look at trends in your industry. Research which of your competitors has successfully produced in the U.S. – do their reasons for reshoring and U.S. production seem like they would apply to your product as well?

Top reasons for reshoring in the consumer product industry:

reshore-table

Some products will take best advantage of the consumer preference for Made in USA, including: products for infants, products intended for the affluent, consumers over 60, Midwesterners, and Millennials. Our data shows that having a Made in USA brand was a reason in about 15% of all reshoring cases.

2. Decide if it’s right. To really know if your product can competitively be made in the U.S., you will need to do a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) analysis of offshore vs. domestic production.  If the analysis generates a close call, consider investing more in your own competitiveness with DFMA, lean, and skilled workforce recruitment.

3. Proceed to production. Once you have determined that U.S. production makes sense, you will need to find the best contract manufacturer. There are several organizations that can help such as MEP and ThomasNet.com. Also, give your local Economic development organization (EDO) a call.

4. Enjoy the results! Finally, never forget the end goal: use your efforts to your best advantage by advertising that your product was Made in USA.

  • Send out a press release to your local media.
  • List your product on Made in USA specific sites, like USA Love list!
  • Make sure you advertise your product as Made in USA on all retail distributor sites such as Amazon.
  • Be compliant with USA labeling.

These tips and many more are available from the Reshoring Initiative’s Resources for Retail Suppliers.

Contact us if you need help.

About The Author

Post by USA Love List Guest

USA Love List welcomes guest posts on a variety of topics. Have we covered your state yet in our popular state-by-state series on "10 Things We Love, Made in [Your Home State]"? Are you a business person who made the decision to keep your manufacturing in the US? Are you a blogger who has a unique perspective to share on buying American? Use our Contact form or email us at info@usalovelist.com

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