Over the years and through countless interviews, Promotional Marketing’s staff has heard suppliers and distributors voice their opinions on an array of hot topics that directly or indirectly affect the advertising specialty industry. Sometimes voices are heated, sometimes they are calm; but they always make a valid point. Therefore, starting with its June issue, Promotional Marketing’s new section, Comparison Corner, will provide industry professionals space to wax their views on key issues. First up: domestic-made versus outsourcing. In addition, Comparison Corner will sometimes be used to compare and contrast high-end versus low-end promotional products, as well as promotional products versus their retail counterparts. If you have a hot topic you would like debated in Comparison Corner, please e-mail Jennifer Hans at email@example.com.
Made in America?
The topic of domestic-made products versus outsourcing can be a major point of contention in the world of promotional products. Below, two suppliers discuss the pros of each because, as we all know, there are two sides to every story.
Proud to be Made in America
Mel Ellis, president of The Humphrey Line, Milwaukie, Ore.,
At The Humphrey Line, we have been able to avoid importing almost entirely. In our plastics category and in our personal care product line, the manufacturing processes are highly automated, so there is no need to go offshore. It is not that we have an aversion to cheap labor, a subsidized currency, no child labor restrictions, no overtime rules, no OSHA, no EPA, no FDA, no retirement and such. It is simply that we don’t want to entrust our quality to someone else—our people handle our products at every stage, so we have excellent control of our product quality—or to have the service we provide our distributor customers depend on sourcing product from halfway around the world.