From Patriotic to Practical
American manufacturing is a difficult subject to write about. It's a complex issue with many moral and philosophical components, and these ethical issues are meaningful and important things for any American to consider. For business owners who work intimately with manufacturers however, it's also important to be knowledgable of the practical advantages that stateside production offers. Because while your moral responsibilities as an American purchaser—whatever you personally decide they may be—are very real and very important, there are also small, practical truths of American manufacturing that every buyer should be aware of.
LESS SPACE EQUALS FASTER PACE
Edward Sokolofski, president of Chicago-based American Greenwood, a supplier company that sells both American-made products and imports, explained that American manufacturing can offer a much faster turnaround on item production, especially on custom orders. "American-made, obviously we can do custom a lot faster," he said. Sokolofski noted that this time saved can be a difference of days and weeks stateside versus weeks and months overseas. Kippie Helzel, MAS, vice president, sales for Erie, Pennsylvania-based Custom Plastic Specialties/CPS, another supplier who provides both American and imported products, agreed that better turnaround times is a perk of U.S. manufacturing.
Though there's nothing necessarily unsafe about overseas manufacturing, stateside production can make quality control and monitoring product safety much easier. "While we are very careful and detailed in monitoring the product safety and material guidelines with our factories in China and insist on appropriate third-party testing, there is no doubt that we have a much better and tighter control over the material and manufacturing standards of our manufacturing division in the U.S.," explained Helzel. Jeff Cannon, vice president of Morris Magnets, Monroe, Wash., a company that sells American goods only, agreed and elaborated on the greater manufacturing control of American production. "I have more control over my vendors," said Cannon. "We test everything, and I also trust that the materials that are being made here have also been tested before they come to me," he added. Cannon explained that there is a value in knowing that materials are always coming from the same factories with the same chemical components, something he said is not always guaranteed overseas.