If the end-buyer wants something done fast, how can an importer compete with an already tooled domestic supplier? We invented the concept of just-in-time manufacturing, and American manufacturers are very used to competing on service. And we haven’t mentioned such things as intellectual property protection, credit availability and terms of trade, and trans-oceanic shipping matters.
The suppliers in our industry are not yet ready to return to their roots as American manufacturers, but the perceived trade-offs in cost, quality and service are beginning to work to the benefit of domestic production. To this American manufacturer, it feels good to be back in the sunshine.
Mel Ellis and his wife Bitsy acquired HumphreyLine in 1991, following a 10-year career in venture capital in Boston and New York City. Earlier, he was CFO of a restaurant company, and was a loan officer at Bank of Boston. Ellis served four years as a Navy Supply Corps Officer during the Vietnam period, and is a graduate of Stanford and Harvard Business School.