Buyers worldwide are diversifying their supply bases, and in many cases, the U.S. is being given serious consideration, according to Manufacturing in the U.S. - Movement or Myth?, a report from Panjiva. While buyers are seeing many pros to buying American goods, for many the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
Of 150 sourcing professionals surveyed, mostly headquartered in the U.S., the top three most frequently mentioned “greatest strengths” offered by U.S. manufacturers were:
1. Shorter turnaround/delivery time. Eighty percent of respondents indicated the ability to get product quickly was a major pro to sourcing products from the U.S.
2. Demand for “Made in America.” While respondents had “mixed feelings” on whether consumers would actually pay more for U.S.-made products, 47 percent listed consumer preference for American-made products as one of American manufacturing’s greatest strengths.
3. Flexibility in order size. Thirty-eight percent of respondents listed U.S. manufacturer’s willingness to produce smaller quantities of products as a strength compared to other countries.
In a separate question, sourcing professionals identified “qualities that could limit how much a company sources from the U.S. in the next 12 months.” The top three answers were:
1. High production costs. Eighty-one percent of respondents listed comparatively high production costs in the U.S., making it by far the most common issue.
2. Lack of experience. Twenty-five percent of respondents held the perception that “U.S. manufacturers have less experience in my product categories.”
3. Weak product quality. This response was among 14 percent of survey participants’ selections.