Motorola is manufacturing its Moto X smartphone in Fort Worth, Texas. Apple announced that assembly and some manufacturing of the MacBook Pro will be done in the U.S., as well as adding 2,000 jobs at a new component manufacturing plant in Mesa, Arizona. Why are electronics manufacturers starting to bring their business back to North America? Many technology giants sent jobs and operations overseas to take advantage of cheap labor and large factories. The reasons for manufacturing and assembling in Asia are now starting to dwindle and the reasons to bring these operations back to North America are skyrocketing. Labor is getting more expensive and working conditions are improving in countries like China, India, and Thailand so companies can no longer take advantage of the low wages and long hours. Shipping costs are increasing as well so companies are spending more and more to ship these products back here. But perhaps the most legitimate reason to bring electronics manufacturing back to North American soil is the design/production disconnect.
North American companies typically retained design functions here even when they sent manufacturing offshore. This separation led to very inefficient production of a variety of products. Designs done here evolved into things that were not easy to manufacture, prompting workers overseas to change the designs or charge more for labor and time. Bringing back product manufacturing reunites the design function with the people who make the components, streamlining the entire process for a higher quality, lower cost item. GE is a great example of a company that has reshored manufacturing of multiple products and ended up simplifying their entire process, fully expecting that the improved communication and innovation will translate directly into improved profitability.
Check out the recent articles below for more information on the Made in America movement: