Perhaps one of the greatest ironies of the global supply chain is that it is largely responsible for driving some manufacturing back to the U.S. Reshoring and nearshoring are two of the supply chain's newest buzzwords as global manufacturers realize the benefits of keeping production close to consumers, according to Manufacturing.
As the supply chain grows more complex, decisions about where to manufacture and base production are about more than just price. Many consumers are utilizing e-commerce to purchase directly from manufacturers or distributors. However, expectations for availability and timeliness are changing drastically. The supply chain must move faster than ever, and while technology is improving quickly, the speed at which products can move around the world has not increased that much.
Furthermore, the greater the distance between manufacturer and customer, the more points of interruption the supply chain is susceptible to. Likewise, the same is true of suppliers, so many companies prefer to source in the U.S. as well. Also, "made in the USA" is still a sought-after marketing slogan, although many consumers choose affordability and convenience over where an item is made. However, concern about provenance is very dependent on the product and the labor reputation of the overseas country.
Decisions to Move Production Should Be Backed by Data
Whether a company has already reshored or is only considering it, the move requires the proper data to determine the best location and to how to manage future investment. With data collection tools, managers can easily identify kinks in the supply chain to determine when production and sourcing should move closer to the client, as well as where exactly the client base would be easily reached.
Even after the move is complete, data continues to be a key factor in the success of a business in the digital age. Improved collection helps increase efficiency inside plants and warehouses and the production of individual employees. Automated data collection is actually a measure that has many advantages. In addition to freeing up employee resources, it will also help the business run faster, and tracking and tracing data can provide valuable information to the customer as well. Companies that invest in data collection will see a return almost instantly, errors are reduced and less time is wasted logging and retrieving paper data.