It takes a village (to build a local supply chain)

Been much discussion lately about reshoring, bringing back manufacturing, bringing back the supply chain.  It’s complicated of course–just building something local neither works nor does much good if the supply chain is not local (see for example Making reshoring work or But we assemble it here). I was reading fellow productization and DFM blogger Mike Shipulski’s latest blog, Make It Where you Sell It,  regarding the merits of putting production near the end market, even for things smaller than a tank. Thinking that premise through, it seemed like a good idea but likely not enough–because again it only works if the supply chain is also local, or at least local enough (for more on good enough see our blog on Lagom…)

But if everyone in the “village” did the same thing–up and down the supply chain–then the concept does work. Individually we can’t make a difference, and when we run our ROI calculations we may well get the dreaded “just make it in China” answer.  And that’s important, because if we don’t focus on ROI, on making a profit, we won’t remain in business.  But as a village, all of us together as part of the supply chain, we can perhaps change the answer from red to black.

If everyone made one decision this week to use one additional local supplier, thing what a difference that would make.  Not just for jobs, but energy consumption in freight and even a few more minutes each night reading to the kids instead of yet another conference call.

Chuck

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