My experience as a student researcher at the Reshoring institute has been a very exciting opportunity to learn more about the benefits of Reshoring and the evolving world of supply chain management. After a few intriguing projects, I have realized the growing importance of Reshoring in recent years, and how the United States is now capable of being cost-competitive. My first responsibility as a student researcher was to help create and organize an online library for the Reshoring Institute website. The library includes Reshoring articles from the last 18 months, it will enable users to navigate information that is specific and valuable to them by using advanced search to filter by state, product, and company.
My primary assignment was to research and contact influential American companies that have benefited from Reshoring in recent years and develop case studies describing their main decision factors and their results. The four companies I researched are General Electric, Starbucks, Caterpillar and Apple. The states where these companies reshored include Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky. The common decision factors include a highly skilled workforce, quicker time to market, automated processes, and decreased transportation costs for the US market. These key drivers have helped the United States become a cost competitive environment for manufacturing. In addition, I was responsible for creating infographics for each case study, which give a clear, concise, and visual representation of the company and their Reshoring results.
My most enjoyable experience was learning about General Electric’s newly renovated plant in Kentucky. This monumental American company is now creating award-winning high quality refrigerators and Geo-spring water heaters specifically catered to the US market. The manufacturing processes are cutting edge and more sustainable than ever before. They have created over 4,000 jobs since 2008 in the facility, and roughly 18,000 indirect jobs throughout their supply chain, which is remarkable.
During a conference call with Earl Jones (Senior Counsel of Regulatory Affairs and Industry Relations), he confirmed that GE’s strong competitive edge is due to a highly skilled and youthful workforce, greatly decreasing their product development cycle and their ability to adapt to new consumer trends rapidly. The company uses lean manufacturing which helps eliminate waste and reduce inventory costs and has also reduced their carbon footprint by 99%. GE is able to manufacture innovative products, create jobs, stimulate the American economy, and incorporate sustainability through their Reshoring effort In Kentucky. GE is doing great things and I look forward to their new “American Made” products and I hope that they can inspire many other companies to also Bring Manufacturing Back! If you are interested in learning more about the work we do and how we can help you bring manufacturing back contact our Executive Director, Rosemary Coates at rcoates@ReshoringInstitute.org.
Zachary Hines is a graduating this May from USD with a BS in Business Administration and a minor in Supply Chain Management.