Organizations are increasingly rethinking their U.S. manufacturing strategies. Many companies are capitalizing on the considerable benefits of reshoring manufacturing and shifting to a U.S. supply chain.
Undeniably, U.S. supply chains suffered structural damage due to many years of offshoring. However, we’re seeing daily evidence that domestic relationships are being strengthened and rebuilt, which is exactly what happened when automotive designer and engineer Michael Figaro met U.S. manufacturer John Weber and they began to collaborate.
The Buyer Side of the Equation
Michael Figaro, owner of an automotive product design company, was motivated to build a U.S. supplier network as offshoring began to make less economic sense for his company. In Michael’s experience, with total cost factored in, including language barriers, quality control issues, and IP theft, manufacturing overseas was no longer a risk worth taking.
“The issue with going overseas is when there’s a need to rework parts and when inevitably, communications issues arise. You can be left with parts that require you to get a machine in-house to fix, or you have to try to arrange to get them shipped back. It became too much of a burden for me to manage. End market invasion also became a huge concern of ours. The cost of getting parts made overseas almost comes to being on par with a domestic manufacturer, especially when you factor in shipping costs,” Michael said.
He turned to online sourcing to rebuild his domestic supply chain and inlate 2013, Michael Figaro connected with John Weber when he placed an RFQ for a steering linkage on the Fabricating.com e-sourcing network.
The Supply Side of the Equation
John Weber is an American manufacturer with an established reputation for quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. He’sthe President of Hypneumat Inc., a manufacturer of precision-machined components, and a leading supplier of automatic drilling and tapping units.
Hypneumat Inc., (pronounced HI-NEW-MAT) has a rich history of manufacturing and innovation in the United States, beginning in 1942 with Earl Putrow, a self-taught inventor living in Northern Wisconsin. Earl’s “Hypneumat” was the first high-speed automatic drilling and tapping unit, an innovative solution that was just the right time saving automation that plants were looking for in the 1940’s.
Today, under the leadership of John Weber, Hypneumat continues to be a company driven by innovation to meet the needs of their customers. The same attention to detail and precision put into the Hypneumat, Commander and SNOW product lines are utilized in the machined components they manufacture.
In keeping with the history of innovation at Hypneumat, John Weber also made the decision to join an e-sourcing platform, “In the Internet age we live in, leveraging e-sourcing technology is kind of a no brainer. With Fabricating.com, I get in front of buyers I haven’t been able to get introduced to in the past.” Prior to finding e-sourcing, John relied on word of mouth and hired sales representatives to promote his business and keep his work pipeline full. Though he had success with these methods, he knew there was a quicker, more efficient way to get in front of new buyer leads.
“It’s proven to be a more efficient way for buyers and suppliers to interact with one another, and it gives suppliers like me the opportunity to get noticed. I just thought I’d add another tool in the toolbox of ways in which to get more quoting activity,”he said.
Michael Brings His Manufacturing Back to the U.S. from Malaysia
John proactively reached out to Michael via the online e-sourcing platform, to introduce himself and his company; Michael reviewed John’s profile and his bid and gave Hypneumat an opportunity. The dividends have paid off on both sides.
Hypneumat has become a trusted, go-to supplier for Michael’s company. Hypneumat’s manufacturing process, diameter of parts and materials have proven to be an excellent match for the demands of Michael’s company.
“Hypneumat is great on quality. They keep the print clean. If there’s an ambiguity, we work through it on the front end, and we get revised prints. The machine quality, surface finish, and precision, is exactly what I expect,” Michael said. “They also turn around a quote quickly, which is important to me. Their responsiveness and the value that they provide are huge.”
Before finding John and the other trusted American suppliers now in his network, Michael worked with a supplier in Malaysia. “Finding Hypneumat has enabled us to bring quite a few of our products back from being manufactured offshore,” Michael said.
Why the Shift?
Companies are weighing the benefits of shorter, leaner supply chains, closer proximity to consumers, eliminating intellectual property risks and reaping the benefits of innovation, quality and flexibility of sourcing in the U.S.
The U.S. is emerging as an attractive and competitive sourcing solution. Companies like Hypneumat Inc. that continue to promote innovation and new processes are well positioned to reap the benefits of the shifting supply chain perspectives and the American Manufacturing Renaissance.
John’s philosophy of embracing communication and collaboration lead him to adopt e-sourcing, take advantage of quicker, more efficient ways to get in front of new buyer leads, and successfully grow his business by increasing the time his machines spend running. “You can sit and wait, but you won’t get nearly as much. When you get out and engage online, you can expect much better results.”
Robert Moakler is COO at Fabricating.com. A key supporter of domestic manufacturing, Fabricating.com provides the only online marketplace exclusively developed for the American manufacturing industry. The company connects U.S. buyers with U.S. suppliers through a simple online platform for sourcing custom metal and plastic parts in over 250 manufacturing disciplines. Watch the company video.