By: Clay Wells | Reshoring | Universal Logic

The tide is changing in global manufacturing. Just not too long ago, common knowledge dictated that moving operations overseas was the key to reducing costs—an effective strategy for a time. However, this dependence on foreign manufacturing has exposed significant weaknesses in the supply chain.

The disruptions experienced in 2020 highlighted the dangers of a fragmented supply chain, with lockdowns and disruptions abroad causing significant delays and inaccessibility to finished goods. This situation prompted a critical question: How can we avoid this in the future?

The answer involves rethinking the conventional approach to manufacturing. Moving towards domestic production is seen as a strategic decision, weighing the benefits of a more stable supply chain against the higher costs of domestic labor. This shift requires innovative thinking to manage the higher costs of domestic labor effectively.

Rethinking labor efficiency is essential. While the adage “Many hands make light work” is true, it’s vital to focus on reducing tasks that don’t add value to remain competitive. In contrast to overseas manufacturing, where the low cost per worker makes it feasible to allocate labor to simple tasks, the domestic focus should be on maximizing the productivity of each worker by streamlining operations.

Currently, the U.S. faces a significant labor shortage, with about 9 million unfilled jobs, underscoring the need for a new approach, particularly in physically demanding, low-skill jobs. This challenge highlights the difficulty in not only finding but also retaining workers for such roles.

Automation emerges as a solution in this new era of manufacturing, enabling businesses to lessen their reliance on labor for tasks like picking and palletization. By shifting workers to value-added activities, companies can address the current labor shortage and position themselves for long-term success.

A key to the reshoring movement is forming strategic partnerships, such as with Universal Logic, which specializes in automating supply chain tasks. With advanced AI and robotics, Universal Logic offers unmatched capabilities in automating complex tasks, making it an ideal partner for companies looking to bring manufacturing back to domestic shores.

This reevaluation of manufacturing strategies, focusing on bringing production closer to home, reducing unnecessary tasks, and forming strategic partnerships, forms the foundation of success in this new era. Reshoring is not merely a trend but a crucial strategy for the modern supply chain.

Will you be next?