Thirty-five years ago, 90% of all promotional products used in North America were made locally. By 2008, that number dropped to 20%.
With the rise of tariffs, small businesses and entrepreneurs, there’s an opportunity to bring much of that manufacturing back. From the consumer point of view, locally made domestic production purchases strengthen the economy. However, from a branding perspective, manufacturing domestically not only benefits local jobs; it can lower costs, increase productivity and prevent waste.
5 reasons why it makes sense for your business too
Working with a domestic manufacturer makes communicating your needs much simpler. Real time phone and in-person conversations result in a better understanding of the product specifics. Language barriers, time zone differences and long overseas flights are eliminated.
Local order quantity minimums usually start at 100 units or less. The smaller minimum quantity exposes buyers to less risk and allows for incremental growth. As a business grows, re-orders can increase from 100 to 250 to 500 and then up to 1000’s of units. This allows you to scale up at your own pace and removes the risk of holding a lot of inventory.
Quick Turn-Around Times
With local production, communication is fast, along with shipping and lead times. Each manufacturer is unique, but in general, domestic development and manufacturing timelines are about half to one third that of overseas. Excessive rounds of sampling are eliminated due to clear communication; you don’t have to wait for overseas shipments or hold-ups in customs.
Waste Reduction, Circular Economy
Smaller scale domestic production eliminates the waste of unneeded products otherwise made just to meet overseas minimums. Simplifying and controlling the development and manufacturing reduces waste garments by ensuring each item is produced properly. There are warehouses full of obsolete import inventory and rejected goods. Manufacturing locally offers a sustainable approach.
During the manufacturing process, quality issues may arise. Material flaws, finishing techniques or packaging, among other things, can cause hiccups. With the personal connection a domestic manufacturer provides, you’ll be informed of issues as they occur, and solutions can be determined swiftly. This keeps production moving at a swift pace and ensures that the product meets all of your quality standards.
Benefits Of Local Sourcing
According to a recent survey conducted by Thomasnet.com:
- 72% of B2B "always or generally" prefer to source locally.
- In comparison, just 10.8% of respondents "always or generally" prefer to source globally.
- Nearly 50% of buyers actually "rarely or never" prefer to source globally at all.
It's clear that most buyers prefer to keep the supply chain as close to home as possible.
How do you feel about supporting local manufacturers? Are you one of the 72% that prefer to buy local? We'd love to hear your comments.