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Ways of Designing and innovation: Peter Solomon. | WOW! (Ways Of Working) webmagazine

Ways of Designing and innovation: Peter Solomon. | WOW! (Ways Of Working) webmagazine

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Solutions to bring Manufacturing back to the USA

USmanufactureWe can do it. It is possible to profitably produce goods in the USA and bring production back home, and grow our economy while doing so.

Having one of the largest consumer markets without internal borders, the many advantages of having local production, the multiple cost savings of local production, the trustworthiness of ‘Made in USA’ label all work to compensate for the slightly higher production costs in America.


Many participants will need to begin to change mindsets and contribute to the cause, and as such we CAN find solutions.

Here is a brief list of what is needed from each party to make the move back to USA successful;

Government: incentives to re-build production and to produce in the USA, tax breaks, low-interest loans, incubation and growth incentives.

Manufacturers: pride in developing superior products, research into new techniques, partnership in production, understand the need to be competitive in price and assist in reducing costs.

Designers and Engineers: design for industrialization, design for a leaner less labor-intensive production, work closely with manufacturers to reduce cost, create added value to the products.

Corporation: re-evaluate the pros and cons to justify the extra cost of producing in the states and offset the costs by reducing the many foreseen and unpredictable shipping and import expenses. Focus on products and/or marketing which would result in a higher value from ‘Made in America”.

Big- Box: give incentives to produce in the USA, reap the advantages of immediate and more flexible deliveries, understand the costing challenges and also the savings

Industry: re-build the ‘Made in the USA’ value, by making the most innovative, coolest, well designed, and well made product for the right price.



Manufacturing in Asia has become the go to standard, however there are many less than advantageous aspects of this which may justify a turn back to US production including:

  • Cost of shipping and import duties
  • Unforeseen in shipping and inspections, delays and costs
  • Unforeseen quality of goods upon arrival
  • Lost markets, seasons or opportunities with late or defective goods
  • Cost of money tied up in goods from advanced production to ocean shipment to arrival at distribution center
  • Ineffectiveness of small lots
  • Inability to be flexible nor adapt to last minute requests
  • Rising cost of labor in Asia as they too increase employee safety
  • Rising cost of manufacture in Asia as regulations for materials, emissions, and waste come up to date with environmental requirements.


There are many advantages of actually producing in the USA that can offset cost differences:

  • Flexibility to adapt to last minute requests
  • Just-In-Time production
  • Money not tied up in stockpiling and shipping goods
  • More easily controlled production lots and QC.
  • Guarentee of safe materials.
  • Re-creating “made in America” label and product confidence
  • Ability to produce and ship smaller more targeted lots





Background of USA manufacturing in a nutshell:

America was once a leader in manufacturing, with personalities like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Raymond Loewy, Charles and Ray Eames, etc….

The machine age was a shiny moment in USA’s productive history.  America dominated production from the 1940s-1960s

Unfortunately USA production began to loose its charm and sophistication in the late 70’s.  Europe was making quality product, Asia was making it cheaper, and the USA launched a huge propaganda campaign ‘Buy American” asking the public to ignore the better foreign goods and blindly buy American goods.

In the 80’s Japan studied USA and specifically Detroit production abilities and improved on the production methods to produce better robotic assembly lines, better product and at a low cost.

In the 90’s USA had given up hope of production and found its new niche in innovation design, IP, and great ideas, relying on the outside for production.

Apple, IBM, HP, and many others created great product but produced the brunt overseas.

Currently, the retail model has grown accustomed to cheaper and cheaper prices and become less demanding on quality.

Our suppliers are gaining more and more ability to design and innovate and they own production. The world’s suppliers are poised to completely take over global business by controlling the full development and productive cycle while creating valid product.


Time is ripe for America to take back a piece of leadership in design, innovation, engineering, IP, vision, and production!


Please contribute to this list and discussion and give your thoughts and best practice examples.

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