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My Opinion on Manufacturing Coming Home

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JimRW
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Silver
Re: Higher fuel costs a factor?
JimRW   2/18/2013 8:33:47 AM
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Your experience with higher machine shop pricing could also be due to basic supply and demand. In the past year or so I have seen in my buiness that many shops are at or near capacity so they don't need to quote a low price to get your business.

And, although my personal experience was a few years back, the $5-$13 price ratio from China to the US seems to be narrower than when my company was buying machined parts from Asian suppiers.

Are you making the mistake of not considering the total cost of buying from Asia? Did that $5 include the cost of shipping? What will you do if Chinese parts come in wrong? In our case of a custom one-off machine we could make minor modifications to the design and rework parts to accomodate the errors but that negated the savings. Will you have the time for them to start over and redo the order, or rework the parts youself?

Cabe Atwell
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Blogger
Re: Higher fuel costs a factor?
Cabe Atwell   2/18/2013 3:04:24 PM
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Honestly, I never had anything made in China. But, the low price includes 5 day shipping. I imagine if the parts are wrong, I can get them re-worked. Though, I could be wrong. I have always gone with USA based manufacturers. But... I am considering a move.

C

JimRW
User Rank
Silver
Re: Higher fuel costs a factor?
JimRW   2/18/2013 3:21:59 PM
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To be fair, considering an overseas supplier is a rational thing to do from a business economics perspective. However, all cost factors should be considered including risk, and for small orders of custom parts the risk of not getting what you need is pretty high and should be weighed against the cost of something going wrong. Don't forget to factor in your customer's reaction in that case as well, if troubles with a chinese supplier cause you not meet commitments.

BTW - I saw your later post, and a 10 fold delta certainly makes a difference in that calculation. Sometimes you have to chose what is best your own business.

I do know of buyers that have been successful getting custom parts made in Asia, but I believe mainly because they could bury the cost of developing an Asian supplier in with the other business they were doing there.

 

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Higher fuel costs a factor?
Cabe Atwell   2/18/2013 3:35:55 PM
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I am a bit weary to order from those companies. They are not held to making perfect parts in the end. I may send thousands of dollars out of the country, it could be just like I threw it all out of the window.

C

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Union elections
Ann R. Thryft   2/25/2013 12:53:28 PM
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Nancy, I find it tough to believe that a company that treated workers like Foxconn did is likely to do anything they've said publicly about helping the displaced workers. The history of labor disputes in other places--like the US and Europe--makes me pretty cynical. And standards and attitudes about workers and their rights are very different in China from what we're used to in the West. As I posted on another discussion board, the problem with a lot of job displacement discussions is that they don't take into account the kind of new jobs created and the kind of old jobs that become no longer available to lesser-skilled people. The relationship between the skill level of the labor force and the kind of jobs available to it is not as balanced as many such studies would make one think.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: All I can say is: I certainly hope so!
Ann R. Thryft   2/25/2013 1:38:46 PM
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I agree with both of you. Although most of my online purchases seem to be fine, many of the consumer goods I buy from big-box stores are not. To the point where I've stopped patronizing them. There aren't that many our here in the boonies anyway, so I end up buying stuff either online or from small local mom & pop stores run by my friends and neighbors.

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