Gaining perspective on the global supply chain crisis with the executive director of UC San Diego's Reshoring Institute, Rosemary Coates.

March 24, 2022

4 Min Read
Reshoring Alamy.jpg
Image courtesy of Alamy

Adrienne Zepeda

Amid ongoing globalization and continued U.S. investment in strengthening the domestic advanced manufacturing sector, global supply chain chaos continues to threaten, in some capacity, nearly every American company as consumers lose patience with product delays and low inventory. As the U.S. grapples with the ongoing chaos, manufacturers and nonprofit organizations alike are pushing for reshoring to bring production back to the states and meet the needs of their customers.

While reshoring is not a new topic, the challenges with nationwide adoption that historically kept most manufacturers and policymakers at bay are met with new solutions. Renowned industry expert and executive director of the Reshoring Institute, Rosemary Coates, is a leading voice in national reshoring conversation and explores new ways manufacturers can approach their global supply strategies.  

Rosemary is scheduled to speak at the upcoming Design. Engineer. Build conference at IME West, the nation’s leading advanced manufacturing and design event that brings together established trade event brands Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) WestWestPackAutomation Technology Expo (ATX) WestDesign & Manufacturing (D&M) WestPlastec West, and CannPack West, slated for April 9-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center. In her session, she’ll address why reshoring is the smart path forward, arming attendees with actionable insights and the direction their company can take to plan for the future.

Related:Reshoring in the Real World

With the event less than a month away, I had the pleasure of speaking with Rosemary about the current state of the supply chain and her perspective on reshoring as a strategic solution.

Adrienne: How has global supply chain disruption impacted US manufacturing?

Rosemary: The pandemic has had a significant impact on global supply chains. With factories closing and opening and then closing again, first in China and then in the rest of the world, shortages and inconsistent deliveries were felt across the globe. Production stopped at some factories due to a lack of parts. Airlines stopped carrying cargo and passengers from Asia. Container ships reduced their sailing schedules and ports of call. Huge swings in demand for products caused havoc for manufacturers. As consumers, we suffered shortages of everyday products such as toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and toys for the holidays.

Adrienne: Has the chaos opened the door to new opportunities? 

Rosemary: Manufacturers across America showed remarkable resiliency and creativity in responding to these kinds of severe global supply chain issues. Many of our clients are now actively seeking domestic suppliers, investing in expanding their U.S. manufacturing capability, and increasing their inventory positions. This has created enormous new opportunities for U.S. suppliers and improved order cycle times for U.S. consumers.

Related:Biden Pushes Hard for Reshoring in State of the Union

Adrienne: You’re speaking at the Design. Engineer. Build conference this April. What can attendees look forward to learning?  

Rosemary: I’m looking forward to connecting with my peers at IME West and sharing my perspective. It’s so important for the industry to get together and share insights with one another on important topics like supply chain disruption, as it impacts us all. Supply chain risk resulting from the pandemic and years of geopolitics has significantly impacted many American companies that reshoring has become a hot topic as companies look to evolve their supply chain strategies. Attendees at my session will learn:

  • Why now is the time to bring manufacturing back to America

  • Americans prefer goods manufactured in the U.S. and are willing to pay more for these goods

  • What jobs do we want to come back and what jobs should stay in low-cost countries

  • How manufacturing affects local economies

  • Ways to rethinking global strategies

My presentation is on Tuesday, April 12, from 8:30 am to 9:30 am; I hope to see you there!

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Adrienne: What excites you about reconnecting with your community in person? 

Rosemary: It’s nice to be back in person, surrounded by our industry’s brightest minds, and feel the energy of the crowd. With the many challenges the advanced manufacturing industry faces as a result of the past few turbulent years, it’s always a pleasure to see first-hand the remarkable technology and ideas advancing the global economy and progressing our industry. I look forward to a productive event.  

Register for IME West here to attend Rosemary’s session “Global Supply Chains in Chaos – Why Reshoring Is the Smart Path Forward.” Learn more about the upcoming event here.

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