The often singular reliance on Chinese manufacturing has been controversial for years, but it has been put to the test during the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain crisis. While it seemed like some companies were working to bandaid the breakdown of outsourced manufacturing by doing more at home, a recent article in Bloomberg suggests that these changes may not be all be temporary. Indeed, many companies may be looking to pull a significant amount of manufacturing out of China for the long term.
Rattled by the most recent wave of strict Covid lockdowns in China, the long-time manufacturing hub of choice for multinationals, CEOs have been highlighting plans to relocate production — using the buzzwords onshoring, reshoring or nearshoring — at a greater clip this year than they even did in the first six months of the pandemic, according to a review of earnings call and conference presentations transcribed by Bloomberg. (Compared to pre-pandemic periods, these references are up over 1,000%.)
Some companies have been at this for a while.
To Kevin Nolan, the CEO at GE Appliances, all this fretting about high costs in the US is overdone.
It has been for years, he says. Around 2008, he came to realize that on large items — like, say, dishwasher size and up — the savings earned by eliminating overseas shipping could outweigh the extra money spent on labor here. The key, he determined, was to wring maximum efficiency out of the factory floor to keep those labor costs down. A year later, he decided to test the thesis out and moved some of GE’s water-heater production to Louisville. Other product lines followed.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.