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Reshoring: Virtual Event to Discuss Challenges and Opportunities

In the wake of the pandemic-induced supply-chain disruption of last year, some retailers have since de-risked their inventory flows by turning to nearshore production.

According to a survey from Blue Yonder and Coresight Research, 65 percent of retailers responded to the events of 2020 by establishing or expanding their local and domestic manufacturing sources. Just 17 percent of respondents said they made no changes to their manufacturing and sourcing strategy.

At the same time, data from the Reshoring Institute shows consumer demand for reshoring is also strong. In a nearly 500-person survey conducted by the nonprofit, roughly 60 percent said they would pay more for a U.S.-made product. When asked if they preferred products made in the U.S., almost 70 percent answered in the affirmative.

Scheduled for Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET, the C-Sweet Reshoring American Jobs and Industries virtual event will discuss the issues and challenges around reshoring; its impact on the economy; related cost factors and incentives; associated workforce issues; and current business conditions related to bringing production capabilities close to home.

The fireside chat will feature Reshoring Institute founder Rosemary Coates and veteran information technology executive Pandora Ovanessian. C-Sweet—a national organization centered on fostering executive-level relationships for women across sectors in business and industry—will host the event.

“During the ’90s and early 2000s, the apparel industry shifted to China to take advantage of low-cost operations,” Coates told Sourcing Journal. “But now, the apparel industry benefits from having factories as close to the consumer as possible to take immediate advantage of fast-moving trends. In addition, we know that older American consumers are willing to pay more for products made in the U.S.A.  These factors have sparked a reshoring of apparel production to America.”

Dianne Gubin, co-CEO of C-Sweet and president of executive search firm Amplify, similarly identified “Made in America” as a driving factor in bringing apparel and other manufacturing back to the U.S. Additionally, she highlighted the cost of labor and the use of robotic technology as key factors. “There is a tremendous opportunity as we consider sustainability and creating new paradigms in the industry,” she added.

Coates, the founder and executive director of the Reshoring Institute, also serves as president of Blue Silk Consulting, a supply-chain management consulting firm. She has been a management consultant for more than 25 years, helping more than 80 global supply-chain clients worldwide, C-Sweet said, and has written five supply-chain management books in addition to serving as an expert witness on legal cases involving global supply-chain disputes.

A technology executive with more than 22 years of experience as a chief information officer, Ovanessian currently serves as a technology senior consultant for California Manufacturing Technology Consulting. She has diversified industry experience in manufacturing for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, retail, aerospace and apparel.

“Given the impact of Covid to the global economy, companies are rethinking where to do business and the value trade-off,” Beth Hilbing, senior program manager and principal IT business partner at Boeing, as well as co-CEO of C-Sweet, said in a statement. “Companies are looking at items including lead time, higher product quality and consistency, as well as rising off-shore wages. There is now a focus on the bringing back manufacturing to the U.S.A. It is important that U.S. companies continue to respond to [changing] customer demands.”

Interested parties can register for the event at https://www.csweet.org/Events.

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