For about 15 years, Central Communications did well despite the fact that much of our competition had moved their operations staff to companies oversees. I think in part because we have such loyal customers, but it could also have been the accent issue. It is probably a combination of things that caused companies to begin using operators in the U.S. once again, but the most prominent factor came down to cost. There was not as big a cost savings as companies anticipated when they moved to operators in other countries of the world.
Now that same philosophy is trickling down to other operations. Matt O’Brien of the Associated Press just had a post featured in the Washington Times:
“PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Crafting the latest trends in global footwear used to be the pride of U.S. shoe industry workers, but most of those jobs left long ago for Asia. Now, the American sneaker factory could be coming back – with robots doing most of the work.
Reebok said Monday it plans to open a new high-tech laboratory in Rhode Island to make sneakers by pouring liquid plastic.
“Our idea was, if the U.S. is where the innovation is, let’s make the product that’s the most innovative here as opposed to overseas,” said Bill McInnis, who holds the job of “head of future” for the sportswear company, based in Canton, Massachusetts.
Cheaper labor costs drove athletic shoe production to Asia in the 1970s, but it’s beginning to regain a foothold in the United States. The reasons include rising production costs as China’s middle class grows; technological innovations helping to automate a historically labor-intensive craft; and a desire to get sneakers made closer to where they’re bought.
“Brands want to move closer to the U.S. to get products to market faster,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst with The NPD Group. “Today when you make a shoe in Asia, it spends months on an ocean freighter.”
Germany’s Adidas AG, which bought Reebok in 2005, is opening its first U.S. factory in Georgia next year, and another in Germany. The factory, near Atlanta in Cherokee County, will be mostly automated but employ at least 150 people.”
We love to see jobs coming back to the U.S. I wonder if they could use an good answering service?