60 seconds with Harry Moser, Reshoring Initiative

What we’re doing is documenting the trends of the companies that are bringing manufacturing back, why they’re coming back and how many jobs they’re bringing with them. Then, we promote it.

By ·

Harry Moser
Reshoring Initiative
Title: Founder and president
Location: Kildeer, Ill.
Experience: 45 years in manufacturing. Founded the Reshoring Initiative in 2010.
Primary Focus: Educating companies about the costs and factors associated with off-shoring. The objective is to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. 

Modern: Tell us a little about the Reshoring Initiative. 
What we’re doing is documenting the trends of the companies that are bringing manufacturing back, why they’re coming back and how many jobs they’re bringing with them. Then, we promote it. I give about 100 presentations a year, and we write about 15 articles a year. We try to get companies interested in reshoring, and we help them evaluate their decisions. The crown jewel is our software, which allows companies to make an estimate of the total cost of off-shoring compared to manufacturing here.

Modern: From what you’re seeing, is reshoring for real? 
If you look at the numbers, total manufacturing employment has gone up by about 500,000, which isn’t a lot in a recovery. So, you can’t prove that a renaissance has arrived. However, I can prove that reshoring is real because we calculate the jobs. We calculate that about 80,000 have come back since 2010 and that jobs are coming back now at a rate of about 30,000 a year.

Modern: Have we turned the corner on off-shoring?
Not quite. If you look back 10 years, we were off-shoring 150,000 jobs a year and reshoring about 3,000 a year. Now, we’re reshoring about 30,000 a year, and off-shoring 30,000 to 50,000. We’re close to balancing the scales. The necessary thing is to convince companies to re-evaluate their decisions about where to manufacture. To do that, we have to convince them that it’s happening. I’m the enabler and the cheerleader.

Modern: If production is coming back, what’s driving the trend?
There are three factors. One, Chinese wages have been going up about 18% a year over the last 10 to 15 years while U.S. wages are going up 2%. We believe that by 2015, the manufacturing cost in China will be high enough that, when you throw in the cost of transportation, it will be more expensive to manufacture many items there than here. Number two is shale gas. Compared to China, we have high priced labor, but low cost energy. Finally, U.S. consumers increasingly prefer the “Made in the USA” label compared to the “Made in China” label.

Modern: Finally, tell us how the Total Cost of Ownership Estimator works.
It’s a software application that quantifies all of your costs. A manufacturer might find that their manufacturing costs are 20% higher here than off shore. But their overhead, including transportation, may be considerably less. The question then is whether overhead comes down enough to offset the higher cost of manufacturing it here. If the cost is close, we urge them to call in the consultants. If there’s a 30% difference, it’s unlikely that a lean initiative is going to close the gap. But, if there’s a 5% to 7% difference, perhaps lean or automation can make the difference.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
2018 Top 20 Supply Chain Software Suppliers
While the top of the list remains stable, up-and-comers are mixing up the software landscape with Cloud capabilities that traditional vendors are working to replicate.
Download Today!
From the November 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
Just months before the start of the 2016 holiday season, one of Gap Inc.’s distribution centers was destroyed by fire. Here’s the story of how resilience and innovation saved the day.
Gap Inc.: Taking the touches out of fulfillment
11th Annual Materials Handling Professional Salary Survey
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Your 2019 Mobility Strategy: Creating a Plan for Device Security, Automation, OS Migration, and More
If you haven’t already started creating a mobile strategy for 2019, join us to get started. If you have a mobile strategy in place, we’ll be sharing our recommendations to make sure you’ve covered every aspect of devices, deployment, security, OS migration and more.
Register Today!
Resilience and innovation at Gap Inc.
Just months before the start of the 2016 holiday season, one of Gap Inc.’s distribution centers...
System Report: Luxottica keeps it simple
Simplification and consolidation drove the design of a new 1.1-million-square-foot logistics campus...

Goya Foods’ secret ingredient: Lift trucks
The leader in Hispanic food and beverage products puts a variety of lift trucks and racks to work in...
Arvato SCM Solutions: Fashion Logistics
At its Hannover, Germany, facility, e-commerce logistics provider Arvato SCM Solutions is using...