Over the last few decades, the market has increasingly become globalized, with many manufacturing jobs being moved out of North America into foreign markets. Much of this shift is due to perceived cost savings on labour and the ability to produce mass products of goods in a relatively short time for a fraction of the domestic manufacturer costs.
SWS Warning Lights Inc. is proud to design and assemble our products in Niagara Falls, Ontario We’ve been doing it this way for over 50 years and never once considered moving our manufacturing operations offshore. We believe that the best way to grow our overall economy and individual prosperity is to keep as many manufacturing jobs as possible right here in North America. We believe in taking the long view.
Our customers tend to agree with our philosophy and appreciate our efforts to invest in people who live in our communities. They also enjoy a host of advantages when they support companies who manufacture domestically, including:
1. Accessible production facilities: When you purchase from a domestic (or even local) manufacturer, it’s much easier to tour the facilities, assess their operations, meet their team face-to-face, and inspect their products. It’s the best way to get a sense if the company is a good fit for you. You can likely do the same with an offshore supplier, but at a much greater cost in time and money.
2. Faster communication: When working with an overseas manufacturer or supplier, time zones, and long distances can hamper your ability to ask questions or hold a meeting. Working with a domestic manufacturer allows for faster, more efficient communication while keeping your projects moving forward and on schedule.
3. Tighter quality control: You have better quality control over a company’s products when working with a domestic manufacturer. There might be a lack of transparency with an overseas manufacturer if quality details slip through the cracks. Trying to solve the issue with an offshore manufacturer can prove challenging, especially if there is a big difference in time zones.
4. Faster turnaround times: When you order from a domestic manufacturer, you’ll likely get your products faster. Products that ship from overseas locations take longer and might get held up by customs agents. A delay in clearing customs holds up projects and costs money, negating the cost savings on foreign labour.
5. Less expensive shipping fees: A domestic manufacturer can usually ship your product straight to you at a much cheaper rate than overseas suppliers, who must rely on a complex supply chain before it even reaches our shores. Your merchandise might also be subject to tariffs and customs fees at the border before they’re released for delivery.
6. Higher labour standards: Overall, Canada is a leader in maintaining and protecting a high level of labour standards that include health benefits, safe working conditions, and employee rights. The result is a happier, more productive workforce dedicated to creating high-quality products.
7. Positive perception: North Americans typically support the idea of keeping jobs “at home”, giving your brand a positive image and better reputation when you manufacture or buy products made domestically. Many also believe that products made domestically are of better quality than those made overseas and are willing to pay more for them.
8. Secured intellectual property rights: Our country has some of the world’s most stringent intellectual property rights laws. This means that by manufacturing domestically, there’s less of a chance (although it is still uncommon) that your idea will be stolen.
9. Reliable supply chains: The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the weak spots in our global supply chain. Although domestic supply chains were also affected, they also proved more resilient and bounced back more quickly than those with international links in the chain. Moreover, should something else arise to threaten shipping efficiency, domestic suppliers will find a solution faster to get your products to your customers.
There’s an old saying that moving operations overseas “…looks good on Wall Street but doesn’t look good on Main Street.” We ultimately believe this to be true, and it’s one of the biggest reasons we manufacture domestically: to invest in the health and prosperity of communities.
Our employees invest in houses, raise families, buy goods, and support local charities, all within driving distance of our shops. We also pay municipal taxes, which further fuels regional growth, creating a better quality of life for everyone.
Most of all, by encouraging domestic and local manufacturing, we’re passing down the importance of community to the next generation of entrepreneurs. If we do the work now, they’ll carry on the legacy of investing at home first to protect their friends, neighbours, and customers.
Using the traditions of today to build a strong foundation for the future is one of the best gifts we can give the manufacturers of tomorrow. When you hire, manufacture, and buy domestically, you’re helping local dreams, goals, and aspirations come true.
It’s an investment that pays unlimited returns in the long run.
Tom Chopp is Managing Partner at SWS Warning Lights Inc. He can be reached at 905-357-0222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.