Offshoring vs. Reshoring

Choosing where to manufacture your goods is an important part of a company’s business model. Many companies choose to to manufacture their products offshore in Asia because low labor rates made offset the increased transportation costs.

However, labor prices across Asia, especially in China, are rising, making the gap between narrowing the gap between Asian firms and US contract manufacturers, like Worcester’s the Coghlin Companies.

A recent study in The Economist compared the costs of manufacturing in America to those offshore. The study found that found that California was only about 10% more expensive than China. When companies add up soft costs, such as travel, the benefits of manufacturing in Asia quickly disappear.

According to the Coghlin Companies, there are many other factors to consider when deciding where to manufacture your goods. Contracting with a manufacturer in the United States provides legal coverage for your intellectual property and you can be certain that the manufacturer is in compliance with labor laws.

Choosing to manufacture in the United States also allows flexibility in the volume of product you need instead of producing high volumes to maximize the shipping rates. And you get your products more quickly, meaning they get into your customer’s hands faster.

New product lines or significant changes to a product often requires Engineering Change Orders (ECOs), sometimes in the final phases of production. With the product launch in balance, no one wants to have miscommunications delay production or have to wait to work through an issue because of time zone differences.

Reshoring your manufacturing by contracting with a United States firm, companies can get their goods faster and with less risk of mishaps along the way.


Access Fixtures Q&A: Is LED Lighting Worth It?

Imagine every application that requires lighting in your commercial facility. Can’t wrap your head around it? Needless to say, lighting can be a huge percentage of your annual energy costs. Energy efficient lighting like LED wall packs or LED bollard lights from Access Fixtures can make a significant difference in your energy bill.

Surprisingly, 22% of America’s facilities have never undergone any type of lighting upgrade, or it has been more than 10 years since work has been done, according to a survey in the April 2013 issue of Today’s Facility Manager. That means 1.1 million facilities are wasting energy—and wasting money.

You can start to calculate how much you’re spending each year by using an annual cost per watt . For example, energy is priced at approximately $0.15 per kilowatt hour in the Boston area. A walkway in a commercial area has 20 bollards equipped with 70 watt metal-halide lamps and ballasts. If the luminaires are on 7 days a week for ten hours a day, it would cost $0.55 for each watt and $770 in total annual costs.

LED lighting tells a different story. What if the same bollards are equipped with 15 watt LED modules and drivers? If the luminaires are on 7 days a week for ten hours a day, it would cost $0.55 for each watt and $165 in total annual costs. For each year they delay switching to efficient lighting, they’re losing $605—only on the bollards! By considering all indoor and outdoor lighting, the difference can be thousands of dollars.

With advanced LED technology and decreasing prices, LEDs now have a faster return on investment than ever before. Calculate how much money you’re wasting on energy costs using an annual cost per watt chart. Is it time to make a change?


Synthetic Slate Roofing Maintains Curb Appeal of Classic Mass Homes

Neponset Valley Construction, a leading roofing company based in Norwood, Mass., recently completed a new roofing project on a Natick home. After the homeowners and their roof battled the harsh winter storms, they wanted a new roof that would stand up to the toughest and harshest conditions, that’s when they hired Neponset Valley Construction. The homeowners chose synthetic slate roofing as their material of choice. It’s easily understood why  synthetic slate roofing in Natick MA is popular after hearing that is produced to stand up to hail, winds in excess of 110 mph and fire!