SencorpWhite Made In USA

My 2017 Resolution: Buy American-made

SencorpWhite Made In USAIf you’re working for a company in the U.S. and it’s time to make a purchase, do you try to “buy American?” If not, I urge you to reconsider and join me as I resolve to make a conscious effort to buy American-made products whenever possible.

First, let me be clear: This is not a political statement. Over the past several months, politicians on both sides of the aisle have made headlines opining about what’s best for American manufacturers. Personally, I’m against the call for tariffs to “level the playing field” and think changes to the tax code would benefit US manufacturing more. But those are topics for another post.

Today, I’d like to simply use the current political discourse about US manufacturing as a backdrop to ask you to take a minute to re-think how you make your purchasing decisions. When it’s time to buy a product, do you ask yourself, “Is what I want made in the United States?” And, all things being equal, do you seek out products that are American-made?

I think we all can do better on this front, and what happened recently at SencorpWhite illustrates my point:

Just a few weeks ago, one of our production machines failed. We called in a service tech, who eventually told us the bad news. This particular piece of equipment had been made overseas more than thirty years ago, and the service tech reported that the parts to fix it are no longer available. What’s more, he said the costs to repair would be high. Long story short, the best option for us was to buy a new machine. At first, our production associates recommending purchasing another machine from the original vendor. But, after giving it some thought, I countered with, “Does anyone in the U.S. make equipment like this?” We learned that the original manufacturer does not, but others do. “Then, let’s buy American!” I said.

I must admit, that has not always been my reaction in situations like this. Over the last forty years, we’ve all become accustomed to products manufactured off shore. I’d even go so far as to say that marketing teams have done a great job of convincing us that products made in other countries are somehow superior to those made in the U.S.—which may have played a role in the reduction of American manufacturing companies over the past few decades. (Note: I did not say manufacturing “jobs,” as automation replaced a good number of those.) However, there are still plenty of manufacturers left in the United States, and like SencorpWhite, they continue to innovate and produce high quality products.

Let’s not forget that manufacturing jobs were the backbone of the growth of the American middle class in the 20th century. If we all resolve to make a conscious effort to “buy American,” perhaps we can increase availability of skilled, high-paying jobs that manufacturing supports and accelerate overall economic growth which, of course, benefits everyone.

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