We lean advocates don’t like outsourcing, particularly overseas outsourcing. The cost savings are often much less than the outsourcing company expects because of transportation and other costs, lead times are longer and quality control is reduced. More importantly, the
It’s not Smith or his company that bother me – he is just seizing a market opportunity that stems from demand for outsourcing (however misguided that demand may be).
The problem is the attitude of the article (by Christopher Steiner), which carries the headline “One Way to Save U.S. Manufacturing Jobs.”
The way to save
The article quotes some of Smith’s clients, who agree with that view.
Take Derek Lidderdale, vice president of Omni Die Casting in
Smith found a Chinese outfit in
To focus on that example, the problem is that Omni assumes there is no way to improve (and reduce the cost of) the processes by which the molds are made. That kind of assumption is not uncommon, and the folks at Omni (like so many others) may simply be ignorant of what lean can do.
But I wish the folks at Forbes weren’t so ignorant. They report on a wide range of businesses, and they have surely heard of lean manufacturing. They ought to know better.