US Manufacturing Gaining on China
A recent study done by global market research firm Oxford Economics has shown that the labor gap between the U.S. and China has narrowed significantly.
The latest data shows the continuation of a trend that has been occurring ever since China became a world player in manufacturing. In 2003 the labor costs in America were 42x higher than those of our Asian competitor, narrowing to 9x in 2009. In its latest report released March 14th the difference is a razor thin 4%.
US Productivity is Winning
Of course this doesn’t mean that if an American injection molding production worker makes $12 per hour that their Chinese counterpart makes $11.52. The difference is based on labor cost as a percentage of total price, or the efficiency of the process. “Robust productivity has helped the United States keep down the unit cost of labor—or wages in relation to worker output”, the Oxford economists say.
“Robust productivity has helped the United States keep down the unit cost of labor—or wages in relation to worker output”, the Oxford economists.
This trend has been the driving force behind a reshoring movement that has appeared in recent years. Many manufacturers are realizing that once they consider the costs associated with the communication gap, often lower quality, shipping time, minimum order requirements and intellectual property risks, the now meager savings in labor is just not worth it.
While searching for an injection molding manufacturer, it’s prudent to not only look for a competitive price but also to consider the value added benefits of a full service facility:
- Can you communicate with them effectively?
- Are they responsive?
- Do they understand the application and requirements of your product?
- Are they accountable for the product they deliver?
- Can they meet deadlines consistently?
- Will they cut corners on the injection mold knowing they can make up for it with cheaper labor?
- If you decide to move your mold, will you have any trouble retrieving it?
- If you move your mold will another molder be able to run it without modification?
These are questions you should ask yourself when looking for an plastic injection molding supplier, and questions that we at Rex Plastics have made an integral part of our business culture. With design assistance, prototyping rebates, a lifetime mold guarantee, and flexible customer service, it will be worth your time to get a free quote today.