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Friday, September 9, 2011

Made in ... Wherever

I love stories like these:

Wiffle Ball: Born And Still Made In The USA

Georgia Company Exports Chopsticks To China

Not because of the made in the USA angle, but because location and being the low cost provider are not always the primary factors of business success.

I went to a talk yesterday by Darren Kimura of Sopogy, a Hawaii based developer and manufacturer of solar energy systems (I interviewed Darren for my upcoming book). One thing I found very interesting was their manufacturing strategy. They are pursuing what they call Localization in both their manufacturing and sales strategies.

They originally manufactured in their own plant in California. Then they outsourced to a facility in China. They thought that the low cost of this production would serve their needs around the world, but they found out that wasn't the case. Because of all the additional costs of shipping, export and import duties, and various taxes, the final costs ended up not being so low. So now they manufacture in three different facilities around the world that align with their sales markets.

These examples fit in with my philosophy of define your goals, then determine how you'll reach them.

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