Insourcing not just a trend

Surprisingly, the economic turnaround of the US economy has been led by manufacturing. Its a complicated story that includes the resurgence of innovative companies that develop small run, highly engineered products that require more skilled artisan-like workers.  A second part of the growth of manufacturing has been around insourcing.  No longer considered a trend, large companies like GE are placing big bets on US manufacturing facilities.  Why? Again the story is complicated but one explanation is to protect intellectual property from knockoffs developed by outsourcing firms. Another is the changing role of labor. In advanced manufacturing, the walls between production and design are being broken down (in ways similar to what I described in Brew to Bikes:Portland’s Artisan Economy) For more on insourcing, check out two recent media stories, NPR’s Not Just Patriotic, US Manufacturing May be Smart  and the Atlantic Magazine’s The Insourcing Boom.

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2 thoughts on “Insourcing not just a trend

  1. Hi Charles
    interesting piece. I heard on the radio on the way in to work today that inflation in many south east asian countries is running at over 5% and in China at over 9% at the moment. Wage demands in particular, being forced upwards by increases in domestic commodity prices, are forcing many big manufacturing companies to rethink the traditional global economic core periphery model. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons for insourcing as western economies begin to be more competitive again. Perhaps ? regards Darren

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