Thursday, November 17th, 2016
In today’s global economy, the United States is importing an unprecedented number of products which have been manufactured overseas. Furthermore, much of the design of those products has also moved overseas. While these scenarios may equate to some success in volume and profits, overall it has been damaging for U.S. consumers and the U.S. economy. When production moves overseas, so do jobs, producing a ripple effect on local economies when residents, some now unemployed, have less to spend on goods and services. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a manufacturer who hasn’t abandoned America for the sultry temptation of foreign climes.
One company that hasn’t succumbed to the siren call to farm out everything overseas, is Lumitec, an LED lighting manufacturer, based in boat-friendly Delray Beach, Florida. Lumitec products are designed, tested, and assembled at the Delray Beach facility, and many of their vital components—LEDs, circuit boards, glass, housings, wiring, hardware, adhesives,— are supplied by U.S. companies. Lumitec is very cautious about sourcing outside of the USA because they recognize not only the disadvantages of sending work overseas, but also the advantages of keeping it at home.
For some companies, sourcing overseas might lead to lower costs, but the drawbacks often outweigh the apparent savings. Quality control, for example, is an aspect that would suffer. Monitoring quality thousands of miles away in factories in countries with different laws, standards and different expectations is often troublesome and the end result is typically dissatisfaction from the customer. Very often one of the sacrifices to get to that lower cost is quality, as short cuts from suppliers and sub-suppliers are fairly common. They don’t get uncovered until they are caught, very often by the customer, when it’s too late.
Customer service also takes a hit when companies do not have real control over the design, production cycles and processes. With issues in customer service and product quality, the brand suffers and business is lost. As for the supply chain, outsourcing is vulnerable to higher shipping costs, large minimum buys, customs delays, production delays, trade taxes and high inventories that can directly affect the availability of products and generate unforeseen costs (the hidden cost of sourcing overseas). Finally, sending work overseas further erodes an already struggling U.S. economy.
In contrast, there are numerous advantages to keeping manufacturing in the U.S. A more tightly controlled supply chain is not nearly as vulnerable to the pitfalls of overseas sourcing. American manufacturing is well known for its superior quality in design and manufacture. In addition, since facilities are local, customer service is typically superior and issues can be resolved quickly. Relationships with customers are excellent as a result. Perhaps most important is that the jobs stay in the U.S., and when domestic suppliers are used, the U.S. economy further benefits.
Lumitec has enjoyed the advantages of staying in the U.S. For example, a recent collaboration with Hydrasports Custom, a boat manufacturer, led to innovations and solutions otherwise impossible had Lumitec sent its design and manufacturing overseas. Hydrasports need a headlight that could be seamlessly integrated into the bow of their 4200 Siesta and 5300 Suenos models. After just a few weeks of design, prototyping, testing, and in-house custom machining,
Lumitec presented the finished product to Hydrasports, who were extremely pleased with Lumitec’s innovation: the unique design is profoundly useful for docking, running in channels, or entering harbors at night. In the future, Lumitec will use the knowledge gained in the collaboration to develop similarly useful products for the broader market. This innovation and collaboration succeeded because Lumitec designs and manufactures all under one roof in the U.S., and not scattered across the globe.
Lumitec’s reputation for quality and innovation has made it one of the fastest growing manufacturers in the U.S. It directly employs forty-six people in Delray Beach, and supports the employment of countless other Americans through its practice of buying components for its products from U.S. companies. Over two-hundred boat manufacturers, including Intrepid Powerboats, Viking Yachts, and Boston Whaler, use Lumitec as a lighting supplier, attesting to the high quality of Lumitec’s products.
For innovative lights designed, tested, and assembled in the U.S. by a company that supports American business and creates American jobs, look to Lumitec. We are online at lumiteclighting.com.