Reshoring Initiative founder discusses "Made in America"
Harry Moser speaks about his Reshoring Initiative during a lecture in Mason Hall. Image courtesy of Emily Tara.
Harry Moser hopes companies like Cincinnati-based Freeman Schwabe Machinery are part of a new wave in American manufacturing.
The founder of Reshoring Initiative, Moser explained how the machinery company moved its manufacturing operations from Taiwan back to the U.S. during his presentation at Fisher. His Jan. 26 lecture was sponsored by CIBER, the Center for Operational Excellence and the Ohio Manufacturing Institute.
The Reshoring Initiative, founded by Moser in 2010, is an industry-led effort to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. The initiative works with U.S. manufacturers to help them recognize their profit potential as well as the critical role they play in strengthening the economy by utilizing local sourcing and production.
Moser sees offshoring as a factor in everything from slow economic growth and state budget deficits to a decline in American innovation. This translates to an estimated trade deficit of $600 billion a year, a gap that, if closed, could generate three million manufacturing jobs and take a large bite out of the U.S. unemployment rate, Moser said.
“What we advocate is educating companies to do what’s best for them in their economic circumstance,” Moser said. “Competing locally is more economically viable than competing on someone else’s turf,” he added. “Offshored is cheaper, but local reduces the total cost of ownership.”
Moser’s efforts have gained national attention. Moser has consulted with President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council and served as a panelist at a January forum at the White House on the topic, which featured prominently in the president’s State of the Union address.
The Reshoring Initiative has developed a free online tool called the Total Cost of Ownership Estimator, which allows companies to enter data and compare the long-term costs of an offshored operation to an American one.
John Gray, an assistant professor of operations at Fisher, said the tool is a simple way to see the bigger picture.
“While more sophisticated analytic approaches to deal with hard-to-measure and uncertain costs exist, all evidence indicates that managers using Harry’s tools will make better decisions than they would using their typical approach,” Gray said. “His promotion of the tool comes at a time when … companies that have offshored in the past are realizing the extent to which ‘hidden’ costs are real.”