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The Regional Advantage: What the New Manufacturing Location Calculus Implies for the Economy of the Northeast . Susan Christopherson [email protected] Why the Northeast ’ s Regional Manufacturing Assets Are Central to National Export Strategy.

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The Regional Advantage:What the New Manufacturing Location Calculus Implies for the Economy of the Northeast

Susan Christopherson

[email protected]

Why the northeast s regional manufacturing assets are central to national export strategy
Why the Northeast’s Regional Manufacturing Assets Are Central to National Export Strategy

  • What is happening in manufacturing location? Why is it happening?

  • What is the regional advantage in this new location calculus?

  • National support for regional industrial strengths

  • Assets trump averages

A manufacturing rebound
A Manufacturing Rebound?

Why is manufacturing returning?

What does a manufacturing location reassessment mean for the UK ?

How can a regional economy –the Northeast - build on its natural geographic and industrial advantages to attract manufacturing?

What is the explanation in the uk how does it differ in the us
What is the Explanation in the UK?How Does it Differ in the US?

The UK explanation for modest but better performance in manufacturing focuses strongly on ability to reduce labor costs.

“ (In the UK) The recession provided most companies with an opportunity to carry out radical restructuring, implement cost reduction strategies, improve supply chain agility and renegotiate previous contractual commitments. These strategies allowed margins to be protected and have provided a strong base for growth.” PWC, 2012

The US explanation focuses on total cost calculations with labor cost of minimal significance.

What evidence do we have
What Evidence Do We Have?

  • Exports are up

  • Manufacturing employment has bucked recessionary trend

  • Analyses by major consulting firms assess comparative costs

Manufacturing has led us out of the recession
Manufacturing has Led US Moving UpOut of the Recession

The us explanation for why this is happening now
The US Explanation for Why This is Happening Now Moving Up

  • Gradual and anticipated increases in transport costs

  • Lower wages in the US; higher wages in China

  • Appreciation of Chinese currency

  • Labor is a smaller portion of total production cost

  • Recognition of potential supply chain disruption risks

  • Problems with quality control and intellectual property in China

  • Lower energy costs in US from natural gas development

A new focus on total cost

Supplier Price and Terms Moving Up

A New Focus on Total Cost

Adapted from Archstone Consulting



Operations &

Quality Costs



  • Unit Price

  • Labor

  • Direct materials

  • Management

  • Overhead

  • Capital Amortization

  • Local taxes

  • Manufacturing

  • Local regulatory compliance

  • Logistics

  • In-country transport

  • Ocean/air freight

  • Destination transport

  • Packaging

  • In-plant Material

  • Inventory

  • Intra-plant demand

  • Safety stock

  • Handling

  • Overhead

  • Warehousing & O/H

  • Standard

  • Risk

  • Qualification

  • Local tax incentives

  • Situational

  • Procurement staff

  • Broker fees

  • Infrastructure

  • Exchange rates

  • Training

  • Tooling/molds

  • Region Specific

  • Duty

  • VAT

  • Supply Chain

  • Inventory maintained within

  • Satellite warehousing & O/H

  • Terms

  • Net payment

  • Volume Discounts

  • Free Goods

  • Customer Specific

  • Unique services

  • Unique capabilities

  • Quality

  • Quality validation

  • Quality management

  • Failure costs

Sample total cost comparison potential us cost productivity advantages
Sample Total Cost Comparison Moving UpPotential US Cost/Productivity Advantages

Estimates that total cost comparisons could bring back 25 off shored manufacturing
Estimates that Total Cost Comparisons Could Bring Back 25% Off-shored Manufacturing

Percent of re-shoring initiative cases where US has a price advantage:


Percent of re-shoring initiative cases where US has total cost advantage: 53%

Where are us cost advantages over china similar in the uk
Where are US Cost Advantages Over China? Off-shored ManufacturingSimilar in the UK

  • In serving domestic markets (both niche and mass):

    Example: Food

    Note the role of health and safety regulation

  • In export markets:

    Examples: Aerospace



    Medical Equipment

U s manufacturing competitiveness in domestic markets
U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness in Domestic Markets Off-shored Manufacturing


Circle size = U.S. consumption


Nonmetallic Mineral Product

Global Leaders



Regional Powers


Sectors on the Edge


Wood Product

Niche Players




Bev. & Tobacco


Fabricated Metal

U.S. Mfg. Cost Advantage over China for Products Consumed in the US(1)


Primary Metal


Textile Product Mills





Textile Mills


Other Transp. Eqpmt.




Auto Final Assm.








Medical Eqpmt.



Electrical Eqpmt.




Computer Eqpmt.






U.S. Manufacturing Positional Advantage for U.S. Demand

1) The U.S. cost advantage represents the labor and logistics costs compared with those of Chinese manufacturers, for products consumed by people in the United States.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, UBS Research, CapitalIQ, Energy Information Administration, World Bank, Eurostat, World Trade Organization, IRS Statistics, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Booz & Company

U s manufacturing competitiveness in export markets
U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness in Off-shored ManufacturingExport Markets




Circle size = U.S. consumption


Global Leaders



Auto Final Assembly

Electrical Equipment


Primary Metal


Petroleum / Coal


Auto Vehicle Parts

Computer Equipment




U.S. Mfg. Cost Advantage over China for Products Consumed in the China(1)


Textile Mills



Textile Product Mills










Wood Product

Medical Equipment


Fabricated Metals



Beverages & Tobacco

Other Transportation Equipment



Nonmetallic Mineral Product



U.S. Manufacturing Advantage for Export


Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, UBS Research, CapitalIQ, Energy Information Administration, World Bank, Eurostat, World Trade Organization, IRS Statistics, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Booz & Company

Many Older Industrial Regions in US are Doing Well

Blue = Metro areas not specialized in manufacturing Green = strongly specialized

Yellow = very strongly specialized

Red = highly specialized


Sources: The Brookings Institution

The Rockefeller Institute

Some key advanced manufacturing and enabling technologies that have emerged in the northeast
Some Key Advanced Manufacturing and Enabling Technologies That Have Emerged in the Northeast

  • Automotive – Low carbon vehicles

  • Renewable Energy – Off-shore wind

  • Chemicals and process industries – Bio and specialty chemicals

  • Engineering services – automotive, aerospace and marine

  • Oil and gas – subsea technologies

  • Logistics

What are critical connections for regional economic development
What are Critical Connections for Regional Economic Development?

  • Labor force improvement connections are critical to potential re-shoring firms, especially given importance of labor quality to their decision-making.

  • Logistics connections to intermodal facilities will be critical. Also, Heartland connections to ports. Technological advances in logistics will be increasingly important … not just to the transportation industries, but to the recovery of manufacturing.

  • Supply chain connections that strengthen regional comparative advantage.

  • Connections with the next generation of leaders.

The Regional Advantage Development?What the New Manufacturing Location Calculus Implies for the Economy of the Northeast

Susan Christopherson

[email protected]

The Steel Industry Case happening?What Happens When We Look at Comparative Costs for Labor, Inventory and Transportation Costs for Steel Products Used in US?

According to a PWC analysis, between 2006 and 2010 …

  • Chinese labor costs remain considerably lower, but the gap is decreasing.

  • The difference in transportation cost -- ocean shipping costs of raw materials and final goods -- increasingly favors the US as fuel prices rise.

  • Carrying costs – the raw materials inventory needed to maintain production, and the final goods inventory needed to serve customers (factoring time-in-transit and a margin for contingencies), plus the cost of financing those inventories -- significantly favor US steel production.

Prominent examples among steel producers and users
Prominent Examples among happening?Steel Producers and Users

  • US crude steel production increased more than 7% in 2011, while consumption increased around 11% during the same period. ( It is expected that the trend will continue due to the increase in consumption from various industrial sectors.

  • Caterpillar, is building a plant to make excavating equipment in Texas, tripling its capacity for such equipment in the U.S.

  • Ford is repatriating 2,000 jobs from China

Labor skills shortage is complicated and differs among regions and industries
Labor Skills Shortage is Complicated and Differs Among Regions and Industries

  • “Ready to work” skills may be missing.

  • A mismatch between general skills taught in technical schools and the specific skills companies are demanding.

    Technical training on specialized equipment is expensive.

  • Wages for skilled advanced manufacturing jobs are too low

    in some regions to induce skilled workers to move.

    Wages for machinists and tool & die occupations are down across the state.