When a manufacturer owns or controls its suppliers—often with the aim of managing availability, quality, and cost—that’s called vertical integration. While common practice a century ago, vertical integration has fallen out of favor …
The push to increase manufacturing in the US is continuing to garner headlines, with Wal-Mart taking positive steps to increase the number of US-made products in its stores and new government programs to bolster manufacturing and train people to fill the jobs being created.
At my first meeting with a client company project manager, some years ago, one of the first things he said to me was “Don’t use the term ‘Lean’ around here. We tried Lean a couple years ago and it was a disaster. You won’t get any cooperation if you tell them we’re trying to do Lean again.”
China has become the world’s factory because of the availability of lots of labor at very low rates, but many of these outsourcing decisions were made a decade ago and conditions have been changing . . .