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When I realized that I wanted to go back to school, I stopped to think about what I would need to do. It had been years since I cracked open a textbook, much less learned something new on a computer. However, I wanted to succeed, so I started to learn more about technology. I spent hours brushing up on my computer troubleshooting skills and when I was done, I felt a little more prepared. After I started school, I learned even more. I made this blog to teach other people a little about technology, so that you can keep up with your peers.



Learning More About Technology

Should You Transition to USA-Manufactured Inventory?

by Alyssa Bates

If you own or manage the supply logistics for a retail business, you may be wondering about the changes a Trump presidency could bring to your inventory and pricing structure—especially if his promises to reinstate tariffs and bring manufacturing jobs back to the US are kept. If you currently get most or all of your inventory from overseas, there are a number of good reasons to begin the transition to US-based suppliers even absent political and tax concerns.

Read on to learn more about what you can expect by enlisting the help of a strategic procurement sourcing consultant for your business, as well as some practical and philanthropical reasons for transitioning your business's supply sources to solely made-in-the-USA items. 

What is the current state of transitioning to USA-manufactured inventory?

Although foreign inventory is often available at a much lower per-item cost than US-made items, particularly for items that are hand-stitched or embroidered or that require painstaking electronic assembly, this cheapness can come at a real cost, both now and in the future. Many foreign-manufactured items don't carry the same return or refund policies you'll find with domestic sellers, and you may find that the quality of materials used just isn't up to par compared to what you'll find within the US, leading your foreign products to break or wear out quickly and leave your customers dissatisfied. As more and more jobs transition to overseas, you may find that your target market (like blue-collar workers) are unable to afford your products because of the depression of local wages and dearth of manufacturing jobs. 

There's also the prospect of future trade restrictions with China and other heavy retail suppliers amid brimming political and military tensions, as well as the possibility of reinstated tariffs on foreign products or hefty tax penalties levied on companies that get their retail supplies from overseas. President Trump has promised to bring manufacturing jobs back to the US, putting companies that primarily do their business overseas in the line of fire beginning in 2017. Transitioning to a US-based supplier now can help keep you ahead of the curve and protect your financial interests when economic or geopolitical changes take place.  

What can a strategic procurement sourcing consultant do for your business?

While this consultant's title can be a mouthful, his or her job description is a relatively simple one: to help your business find a steady supply of marketable inventory at a low cost. Utilizing one of these consultants when transitioning to US-based suppliers can be invaluable in helping you keep the unique variety of products your customers have grown to enjoy—as well as rotating in new products as they become available and on trend—while still committing to a made-in-the-USA approach. 

Once you've spent some time with this consultant and have reviewed your current operations and what you hope to achieve from an inventory transition, you'll be in a good place to begin the switch in inventory. You'll be consulted on many decisions but may choose to delegate the specific inventory selection to your consultant as long as he or she stays within a specified price range to avoid going outside your financial parameters.

Depending upon your business's cash flow and inventory needs, you may opt to pay your consultant for a specified number of visits and then pay a low monthly or annual fee to reserve the right to call on them for certain questions; alternatively, you may want to hire a full-time staff member to focus on supply chain logistics and identifying new US-manufactured products with which you'll want to stock your shelves.

To learn more and improve your strategy, contact services like Principle Info Tech.