Canadian Manufacturing

Manufacturing Automation: Bringing production back home: What it means for automation

Pandemic shortages have amplified concerns about over-dependence on offshore providers, causing more manufacturers to consider bringing production back to North America. The trend is likely to drive more automation

November 19, 2020  by Manufacturing Automation

Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps one of the most far-reaching consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will be that it has accelerated the conversation about the viability of the supply chains we depend on. In May, a McKinsey Global Institute survey of supply chain executives found that a stunning 92 per cent plan to take steps to make their supply chains more resilient.

“We estimate that 16 to 26 per cent of exports, worth $2.9 trillion to $4.6 trillion in 2018, could be in play – whether that involves reverting to domestic production, nearshoring, or new rounds of offshoring to new locations,” conclude the authors.

Offshoring, once seen as a panacea for North American manufacturers, is rapidly losing its lustre. “Compared with six months or a year ago, many more people have realized that supply chains are too long, too complicated, and too unreliable,” says Harry Moser, founder and president of the U.S.-based not for profit Reshoring Initiative.

Read more on Manufacturing Automation, one of Canadian Manufacturing‘s sister publications.


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