It is really hard for a North American company to compete with Chinese electronics manufacturers because buyers inevitably think price, but one of the foils to that is the whole “made right here” pitch.
It’s a healthy element of the value proposition from NanoLumens, which has a great product but also has lots of Chinese competitors with LED displays that may not be as light or skinny or modular, but almost always cost less.
The Atlanta company put out a release this week celebrating how its been getting its displays contract-manufactured in the same city – as opposed to somewhere in Shenzhen – for the last three years.
“In anticipation of this accelerating market demand, we selected PartnerTech three years ago to serve as our contract manufacturing partner because of their demonstrated ability to rapidly scale production while maintaining expert cost controls and high levels of customer support,” says NanoLumens CEO Rick Cope.
PartnerTech is actually a Swedish company, but the plant doing the NanoLumens work is in Atlanta. Staffing undoubtedly costs more, but shipping costs would drop in a big way, as well as the hassles of language and time zones.
“There are many factors contributing to the increase of electronics manufacturing in the United States, including shipping costs, loss of productivity, inventory control and the need for quick delivery to market,” says PartnerTech Managing Director Gary Bruce.
“Advantages in these areas all translate to greater cost control and better service to customers. The cost of shipping from overseas has risen greatly over the last several years. Productivity has declined in many countries in comparison to the United States while wages in those countries are rising. Manufacturers are able to provide better service to their customers with inventory control and delivery solutions that are available by manufacturing products in America that also will be sold in America,” adds Bruce.
The companies are in the midst of building out a big order – more than 22 indoor LED displays, ranging in size from 30’ x 17’ to 8’ x 8’, for the I-X Center, a convention center in Cleveland.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.