- February
Posted By : Thomas Gilmore
Outsourcing and Offshoring

How Manufacturing Trends Are Influencing the Design Industry

Along with the reduction of global trade barriers and increased low-cost delivery methods, Internet technology has matured into a valued global resource for the business of design. Opportunities for extending capabilities and sourcing new supply chain partners have become more prevalent. A variety of industries—most notable manufacturing and technology—have seen financial benefits from the utilization of offshore partners that would have been out of reach just a few years ago. The benefits of the global economy have provided a mandate to investigate partnering with offshore suppliers to remain competitive within the marketplace and realize increased growth potential.

Extending Capacity and Capabilities

The creation, implementation and production of consumer goods packaging is no exception to the trend of supply chain offshoring. To remain industry leaders in the creation and production of packaging, the design firms must consider the capabilities of possible offshore partners. The client lists of many of these offshore corporations include global consumer goods marketers and many competitive agencies. It may be only a matter of time before the rest of the marketplace to realize the benefits of supply chain offshoring.

Asian markets including Japan, Tawain and China have long been seen as viable regions for the manufacture of goods. With the advent of a robust communication infrastructure and the digitalization of much of the consumer goods supply chain, other countries are emerging as leaders within the global community. Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East all represent regions with opportunities for potential supply chain partners. The benefit of a large English speaking and technically savvy population makes India a very attractive region for partnering with the West. Other specific countries offer differing benefits to corporations willing to offshore a portion of their supply chain.

Possible negative issues impacting offshore partnering are lack of physical infrastructure, political unrest and less educated labor forces. Additionally, offshoring has become an extremely controversial issue, with polarized perspectives within the United States. It may be seen as a negative aspect of current business practices. Both the human rights policies of the offshore country and the loss of American jobs are sighted as reasons against offshoring a supply chain. The increased risk of pirated intellectual property is also a negative issue specific to the offshoring of packaging production. The recent trend of sustainability in supply chains also finds fault with offshoring and the increased amounts of carbon energies used to transport materials over larger distances.

Even with the negative aspects of supply chain offshoring, the trend can represent a significant competitive edge in the marketplace and should be considered.


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