Posts written by eidolon

It’s No Fun Making Toys or Toasters in the USA

With Few Contract Manufacturers in U.S., Many Businessmen Turn to China’s Expertise and Scale

Here’ is a great article I read in the Wall Street Journal by James Hagerty.  If you are looking to have a product manufactured, you’ll see why it is currently not as easy as we think to be “Made in the USA”.

Marshmallow Fun Co. designs and markets toy guns that shoot sweet, spongy projectiles 30 feet or more.

So far, though, the Dallas-based company has been unable to hit one of its targets: Making at least some of its “blasters” in the U.S. rather than relying exclusively on contract manufacturers in China.

“I salute anybody who’s making goods in the U.S.A.,” said Beaver Raymond, chief executive of the 10-year-old toy maker, whose products retail for about $20 to $28, “but it isn’t so easy.”

Mr. Raymond and other American entrepreneurs eager to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. often run up against an obstacle: Unlike China, the U.S. has few contract manufacturers geared up to make consumer products on a large scale.

Contract manufacturers make products for other companies that prefer to focus on product design and marketing. In China, “you can find a specialist in any product,” said Stephen Maurer, a Shanghai-based managing director at consulting firm AlixPartners. “You want a toaster oven? There are a dozen contract manufacturers that make toaster ovens. That kind of contract manufacturing just doesn’t exist anyplace else.”

That makes it harder for the U.S to revive manufacturing. It wouldn’t make economic sense for the U.S. to try to make everything at home, of course, but even a modest increase in domestic manufacturing would create jobs and skills that could fuel further economic growth. It also would reduce the chronic U.S. trade deficit. In 2014, consumer items accounted for about half of the $723 billion deficit on trade in goods.

U.S. manufacturing production finally crawled above its pre-recession level in October, but manufacturing employment is still about 10% below the tally before the recession began in December 2007………..

Broad ERP Implementation/Background

As a regional manager for an ERP software company, I had experience with over 20 implementations with companies like John Deere (Combine manufacturer), Draeger (safety equipment), Mannesman (Automotive Supplier), Rolls Royce (Aircraft Engine Manufacturing), and Valeo (Automotive Supplier). As part of my background, I was involved in the evaluation, selection, and implementation of software systems for these companies

Program and Project Management for Fortune 50 Consumer and Commercial Product Manufacturer

• Analyzed, identified and presented senior management with alternative supply chains (physical, systematic and financial) for two existing product lines. Quantified potential cost savings and implementation time line for the implementation project.

• Led project team that presented management with the operational, systematic and financial impact of moving an entire product line to a third party for sales, support and fulfillment.

• Led a cross functional, cross divisional team that analyzed and selected the supply chain to support transitioning a $500M commercial business from distributors to a direct relationship with HP. Modeled potential business impact of all options identified. Presented senior management with a phased implementation plan, and forecasted resources necessary to support the implementation and ongoing business.

• Project Manager for a team that centralized the returns, remanufacturing, excess and obsolescence processes involving the five consumer product lines. Proposed the organization realignment, process redesign, and new process implementation which reduced inventory levels by 10 weeks, and increased remarketing product sales over 300 % within 6 months.

• Co-led a project to move manufacturing and assembling of over 30 SKU’s from U.S. facility to Mexico. Managed manufacturing and systems transition teams. Worked with four strategic partners in Mexico, US and Asia to coordinate the development and successful implementation of systems and operations within a 10-month period

• Set up the supply chains linking seven new manufacturing partners (ODM’s) in Asia to the North America supply chain network in support of a launch of fifteen new products for new product line to support an aggressive product launch schedule.

Material Planning for Consumer Products or Consumer Electronics Manufacturer

• Managed 260+ Media SKU’s for NA Commercial and Consumer Channel ($170M)

• Executed successful rollover of more than 50 new products with no stock outs or excess inventory.

• Met or exceeded quarterly revenue and shipment targets while managing product line during network realignment.

• Led project that created a balanced scorecard reviewed on a monthly basis by category team and senior management for HP’s ink, toner and media product lines. Combined revenue of product lines greater than $8 Billion (per year).

• Managed LCD and CRT Monitor Supply for North American Retail Channel and Direct Market ($800 Million/year). Managed and insured product supply for five product completion centers in the U.S., Mexico, and Asia for HP’s largest business unit in the highest revenue generating market

• Led the launch of a new product ID while managing an end of life for a product line with minimal end of life exposure (less than 2% excess on more than three million units shipped per year).

• Managed TQRDC process for five major LCD and CRT Suppliers in Asia. Identified opportunities for process improvement and cost savings opportunities. Presented results to management with corrective action plans.

Strategic Partner-Supply Base Manager

• Managed cross-functional cost team involved with launch of two platforms for Apple’s flagship business mobile product lines.

• Managed material spends in excess of $1 Billion USD. Activities included cost and program management, supplier capability development and supply chain optimization to meet profit margin targets.

• Initiated programs to develop JDM (Joint Design Manufacturing) model.

• Managed strategic alliance and worldwide business operations of Apple’s largest OEM that had manufacturing facilities in Germany, China and the U.S.

• Led cross-functional joint OEM team tasked with ensuring compliance with RoHS certification for all desktop/mobile product lines. Completed project 3 months ahead of schedule.

Procurement for Large Server Manufacturer

• Managed all system level costs for six key product lines. Identified cost targets and opportunities and achieved cost savings goals through implementation of key strategic projects, second sourcing or commercial negotiations.

• Managed the RFP/RFQ selection for eight major product platforms including three top 10 revenue producing product lines.

• Led vendor selection, owned all costs for the product launch (from engineering prototype through production ramp)

• Completed project within budget despite a four month launch delay. Set up and implemented new suppliers in the company’s production and financial systems to meet launch deadlines.

• Reduced supplier claims more than $2.1 million by identifying how supplier overbought to demand forecast.

• Delivered more than $3.2 million in cost savings/cost avoidance through second sourcing, hard tooling and process improvements for fiscal year.

• Identified cost savings opportunities and strategic process improvements for two of the largest OEM partners. Presented plans to VP and COO level of management. Saved 12% within first four months

Mergers and Acquisitions for a NYC based VC Firm

•  Planned, coordinated, and executed the Asia Pacific pre-Day 1 planning and post-launch activities for a “carve out merger” on behalf of a U.S. Chemical Company owned by a Venture Capital Fund.

•  Operations were located in: Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Australia and the Philippines

•  Managed teams in North and South Asia in charge of calculating the physical demand and logistical transfer of product to support the first ninety days of production.

•  Logistical transfer of over 15 million barrels of inventory was successfully completed to meet customer demand without disruption and within a reduced timeframe and schedule.

•  Successfully implemented a 35% increase in product volume in North Asia. Transitioned more than 50 products into two existing manufacturing facilities.

•  Transitioned a small country based manufacturing operation in Thailand into a South Asia regional manufacturing and distribution hub with a 200% in revenue and production volume within a four-month period.

•  Developed the distribution channel and support networks in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan.

•  Deal Impact: 7.5 EBITDA multiple. Deal contribution: +109 M € in revenue, +17.3 M € direct adjusted EBITDA
+6.4 M € in synergy targets (COGS, SG&A, one time proceeds)