Seamlessly Made in the USA By Immigrants

Seamlessly Made in the USA By Immigrants

Suuchi Ramesh wants to bring apparel manufacturing back to the US with the help of immigrant seamstresses and technologists.

Ramesh’s supply chain start-up provides custom solutions for the garment industry including her own manufacturing services. Her software uses real-time data to coordinate the supply chain from customers to fabric suppliers and support the flexibility required in this industry.


Video Spotlight: Meet one of Suuchi’s customers


This post is based on the Forbes article, Meet the Indian Immigrant Working to Bring Apparel Manufacturing Back to the U.S., by J. Vinoski, April 1, 2019, and the YouTube video, Inside Suuchi Inc (ft. Irina Kapetanakis, Founder of Obscür Intimates), by Suuchi, Inc., March 20, 2019. Image source: © Michele Constantini

Discussion questions:

1. Why is flexibility a competitive priority in the garment industry?

Guidance: Fashion items have a very short product life cycle. A quick response to changes in demand, i.e. flexibility, is therefore necessary to compete. Unless there is close and timely communication throughout the supply chain, rapid changes in demand at one link of the chain can create a “bullwhip” effect with shortages, delays, and extra inventory, which are all very costly in the garment industry. Continue reading

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A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’

A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’

Low cost is no longer the only reason why US companies outsource manufacturing to China.

Despite Apple’s commitment to make a Mac computer in Austin, Texas, the inability of a US supplier to mass produce screws led the tech giant to order the items from China.

This situation exemplifies the challenges facing US manufacturing. Not only is it impossible to beat Chinese labor costs, but it is also difficult to compete in terms of scale, skills, and infrastructure.


Video Spotlight: Why the iPhone can’t be made in the US


This post is based on the New York Times article, A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled in U.S.A.’, by J. Nicas, January 28, 2019; and the YouTube video, Why the iPhone can’t be made in the US, by Bloomberg, June 29, 2017. Image source: (c) Ingram Publishing / SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. In general, why does Apple rely on China for a large portion of its manufacturing?

Guidance: Lower labor costs and ability to produce huge quantities fast enough to meet demand. This ability stems from an abundance of skilled workers, huge infrastructure (building and equipment), and loose labor protections laws.

2. Why was the Continue reading

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