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Assembled in America - picture of Superior Aluminum welder.

Assembled in America

  •   Posted on October 27, 2020

The world is more connected than ever, so why does it matter where my product is assembled?

When selecting a product, an often-overlooked factor is where that product is assembled and manufactured. Why does it matter where something is assembled and manufactured you ask? Well there are a variety of reasons, and we will quickly hit on some of the differences between products originating overseas and those originating here at home in the USA.

Stability

If there is one thing 2020 taught us about the manufacturing industry, and world economy as a whole, is how fragile the global supply chain can be. In 2020 alone, the global supply chain was rocked by tariffs and trade negotiations, shifting weather patterns, and a pandemic, all causing fluctuations in pricing to delivery times and much more. While these fluctuations were made more extreme in 2020, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still liable to pop up in any given year. This lack of consistency, required order amounts, and stability can make it extremely difficult for both manufacturers and consumers.

cargo ship in the middle of the ocean during a storm.

Product being shipped overseas are susceptible to more outside influences

Conversely, having a more simplified supply chain allows manufacturers to provide consumers with accurate and consistent pricing, order amounts, and lead times. Products being assembled in the United States, along with Mexico and Canada following the USMCA (United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement), are able to bypass many of the aforementioned roadblocks. Just think of the comparison for the journey of products being produced overseas vs. North America. An Assembled in America product such as Superior Aluminum’s Railing normally has three or four stops along it journeys from materials to final consumer. Compare that to an overseas product, which at minimum will see 7 stops due to ports and other international factors. Reducing stops and disruptions allows for stability and predictability, which in the end is exactly what manufacturers and customers desire.\

Quality

While stability is a major factor for customers it is ultimately the quality of a product that matters most. Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that most overseas products are produced to lesser standards than North American standards, and especially US standards. Sadly, labor is significantly cheaper in international products so the market is flooded with low price, low quality goods overtaking better, American made products. Case in point, in a 2014 study, Chinese goods represented 23% of all goods made and manufactured, yet accounted for over 51% of recalls(USCC). These recalls are due to a multitude of factors including harmful materials, failed safety test, lack of accountability, and overall lack of quality. With such a high percentage of recalls, it’s clear that American made products should be able to capture a larger market share, despite the higher price point.

By having a product such as aluminum columns assembled in America, there are a variety of safeguards to ensure a high-quality product. First, American workers are the ones assembling the product, meaning labor laws and safe practices are being followed. Furthermore, unlike their overseas counterparts, American manufacturers are subject to legal action if their products are faulty.

Outside view of Superior Aluminum located in Russia, Ohio.

Assembled in America products are produced by American workers

Why It Matters

Cost will always play a factor when deciding on what product to choose, but going with the cheaper choice might actually cost more in the long run. Instead, choosing a product assembled in America provides both superior stability and quality.

 

Further Readings

How the Building Products Industry Adjust to new Supply Chains

Building Safety, The Superior Way

Do you Know Your Code?