Production Management #18 Small Business Production in US Today
One must consider the viability of small business production in the US today. How can a small business be successful in manufacturing in U.S. today?
Since 2009, our economy has experienced a long lasting recession that has impacted all facets of business both small and large. In the past year, however trends are indicating stronger demand and better business conditions. Typically, the small businesses and entrepreneurs are the driving force for growth. Even though our US market has lost many manufacturing jobs to outsourcing, small business manufactures and niche producers in on the increase.
Several trends seem to be driving the growth of small and micro manufacturing. These trends are making us redefine how we view modern production.
1) Technology and variable cost models are making it easier to produce niche and customized products
2) The weaker dollar combined with increased overseas production cost is making more attractive to produce in our markets
3) Developing world group is creating stronger export opportunities
4) The internet and online network is allowing small businesses the opportunities the ability to find new customers globally.
5) The growth of social media is allowing small businesses to connect with customers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
6) The social media created growth in the area of social commerce sites such as Groupon creating demand through various social sites.
The ever-changing technology sector growth is influencing how everyone does business. Many small businesses are taking advantage of improved technology and niche market opportunities. Over the past few years tremendous growth has taken place in health care, petroleum related businesses and software providers. Because of this growth, the need to make and produce products in the US for niche markets is becoming more of a necessity.
I have a friend that owns a small business that produces machined parts for the forklift industry. Over the past year, his business with this company has tripled due to price increases and lead times from overseas producers. Since his company is meeting a niche market, he has been able to adapt to the needs of the customer and provide cost efficient products. Again niche manufacturing is on the increase.