Manufacturing Taking a Turn for The Better

As I was growing up, as a kid in the early 90’s, I quickly learned that anything that said it was made in China was an inferior product to those that were made here in the USA.  However, even with this connotation of poor quality it seemed that every product that I came into contact with was made somewhere outside of the country.  Over these years, leading to this very day, the vision of these products has moved away from the poor quality of old.  Now it seems that what truly upsets us about products not made in with the USA is the fact that we have many of our own looking high and low for a job in the manufacturing industry.

In recent years it has seemed to have come nearly impossible to compete with markets like China, where it comes to manufacturing, with considerably low wages being received by their workers.  While wages in China are coming up, from an average of 58 cents per hour in 2001 and an estimated $6 per hour in 2015, there is still a large gap compared to their American counterpart, at about $19 per hour  Even so, as stated in the Wall Street Journal article “Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants” manufacturing jobs are starting to make their way back to the good old USA.  The progress has been slow in the American manufacturing market after a 35% decline in jobs between 1998 and 2010 we have seen just a 4.3% increase since.  But, this increase that is expected to be about 3.2% this year compares to that of just 1.6% in all other fields.

These changes in the American manufacturing market have reasons that are not solely based on the increase in wages overseas.  It has been said that the American is more than 3 times more productive than that of their counterparts from China  Shipping costs are becoming increasingly more expensive and companies are coming out close to even, if not better off, manufacturing in America when these costs are put into play.  These factors and the fact that overseeing the physical production becomes worlds easier when it is taking place in your back yard are bringing manufacturing jobs, little by little, back to the USA.

No Quality in Technology

It used to be that when we set out in to the marketplace in search of that new must have product there is one criterion that almost everyone has in common, we want something that is of high quality.  It goes with just about everything that we buy.  You want the car that is going to last you the longest, the produce that is the absolute freshest, or the clothing that is made of the finest fabrics. Now, in the market of technology, we seem to be putting this desire for quality on the back burner just as long as we have the technology before everyone else.

Just last week it was that time of year when Apple had their latest version of the iPhone come to market, the iPhone 5.  Over the years, without fail, the first round of phones had some type of defect ranging from a bad antenna to the latest problem of software that is just not ready for the consumer market.  Although these problems occur time and time again people still flock to wait in line to be one of the lucky few that can say they have the latest version of the phone.  This makes me wonder how concerned our society is with the quality of the goods that they are purchasing.  We have created a market where it is no big deal if your company’s product works in the way that was promised, as long as it is a hot piece of technology.

Although our society states that it wants the highest quality of products our purchasing habits of technology tells a different story.  The biggest news stories on the technology market are the failures of Apple’s new mapping software and other quality issues.  Even so, Apple is having trouble keeping the new phones on the shelf.  The technology industry has become vital to almost everything we do on a daily basis, especially in the world of business, so why are we all so willing to cut the market so much slack when we hold others to such high standards?