Manufacturing renaissance: Walmart making the push to recruit U.S. entrepreneurs

Friday, June 1, 2018

At the end of World War II, America had become the world’s leading manufacturing powerhouse, accountable for 50 percent of the world’s industrial production. Now, the U.S. produces only a fifth of the global manufacturing output. Historically, the U.S. possessed both the knowledge and culture able to quickly adapt to producing vast quantities of material.

U.S. companies are now returning to their manufacturing roots which is resulting in reviving a growing middle class with high-paying manufacturing jobs. In 2016, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $82,023 annually, including pay and benefits as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data also shows us there’s a multiplier effect for manufacturing: one manufacturing associate generates another 3.4 workers demand elsewhere in the supply chain.

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) has a vision for a “Manufacturing Renaissance” to lead the designing and making of things at home by helping companies adopt a continuous improvement strategy to increase quality, reduce cost, increase flexibility, and improve lead times and delivery performance.

Bringing Jobs Home

According to an analysis conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), decreasing policy barriers to domestic manufacturing creates an opportunity to recapture approximately $300 billion in consumer goods. Current imports, including furniture, cookware, and sporting goods can potentially result in the creation of an estimated 1.5 million American jobs.

To address these opportunities and challenges, Walmart has adopted a Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing offering a comprehensive approach to tackling the major barriers that keep companies from manufacturing more consumer goods in the United States. Walmart is providing a framework for developing suppliers through access to the huge Walmart marketing and distribution system.

Walmart is leading this American renewal through its commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion in products made, sourced or grown in the U.S. by 2023. By investing in products that support American jobs, Walmart is playing a lead role in accelerating growth in U.S. manufacturing. Through these efforts, Walmart’s commitment could create up to 1 million new American jobs.

“Making more products closer to our customers makes economic sense. It shortens the supply chain, drives costs down (energy and transportation for example) and gives us greater flexibility to respond to season or trend demands (can turn around orders quicker). We believe that by supporting American manufacturing, we can help create jobs. That’s good for our communities we serve and great for our customers,” said Walmart spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson.

Open Call

To underscore Walmart’s commitment, they are hosting their 5th annual Open Call for new U.S.-made products. This unique event is open to both current and potential US suppliers hosted at Walmart’s corporate offices in Bentonville, Arkansas on June 13, 2018. The daylong event provides information to potential suppliers, offers great networking opportunities, and gives businesses of all sizes from across the nation a chance at the big break they’ve been looking for with the world’s largest retailer.

This year, Walmart invited more than 450 companies from 48 states and Puerto Rico to meet one-on-one with Walmart buyers for more than 750 product presentations. Some companies will get good news on the spot, while other deals may take more time with follow ups between buyers and potential suppliers after the event. For the third year in a row, Walmart will offer suppliers with shelf-stable items the opportunity to sell on

View the 2018 Open Call opening session live webcast

Join the Manufacturing Renaissance

As a member of the AME management team I was able to attend two of the Open Call summits. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm of these self-made entrepreneurs eager to promote their products. This event offered an open-door environment to meet face to face with a Walmart buyer to make their case for why Walmart should consider selling their products.

Learn more about leading a manufacturing renaissance by joining us October 29 – November 1 at AME San Diego 2018 to explore ways to accelerate your journey toward enterprise excellence. Would you like to know more?