Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A U.S. Manufacturing Success Story – Simple Wave LLC

by Harry Moser, founder and president of The Reshoring Initiative.

This past year, focus on the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs due to offshoring (sending jobs overseas) has intensified. In the rhetoric surrounding offshoring, all too often we hear stories of individuals losing their jobs to the “lower” cost of production. I have worked to dispel this notion using analysis and data obtained by the Reshoring Initiative’s Total Cost of Ownership Estimator™.

One company, SimpleWaveLLC, has embraced the shift in collective thinking from ‘offshoring is cheaper’ to ‘local reduces the total cost of ownership.’ In doing so, the California-based company received the 2012 U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Achievement Award during a ceremony at NPE - a chemicals trade show and event organized by The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. While presenting at the show, I had the opportunity to congratulate the Calibowl creators and thank them for their efforts toward bringing solid, well-paying manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Simple Wave and its award-winning Calibowl, the innovative bowl featuring a patent-pending inner curving lip that moves food back into the utensil or chip, eliminating spills, is the creation of Jeff Bollengier and partner Rich Stump.

Jeff and Rich first presented Calibowl at the 2008 LA Gift Show and were immediately featured in the “O” Favorite Things list. That led to placement in the Rachel Ray Show, QVC, the Shopping Channel, Readers Digest, Canada Homestyle Magazine and many more. As they say, “The rest is history.”

Calibowl is much more than a unique solution to one of life’s many problems. Simple Wave’s brand serves as a reflection of both Jeff and Rich’s personal values. These values are then carried out in their production of Calibowls. Jeff and Rich’s dedication to the U.S. economy led them to move the manufacturing process from China to the United States.

In an April 3 interview with The Street’s Elizabeth Blackwell, Rich spoke to being a U.S. manufacturer and the demand for U.S. manufactured products. "Our customers in Korea, Canada and even China wanted U.S.-made products,“ says Stump. ”The Made-in-America brand has real value overseas…So far, we've created a total 15 jobs in the U.S. just in manufacturing, and we expect to add a few more each month,“ says Stump.

As accounted for in the total cost of ownership, Simple Wave believes U.S. manufacturing will reduce freight cost and improve the company’s response time as well as reinforce its green image through a reduced carbon footprint. Now Calibowl is MADE in USA and is exporting to Canada, Singapore, Korea, and even China, a business practice the Reshoring Initiative and Simple Wave hope other manufacturers follow.

You can support Simple Wave, Calibowls and their reshoring initiative at BevMo!, Amazon.com, JC Penny’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Connect with Calibowl via their website calibowl.com, Facebook, and follow them on
Twitter at @CaliBowl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reshoring Goes to the White House

by Harry Moser

On Tuesday, Jan. 3, I received an unexpected call. It was the White House.

The Commerce Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy had both recommended that I, Harry Moser, be included in the Jan. 11 Insourcing American Jobs forum at the White House. (Insourcing is also referred to as reshoring, backshoring, homeshoring, onshoring, backshoring, or repatriating.)

My first question was, would I be "attending" or "speaking"? Since they were unable to commit, the  details would have to be worked out in the coming days. I was able to rearrange my travel schedule and booked a flight to Washington D.C., which would then take me on to Massachusetts, Albany and New Jersey. Luckily, the change in travel didn't break the bank (most flights from D.C. to Albany are upwards of $700).

With only one day before the event, the White House confirmed that I would actively participate in the morning Roundtable and the afternoon panel, so the travel arrangements were a good investment!

I entered the Eisenhower Executive Office Building thru the Guest Entrance, passed security twice,  and was taken to the Roundtable room. Inside I found a great assemblage of business executives, cabinet members, presidents of major unions, the governor of Oregon, the mayor of Atlanta, administration leaders, and two other experts. We were also joined by Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama. Wonderful networking!

Harry Moser, (3rd from left) shakes hands with President Obama.
President Obama entered and shook hands with each of us. He said to me, “I have a question for you.” He was perfectly scripted with questions tied to each participant’s experience and knowledge. 

The President then formally started the discussion and stayed quite non-political. Attendees responded with solid data and examples, and avoided any political controversy. After all, the focus was on what could be done.

My role was to describe the importance of businesses using total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis and the fact that the online TCO Estimator database showed that while 100% of cases had far higher U.S. prices, 60% had a lower U.S. TCO. After hearing the facts, there was strong support for the use of the TCO Estimator, instead of price variance, when deciding on sourcing and investing in skilled workforce development.

The press conference was a mix of the essential content of the Roundtable and more politically motivated comments. At the end, I told the President I would send him a good reshoring line for his State of the Union address. He encouraged me to do so. And, I sent it the next morning.

The afternoon panel was much less structured than the Roundtable and led by Karen Mills, Administrator of the SBA. I provided an overview and suggestions on what SBA could to strengthen financing and the skilled workforce in the U.S. After the day's events, the SBA senior staff followed-up with me to discuss issues and opportunities in more detail.

I was honored to be included in the Insourcing American Jobs forum. Not only was I able to provide my insights on the reshoring efforts, but also inform Americans of the resources the Reshoring Initiative provides.

I look forward to pursuing joint interests with the many contacts, and to advancing reshoring and the tightly-tied issue of skilled workforce.

Harry Moser is the founder and president of The Reshoring Initiative, www.reshorenow.org.