Awards & Engraving

July '16

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A&E JULY 2016 • 23 the made-in-America trend is starting to emerge in the awards industry for a variety of reasons. "USA manufacturers have found points of difference which China cannot compete on," he points out. "Customer service, faster produc- tion, lower quantities, reduced shipping/ logistics nuances—these are real points of difference that matter." The workforce is also a big player in the shift to manufacturing in the U.S. in the industry. "We rely heavily on the educa- tion and skills of our trained workforce to produce high-quality materials," Zydonik says. "This cannot be easily accomplished in other countries where there may be less understanding of our industry and the manufacturing processes we utilize." That's not to say overseas manufac- turing isn't the right choice in certain situations. Chemel states that countries such as China do a great job at delivering high-volume products at an attractive price point. "However, when it comes to specialized or custom orders, USA manu- facturing is the choice partner," he adds. TREND SPOTTERS While it's important to recognize the changing trend in manufacturing overseas versus in the U.S., it's equally crucial to understand why that trend is happening. That cannot be boiled down to one spe- cific influence, but there are a few contrib- uting factors in the awards industry. "(We have) noticed an increase in requests for made-in-the-USA products," Zydonik mentions. He believes there could be a few reasons for this, but for him, it ultimately comes down to con- fidence in the quality of U.S. products, patriotism, and the desire to keep jobs stateside. The Zeit team also has a few ideas on why this trend is gaining momentum. "It Benefits of American Manufacturing ✪ Money is put back into the U.S. economy ✪ Level of creativity in awards products ✪ Quickly troubleshoot problems ✪ Fast and personal customer service ✪ Lower chance of delayed product due to shipping issues ✪ Trained labor force specific to the industry ✪ Jobs in the U.S. ✪ Personalized touch to products versus generic stock item Why retailers should offer American-made products IMAGE COURTESY A.T. DESIGNS Products that are made in the USA often carry a personal touch, a quality that's important to many end-users.

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