The reshoring drumbeat continues to get louder, and has now attracted the attention of the trade groups. The IPC this week launched a survey in an attempt to quantify the trend.
I took a look and would admit to finding the way some of the questions are asked perplexing — click here to see for yourself — because I don’t think that the answers derived will necessarily show whether the trend is real or not.
Most of the survey is aimed at where manufacturers plan to locate their sites, as opposed to where buyers intend to source from. In my experience, manufacturers are the tail on the supply chain dog: They move to where they think they can land the most business.
Another potential problem I see is the way the questions are worded. For instance, one asks, “Does your company plan to move existing operations to the Americas in the next three years?” If the respondents are primarily US-based companies with US-only operations, then the trend may well appear to be “no.”
The supply chain is very complicated, and the implications of reshoring a potential game-changer for many companies. I commend IPC for its attempt to generate some quantitative analysis, although I’m uncertain whether the questions as asked will get to the core of what’s really happening (or not happening).