Is China Still the Best Answer for Electronics Manufacturing?

Trade wars


Political instability

Increasing wage costs

Lack of IP protection

Proximity to market and design

These are just some of the reasons China is no longer the answer to the question, “Where do I get world-class, low-cost manufacturing?”

President Trump wants US companies to manufacture in the US and he’s working hard to encourage them to do just that. Meanwhile, tariffs and trade wars are affecting the rest of the world, and Europe also finds itself falling out of love with China as the factory of the world.

Manufacturing regionalization and agility

Add a growing consensus that shorter supply chains and closer connections between design and manufacturing are valuable, plus that China simply isn’t as cheap as it used to be, and it’s easy to see why two words are on the lips of every purchasing or supply chain professionals. Regionalization and agility. Companies are looking for more agile manufacturing relationships as well as procurement and execution processes closer to their design and their customers.

But the supply chains in question cannot be moved overnight and the redesign of manufacturing ecosystems can be a very slow and cumbersome process.

Agile electronics manufacturing in North America

A new manufacturing solution is helping to resolve these issues and mitigate some of the supply chain risks made evident by recent political events. Companies like MacroFab have created manufacturing ecosystems that are dynamic, regionalized and extremely agile, all managed by a secure online platform. They provide companies with access to dozens of pre-vetted contract manufacturers with available capacity and a broad range of skills, equipment, and expertise to meet the requirements of even the most complex systems.

“The key to our success is perfectly matching supply and demand for electronics manufacturing,” said Misha Govshteyn, MacroFab CEO, adding “when one of our customers uploads their CAD and BOM files, our platform is able to interrogate that data and create a quote. Meanwhile, it is selecting which of our manufacturing partners are most suited to that order’s technology requirements, volume, and speed.”

Technology-matched manufacturing

These Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) platforms seek to improve both CMs and OEMs. CMs, get the jobs that suit them based on their specializations and capabilities. And OEMs get their job done at the ideal factory based on their requirements, all with the benefit of a single point of contact and a guarantee of workmanship.

With thousands of quotes and orders flowing through these platforms, their AI becomes increasingly intelligent and better able to find the right manufacturing fit. They also become smarter and more able to price a job from the data, meaning the buyer can get instant quotes, which they can adjust for volume and delivery while seeing the impact on pricing.

So, companies who have been using traditional purchasing methods and working with traditional EMS providers now have another option. They can now upload their data, get immediate pricing, tweak those quotes for volume and delivery to arrive at their best solution. They can then place that order online, securely, with genuine peace of mind. This is in stark contrast to the traditional back and forth with multiple vendors and wading through complex quotes trying to compare like with like.

Onshoring or reshoring your manufacturing

For companies needing to move their production from China, quickly and painlessly, these reasons provide the ideal solution. Onshoring and MaaS don’t just solve the short term need to transplant manufacturing to a tariff-friendly location, they create an agile and flexible solution reflective of the digital world we live in.

In some cases, it’s as simple as setting up a protected account, uploading files and getting your order placed. For others, it is more complex. Companies with a portfolio of products, complex system build, custom test requirements, and many suppliers, need a white-glove service. They need a MaaS provider who will take a lot of manufacturing packages off their desk and get the data into their platform, quoted and ready for purchasing quickly and effectively. Such companies now exist.

If you’re currently getting products made in China, or you just want a more agile and dynamic solution, you can sign up for a protected account with MacroFab to get started. Our dedicated Sales team is here to prepare a quote for high volume orders. You’ll be surprised by how simple and intuitive getting a quote with MacroFab is and you’ll wonder why you ever purchased manufacturing any other way.