Walmart’s Made in the USA initiative gives suppliers new ways to get their goods on the shelf at the world’s largest retailer, but current suppliers are facing some challenges.
Here are some of the top concerns suppliers are expressing:
- Sourcing in the U.S. can be hard. After a couple of decades of offshoring, there are fewer factories in America, and fewer workers with the skills needed. Sometimes, though, it’s just a matter of being creative. A toy company couldn’t find the capacity they needed among stateside toy manufacturing plants, but they found a golf tee maker that could produce their small wooden parts at a competitive price.
- Finding the raw materials or the components can be difficult. Since the U.S. hasn’t been manufacturing in a while, many companies that prepare raw materials or parts have gone under or moved overseas. Finding the perfect fabric or buttons for a garment in the U.S. may be time-consuming, especially at the required price. Getting together with other brands to build up greater demand might help. Walmart is also inspiring suppliers to think outside the box and consider using different materials.
- Making an investment in manufacturing is easier with Walmart committed to making an investment, but some suppliers question whether this will be a lasting commitment. If they build a factory or make a commitment to a U.S. factory based on the Made in the USA concept, they wonder, will Walmart drop this initiative and leave them holding the bag?
Many suppliers have found that meeting Walmart’s expectations, however challenging, makes them a better company. A leaner, more efficient, more effective company. The challenges of the Made in the USA initiative can do the same. And, if Walmart meets the initiative’s goals, it will also result in 300,000 new manufacturing jobs in the United States.
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