US Manufacturing and Creating a Process Centric Culture at ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA
For the last few decades US and European manufacturers have taken advantage of cheap labor costs in emerging markets and set up operations in places like China, India and Mexico. But could the tide be turning on the era of offshoring manufacturing from the US to low cost countries?
While many companies are still investing in offshoring manufacturing operations to China and other places where costs and labor are cheaper, there are signs that some companies might be starting to "reshore" their operations. Last year a number of high profile companies announced that they would be bringing some of their operations back to the USA, including GE and NCR Corporation, as reported in Vox, a blog written by leading economists.
ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA, a company that builds and operates stainless steel processing facilities around the globe, is one company that fits that trend. The company invested $5bn in building a modern steel processing plant near Mobile, Alabama, USA and has recently announced receiving the ISO 9001:2008 certification for its quality management system.
In this PEX Network video interview, recorded during the network's flagship event PEX Week earlier this year, Brent Wilson, Director of Production Planning at ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA, explains why the company decided to make such a big investment in US manufacturing capacity and why business process excellence was "baked-in" to the facility even before production started. He also discusses some of the problems the company had to solve along the way, the challenges of getting buy in from business executives, and where the company is going next.
If you found this video interesting, you may also want to check out Brent's keynote interview at PEX Week Orlando for further details about ThyssenKrupp's process excellence journey including extensive footage shot on location at the company's new manufacturing plant and interviews with other employees. Watch Operational Excellence for Competitive Advantage: A Conversation with ThyssenKrupp Stainless USA.