Our Industry – How will Med Device Change?
I have to open with a disclaimer: I’m an old manufacturing guy. I’ve always been a strong supporter of US manufacturing and strongly criticized the risks of letting others make “our stuff”.
Through the years, we have heard from several of our President’s about the shift to a ‘Global’ economy and how we were ‘heading toward being a service economy’. What we’ve proven in the last 3 months is that Global was true and Service was a disaster.
Here’s what’s amazing; our manufacturing base is still just large enough, and we have just enough leaders in that sector that we have demonstrated we can still kick butt! We converted pillow, automotive, and aerospace capacity to fulfill short term Class I demand.
Just imagine 3 months ago that a guy making pillows in MN would so quickly say, ‘I’m in. I’ll convert 20% of my manufacturing capacity immediately!’ Imagine any descendent of one of the Big 3 automakers saying the same. We have proven that when the need is there, the US can do anything!
Our world will change, it’s inevitable. What we can’t forget is that we will always need to provide for the basic needs. For me, it starts with education; not everyone needs a degree. There’s a huge slice of the population that would be so much better served by vocational training and we, as a nation, would be better served by that too.
You know as well as I, there will always be opportunities to produce low cost products by taking advantage of someone’s low cost labor. But please, let’s not ever again forget how important it is to maintain that capability here so we are never again reliant on an offshore supply chain!