Is Canada the New China?
While China and India still receive most of the attention in discussions about off-shoring trends, their contributions are only a part of the full picture. Many labour-intensive activities are indeed being farmed out to the far shores of populous Asia, but more complex activities are also being “off shored” to North American firms like OCM.
This shift in the global economy has become apparent to us as mid-size manufacturers in Europe and South America seek our assistance in their North American marketing strategies. They look to us because:
- In North America we are closest to the target market and, as a full-service CM, we can be relied upon to provide after-market services such as service and repair – with fewer language and time zone barriers.
- A North American manufacturer like OCM can more readily identify and flag issues in the product that may create barriers to entry in North America versus a partner located elsewhere.
- A local service and repair capability can be critical in lowering the barrier to entry and can help a company operate on a larger scale – even international in reach.
Any discussion about off-shoring today should take into account the full cycle of global trade that is occurring between all continents, and in various – and sometimes reciprocal – forms. We ourselves have mature Asia-based operations; we provide full service manufacturing, test, service and repair to other continents, and as part of our services to those companies in Europe or South America, we may ourselves outsource some of the labour to our Chinese operations.
By acknowledging changing market realities and seeking the best solutions to pass on to our customers, OCM has become one example of the evolution of outsourcing.The changing definition of “off shoring”, and the trend toward truly global partnerships benefit all parties in the equation.