A number of factors may be encouraging Canadian-based original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to want to display a “made in Canada” sticker on their innovations.
- National pride in Canadian innovation and ability to offer high-quality product
- A desire by the Canadian business community to boost our own economy
- Concerns about the security of intellectual property
- Alignment with the United States, where “made in the U.S.A.” is a hot political topic
While there are still opportunities for cost savings off-shore, these are less dramatic than in the past. Depending on the product’s design, reductions in the cost of labour that can be found off-shore may be countered by the cost of increased resources to manage quality and project communication overseas.
This trade-off is always a facet of the cost-benefit evaluation that a contract manufacturer should provide when helping clients to understand their options. Many manufacturers who had previously moved some or all of their manufacturing offshore have brought these functions back “in-house” in recent years.
The first step in determining how best to manufacture a “made in Canada” product is a manufacturing business analysis. The analysis should account for factors such as the product’s technology, maturity, volume requirements, and intellectual property. Based on these elements, the following can be established:
- Options for reducing costs through design modifications and/or component selection (also known as design for manufacturing (DFM))
- An optimal procurement, manufacturing and fulfillment model
- Supply chain and inventory options
- A pricing model for manufacturing the product onshore and (if relevant) offshore
With this information, an OEM can be fully informed about the feasibility and options for offering made-in-Canada products. Each OEM and each product is different, with unique requirements, product designs, target markets, and sales channels.
As a contract electronics manufacturer serving the low- to mid-volume, high-mix segment, we have always been responsive and found creative ways to meet a diverse array of requirements, including “made in Canada” goals.