While many companies source their materials from overseas suppliers to cut costs, others have begun moving away from this model in favor of local sourcing. This practice keeps more funds circulating in one’s home country or community, cuts down on the emissions involved in getting materials to the site, and often makes it possible to access components on a much shorter timeline.
Explore some of the most appealing local manufacturing benefits and what they mean for your company.
What Does Local Sourcing Mean?
Local sourcing means purchasing products and raw materials produced within your home country rather than sourcing internationally through nearshoring or offshoring.
On a smaller scale, it can also refer to sourcing from suppliers in your immediate area. Whether you’re working with a supplier across the country or one across town depends on your industry and the nature of your work. For example, a family-owned shop is more likely to source from companies in its immediate vicinity — depending on availability — than a national chain.
Why Work With a Local Foundry?
While there are times when international sourcing makes more sense, sourcing locally will be the better option for your company most of the time. Some of the many benefits of local metal fabrication include:
- Shorter lead times: When you purchase materials from local suppliers, you won’t have to wait as long to receive your shipments as you would with a foreign supplier.
- Cost savings: Logistics and shipping expenses add up quickly. Sourcing locally reduces shipping and storage costs, which helps protect your bottom line.
- Stability: There’s little to no risk that political unrest will disrupt localized supply chains, so you can keep your project moving according to your timeline.
- Community growth: When you partner with local businesses, you make direct contributions to your community’s economic growth.
- Better control: The closer you are to your supply chain, the more control you have over the quality of your products. Your close proximity to suppliers in your area allows you to communicate directly and more easily address questions and concerns.
- Sustainability: Shipping over a shorter distance lessens the emissions generated during the trip. Plus, many customers will go out of their way to buy from companies that use environmentally friendly production and dispatch methods.
- Greater flexibility: Local suppliers are usually more responsive than suppliers operating in different countries, which can help you shorten project lead times and improve your own customer service.
- Better work conditions: Labor laws are different in each country, so it can be difficult to ensure your overseas suppliers provide safe working environments for their personnel. With local facilities, however, you can visit in person to verify for yourself that they treat their workers well.
- Enhanced reputation: Forming close business relationships with local suppliers shows your customers that you care about your community, which can inspire customer confidence.
The main drawback of local sourcing is that you’re limited to the materials and equipment that are available in your geographical location. If you need something that’s difficult to find in your home country, you may need to turn to global suppliers.
Another unexpected disadvantage is the possibility of losing objectivity in supplier selection. You may develop such a tight relationship with your local provider that you feel you can’t make a switch if needed — however, if you choose the right supplier, this situation is much less likely to happen.
Is Local or Global Sourcing Right for Your Operation?
If you’re running a small to medium-sized business with an established presence in your region, you’re much better off working with local material sources. However, if you need access to equipment and components that are unavailable in your home country, you’ll need to identify a reliable international supplier.
Choose Warner Brothers Foundry Company for Your Next Project
If you’re looking for metal fabrication services in the greater Detroit area, Warner Brothers is here to serve you. We source all of our materials from local suppliers, which helps us deliver speedy, sustainable service for customers across diverse industries. Whether you need us to produce aluminum castings or run nondestructive tests on your components, our expert team can meet your unique specifications.
Ready to begin your next manufacturing project? Connect with our team today to have one of our professionals get in touch.