The Path Forward for Localized Manufacturing in Houston
With the post-pandemic global supply chain in a state of chaos, the imperative for U.S. companies to reshore outsourced manufacturing operations is stronger than ever. But amid dedicated efforts to transition to localized supply chains, many Houston companies face significant obstacles.
It’s easy to point the finger at obvious issues like labor and material shortages—there’s no denying that it’s a tumultuous time. But from our perspective as a machine shop in Houston, the biggest obstacle standing in the way of Houston companies localizing their supply chains is a general lack of knowledge about the local manufacturing landscape.
Manufacturing Challenges in Houston
One of the keys to reshoring supply chains is having outsourced manufacturing vendors nearby who can complete the work traditionally done overseas. If companies can’t find the right vendors to help them replicate their global supply chains, it’s a major roadblock to localized manufacturing.
The manufacturing supply chain in Houston relies heavily on tribal knowledge. For companies looking to build new products or reshore existing manufacturing operations, this landscape can be exceptionally difficult to navigate.
Houston has a rich manufacturing history, but over time it’s become known primarily for energy, oil, and gas. With these industries emerging as dominant forces in our local economy, manufacturers serving other industries have been phased out. They’ve moved to other cities or become commercial casualties of the pandemic, leaving companies outside the dominant industries unable to identify viable manufacturing options.
The Path Forward for Manufacturing in Houston
What’s the path forward for local manufacturing? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But manufacturers in Houston and the surrounding area must be willing to come together and be part of the solution.
Established manufacturers know better than anyone that when it comes to finding reliable vendors, the best source of information is. . . us. We are the top sources for referrals precisely because of the tribal knowledge we possess. Imagine how much we could help the local Houston economy—and each other—if we leveraged this knowledge to build a referral network for local companies.
For such a network to exist, we must be willing to embrace radical transparency and be open to helping one another, even when it could mean more competition for our own businesses. If we want local outsourced manufacturing efforts to be successful for everyone, we must create a local economy that is conducive to collaboration.
At Alchemy Industrial, we know who to turn to for the services we don’t offer in-house. Our partners and competitors have similar networks. But there’s no central hub for this information. When we keep resources from each other, we all miss out. How incredible would it be if we combined our robust networks of vendors to contribute to the greater good of outsourced manufacturing in Houston?
We’re committed to leading by example. Part of the vision for our Manufacture Houston podcast was to introduce vendors to one another and help foster these connections. It’s been a great initial effort, but we’re ready to take it a step further.
As part of our initiative to build deeper connections in our community, we’re excited to launch the Manufacture Houston Community. We’re bringing Houston manufacturers together and encouraging local companies to contact us for help finding the right vendor or partner.
We truly believe that the path forward for manufacturing in Houston involves reaching out and helping one another. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to be part of this initiative—or if you could use our support reshoring your manufacturing operations. We look forward to hearing from you!