It’s Rewarding Work on Many Levels

It’s always nice to be recognized by industry colleagues when you’ve reached goals or helped a customer achieve theirs. We were recently the proud recipients of the National Reshoring Award, presented to us at FabTech by The Reshoring Initiative; the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA); AMT, the Association For Manufacturing Technology; SME, Society of Manufacturing Engineers; and the NTMA, National Tooling & Machining Association. This award honors a company that has successfully reshored products, parts, or tooling made primarily by metal forming, fabricating, or machining.HM_ReshoringAward-feature copy

Harry Moser is founder and president of The Reshoring Initiative. This organization began in early 2010, and helps manufacturers realize that local production can often reduce their total cost of ownership of purchased parts and tooling. The Reshoring Initiative also trains suppliers how to effectively meet the needs of their local customers, giving the suppliers the tools to sell against lower-priced offshore competitors. The organization focuses on helping companies shift collective thinking from “offshoring is cheaper” to “local reduces the total cost of ownership.” They assist manufacturers and suppliers in making sourcing decisions by providing valuable tools and resources that include a “Total Cost of Ownership Estimator®” (an intuitive online calculator for determining profit and loss impact of reshoring vs. offshoring), case studies, webinars and presentations, survey data, and a reshoring library, among other tools and resources.

Reshoring and Its Comprehensive Cost Analysis 

The longstanding measure for assessing the advantages of an offshore supply chain is known as the “total landed cost.” Put simply, this encompasses all expenses related to the production and delivery of goods up to the point of generating revenue. The recent resurgence of U.S. manufacturers has been fueled by a meticulous review of this calculation, along with a growing awareness of the risks linked to offshore sourcing. We wrote about it previously, and you can read that article and download the Reshoring Checklist here.

Now, more than ever, the trend of reshoring acts as a prominent signal that U.S. manufacturers are eager for business. When considering the day-to-day hurdles of managing an offshore supply chain, the resources required to sustain it, and the potential costs of disruptions, the implications are substantial. These factors don’t just raise an eyebrow; they directly impact your total expenditure, and significantly so.

Let’s examine this scenario in real-time. For instance, in the case of component-level items, a halt in production due to delayed supply of a crucial part leads to irrevocable productivity losses. This, in turn, results in delays in bringing your products to market and drives your customers towards competitors. Subsequently, companies often resort to extreme measures to prevent stock shortages, such as dedicated land transport, express shipping, and airfreight.

This cascade effect amplifies the consumption of time, resources, and of course, costs. One repercussion that tends not to make its way in the quantifiable column (thought is surely counts, literally) is the liability your company faces due to a loss of confidence and trust from customers in your ability to deliver, potentially eroding vital relationships. It is yet another elusive, yet potentially, devastating cost.

Reshoring Assessment Checklist

Below is a brief overview of the factors that should form part of your company’s evaluation when considering reshoring. At the top of the list is a thorough reassessment of the financial implications, with an exploration of various internal and external perspectives. Subsequently, due diligence must be exercised in evaluating U.S. manufacturers across several critical criteria:HM_ReshoringAward

  • Quality
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Service levels
  • Technological capabilities
  • Skilled talent availability
  • Innovation potential
  • Infrastructure adequacy
  • Automation integration
  • Quality management systems/standards adherence
  • Engineering proficiency
  • Vertical integration capacity
  • Proximity to target markets
  • Operational stability
  • Ease of conducting business 

As you can see, this has been on our minds for some time, as it is part of our blueprint as a company. We pride ourselves on keeping our focus on customers, supporting them with their successes, and are humbled to have received this award, which was also recently recognized in the National Tooling and Machining Association’s (NMTA) online publication, For the Record. You can read about it here (scroll to page 20).

Feedback from A Med Device Customer

So how did we get here? Hobson & Motzer was approached in 2019 by a med device manufacturer who had initially worked with an offshore company for their precision metal components. At the outset, the med device company was at an early development stage and felt the best option for development was off-shore. The project moved forward and built momentum into early production. Given the technical challenges of the components, the off-shore supplier was challenged to consistently meet quality requirements. At this point they sought a U.S. company with the expertise and infrastructure to deliver the required quality and ability to scale—that brought them Hobson & Motzer. For confidentiality, the specific product and company is not something we can share. There was a family of precision components, each made up of multiple high-precision parts, that are then assembled, they are component assemblies for a new medical device.

We specialize in medical device components and assemblies that require high precision. This customer was referred to us. In a discussion with the senior director of operations ( we’ll refer to him as SDO in this article), he said this of Hobson & Motzer: “Our initial decision was based on Hobson & Motzer’s ability to scale; this was the driving force. We know them to be one of the few in this country who can do what needs to be done for the med device industry, and they have a LOT of experience manufacturing these critical parts. We had every confidence they could handle the stringent tolerances required for this part.”

Specialized, Nimble, and Ready to Scale 

As SDO pointed out, med device in the U.S. is a small community, and there is a small number of suppliers available to do this work—most being tied up with long-term relationships. Taking on, essentially, start-up work is a risk for them. Not too long after this initial engagement with SDO, we formalized out First Step program, our rapid precision prototype program. We’ve been excelling at this for years, so it made sense to create a formalized platform to help companies with DFM work.

SDO saw this in in working with us here. In his words, “The staff is really professional, well trained, and talented. They are very particular about what they take on. They specialize in precision metal—and are very good at it. Because of their deep experience in med device, when we lay out the steps, they know and complete the validation work—they understand the importance of it. As well, Hobson & Motzer has all the resources in the facility. They have a solid tool room, with a very good process in place for tooling development. All in all, they have a good leadership team guiding strong people and strong processes. We needed a capable partner who could scale, first and foremost, and who could keep tolerances and quality while doing so.”

Innovation Reigns

The Reshoring Award placed some emphasis on innovation. Knowing how important confidentiality is, we can say this: This was an exceedingly difficult to produce industry-leading product, the details of which we cannot share. SDO corroborates this when he says, “This is an innovative product—there is nothing else on the market like it. There was definitely some risk in the DFM, which required extensive engineering. Hobson & Motzer is a very technical company; they invest in their business with state-of-the-art machinery and technology. Their metrology technology makes inspection so reliable. They are so committed that they purchased a gigantic new press to run our production.”  

Committed to Comprehensive Collaboration

At Hobson & Motzer, we remain committed in our ability to collaborate, iterate quickly, share performance feedback, and grow when it helps our customer grow likewise. We talked with SDO about how all of the elements of our partnership have helped them. To be clear, they do have work that remains off-shore, so they are aware of the delta that occurs when collaborating overseas. SDO says, “One of the big differentiators is, of course, lead time. Some things have settled out since the pandemic first hit, but we were dealing with four- to five-month lead times. During portions of the development process, Hobson & Motzer was delivering parts daily. Cost is certainly a consideration—shipping overhead and tariffs can be astronomical, especially when in the most iterative phases. Then there are the intangibles: meeting in person to hash out next steps, new directions, or resolving issues (as opposed to Zoom); having instant access to people; no long flights and crazy work hours due to time differences. It’s so much easier to work with someone you can sit across the table from conveniently.”  

Make Your First Step Count 

At Hobson & Motzer, the best First Step is one that employs the same proven processes that are applied in large-scale production programs from the get-go—with the full force of our team and talent behind it. An engagement with Hobson & Motzer’s First Step program is just that—the First Step in a successful product development project. 

Are you getting the most out of your prototypes? Take your First Step towards a collaboration that delivers precision tolerance prototypes and—from the start—assesses your components for their entire lifecycle. Hobson & Motzer’s project-based approach delivers precision and optimizes your NPI/NPD components, from every angle, and helps get you to market faster. 

Let’s explore the possibilities for your next project.


Topics: Reshoring Manufacturing for Medical Devices

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