We pen this Supply Chain Matters posting in the late afternoon of October 4th, which is deemed Manufacturing Day 2013 in the United States. It is a designated event occurring on the first Friday of October each year and features day consisting of a number grassroots events, open houses and tours creating awareness and celebrating modern manufacturing. 

This is fantastic and congratulations to all who either sponsored, planned or participated in the celebrations and events.

Today’s events are sponsored by a number of industry groups including among others:

Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International

Industrial Strength Marketing (ISM)

Manufacturing Institute and the Science Channel

National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Manufacturing Institute (MI)

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)


According to an event announcement, this year’s celebration includes over 800 events taking place today and throughout October. Some of these events aim to show that manufacturing no longer involves dirty, back-breaking work but rather a vibrant set of activities that leverage a high-tech driven economy.  Much more important, factories will open their doors to busloads of middle, high and technical vocational school students to provide tours and spark interest for a career in the field of manufacturing. That is a rather critical and important objective because numerous industry research and other studies point to a need to overcome a critical shortage of the skilled manufacturing people required to sustain a renaissance of manufacturing across the U.S.

We recently called attention to research conclusions from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Task Force on Production and Innovation research team that addressed Making in America.  This author is in the final stages of reading the book that was published in conjunction with this research effort, and the results are thought provoking. Supply Chain Matters will feature a detailed commentary on this book sometime next week.

Even in Silicon Valley California, an area that was once the mecca for high tech and consumer electronics manufacturing, there were events celebrating Manufacturing Day 2013. Mike Cassidy reporter for the San Jose Mercury News penned a blog commentary in conjunction with today’s celebration: “Manufacturing conjures up images of places like 1950’s Detroit and Pittsburgh and 2013 Shenzhen China. But unknown to many who live here, production work accounts for 17 percent of the jobs in the valley and the manufacturing plants here produce some of the world’s most complex and rapidly evolving products and components.” About two-dozen plants in the Bay Area opened their doors to students today.  Cassidy cites last year’s Brookings Institution finding that Silicon Valley had the second highest concentration of manufacturing jobs among the country’s major metro areas.  Wichita Kansas was cited first in the Brookings study.

Unfortunately, one company not directly participating in this regional celebration was probably Apple, and our readers are fully aware of where Apple’s high volume manufacturing capabilities reside. Then again the cluster of innovative suppliers and small skilled manufacturers that assist Apple designers and engineers in converting designs into fabricated products most likely were participating. Perhaps in the spirit of Manufacturing Day 2013, the company that designs the coolest and most innovative smartphones and tablets might want to re-double its efforts to bring further manufacturing capability back to the U.S…

Supply Chain Matters applauds all of the efforts surrounding Manufacturing Day and extends our Tip of the HatTip of the Hat recognition for all of the associated industry sponsors, manufacturers and students who participated.






Here’s another idea.  What about a Supply Chain Day, a celebration of careers among all facets of today’s modern supply chains?

Professional organizations such as the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) or The Institute of Supply Management (ISM), global logistics and transportation leaders, third-party logistics and surface transportation carriers.  Are you up to the challenge?

For our part, we will do our part to spread the word wide and far.

Bob Ferrari