Puerto Rico: A Haven for Manufacturers?


Perhaps not surprisingly to those familiar with the tropical island, manufacturing remains a key driver of economic activity in Puerto Rico. Indeed, manufacturing accounts for 45% of Puerto Rico’s GDP (compared to 11% in the U.S.) and over 20% of the island’s jobs. Many U.S. multinational companies, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, have chosen Puerto Rico as their home for manufacturing operations.

Why? There are five main reasons. Continue reading this entry

How to Become a Director of the Year

Director of the Year Award

Manufacturing companies and their boards of directors have responded to new challenges to increase productivity, reduce costs, better manage data, and develop new and better products. To recognize the contributions of outstanding directors to their boards, companies, and shareholders, last year Foley established Director of the Year Awards for outstanding directors at public and private companies.

The boardroom is no stranger to watching technological advancements revolutionize the business model. And great directors provide value to a company, and its management team, through informed governance and decision making. Even in the face of sweeping changes, boards of directors are charged with ensuring the company maintains its integrity while delivering value to its shareholders.

Nominations are currently being accepted for this year’s award and are due July 28th. Winners of the Director of the Year award for a public and private company will be recognized on November 5th at Foley’s National Directors Institute Executive Exchange reception in Chicago. Last year’s award winners represented outstanding manufacturing companies, Oshkosh Corporation and Pelican Products. Continue reading this entry

Facilities Siting: The Right Considerations Lead to the Right Choice

According to the research, manufacturers are on the move. The questions and considerations listed below are a great starting point for any company opening or relocating a manufacturing facility.

Is the right support infrastructure in place?

  • Transportation – Will railroads, airports, seaports, or interstate highways be needed for the plant?
  • Utilities – Some of our clients have incurred substantial costs to upgrade the community’s existing infrastructure to handle their new plants’ demands. Examples include augmenting local sanitation, wastewater, or storm water discharge capabilities. Continue reading this entry

Economic Manufacturing Quantities: The Right Amount and the Right Locations


Does your manufacturing firm have enough facilities creating the optimum number of products in the right locations? As manufacturing abroad became viable, the siting options became innumerable. Now, already difficult decisions are becoming more complicated due to market trends. Oil prices are rising and automation is spreading. Also, although differences still exist, relative wages are converging and regulations are becoming more uniform. As a result, transportation costs increasingly influence strategic decisions. Add localization barriers to trade, which force production within a given country’s borders, and any strategic planner must ask, “Where should we locate production facilities? How many should we have around the world? How many units should we produce at each site?”

Performing an analysis I dubbed “economic manufacturing quantities” (“EMQ”) could provide manufacturers guidance to help answer these questions. (Note, to my knowledge, the EMQ concept is not a widely known or accepted idea. Rather, the term occurred to me while mulling over a combination of supply chain management principles, including economic order quantity.) In the past, retailers faced difficult questions regarding inventory stocking—how much, when, and where. Economic order quantity provided an answer through a calculation by which sellers determine at what point a given location should replenish its inventory and how much that location should order. Premised on assumptions about demand and shipping times, an economic order quantity calculation seeks to minimize ordering and carrying costs while avoiding shortages. Continue reading this entry

Jumping on the "Made in the U.S.A." Bandwagon


Retailers are increasingly praising the importance of  placing the “Made in the USA” phrase on their product packaging and labels. Customers, not only in the U.S. but worldwide, are now demanding “Made in America” merchandise. The time is ripe for savvy manufacturers and retailers to take advantage of this trend or risk being left behind.

As American-made products continue to grow in popularity with consumers, big box retailers and many others are scrambling to stock these products. Walmart recently committed to stocking $250 billion worth of domestically sourced products in the next 10 years. Additionally, many other companies are signing similar contracts with suppliers, as Reshoring trends continue to gain momentum.

Ali Murphy, CEO of William Roam, notes that her company’s hotel amenities manufacturing business uses “Made in the USA” branding as one of its major focuses. Ali says that “Most amenities are now made in China or Mexico, and it’s a real point of differentiation to be made in the USA.”  She further explains that “It’s somewhat more expensive, obviously, but the benefits are significant.” Continue reading this entry