Next Stop, Shangri-la

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Next Stop, Shangri-la

The burgeoning trade-war between the US and China is certainly wreaking havoc, especially in large industrial cities such as Shenzhen, whose economies are heavily tied to export markets and lucrative partnerships with “global” manufacturers. On the home front, I can’t think of a single major interconnect supplier that has not moved at least some of its enterprise to China (or India,or Mexico, or some other low-cost region). So I would guess there is plenty of disruption state-side as well.

It’s always hard to argue with the crowd. After all, who can fault companies that have for some time now enjoyed attractive tax policies and other incentives— both at home and abroad—as well as significant cost-of-goods savings on their offshore-manufactured products?

To say managing a global business is complicated and unpredictable is an understatement. And I suppose one could even argue that the task is ultimately impossible to fully understand. But one constant in business has always been painfully true. And that is that economies go through cycles. Cycles of growth and contraction, expansion and recession, boom and bust. And boy is China ever going through a cycle. A roller-coaster of a cycle.

At Glenair, our policy of building and maintaining factory footprints in the countries and markets we serve, has positioned us well to respond to growth-cycles in our industry—when and where they occur. Perhaps more importantly, it has lessened the effect that certain “black swan events”—such as trade-wars or disruption in a foreign supply chain—can have on our locally-managed and sourced enterprises.

Take a look at this special issue of QwikConnect with its photo safari of our Glendale, Mansfield, Bologna and Salem factories. Each spread shows how committed we have been to locating our production facilities immediately within the markets we serve. I suppose once upon a time sea-power, or some other factor was the key to economic success. But today, it seems to us, it is markets. More specifically, who has them and how well positioned you are to serve them.

And so as the world turns, and all the clever MBA’s plot their next move in the game—to some new Shangri-la—we invite you, as always, to enjoy your relationship with Glenair right here on Air Way in Glendale, California, where we have been happily doing business since 1956. And of course the invitation extends to our locally sourced and managed operations in Mansfield, Bologna and Salem. These impressive, world-class factories are primed and ready to meet the needs of all our global customers, no matter what‘s happening on the streets of Shenzhen.

Chris Toomey

This article appears in our July edition of QwikConnect. If you would like to subscribe, please click here.

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