Made in America: Who is manufacturing in America?

Analysis of the tech vendors manufacturing in the U.S.

made in usa
I started a blog at Interop Las Vegas to see where the vendors manufactured their equipment. This was in response to the questions I get about buying American. Many executives are getting hit hard to buy American products and want to know where vendors are manufacturing equipment. They want jobs to be brought back to America and to be good stewards for their company. While walking the floor I handed out in person a request for information from all of the vendors listed below. A few responded and many did not. The responses below are unaltered from the vendors' submissions. 

It will be interesting to see how many of the other vendors respond to the request after this blog is posted. I am sure many would like to see the information.

e n

The Enterasys Sourcing Strategy provides the right balance of flexibility and efficiency required to support the changing needs of our customers while delivering bottom-line value back to the business.

With respect to our Modular Switching products, the Data Center/Core products are manufactured in Romania while the Edge products are manufactured in Thailand. 

Our Fixed Switching products are manufactured in China, as is a portion of our Wireless portfolio and Power Supplies. The balance of the Wireless portfolio are manufactured in Romania and Germany. The balance of our power supplies are manufactured in Canada. 

Our appliance based products are sourced from the U.S. with manufacturing happening in Mexico. 

The Enterasys New Product Introduction activities happen in technology centers in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and Taiwan.

Enterasys was recently named a winner of the Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards for excellence in manufacturing and supply chain processes. Enterasys VP of Engineering Operations & Quality Brad Martin received an individual award in the Next-Generation Leadership and Culture category, and the company also received honors in the Information Leadership category. 

The awards are sponsored by Manufacturing Executive, the global community for manufacturing leadership and producer of the Manufacturing Leadership Summit and ML100 Awards program. 

spirent

As a company operating in markets where rapid technological change is the norm, Spirent Communications invests heavily in research & development (R&D). In 2011 Spirent invested $88 million (17% of revenue) in R&D, a 17% increase over 2010. While Spirent's development team is located across multiple continents, the vast majority of our development dollars are spent here in the United States, where a team of several hundred engineers design most of Spirent's product portfolio - representing both hardware and software development.

A few years back, Spirent streamlined its manufacturing operations to reduce costs, improve product quality and reduce time to delivery, and outsourced hardware material manufacturing to Thailand. European and Asian orders are typically fulfilled directly from the Thailand manufacturing facility, while North American orders are shipped via warehouses in the U.S. Software development is carried out in the U.S., UK and China with the majority of development and quality assurance (QA) teams located in the U.S.

While providing the exact the value of U.S.-versus-non-U.S. content in our products is challenging, we do have a good understanding where our investment is being spent, and most of that remains in the U.S. All our solutions are a combination of hardware and software components - some more than others. As a relatively small-volume manufacturer of complex test equipment that requires frequent updates to maintain alignment with the evolving test needs of our customers, Spirent makes extensive use of FPGAs from leading U.S. vendors in its hardware products. The code that resides in these FPGAs is mostly developed by U.S.-based engineers.

As the end of the day, Spirent is committed to delivering a high-quality, high-value, cost-effective product to our customers in a timely manner. Our ability to leverage our U.S. engineering talent along with the manufacturing expertise and efficiency of a best-of-breed Asian contract manufacturer has provided us with a sustainable competitive advantage and increased our shareholder value (many of who are Spirent employees).

riverbed

Riverbed works with a variety of manufacturers. Some are in the U.S. Some are abroad.

arista

Most of our products are now manufactured in Malaysia. (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-143924713.html). We retain product manufacturing capability in California for orders that demand a Made in America label, as well as for rapid prototyping and such. We have a Customs and Border Patrol ruling granting Arista TAA (Trade Agreements Act) compliance if we do our SW loads domestically. At the time of the ruling manufacturing was in China and has subsequently been moved to Malaysia for a variety of reasons.

netoptics

    Net Optics manufactures its product in the U.S. In fact, manufacturing is conducted at our corporate headquarters in Santa Clara, CA and is co-located with our engineering, product management, and sales teams. We also source almost all our subcomponents from California-based partners and suppliers. We think this strategy is more than just convenient. This colocation promotes great collaboration, quick response to the field, and the ability to innovate rapidly.

In addition to the benefits of colocation, we strongly support manufacturing in the U.S., and believe it gives us several distinct competitive advantages: First of all, we have almost complete control of our supply chain and assembly process. We do not have the risks, costs, or constraints of third-party involvement. Nor do we have the excessive lead-times that come from out-sourcing. We can determine when and how fast our product is produced, and have no exposure to external factors that may affect delivery or quality. In this way, we can guarantee a much higher quality product to our customers. In the security space, there can also be a significant preference for products that are "Made in USA".

As mentioned above, a very real benefit to local production is speed. We have brought our customer lead-time down from over 14 days to under 2 days by focusing on our process, and reducing our internal cycle-times. In some cases, a customer can order a product in the morning, and the product is assembled and shipped that same day. We have done this through prudent application of Lean Manufacturing principals, and continual improvement activities. Through this effort, we have also reduced our working inventory even while reducing our lead times.

We are proud of our technology and believe our customers value our unique solutions.  As such, we are eager to protect that IP for the good our company and our customers.  Outsourcing manufacturing to a low-cost region increases the risk of losing that technological advantage.

Finally, we believe that we can actually produce products ourselves in California more cost-effectively than we can do it anywhere else in the world. While the pressure to outsource is always there, the numbers never seem to add up.  In the cases where it is a close call, the potential costs and risks outlined above heavily outweigh the small differences that may seem to favor an outsourced solution.

Quality:  Reduction in RMAs of over 50%

Cost:  A compounded, year-over-year reduction of about 10% for the last 3 years

Lead time:  Reduced from over 14 days, to less than 2.

Productivity:  Improvement of over 300%

Inventory:  Reduction of over 20%

netscout

For more than 25 years as a network infrastructure solution provider, NetScout has always manufactured its hardware in the United States. NetScout conducts all final assembly, test, packaging and fulfillment at the company's headquarters in Massachusetts. The company's first priority is to work with suppliers in the local geographic region, secondarily with domestic suppliers, and when necessary, international sources. Based upon every dollar spent, the vast majority of NetScout's dollar is going to U.S.-based suppliers. Even when the industry trend was to outsource abroad, NetScout has found that manufacturing in the United States is competitive. The benefits for NetScout are higher quality, better control of costs and shorter time to market.

With local sourcing and manufacturing, NetScout can control costs and quality much easier. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer with a very complex solution, the focus for NetScout's manufacturing team is on productivity. A local supplier can provide inventory on short demand, solve problems in the same time zone and allows for NetScout to inspect the inventory before it leaves the supplier's dock. Since working locally provides a shorter lead time and quality can be controlled efficiently, sourcing locally and domestically reduces time to market. For NetScout, local manufacturing is in alignment with providing a high-quality solution at a competitive price to its customers.

Updated May 25th, 2012

NI

All Network Instruments products are designed, tested, assembled and shipped at our Minnetonka, MN headquarters. We have always looked for local/domestic suppliers first before leveraging international resources. The reason for manufacturing the products in the U.S. is to maintain the high standard of quality that our customers have come to expect from us.

The following vendors did not reply:

Cisco Systems, Huawei, HP, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Barracuda Networks, Blue Coat, Brocade, Dell, EMC, Force 10, IBM, Ixia, NEC, Sonic Wall, ShoreTel, Juniper Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Xirrus, iBoss, Gigamon, OPNET Technologies, Extreme Networks, F5 Networks, Mitel.

As they respond I will add the responses to the blog.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Now read: Getting grounded in IoT