Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Publication Date: 02/1/2009
Archive >  February 2009 Issue >  Electronic Mfg. Services > 

Staying Close to Home Helps Bottom Line
Hand assembly and coil-winding are important aspects of the south-of-the-border operation.

Large companies with large volumes typically turn to China to meet their manufacturing needs. China has possibly the lowest fixed and variable costs in the world, and there are government subsidies that make the edge even larger when it comes to offshore manufacturing. It's a given: large companies with large volumes can't help but turn to China in order to be profitable.

But not everyone is a monster-sized company; there are thousands of small-to-medium-size companies still doing business in the U.S. who have to find new ways to be successful — a very, very difficult proposition in today's business world. Larger companies have a hard enough time, but for small-to-medium-size companies, the task can become insuperable. But small-to-medium-size companies can flourish if they know where to turn for help.

There are tens of thousands of American manufacturers with small-to-medium volumes that are of no interest to China. Chinese companies will not give small companies the time of the day. These are manufacturers with steady demand and long histories of products, but who require quantities in the hundreds or low thousands per year — small pickings that are unimportant to China.

Minimizing China Trauma
These same companies must keep their office operations to a minimum, and their management need not get up in the middle of the night to phone overseas or suffer from sleepless nights wrestling with the problem of making ends meet and earning a small profit. Just staying in business and not laying off dedicated employees can cause insomnia for management.

Many of these companies were started as family businesses and now are being run by the sons or daughters of the original founders. These managers are just trying to keep older employees working, something that is a very admirable, American attitude — admirable, but difficult.

The answer for such companies — keeping their operations going and profitable is right next door: Mexico. The country south of the border has over 2,800 companies looking for work, with over 1,000,000 employees — numbers that come from Mexico's National Statistics Agency. All employees are highly trained in the work they are assigned to do, and have an understanding of what is expected of them. QC/QA departments keep a close eye on in-process work and final assembly inspection. Operators and inspectors feel the personal motivation to do only the best possible work. Many shops operate using modern specifications as guidelines in their daily operation, including IPC-610 or more recently ISO 9000.

Time Zone Benefits
Operating in the same time zones as their U.S. customers is a special benefit in itself. The San Diego/Tijuana business climate is an ideal area. There are American companies, which will manufacture product in their Mexican factories at a great savings to the client company. There are great partners in Mexico just waiting to work with American Companies. These American/Mexican companies can produce quality goods consistently. They are first-class partners with first-class facilities who get the job done very economically.

They will take the customer's drawings and produce finished products at a fraction of the cost of doing it in the U.S. This type of partnership allows the U.S. clients to shift their present employees to other efforts, and usually will not involve any personnel layoffs.

Mexico is not likely to beat China on prices, but China does not want the type of work or quantities that fit ever so nicely into today's Mexican operations. American companies are not as impressed with China/Asia as they once were — certainly not satisfied with delivery times and quality. The buzz in the industry is that more and more work is coming back from China and being placed elsewhere — especially in Mexico.

Dealing with American companies with manufacturing capabilities in Mexico is just good clean straightforward business. There are no mirror tricks, slight of hand, or black magic involved. US/MEX Manufacturing Company Inc. is a privately held company incorporated in California, with manufacturing locations in Mexico in Tijuana and Ensenada. Each Mexican location has its own English-speaking Mexican General Manager, Production Manager, and Quality Manager.

The company can work with the client supplying the materials with our factories supplying only the labor. Alternatively, the company can provide turnkey — buying the materials and components in addition to supplying the labor. The company's corporate headquarters, design engineering, and surface mount PC board assembly are all located on the U.S. side of the border in San Diego.

The Mexican operations will stuff thru-hole PC Boards, do wire and cable harness assembly plus wind magnetics such as transformers, inductors, chokes, coils and filters. Our facilities operate under IPC-610 Level 2, plus we are implementing ISO 9000 into our daily operation.

The company is accustomed to quick changeovers — providing added flexibility and reducing customer time to market. We strongly believe that quality production means delivery of outstanding customer support before and after the sale. Of course, we always protect customer supplied proprietary technology and marketing information, guarding its sanctity to protect the customer. When sourcing materials, we search a worldwide network of suppliers to locate the best price and availability of dependable components. These practices reduce the customer's overhead for component purchasing, warehousing, and receiving inspection, cost accounting and obsolescence. Incoming and outgoing shipments are constantly monitored, and can be scheduled to closely match the customer's just-in-time (JIT) requirements.

Contact: US/MEX Manufacturing Inc., 2500 Hoover Avenue, Suite G, National City, CA, 91950 619-474-3331 fax: 619-474-1040 E-mail: Web:

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