Industry Voices: Court Carruthers

Court Carruthers, president of Grainger U.S., discusses some of the key issue his customers face as 2013 begins.

02/18/2013


Court CarruthersWith some of the federal issues resolved for the moment, how would you evaluate the growth potential for the U.S. manufacturing sector?

Some manufacturers, especially those in heavy manufacturing, are beginning to “re-shore” some production back to the U.S., primarily due to increased transportation costs, increased offshore labor costs, supply chain risk mitigation, and the need to closely connect R&D to the manufacturing floor in an effort to respond faster to emerging trends. With an increase in U.S. driven demand for products, it’s also far more attractive to have production closer to the customer, which, among other things, reduces warehousing while improving quality and protecting intellectual property.

How much of that growth is determined in the U.S., and how much is a matter of global issues? And how would you assess the global health of manufacturing?

As the U.S. begins to see re-shoring, China and emerging markets are experiencing salary inflation, but it is not cost-prohibitive at this point. While labor costs are a major consideration, questions need to be answered around quality, transportation cost, the cost/benefit of being first to market, and supply chain risk. These are the key factors driving the manufacturing infrastructure and manufacturers’ next steps. The health of the sector will significantly depend on answers to these questions.

What factors outside of government will continue to affect manufacturing in 2013?

Beyond the factors outlined above, employment, in the U.S. in particular, will be the key to driving the manufacturing sector forward. The manufacturing industry has a large amount of skilled jobs to fill and not enough qualified applicants. And as the baby boomer generation continues to retire, that gap will widen even more and hinder manufacturing growth considerably.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Improving flowmeter calibration; Selecting flowmeters for natural gas; Case study: Streamlining assembly systems using PC-based control; CLPM: Improving process efficiency, throughput
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me