14. Reshoring: Revolution or Evolution

When globalization and offshoring entered the popular lexicon in the 1990s, it was apparent that the primary intent was to arbitrage labor costs by using lower-wage workers in developing nations. But astute manufacturing visionaries saw it as something more: a decisive change in globalization, made possible by a wave of reform and opening up in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam; a steady improvement in the capabilities and infrastructure of emerging market suppliers and workers, a growing ability to transfer proven management processes to new locales, and increasingly favorable transportation and communications economics.

After years of large-scale outsourcing and offshoring, a number of reshoring ...

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