Archive for category: American Manufacturing

Government Publishing Ofiice

In a recent blog, we discussed an extremely hot topic: tariffs. However, we are still nursing a blog hangover from that one. After all, you need a PhD in Economics to fully understand everything going on with tariffs these days, right? Well, while researching tariffs, the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO) website hit our radar (Click here).Government Publishing Ofiice

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)

Let’s face it, small business owners need help while encountering daily challenges. Especially when it comes to figuring out new government policy. As an American manufacturer trying to gain a clear understanding on tariffs certainly added to the list of challenges this year.

Additionally, researching government related issues and topics demand time and energy.

Therefore, discovering a website that provides helpful and timely information is priceless.

For example, the U.S. Government Publishing Office offers a wealth of helpful information for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Below includes a list of activities and responsibilities performed by the GPO:

  • Produce and distribute information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats.

  • Provide for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and govinfo.

Operate distribution centers in Laurel, MD and Pueblo, CO that fulfill orders for Government publications.

Check out this great video (take note of the enormous amount of paper in front of each employee during the pre-computer age):

Mission of the U.S. Government Publishing Office

According to the U.S. Government Publishing Office, the mission goes as follows:

Keeping America Informed as the official, digital, and secure source for producing, preserving, and distributing official Federal Government publications and information products for Congress, Federal agencies, and the American public.

History of the U.S. Government Publishing Office

In addition, the history of the U.S. Government Publishing Office dates back nearly 160 years:

Created by Congress in June 1860, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) began operation on March 4, 1861 with 350 employees. Occupying the corner of North Capitol and H Streets from its inception, GPO continues to adopt the most efficient and cost-effective production methods of delivering authentic and secure government documents and products to the American public. 

U.S. Government Bookstore 

One of the many assets that the Government Publishing Office offers includes the U.S. Government Bookstore. The U.S. Government Bookstore delivers a wide selection of government publications with books based on agency, topic and collection.

First, you can browse books on the U.S. Government Bookstore website by “Topic”. For example, the extensive list of topics includes Budget & the Economy, Business & Finance, Laws & Regulations, Science & Technology and much more.

In addition, you can also browse the website by “Government Agency”. The website offers an extensive list of agencies such as Congress & Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch & Federal Courts and The White House & Executive Office of the President. Other agencies include federal government agencies such as Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Interior, Labor, Treasury and much more.

Consequently, you can browse under the topic “Collections” as well. This list includes: New Releases, Best Sellers, eBooks, Subscriptions & Magazines and much more.

Basically any government based periodical resides on the U.S. Government Bookstore.

Free Shipping 

The Government Bookstore also offers free shipping on all products. Click below for more details:

https://bookstore.gpo.gov/customer-service/usa-shipping

Government Book Talk Blog

While checking out the Government Publishing Office website, we also discovered the Government Book Talk blog.

In particular, Government Book Talk offers excellent articles and helpful information for business owners and entrepreneurs.

The goal of the GPO blog, Government Book Talk!, states the following:

 “…..to raise the profile of some of the best publications from the Federal Government, past and present.  We’ll be reviewing new and popular publications, providing information about new publications in the offing, and talking about some out-of-print classics. The goal is to spotlight the amazing variety of Government publications and their impact on ourselves and our world – and have fun while doing it.”

Hence, the Government Book Talk Blog offers a number of outstanding topics. The post that introduced our team to the Government Book Talk blog was of course based on tariffs. Check out this great post:

What are tariffs and why are they important to U.S. citizens?

In addition, the list below includes other interesting blog posts from Government Book Talk blog:

Wrapping It Up 

Thank you for reading our post on the Government Publishing Office and the Government Book Talk Blog.

Finally, to learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:

 

e-stewards

This post continues our blog series on recycling. In particular, the growing need for electronics recycling. Exploring electronics recycling led us to e-Stewards, a global leader in promoting safe and healthy electronics recycling. Click here to view the company website.

The e-Stewards Standard

Headquartered in downtown Seattle, e-Stewards targets companies serving the electronics recycling industry. A company becomes certified by a third party certifying body once the company passes the rigorous audit.

The e-Stewards Standard addresses the following:

  • Protects customers from data breach
  • Prevents toxic e-waste
  • Helps protect the environment and human health
  • Child labor
  • Fire prevention
  • International law

The company mission states:

The e-Stewards initiative defines and promotes responsible electronics reuse and recycling best practices worldwide.

The e-Stewards Standard combines 14001 and R2 (Responsible Recycling) prohibiting e-waste from being disposed in landfills and incinerators. The standard also requires full compliance with global hazardous waste treaties for the exporting and importing of electronics.

Most importantly, the e-Stewards certification offers the peace of mind to businesses and consumers alike that the certified recycling company institutes practices of integrity:

e-Stewards is a global team of individuals, institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and governmental agencies upholding a safe, ethical, and globally responsible standard for e-waste recycling and refurbishment. We stop the export of illegal hazardous e-waste to developing nations and create a safe, green, and just world through sharing and using the principled and practical standard for electronics recycling and reuse.

Basel Action Network

The roots of e-Stewards trace to the the Basel Action Network (BAN) which namesake derives from the 1989 United Nations Basel Convention. The BAN mission includes the following:

In 2003, the Basel Action Network, a nonprofit dedicated to turning back the tide of toxins and waste to developing nations, launched the e-Stewards Pledge program. Over forty qualified electronics recyclers with one hundred locations across the US and Canada pledged to use only globally responsible, safe means to process electronic waste, more widely known as e-waste. BAN’s e-Stewards Pledge was the only program in North America to make real progress in establishing and ensuring e-waste recycling best practices for toxic materials.

In addition, e-Stewards addresses and identifies the main culprits that cause environmental concerns with electronics recycling or e-waste. Adhering to the foundation of the 1989 United Nations Basel Convention of restricting hazardous and toxic material.

For example, revealing the risks and challenges with CRT tubes:

E-waste contains toxic metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium as well as toxic organic chemicals such as brominated flame retardants. Old style cathode-ray-tube (CRT) computer monitors can contain up to 7 pounds of lead in the CRT tubes. In addition and even more dangerous, are the toxic phosphor compound coatings inside the tube. Most circuit boards, found in virtually all e-waste, still contain toxic lead-tin solders, toxic beryllium and  persistent polluting brominated flame retardants.

Finally, check out this link which titled “Who Gets Stepped On”  which includes an interesting video.

Also, here is another video on electronics recycling best practices from 60 Minutes on CBS:

Wrapping It Up 

Thank you for reading our post. Hopefully you found this information helpful when selecting a electronics recycling firm.

Lastly, to learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tariffs

Sometimes a word needs repeating several times to emphasize a point. For example, our topic today covers Tariffs, Tariffs, Tariffs!

Another example of a repeating a word for emphasis includes the real estate war cry, “location, location location”.

Of course, our personal favorite: “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” (However, you needed to have grown up in the 70’s to get this one).

What Are Tariffs? 

Anyway, tariffs lead today’s blog discussion.

First of all, let’s start out with the definition of a tariff.

We turn to our friends at Inc.com for a definition of a tariff:

“A tariff is a tax or duty imposed by one nation on the imported goods or services of another nation. Tariffs are a political tool that have been used throughout history to control the amount of imports that flow into a country and to determine which nations will be granted the most favorable trading conditions. High tariffs create protectionism, shielding a domestic industry’s products against foreign competition. High tariffs usually reduce the importation of a given product because the high tariff leads to a high price for the customers of that product.”

Government Resources to Navigate Tariffs

Tariffs certainly rose to the forefront as an extremely hot topic this year.

Yet, if you are in manufacturing, odds are your business has been impacted one way or another due to tariffs.

Especially if you purchase global parts or components.

So what has your experience been so far this year facing new tariffs?

Are tariffs having a positive impact and helping your business? Allowing you to better compete with cheap imports as intended?

On the other hand, are tariffs just causing you grief and frustration?

Tariffs seem to have caused a great deal of uncertainty this year.

For example, we found our vendors struggled this year with quoting prices due to uncertainty with tariffs. This made it difficult for our team to quickly respond to quote requests while we in turn waited for vendor responses. Some vendors raised prices in advance of the tariffs actually even taking place.

Our goal serving as an American manufacturer is to provide every tool and resource possible to help our customers better compete and reach success.

Well, if you find it challenging to follow all of the changes with tariffs, the intention of this blog is to offer some assistance.

We decided to put together a number of websites to help you navigate these changes.

Below includes a list of government agencies and websites that offer helpful information on tariffs.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) 

The Small Business Administration serves as a federal government agency that helps small businesses. The mission of the SBA:

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

The SBA defines tariffs as:

Tariffs are taxes, levies, or duties on a particular category of imports. These fees are charged as a percentage of the price of an imported good paid for by a U.S. buyer. These charges are collected by U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents at all U.S. ports of entry.

The SBA also offers this blog post below with helpful information on tariffs:

What Small Businesses Should Know About Tariffs

Federal Register 

Another resource for information on tariffs includes the Federal Register which is The Daily Journal of the U.S. Government.

This link from June 20, 2018, provides information on the new tariffs from the Office of the United States Trade Representative:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/20/2018-13248/notice-of-action-and-request-for-public-comment-concerning-proposed-determination-of-action-pursuant

Here is a summary from that post regarding new tariffs for 2018:

The U.S. Trade Representative (Trade Representative) has determined that appropriate action in this investigation includes the imposition of an additional ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products from China classified in the subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) set out in Annex A of this notice. The Trade Representative has further determined to establish a process by which U.S. stakeholders may request that particular products classified within a covered tariff subheading in Annex A be excluded from these additional duties. Further, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comment and will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed additional action in this investigation. The proposed additional action is the imposition of an ad valorem duty of 25 percent on products of China classified in the HTSUS subheadings set out in Annex C of this notice.

Office of the United States Trade Representative 

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative also provides valuable information.

According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) website:

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is an agency of more than 200 committed professionals with decades of specialized experience in trade issues and regions of the world:

“We negotiate directly with foreign governments to create trade agreements, to resolve disputes, and to participate in global trade policy organizations. We also meet with governments, with business groups, with legislators and with public interest groups to gather input on trade issues and to discuss the President’s trade policy positions.”

In addition, this link below shares the press release from the USTR from September 2018 regarding tariffs on Chinese imports:

USTR Finalizes Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Imports in Response to China’s Unfair Trade Practices

International Trade Association 

The International Trade Administration (ITA) serves as another source for information on tariffs:

The International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements.  ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad.

The ITA also offers a blog, Tradeology, which provides helpful information. For example, Tradeology  has a category called “Trade Policy“. ITA Blog posts include:

Export.gov

Export.gov also offers helpful information on tariffs. The Export.gov website states:

Export.gov helps U.S. companies plan, develop and execute international sales strategies necessary to succeed in today’s global marketplace. Developed by international trade specialists and economists, here you will find trusted market intelligence, practical advice and business tools to help you understand how to export, connect with foreign buyers, and expand operations in new markets.

In addition, the Export.gov website offers information on tariffs and import fees with this link:

https://2016.export.gov/logistics/eg_main_018130.asp

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CSP)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CSP) serves to protect U.S. borders as well as enforces U.S trade laws.

In addition, the CSP provides information on the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (check link below):

Harmonized Tariff Schedule – Determining duty rates

United States International Trade Commission 

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) also offers helpful information. The USITC is responsible for publishing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS); the U.S. Customs Service is responsible for administering the tariff and processing import entries.

Additionally, this link from the USITC Tariff Database offers information on “Tariffs: Get past, current, and future U.S. tariff rates in multiple formats”.

U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO)

While researching tariffs, we found another excellent resource, the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Government. The GPO website states:

About the agency: GPO opened its doors over 150 years ago on March 4, 1861, and is part of the legislative branch of the federal government.  GPO employees have been Keeping America Informed on the documents of our democracy, in both printed and electronic form.  The agency produces the Congressional Record, Federal Register, the nation’s passports, and other Federal Government documents. It also maintains the Federal Depository Library Program to ensure public libraries nationwide have access to Federal published information.

In particular, the GPO offers an extremely helpful blog called Government Book Talk:

Welcome to the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Government Book Talk! Our goal is to raise the profile of some of the best publications from the Federal Government, past and present.  We’ll be reviewing new and popular publications, providing information about new publications in the offing, and talking about some out-of-print classics. The goal is to spotlight the amazing variety of Government publications and their impact on ourselves and our world – and have fun while doing it.

For example, the GPO Government Book Talk offers two extremely helpful posts:

Wrapping It Up 

Thank you for reading our post on Tariffs. Hopefully this list of government websites offer some assistance while navigating information of tariffs.

Finally, to learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:

 

Last week we posted a blog on the Benefits of Recycling. As an electronics manufacturer, recycling plays an extremely important role in operations. Especially as the demand for electronics recycling continues to dramatically increase. Small business owners and consumers need reliable outlets for e-waste solutions. Below we explore several resourceful options.

Increasing Demand for Electronics Recycling

The use of computers and mobile devices continues to grow exponentially.

According to an article posted on the U.S. Census Bureau, reports show “a stunning increase in reported mobile broadband usage” within the U.S.

For example, 2016 data revealed that two-thirds of Americans access the internet through mobile devices.

Seems like that number must be much higher by now. It is hard to image anyone without a mobile device these days.

The Pew Research Center also reported that 84% of adults in the U.S. say their household possess a smart phone. Furthermore, 80% say they own a desktop or laptop computer.

Combine this with additional household electronic appliances such as washers, dryers, dish washers, and microwaves. In addition, throw in all of the big-screen TVs.

The National Conference of State Legislatures claim that the average household contains 24 electronic products.

To summarize, that’s a long list of electronics. Millions upon millions.

When all of these devices become unwanted and obsolete, then what?

Where do all of these electronics end up?

Electronics Recycling

E-Waste Concerns 

With these staggering household numbers of electronics ownership, just think of the amount of electronics at the average small business. Especially with the increasing reliance on electronics to run a business.

Electronic waste or e-waste is a growing concern for all small business owners.

How is e-waste defined? We turn to the e-waste experts at e-Stewards, an e-waste certification agency located in Seattle for a definition.

E-waste is defined by e-Stewards as the following:

E-waste stands for electronic waste, and is what your company, or institution generates when you replace or otherwise need to dispose of electronic assets such as phones, tablets, servers, monitors, copiers, computers, printers, fax machines, etc.

Growing e-waste concerns places a responsibility on every professional office and small business owner to figure out what to do with electronics once no longer useful.

Electronics Recycling Resources 

So, what are small business to do when it comes to electronics recycling?

Many times a small business either just doesn’t possess the necessary information or education on proper recycling practices. In other cases, employees get extremely busy. Recycling just isn’t front of mind.

Designate an internal leader to take charge of your recycling efforts.

Individuals with a passion for the environment and recycling serves well as an internal champion.

Also, take advantage of the many resources available for electronics recycling at your organization.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) offers helpful information of recycling options for electronics such as computers and devices: Click here. At the bottom of the page shows a list businesses that accept electronics for recycling.

For example, Best Buy offers electronics recycling, For more info click here.

Another option, find a local company that offers electronics recycling services. Conduct a Google search for “Electronics Recycling” to check out local options. Many communities offer free recycling events.

Wastecare Corporation offers recycling tips for manufacturers. Check out this link:

https://www.wastecare.com/Articles/Waste_Reduction_Recycling_Tips_Manufacturing.htm

Additional resourceful websites on electronics recycling:

Wrapping It Up

Thanks for reading our post on Electronics Recycling. Hopefully you find theses resources helpful.

Finally , to learn more about Falconer Electronics, check out these helpful links below:

Tackling Recycling

Why should you recycle? Does it really help the environment? What is recycling?

     Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and instead turning them into new products.

There are many different products that are part of the recycling family. Also, most products have recycling symbols on them. This is so everyone knows what goes in recycling bins.

Some symbols include the following:
Recycle Symbols

 

What Can You Recycle You May Ask?

Here is a list of the most common recycling materials:

  • Paper
    • 25 percent of solid waste generated each year
    • Americans also recycled almost 67 percent of the paper they used in 2015
  • Batteries
    • Dry-Cell Batteries are used in a variety of electronics.
    • The list includes:
      • alkaline and carbon zinc (9-volt, D, C, AA, AAA)
      • Mercuric-oxide (button, some cylindrical and rectangular)
      • Silver-oxide and zinc-air (button)
      • Lithium (9-volt, C, AA, coin, button, rechargeable) batteries.
  • Plastics
    • Almost 35 million tons of plastics were generated in the United States in 2015.
    • Only 9.1 percent of plastics was recycled in 2015.
  • Glass
    • Glass containers for food and beverage 
    • In 2015 11.5 million tons of glass were generated
    • Also, about 26 percent of which was recycling.
  • Used Oil
    •  It takes 42 gallons of crude oil, but only one gallon of used oil, to produce 2.5 quarts of new motor oil.
    • The used oil from one oil change can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water.
  • Household Hazardous Waste
    • Products such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them.
    • These also may be dangerous to people or bad for the environment if poured down the drain, dumped on the ground, or thrown out with regular trash.
    • Finally, check with your local waste management agency to see what rules apply in your community.
  • Tires.
    • You may be able to return used tires to either a tire retailer or a local recycling facility that accepts tires.
    • Tire piles create an environmental danger especially with when a fire occurs. 

Recycle BenefitsRecycl

First of all, it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills. Another benefit is that it conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals. It also helps us saves energy. Another positive factor is that it supports American manufacturing and conserves valuable resources. Finally, it also helps create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.

Check out this informative video to learn more:

To learn more about why you should recycle check out this page!

This is the first of our recycling series! Check back for next week for more on recycling!

Also, to keep up to date with all things Falconer Electronics, check out our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages!

 

Consultants Who Impacted Manufacturing

Manufacturers commonly rely on consultants to help advance their business strategies.

Let’s take a step back in time to look at several legendary business consultants.

Three prominent management consultants from the 20th century who left a lasting legacy include W. Edwards Deming, Peter Drucker and Tom Peters.

As a business logistics major in college during the 1990’s, these individuals appeared frequently as hot topics throughout business classes.

Each of these three consultants found international success with their influence as well as pioneering ideas on business management practices

In particular, each of these individuals left a significant impact on manufacturers. Even today, all three consultants continue to heavily influence decisions at our company.

W. Edwards Deming

W. Edwards Deming is considered by many to be the master of continual improvement of quality, as well as overall operation efficiency.

In June 1980, the acclaimed documentary “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We” reintroduced Dr. Deming to America. He quickly became the voice of quality and sparked the quality revolution.

Deming consulted with clients such as Ford, Xerox and Proctor & Gamble.

In particular, Deming played a major role in the resurgence of the American automobile industry in the late 1980’s. Below includes several of our favorite quotes from Deming:

  • “A Bad System Will Beat a Good Person Every Time”
  • “Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.”
  • “Eighty-five percent of the reasons for failure are deficiencies in the systems and process rather than the employee. The role of management is to change the process rather than badgering individuals to do better.”

Peter Drucker

Consultants

Another consultant from the 20th century who left a lasting legacy includes Peter Drucker.

Peter Drucker, commonly referred to as the “father of management“, authored 39 books. Above all, he wrote 30 books AFTER the age of 60. That’s inspiration!

The impressive Drucker client list included a line up of corporate giants such as Sears, IBM, GM, GE, Intel, Coca-Cola, and Proctor & Gamble. 

Furthermore, Drucker delivered ground breaking views on motivation, efficiency and time management.

He is also credited with coining the term “knowledge worker“.

Check out this fantastic article about Peter Drucker from the Harvard Business Review: What Peter Drucker Knew About 2020.

Drucker’s books serve not only corporate warriors, but also entrepreneurs as well.

For example, his 1985 book “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” deserves the role as mandatory reading for every entrepreneur.

Below includes a list of the many incredible quotes from Peter Drucker:

  • “Doing the right thing is more important than doing the thing right.”
  • “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”
  • “There is nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency something that should not be done at all.”
  • “Results are gained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”
  • “So much of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to work.”
  • “Meetings are by definition a concession to a deficient organization. For one either meets or one works. One cannot do both at the same time.”

Tom Peters

Lastly, Tom Peters co-authored one of the greatest business books of all time, “In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies”. This book served as required reading for business majors in the 1990’s.

Tom Peters client list includes the Hersey Company, Rolls-Royce Aerospace, Texas Instruments and the U.S. Army.

Several excellent quotes from Tom Peters include:

Wrapping It Up

Finally, thanks for reading our post on 20th management consultants.

For additional information on Falconer Electronics, check out these other helpful blog posts:

Being an entrepreneur requires a consistent positive attitude. You need your game face on at all times. Display constant determination. Maintain a laser focus. Especially during stressful periods and even when a bad day occurs. We all need to remain upbeat. Sometimes we just need words of wisdom like inspiring business quotes to put us back on track.
Inspiring Business Quotes

Inspiring Business Quotes Help Conquer Tough Times

Who doesn’t love quotes of inspiration and motivation?

For example:

Of course, one of the classic motivational speeches of all time comes from Bluto (John Belusi) in the 1978 movie “Animal House”.

Bluto: “What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!… It ain’t over now, ’cause when the goin’ gets tough, (long pause)….the tough get goin’. Who’s with me? Let’s go! Come on!…”(He ran to the front door but no one followed him). If you grew up in the 70’s, this scene may bring a smile to your face.

Anyway, some great business quotes serve not only as an excellent source of inspiration but they also help put things in perspective during challenging times.

Serving as a U.S. manufacturer since 1985, we targeted our list of favorite business quotes from entrepreneurs who helped revolutionized their industries.

Henry FordBusiness Quotes

Henry Ford is a must for any list of favorite business quotes. In particular, Ford was known for his insightful one-liners. Henry Ford delivered a wealth of outstanding quotes:

  • “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.”
  • “If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
  • “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”
  • “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
  • “Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.”
  • “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
  • “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Click Here for Inspiring Thomas Edison Quotes

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs needs little introduction. Technology visionary. Computer pioneer. Inventor. Entrepreneur. Massive success. Co-founder of Apple. He also revolutionized the cartoon industry with Pixar. Steve Jobs died way too young in 2011. Below include a few favorites:

John D. RockefellerRockefeller

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you here the name Rockefeller? Most likely, money and wealth.

Click Here for Our Book Review on “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.”

John D. Rockefeller achieved great heights of unimaginable wealth. Rockefeller founded The Standard Oil Company in the 19th century.

Wrapping It Up 

Thank you for reading our post on Inspiring Business Quotes. Hopefully you found a quote or two insightful. Even applicable to your business.

What are some of your favorites?

For additional information on Falconer Electronics, check out these other helpful posts:

Rockefeller

“Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.”

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name, Rockefeller?

Money? Extreme wealth? Massive success? Monopolist? Philanthropist?

As you are most likely aware, John D. Rockefeller is commonly noted as the wealthiest individual in American history.

On a personal note, I proposed to my wife in front of Rockefeller Center at the Christmas tree (many years ago). Therefore, the name Rockefeller reminds me of not only a relentless entrepreneur but also the place where my family started.

Well, if you find yourself longing to learn more about John D. Rockefeller, you need to check out the amazing book, “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr”, authored by award-winning Ron Chernow. This fantastic book offers insight into the remarkable life of John D. Rockefeller.

John D. Rockefeller certainly lived a fascinating life. From humble beginnings as a child, to monopolizing the oil industry, to becoming America’s richest business man, to being demonized by the press, and then finally becoming one of the one the most generous philanthropists in American history.

“As architect of the first great industrial trust, he proved the ultimately fragile nature of free markets, forcing the government to specify the rules that would ensure competition and fair play in the future. The fiercest robber baron had turned out to be the foremost philanthropist. Rockefeller accelerated the shift from the personal, ad hoc charity that had traditionally been the province of the rich to something both more powerful and more impersonal.”

Being a history fanatic as well as having numerous customers in the oil industry made “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr” an extremely interesting read. Especially since being located within an hour of the original U.S. oil fields in northwestern Pennsylvania.

“Titan” Author Ron Chernow

At 832 pages (750 pages on Kindle Mobile), author Ron Chernow goes into extensive detail on the intriguing life of John D. Rockefeller.

Having also read Ron Chernow’s “House of Morgan”, the author presents well written biographies and paints a clear picture of his subjects.

For example, Chernow’s “House of Morgan” is considered a business classic. The book was awarded the 1990 National Book Award for Nonfiction and selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century.

In addition, while reading Chernow, make sure to keep your dictionary and thesaurus handy. His books present a strong reminder that I definitely need to work on expanding my vocabulary.

Chernow explicitly describes his characters where you actually feel like you know them. His exhaustive research goes deep in the personal lives of his topics.

While reading “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr”, you actually feel like Rockefeller is speaking directly to you. You can actually imagine the tycoon sitting in front of a group of children at his church teaching a Sunday school class.

John D. Rockefeller in Upstate NY

Rockefeller was raised in an extremely unstable home in upstate New York. His birthplace, Richford N.Y.,  is located just a few hours east of our facility. Born on July 8, 1939 to William and Eliza Rockefeller.

According to the book, his father, William “Bill” Rockefeller was a philandering bigamist who also pretended to be a medicine man. Bill traveled constantly selling unsuspecting victims (“customers”) his potions (“medicine”) that would “heal” their ailments. He would leave his family for months at a time with no communication. Yet, he would then suddenly appear with a pocket full of cash.

Furthermore, Bill married a second wife while still married to Eliza and started another family. Bill’s charisma and handsome good looks allowed him to live his illustrious and scandalous lifestyle. Right up until his death in 1906.

Rockefeller: The Young Entrepreneur

The irony runs deep that John D. Rockefeller was the complete opposite of his father. For example, he served as a dedicated and loyal husband. Attended church religiously. He was also a loving father who provided a stable home. Finally he eventually became the wealthiest man in American History as well as one of the most generous.

The Rockefeller family moved to Cleveland where John D. Rockefeller started his business career as a teenager. By the age of 20, John D. was already a successful entrepreneur selling meat, grain and other dry goods.

“Thus, by the end of the Civil War, John D. Rockefeller had established the foundations of his personal and professional life and was set to capitalize on the extraordinary opportunities beckoning him in postwar America. From this point forward, there would be no zigzags or squandered energy, only a single-minded focus on objectives that would make him both the wonder and terror of American business.”

Rockefeller Enters the Oil Industry

Having incredible foresight, Rockefeller wisely made a career move into the oil industry during the Civil War. Those flourishing in the young oil industry at the time had no idea what was ahead. In particular, that an extremely ambitious entrepreneur in his early 20’s  new to the oil market would soon become a dominant force.

For his first array into the oil industry, Rockefeller pledged a $4,000 investment into a new venture:

 “…placing the twenty-four-year-old Rockefeller squarely in the oil business in 1863, the year of the Emancipation Proclamation and the stunning Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Of the initial $4,000 investment, he said dryly, “It seemed very large to us, very large.” Scarcely dreaming that oil would ever supersede their main commodity business, they considered it “a little side issue, we retaining our interest in our business as produce commission merchants.” As a commission agent distant from the oil wells, stationed at the commercial crossroads of Cleveland, Rockefeller naturally entered the industry as a refiner. As a middleman, he belonged to a new breed of people in the emerging industrial economy who traded, refined, or distributed products in the widening chasm that separated raw-material producers in the countryside from their urban consumers.”

The Standard Oil Company

Eventually the vast profit potential that the oil industry offered led Rockefeller to leave his commission commodity business behind to exclusively pursue oil riches.

Rockefeller formed the Standard Oil Company in 1870.

You truly need to read the book to capture the entirety of Rockefeller’s business savvy during this period. Most of all, Rockefeller was an extremely sophisticated business man laser focused on profit as well as a fierce competitor.

Rockefeller saw huge waste throughout the oil industry. He loathed the instability. Prices severely fluctuating. Competitors selling below production costs attempting to capture market share. Unskilled business types ruining the market.

Rockefeller strove for efficiency, stability and profitability. He eventually founded the Standard Oil Company in 1870.

“During his career, Rockefeller cut the unit costs of refined oil almost in half, and he never deviated from this gospel of industrial efficiency.”

Rockefeller the Motivator

One point of particular interest in the book alludes to Rockefeller’s management and motivational skills. Chernow describes how one of the many strengths that Rockefeller possessed included the ability to motivate his executive staff:

“Few outsiders knew that one of Rockefeller’s greatest talents was to manage and motivate his diverse associates. As he said, “It is chiefly to my confidence in men and my ability to inspire their confidence in me that I owe my success in life.” He liked to note that Napoleon could not have succeeded without his marshals. Free of an autocratic temperament, Rockefeller was quick to delegate authority and presided lightly, genially, over his empire, exerting his will in unseen ways….”

Cleveland Massacre

Rockefeller’s dedication to efficiency and profitability eventually drove many competitors out of business. Rockefeller built a massive company with the Standard Oil Company. He also accumulated staggering wealth in the process.

For Example, Rockefeller swept in and started purchasing all of his competitors. He explained to them that they could either sell out or risk an unstable future. He offered them to take Standard Oil Company in stock and become wealthier beyond their imagination. Otherwise, they would suffer severely and eventually go out of business. Even bankrupt.

During a six week period in 1872, Rockefeller purchased 22 of 26 Cleveland competitors. Critics labeled this purchasing spree the “Cleveland Massacre”.

“…he could beneficently spare Standard Oil employees the plight of other industrial workers who “find themselves in each period of ten or fifteen years in destitute circumstances, with bankrupt employers, owing to the foolish and universal competitive methods accompanying the excessive production.”

Ida Tarbell

Impact on Pennsylvania Refineries

The “Cleveland Massacre” also heavily impacted the refineries of Pennsylvania, including teenage Ida Tarbell’s father who refused to sell the the “evil” and monopolistic Rockefeller. As a teenager, Tarbell witnessed firsthand the extreme damage to her community. Especially in her own home where hatred ran deep toward the Standard Oil Company. Ida Tarbell described the damage done to her father as he lost his sense of humor and became grim-faced. Frank’s business partner eventually killed himself over the financial ruin. This forced Frank to mortgage his home to cover company’s debts.

“Rockefeller paid them a pittance, typically a quarter of their original construction costs, or what the plants might have fetched if auctioned off for scrap; he paid little or nothing for goodwill—that is, the intangible value in a thriving business, such as its reputation or client list. If this was hard policy, it wasn’t necessarily unscrupulous. “No, the good will of a business which is losing money is not worth much,” said Rockefeller.”

Due to the overwhelming success and market domination that the Standard Oil company enjoyed, company executives served as a lightning rod of harsh criticism from the public as well as the press.

In particular, John D. was the prime target. He was accused of collusion, unfair business practices and creating a monopoly that wiped out any competitor that stood in his way.

Particularly in Northwestern Pennsylvania oil field communities such as Titusville, Oil City and Bradford.

“Rockefeller’s overwhelming influence on the oil industry stemmed from the conflict between his overmastering need for order and the turbulent, unruly nature of the infant industry. In the overheated memories of his enemies, Rockefeller became an omnipresent bogeyman who first appeared in the Oil Regions.”

Ida Tarbell the Social Journalist

As a little girl who spent her youth on the oil fields in Pennsylvania, she eventually grew up to despise John D. Rockefeller.

Ida Tarbell wrote a scathing series on Rockefeller than completely demonized his character and reputation.

As an investigative journalist for McClure’s Magazine, Tarbell conducted a 19 part series called “History of the Standard Oil Company” which also became a book.

The public became captivated by the extreme wealth generated during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. No one better represented the accumulation of wealth than Rockefeller.

Tarbell exposed in great detail the secret deals, intimidation, collusive schemes and unregulated business activities conducted by the Standard Oil Company.

Though oil was drilled in northwestern Pennsylvania, the refineries were primarily located in Cleveland including Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company.

In a quest to stabilize oil prices as well as railroad rates, Rockefeller and the railroads connecting the oil fields and the Cleveland refineries established a “rebate” program. This secret dealt a fatal blow to the oil producers around Titusville and Oil City. Including Ida Tarbell’s father.

Frank Tarbell was a producer and refiner of oil. Once the railroads announced exorbitant shipping rates, the small producers were placed in a severe price disadvantage. They would either no longer be price competitive and continue operations at a loss.

Trust Busted

The famous Standard Oil break up occurred on May 15, 1911. The Supreme court eventually forced the Standard Oil Company to dissolve due to cutthroat and monopolistic business practices.

Without going into great detail here in this review, the Standard Oil monopoly finally came to an end. Thanks to Ida Tarbell’s series of articles, President Teddy Roosevelt’s drive to bust the trusts during his presidency as well as the public fury towards Rockefeller, the Supreme Court finally ruled that Standard Oil needed to be broken up.

The irony? John D. Rockefeller’s wealth exploded after the break up. The three contributing factors?

First, Rockefeller ended up with a significant number of shares from each company that evolved out of the Standard Oil break up. Investors flocked to the individual companies driving up stock prices. Thus, driving up Rockefeller’s wealth as well.

Secondly, thanks to Henry Ford and other Detroit auto manufacturers, consumers purchased automobiles at a fast pace. Americans were now free to travel at will. Therefore the demand for gasoline also exploded.

Third, the Roaring 1920’s saw investors flocking to the stock market in unprecedented numbers. This also dramatically increased his investments.

Rockefeller’s estimated wealth reached nearly a billion dollars thanks to the Standard Oil split. Though one billion dollars today wouldn’t even land you on the Forbes 400 Richest List, this was CRAZY money at the time.

Companies that trace their roots to the Standard Oil Company?

  • Exxon
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Marathon Oil
  • ConocoPhillips

John D. Rockefeller the Philanthropist

Many characteristics of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. that you may not be aware of include:

  • Devout Baptist
  • Sunday School teacher
  • Dedicated husband
  • Loving father
  • Wicked sense of humor
  • Became an avid golfer in his 60’s after retirement
  • Helped found and funded several top universities
  • Donated millions in medical research

With the same drive and relentlessness as an entrepreneur, Rockefeller donated hundreds of millions of dollars to colleges, universities and for medical research.

“John D. Rockefeller, Sr., had established himself as the greatest lay benefactor of medicine in history. Of the $530 million he gave away during his lifetime, $450 million went directly or indirectly into medicine. He had dealt a mortal blow to the primitive world of nineteenth-century medicine in which patent-medicine vendors such as Doc Rockefeller had flourished. He had also effected a revolution in philanthropy perhaps no less far-reaching than his business innovations. Before Rockefeller came along, rich benefactors had tended to promote pet institutions (symphony orchestras, art museums, or schools) or to bequeath buildings (hospitals, dormitories, orphanages) that bore their names and attested to their magnanimity. Rockefeller’s philanthropy was more oriented toward the creation of knowledge, and if it seemed more impersonal, it was also far more pervasive in its effect.”

Universities and Organizations Founded with Rockefeller Funds

Below includes a list of organizations that Rockefeller founded:

Wrapping It Up

Well we could go on and on about the life of John D. However, we know you need to get back to work to make your own fortune.

On that note, if you are looking for an excellent business book to help build your business, purchase a copy of “Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.” Grab a highlighter or take notes.

Author Ron Chernow does an amazing job with this book. Especially for entrepreneurs. Read closely and follow the blueprints on how to dominate an industry. Great stuff!

For myself, hopefully after reading this book I now have a better chance of beating my 11 year old daughter in the board game Monopoly. In reality, probably not.

 

 

 

 

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend

As we continue our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies, today we discuss “Movie Manufacturers That Could Be Your Best Friend.” You know the type. Characters who are outrageously funny, lovable and a bit on the crazy side. Those individuals who bring energy, excitement and lots of laughter into your life.

We narrowed down our selection to three movies that particularly that fit the bill. In each case, the protagonist encounters many challenges along the way. Yet, they find a way to succeed in the end. Enjoy!

Movie Manufacturers That Could Be Your Best Friend

  • Tommy Boy

Tommy Callahan III (Callahan Auto)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Tommy Callahan III

The first of our favorite relatable manufacturers is Tommy Callahan III. Tommy is a slacker who works in his family business, an automotive component manufacturer. However, after his father passes away, right after remarrying, Tommy is left with a decision.

He has to choose to either fight for his father’s company or let a rival company take over and lose everything. Therefore, Tommy chooses to make a deal with the bank holding his assets. Tommy is forced to get creative with meeting the requested goals. Furthermore, Tommy has to battle with his new family members who are plotting against him and who are not who they claim to be.

  • Gung Ho

Hunt Stevenson (Assan Motors)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Hunt Stevenson

Another favorite relatable manufacturer is Hunt Stevenson. Hunt is facing a predicament that will affect his entire town. The automotive plant where most of the townspeople work has been closed for 9 months. The town is officially getting desperate. Therefore, Hunt feels like he has to do something. However, Hunt’s efforts don’t come without a price.

While the plant reopens there is a lot of sacrifices. New Japanese ownership brings cultural differences as well as many challenges. The workers that are brought back are forced to work longer hours for less pay. Also, they are asked to perform crazy exercises with their new Japanese coworkers. The American workers and their new coworkers and bosses do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. Also, due to the American workers’ lack of a work ethic, the new plant owners and Hunt try to make a deal.

If Hunt can convince the workers to meet the Japanese owners’ goal they will change how they run the plant. However, after the workers find out that Hunt lied to them they stage a walkout and all seems lost. Not only will the plant not survive without the workers coming back but neither will the town. With nothing else to lose Hunt goes back to work. To his surprise so do the rest of his coworkers.

  • Christmas Vacation

Clark Griswold ( A Chemical Company)

Relatable Manufacturers That Could be Your Best Friend: Clark Griswold

Clark Griswold is one of the most well-known relatable manufacturers on our list. He works for a chemical company that produces food coloring and additives (but not preservatives). As Christmas approaches Clark is preparing to celebrate with his family. However, after unexpected guests arrive and share their hardships with Clark he feels the need to help them out.

However, after the Griswold’s discover that Clark did not receive his yearly bonus all of his plans come to a crashing halt. He already put down money on a grand present for his family. Also, he helped his relatives with presents for their children. Therefore, Clark does not take the news of not receiving this extra money well.

Due to Clark’s determination to get his bonus he kidnaps his boss. However, he is unaware that his boss’s wife has called the police. Therefore, Clark has to explain his actions not only to his boss but to the police as well. Luckily, after explaining the situation, his boss grants him the bonus.

 

Connect With Us!

Check out our previous blogs on our Movie Manufacturers series!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

As we continue our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies, today we take a look at movie characters who became “Accidental Manufacturers”.

What do we mean by “Accidental Manufacturers”? Those who stumbled into manufacturing by accident. In some cases, they actually created accidents with their manufactured products. Read ahead and you will see what we mean.

We selected three classics that you are most likely quite familiar with. The clips below might even inspire you to go home tonight, fire up some popcorn and enjoy one of these movie adventures!

Accidental Manufacturers

  • Back to the Future Series

Doctor Emmett Brown (The Time-Traveling DeLorean)

Accidental Manufacturers: Doc Brown

The “Back to the Future” series is well-known for their use of the now famous DeLorean. However, the DeLorean is not just a car in these movies. It is a time-traveling machine that not only brings people to the future but also the past. Doc Brown is the brains behind the time-traveling DeLorean. Along with his trusty dog Einstein and their friend Marty they manage to do the impossible. They travel through time.

Doc Brown becomes one of the “accidental manufacturers” when he creates this time machine and then comes up with some unique ways to make it work. With the use of lightning and going the specific speed of 88 miles per hour, Doc, Marty, and Einstein are able to travel back in time to meet Marty’s parents. Before they were his parents of course. This is just the first movie in the series.

In the rest of the series, Marty and Doc take on other adventures. Traveling to the future and even further back in the past to the wild west. However, during each of these adventures, there are situations that they can’t control. Each of which changes their lives.

  • Forrest Gump

Benjamin Buford (Bubba) Blue and Forrest Gump (Bubba Gump Shrimp)

Accidental Manufacturers: Bubba Blue

Forrest Gump is the lovable well-meaning main character who not only narrates his story but lives each of the exciting adventures. However, he can’t do it all on his own. Much like any good movie, there is a strong friendship. Forrest befriends Bubba Blue and they eventually decide that they should go into business together.

Bubba loves shrimp and along with his best friend, he believes he will live his dream. However, before Bubba is able to make this dream a reality he is killed during The Vietnam War. Forrest knowing that he wants to carry out his friend’s dream starts the shrimping company in Bubba’s memory. Therefore, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is born and Forrest becomes one of our favorite “accidental manufacturers”.

  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids

Wayne Szalinski’s (The Shrinking Ray)

Accidental Manufacturers: Wayne Szalinski

When every attempt goes wrong with his invention, the shrinking ray, Wayne Szalinski is on the verge of giving up. However, his children accidentally prove that his invention does work. They prove this by shrinking themselves and their neighbors. Furthermore, it takes some time for Wayne and his wife to realize that their children are not the size they should be.

After discovering what has happened to them, all of the children realize that they have to work together in order to not only become their normal sizes but to also survive. It is not easy being tiny specks in a busy world. Therefore the children have to avoid different types of obstacles ranging from escaping a deadly lawnmower to swimming in a cereal bowl. In the end, they are able to return to their normal heights and their families are reunited. However, this is just the first time that one of Wayne’s inventions cause mayhem. There are still many more adventures to come with the Szalinkski family in the rest of the series movies.

Connect With Us!

Check out our previous blogs on our Movie Manufacturers Series!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Real-Life Manufacturers

Last week we kicked off our blog series on American Manufacturers in the Movies. We started our series by identifying movies featuring Millionaire Manufacturers (who are most likely billionaire manufacturers by now). These fictional characters created incredible wealth in manufacturing. This week we discuss three movies based on Real-Life Manufacturers who also found massive success in manufacturing.

Real-Life Manufacturers Who Made an Big Impact

The Founder

Ray Kroc (McDonald’s)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Ray Kroc

McDonald’s is an international franchise giant. However, if you are a millennial like myself, you may not know the name, Ray Kroc. Ray Kroc is one of the Real-life Manufacturers who truly changed the American landscape.

Why did we select a restaurant franchise as a manufacturer? Glad you asked. Ray Kroc and the team at McDonald’s perfected the art of mass production of the hamburger.

Ray Kroc saw potential in a small California restaurant run by the McDonald brothers. He, in turn, took that potential and created something massive. The McDonald brothers had instituted an assembly line concept similar to that of Henry Ford with the Model T. By manufacturing something as small as hamburger, McDonald’s was able to create an incredible legacy.

While McDonald’s has expanded around the world there are some differences from the McDonald’s we all know. Other countries were leery at first of McDonald’s. In some countries, they have had to redesign certain foods that they are famous for. Particularly their hamburger. There are countries where eating beef is not acceptable. So, in order to prosper in those countries, McDonald’s had to replace that particular ingredient. By working with locals, they were able to come up with more acceptable replacements. Some of these replacements included vegetarian options with local spices along with a chicken version of the Big Mac we have in the USA.

However, there are things that did not change no matter the location. Along with the golden arches McDonald’s has created an image that even small children recognize. They have well-known mascots and the brand recognition that other companies wish they could achieve.

Jobs

Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Steve Jobs

What leadership is, is having a vision, being able to articulate that so that people around you can understand it, and getting a consensus on a common vision. – Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had a vision for what he wanted Apple to become. Steve Jobs is one of the most well-known Real-life Manufacturers. Even since his passing the brand has stood strong. They have new developments and a following of customers who are deeply loyal to the Apple brand.

The greatest people are self-managing. They don’t need to be managed at all. What they need is a common vision, and that’s what leadership is.- Steve Jobs

With all of Steve Jobs’ hard work he never could’ve planned Apple‘s success to be what it is today. Much like many entrepreneur manufacturers, Jobs began with an idea. He then found a way to make it become reality. However, seeing what they have become it is hard to imagine that it all started in a basement. However, as the business grew so did his managing skills.

The Aviator

Howard Hughes Jr. (Hughes Aircraft Company)

Real-life Manufacturers Who Made an Impact: Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes was a manufacturer of aircrafts. He also piloted his own aircraft. However, Hughes’ beginning was in the film industry. His original dream was to make movies. However, Howard chose to follow in his father’s footsteps of being an inventor. Howard Hughes did not only create planes that broke speed records. He also created planes and helicopters for the military.

All of Hughes planes were impressive. However, one stood out from the rest. The Spruce Goose is still the largest plane to ever be built. Also, it was built using a surprising material, wood.

Hughes was well-known for pushing the limit. He broke many of his own speed records. Also, Hughes did what others viewed as impossible with his wooden plane. Along with all of his work with aviation he also opened the door to new explorations of space. While aviation was not Howard Hughes first choice of careers, he had many achievements. Especially with the otherwise impossible.

Connect With Us!

Keep a lookout for our continuation on our Movie Manufacturers series. The next blog will be on Accidental Manufacturers.

You can read our first instillation of this blog series here!

You can read more of our blogs here!

To learn more about Falconer Electronics Inc. check out our page!

Also, you can learn more about our Wire Harness Manufacturing here!

Do you have a need for custom wire harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers

Ever take note of the number of movies with characters in American Manufacturing? In particular, highly successful entrepreneurs. There are lots! Due to this interesting observation, we have compiled our favorite movies that include America Manufacturing. For this post, we discuss those lovable Millionaire Manufacturers who win over your heart.

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers

Our team at Falconer Electronics works extremely hard during the work week. To blow off steam on weekends, we love catching up on movies. During a recent conversation on our favorite movies, the discussion led to the number of movies that include characters with careers in American Manufacturing. As a matter of fact, we thought of so many movies involving manufacturing, we decided to put together a blog series on the topic.

To kick off our “American Manufacturing in the Movies” blog series, below includes our selection of the Top 3 Movies with Millionaire Manufacturers (actually, probably billionaires):

**Spoiler Alert: Beware that there is a short synopsis of the movies within these descriptions. Therefore, if you have not watched them and intend to, you may encounter some spoiler material.**

  • Iron Man Series and The Avengers Series

Tony Stark (Stark Industries)

 Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Tony Stark

Tony Stark is one of the most well-known millionaire manufacturers. His main claim to fame is Iron Man. However, as CEO of Stark Industries, he is no a stranger to the spotlight. Before he was known as Iron Man, Tony was seen as the rich playboy who happened to be good at inventing things.

Most of his inventions were for defense contracts. However, Tony also took the time to manufacture an electronic personality named Jarvis. Jarvis quickly became Tony’s most important creation.  Not only does Jarvis have control of the Iron Man suit but he also has control of Tony’s other devices. Therefore, without Jarvis Tony would not be able to perform half of the tricks and rescues that he performs.

  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka (Wonka Chocolate Factory)

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Willy Wonka

The main character, Willy Wonka is the most well-known millionaire manufacturers of candy. His specialty, of course, is chocolate. However, he does have other favorites to choose from. He creates amazing candies like edible wallpaper and everlasting gobstoppers. Furthermore, these treats could only come from a strong imagination.

While touring the factory a group of children experience all of Wonka’s creations. However, not all of the children enjoy the tour. One girl becomes a blueberry due to her inability to follow instructions. Also, a boy becomes part of a television. Throughout the tour, you begin to see a pattern develop. The children who disobey or believe they deserve everything for themselves begin to disappear. Meanwhile, a young boy, Charlie, who was just happy to be a part of it all gets the ultimate gift in the end.

  • Richie Rich

Richard Rich Sr. (Rich Industries)

Lovable Millionaire Manufacturers: Richard Rich

A lesser thought of of the millionaire manufacturers is Richard Rich Sr. He runs a very successful company, including United Tool, an American Manufacturer. However, the story does not focus on Richard Rich Sr. but rather his son Richie. Richie is missing something very important. He has no friends other than his dog Dollar and the butler Cadbury. Therefore, Richie desperately wants to make friends with kids his own age.

Richie gets his wish for friends. However, he soon realizes that his life is not as simple as he likes to believe. Everyone knows that with success comes threats and Richie finds that out. Furthermore, while trying to protect his family and their business he gets to know who his real friends really are.

Connect With Us!

Keep a lookout for our continuation on our “American Manufacturing in the Movies” series. The next blog will be on Real Life Manufacturers who Made an Impact.

In addition, check out this link to learn about Wire Harness Manufacturing.

Also, do you have a need for custom Wire Harnesses or Ground Straps for a project? We can help you! Check out our Wire Harness Estimator! You can also custom build Ground Straps Here!

Lastly, let’s get social! We would love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Many small manufacturers in the U.S. struggle to determine if the product that they assemble, manufacture or produce truly qualifies for the labels “Made in USA” or “American Made”.

Made in USA, American Made

Complying with American Made Standards

The world is shrinking fast. Competition is fierce. In addition, the internet has escalated a true global economy. Every country fights rigorously for consumers to purchase their products.

Consumers commonly make buying decisions based on labels. An important label includes country of origin. For example, U.S. manufacturers proudly label their products with “American Made” or “Made in the USA”. “American Made” represents quality products and lends a strong selling point for the product.

Unfortunately, there is confusion behind the definition of “American Made”. As a result, manufacturers in the U.S. are eager to comply with the “American Made” or “Made in USA” standards. Especially, as long as the standard is consistent and well defined.

Yet, some companies are too eager to capitalize on the “American Made” logo that actually do not qualify. Therefore, an “American Made” standard helps prevent those companies from just throwing a sticker on any product. Specifically, those that do so while disregarding its true origin.

What Does “All or Virtually All” Mean?

A Google search for “Complying with Made in the USA” produces 854,000 results. Furthermore, the #1 ranking is a link to the Federal Trade Commission website. The article is titled: Complying with the Made in USA Standard. The page offers a link to a pdf that dates back to 1998. However, it is still relevant today. This pdf states:

Traditionally, the Commission has required that a product advertised as Made in USA be “all or virtually all” made in the U.S.

“All or virtually all” means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S origin. That is, the product should contain no — or at least negligible — foreign content.-Federal Trade Commission pdf

So what does “or at least negligible” actually mean?

Manufacturers may think that they are truly making American products with all domestic suppliers. However, certain parts or raw material may be imports from a foreign country. All unbeknownst to the manufacturer.

Even if you purchase raw materials, parts, and components from a domestic distributor, those products may have originated in another country.

Manufacturers have to be aware of all aspects of their products. However, this can be a difficult undertaking. When you purchase components from a vendor they will not always provide you with the origin of those pieces. This is especially true if there is a larger component that has hardware or other parts that form the component as a whole. This is the situation that California manufacturer Maglite found themselves in.

Manufacturer Responsibility

As an example, Maglite, a California lighting manufacturer made national news. They lost a lawsuit over false “Made in USA” claims. Maglite is committed to American manufacturing and an amazing American entrepreneurial success story (click for video from ABC News). However, the lawsuit boiled down to a microchip and a rubber seal. Both of which had origins overseas. Therefore, costing the owner thousands of dollars in legal defense. Meanwhile, they still lost their case.

Check out this clip from CNBC (click here).

Unfortunately, in this case, the responsibility fell on the manufacturer. Like many manufacturers, they felt they were playing by the rules but fell short according to the court of California. Also, ignorance is not a reliable excuse or defense. There are companies that find themselves in trouble even when intentions are honest and genuine.

The Best Intentions

Manufacturers may have the best intentions of purchasing domestic goods. However, these products are not always available. Specific countries, geographical regions, climates, and many other factors affect the production of certain products in those areas. You may have a product that you assemble in the U.S. Production of that same product could occur with raw components originating from various countries.

In many cases, it is just not cost-effective to produce certain products in the U.S. Basic economics says that supply and demand control a market. Price is typically a key ingredient. What if the production of a product isn’t at a price that a customer is willing to pay? It is going to be extremely challenging to create a product that will sell. It will also be hard to sustain a profitable company due to the lack of interest in your product. Well at this point you are thinking, thank you Captain Obvious.

How Can You Protect Your Business?

One of the main ways to protect your business from lawsuits like that Maglite experienced is to be aware of your sourced parts. Also, before claiming your product is “Made in America” be aware of the laws in your state.

Why would the state you’re in make a difference? Different states have different definitions of “American Made”. Unfortunately for Maglite, California has one of the strictest definitions in the country (click here). Other states, however, acknowledge that there needs to be some leeway when it comes to hardware.

In Maglite’s case the components they got in trouble for were not available in the United States at the time. Maglite had done searches for that product and came up empty handed. That is another issue that manufacturers need to be aware of. When a component is not available in the U.S. what do you do? Also, how can you still receive the “Made in America” Stamp?

What if You Can’t Find Your Components in The U.S.?

Unfortunately, there are not many options. Depending on the component you may be able to employ a local business to manufacture the part for you. If your business is lucky enough to have ties to another manufacturer that would be willing to help, you are then all set. There is also the possibility of you manufacturing the piece yourself. The plus side to this is you would know exactly where the piece came from.

However, what if this isn’t an option? This is a very real possibility. There may not be an option of creating your own part. Whether due to time constraints or available resources. In this situation, you will need to find another way.

What if the only option is to import that specific part like Maglite had to? This is when you need to be aware of your state’s specific laws on the matter. If you are lucky enough to be in a state that has wiggle room depending on the component you may be able to import what you need without penalty.

However, if you are in a state with strict laws (like Maglite) you may have no choice then leaving off the “Made in America” label.

According to an article in the Daily Bulletin, Maglite hopes for a federal bill on the “Made in America” standard. A federal bill would certainly level the playing field as well as clarify the definition.

How Do You Still Represent Your American Workforce?

Do not lose all hope in that situation! There are other labels that you can use that will still encourage customers to buy your product. Some of these labels include:

  • “Assembled in America”
  • “Contains –% American Product”
  • “Final Product Assembled in the USA”
  •  also “USA Factory Assembled”

Each of these labels still encourage loyal customers and patriotic sales. Customers will see one of these labels and know that they are purchasing a product from an American Factory. Furthermore, with these labels and others like them, you can represent your American workforce and still be in compliance with the law.

Connect with Us

To learn more about Falconer Electronics, you can check out information on our American Made Ground Straps and Wire Harnesses.

Also, click on these links to learn more about our Wire Harness Estimator and our new Ground Strap Express!

Lastly, please connect with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

 

 

Custom-Commercial-Power-Strips

Custom Electronics Manufacturer in the U.S. Since 1985

Falconer Electronics, Inc (FEI) has proudly served its community as a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer since 1985. Our customers love the convenience and flexibility of working with a domestic manufacturer.

There are tremendous benefits gained when working with a domestic manufacturer. Especially since partnering with a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer drastically reduces costs and lead time.

The three areas that FEI specializes in include:

  1. Wire Harness Assembly
  2. Commercial Outlet Strips
  3. Printed Circuit Boards

Benefits of Partnering with a Custom Electronics Manufacturer in the U.S.

Outsourcing your Wire Harnesses, Commercial Outlet Strips or Printed Circuit Boards to a U.S. Custom Electronics Manufacturer provides a list of competitive advantages for your company:

  • Time zone challenges do not exist – We get up super early and start our day at 6:00 am est.
  • Quick and easy communication where language barriers do not exist (except for our goofy accents).
  • Shipping charges are much cheaper.
  • QUICK turnaround time – we work fast!
  • Over 30 years of experience.
  • We lobby all of our tools, resources, and expertise to provide an outstanding customer experience.
  • “Made in the USA” is a symbol of pride and high quality. Hard working Americans at work producing incredible products.
  • Fast and convenient shipping options
  • Inventory management and control
  • Our purchasing power lowers your costs
  • Long-term relationship with vendors
  • Keeping our overhead costs as low as possible to pass savings on to our customers.  We are frugal! We consider ourselves part of your team and work relentlessly to keep prices down and dirty.
  • Accessibility – many of our customers visit our facility and we consider it a privilege to go on tour to visit our customers as well.
  • Supply chain efficiencies

Custom-Commercial-Power-Strips

Our experience, expertise, tools, knowledge, and resources become an extension of your business allowing you to do what you do best – Make your outstanding products and produce profits. One of the keys to the long-term success at FEI is our deep commitment to driving profits for our customers. The greater the ROI each customer enjoys from our products the better.

 

Thanks for reading our post and check out our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more electronic info.

There are times when an American business is the supplier of products in other countries. When working with a foreign company there can be some difficulty with achieving the final outcome. A few of the issues that can arise are the misunderstanding of what is needed, instructing for installation, and  the difficulty of repairing products once they have left the U.S.

Communication Issues in Doing Business

Sometimes when working with other countries there is a large communication gap. Whether the communication is happening through emails or even over the phone there can be a lack in the understanding. These communication barriers can prevent the American company from fully understanding the needs of the foreign company.

They can also cost the foreign company more money on materials. This can happen if they don’t know how to ask for what they need. Sometimes in these cases the American company may make assumptions based off of older models of the product. However, if those assumptions are incorrect the entire product could be wasted. It can be difficult to bridge the gap of communication and can cause a lot of extra time and money.

Installation Issues

Another issue that can go along with that of communication is the problem of giving installation instructions. If there is a gap in communication there is also a large chance that there will be difficulties instructing the foreign country how to install the product. If the instructions get lost or translated incorrectly the foreign business will have a difficult time using the product.

When there is an issue with instructions there is often a need for a representative from the American company to go to the foreign location. Depending on the distance away from the American business this travel can have a high cost. Traveling will also take up valuable time that could be used to work on other projects. Instructional issues can all be traced back to the main issue of communication.  Both companies would be able to achieve all the stages of the production if there were no communication gaps.  

Repair Issues

Another issue that can come from communication issues is damage. Some damage may occur during installation. If the foreign company is not accustomed to working with a product and they attempt repairs the situation could be made worse. It is difficult to troubleshoot a problem when you are not in physical proximity to it.

Repairs for goods damaged in shipping will be something that can’t be planned for. If there are damaged pieces that no longer work in the product they need replaced. There is no guarantee that the receiving company would be able to preform these tasks or have the product line in house to change out broken pieces. This can be a difficult situation to fix with the manufacturer being in a different country.

Communication, Installation, and Repair issues are problems that can happen when doing business outside of America. Communication is the basis for the other two issues. When there is a language difference it is difficult for everyone to understand solutions to problems.

Outsourcing and Offshoring are thought to be the same thing. They are often used interchangeably at times due to the assumption of their likeness. However, there is a big difference between the two. Outsourcing is when pieces of a final product are made elsewhere from the main manufacturer. This can be any other location such as: another local company, county, state, or foreign country. Offshoring occurs when parts or all of production are moved to another country.

Local Outsourcing

Manufacturers may outsource some of their materials needed to build their final product, from another company. In the electronics business many companies products put together are often used to create a final product of the manufacturer’s design. In electronic designs there are needs for wires, hardware, and even housing for a finished product. Each individual piece will be outsourced to other companies for creation.

Smaller companies will often outsource components for their finished products to local companies. This exchange of work will help boost the local economy and it will also build a good rapport with the local supplier of components. A good rapport with local suppliers is an asset in times of rush orders or when a change in product has been made. Local connections create shorter lead times on products. In a time crunch a manufacturer can physically go to the local supplier and implement the component quickly into their production.

 Offshoring Components

American manufacturers offshore components to foreign companies to lower cost or because their manufacturing needs are not being met by an American company. Manufacturers can offshore components the same way they can outsource them. Wiring, hardware, housing, and other components can come from foreign countries such as China or Japan. Manufacturers will use products from these other countries because of cost efficiency. Components from Asian countries can cost a manufacture less but they also come with risks.

Delivery from a foreign country often takes longer than if a component is outsourced locally. Depending on when the manufacture needs the parts from the supplier a longer wait for delivery can affect the rest of production. Also, with farther to travel there is a higher chance of the product getting lost in transit. When a Manufacturer is depending on a components arrival only to discover that it was lost in transit, the wait time has then doubled the already long wait time.

Moreover because of lower cost the quality of supplied goods can be decreased. Damage of offshored goods is more likely than that of goods from local businesses. Increased handling of a product (as in shipping to and from multiple facilities) can increase the likelihood of damage. Production is forced to a halt until the damaged piece or pieces are fixed fixed or replaced.

Offshoring occurs when a company chooses to perform some or all of their production in a country other than that of the United States. A company may choose to move their production elsewhere. This is under the understanding that their costs, mainly, concerning labor will be lower than that possible by staying in America. These companies don’t always understand the effect their actions will have on the country as a whole.

Offshoring Effects the Economy

When production is moved out of the United States the effect on the economy will not be noticed right away. In some cases a company can offshore their business in stages. These stages happen slowly. Moving the company to another country and leaving small pieces in America. However, when a company begins to offshore their production line it can affect the local economy of its original business.

Offshoring Decreases Jobs

There will be a decrease in American jobs in favor of a workforce that is more cost effective. Companies are forced to terminate some or all of the positions that their American workers hold. The termination of workers can increase the unemployment rates for that county. This increase in unemployment rates is not an ideal approach. It decreases the amount of monetary flow in smaller counties which will eventually affect the entire country.

Offshoring production heightens the economy in other countries. These employees spend their earnings in the other countries and those funds are not circulating throughout the U.S.. That decreases the amount of money that is available for use within our own country. This lack of circulated money doesn’t just effect the larger companies in the country. It will also make it more difficult for smaller, local businesses to thrive.

The residence will be less likely to spend their money on a more expensive product that is made locally if there is less money circulating around a county. Money is more likely to be spent on a product that is lower in quality, more importantly, lower in cost. The local businesses with dependence on the local traffic will be forced to shut down and increase unemployment in the community.  

Offshoring Effects Local Businesses

Offshoring does not just affect the larger businesses who move out of the country. It also affects the businesses that are still here. The flow of money connects all businesses and if that flow is moved elsewhere, over time there won’t be any more businesses in the United States. The American economy is dependent on keeping businesses and their employees here. By companies moving to other countries our own country is suffering.  

Falconer Electronics Inc. is seeing a strong upward trend in onshoring custom manufacturing. As a United States based contract manufacturer for over 30 years the company knows what works and what doesn’t. However, there are numerous challenges and threats to outsourcing manufacturing operations. Therefore, these threats increase when you outsource to foreign countries. Also, there are many hidden costs associated with outsourcing. These determining factors include the heavy cost of monitoring operations as well as quality control. There is also a lack of intellectual property protection. Along with an extended supply chain. Consequently, these are all reasons a company would be better off onshoring custom manufacturing of their products instead of offshoring them.

Benefits of Onshoring Custom Manufacturing

These positive trends with manufacturing operations returning to the US hold great promise. Especially for US manufacturers. The outsourcing of production abroad to foreign countries have negative trends. Therefore, terms such as onshoring, reshoring, and redesign manufacturing are generating a new buzz. Onshoring drastically improves lead times. It also cuts inventory levels. For us, at Falconer Electronics Inc. it is crucial to be located close to our vendors as supply chains shrink.

Like Falconer Electronics other companies in the US are finally realizing the many benefits to manufacturing products stateside. However, this is after decades of losing US manufacturing jobs. The majority of which went to lower cost countries such as China. Wage gaps are also shrinking between China and the United States. Right now the US offers a superior infrastructure. Also, the US is superior in terms of automation, education, information technology, and transportation.

Perks of Onshoring

Cutting Back on Concerns

The products and services an onshoring custom manufacturing business offer effect every aspect of the company. Everything from their strategy, supply chain, staffing, and operations are affected. Control over the protection of intellectual property is another one of the many concerns. Also, there is a huge vulnerability by relying on foreign suppliers. Meanwhile, there is also the threat of stolen proprietary information and processes. Therefore, causing devastation to a company. However, a company has more control to all of these aspects when they choose onshoring compared to offshoring.

No Heavy Cost of Monitoring Operations and Intellectual Property

You still want to be sure that the work is getting done correctly and on time. Especially when you are not in the same area as your operations. Also, you want to ensure your intellectual property is safe. How do you do this when offshoring? You will have to ensure you know what is being done there. This can mean hiring someone that you trust to run the offshored facility. It may also mean you will have to run the facility yourself.

Therefore, you would have to spend the extra amount to get a manager into that facility. Or at even greater cost moving your entire life to the new area. Whereas if you had your operations in the same place you are located you could save either of those costs.

Quality Control in Manufacturing

Quality control is another serious issue. Separating manufacturing and product development can be extremely detrimental. Managerial focus when operations are halfway around the world is a significant disadvantage. At Falconer Electronics, we pride ourselves on producing top quality printed circuit boards (PCB). We also take pride in our wire harness assembly.

Reliable Skills and Knowledge

We have had many clients experience unacceptable products from foreign suppliers. Therefore, failing to meet our customer’s standards. Falconer Electronics has a history and in-depth knowledge of Circuit Boards. We also have a long history with electronic assemblies from subsystems to complete systems assemblies. Our customers have been able to rely on us. Furthermore, we have a history of repairing products that have been imported. By repairing these products, we are able to show our superior knowledge and skills. Even when working on pre-existing products. We have found that our customers greatly cherish the reliability and high quality work our team provides.

Onshoring Custom Manufacturing: Circuit Boards