Manufacturing – U.S vs. China

Posted by Shannon Wallace on 6/14/17 9:59 AM


Blog U.S vs. China Mfg.jpg

There has been long debate for decades where we should buy and manufacture our goods and services. China is one of the largest manufacturing nations in the world with the United States giving them a run for their money. So let’s look at the good and the not so good of both sides.

 Lower Costs

Well, China might take the cake with this one but in reality there are probably some cases where, when you factor in shipping time and costs, manufacturing domestically can have a competitive edge.

 Volume and Productivity

Consumers as a whole want their product faster. China has a reputation for delivering large volumes in a timely manner where as domestic capacity can be limited at times. With that being said, great customer service is just that, great customer service. You don’t have to travel overseas to get that. Choosing the right U.S manufacturer is key. Finding a factory overseas can be difficult for smaller production runs, they tend to require higher minimums. U.S manufactures can not only accommodate large volume but can also offer smaller options as well.

 Language and Communication

The U.S is a melting pot of cultures but even that doesn’t stop the communication barriers when it comes to working with a China manufacturing facility. Interpretation is everything and language barriers can create a disconnect in what we are actually saying and what we are trying to say.


This one is self explanatory.


The cost of shipping from China versus the cost of shipping from somewhere in the U.S. will be drastically different. This can determine you final cost of goods. The higher the final costs the more your product will be sold for and the less competitive you will be in your intended market. Then there's the time difference. Shipping by sea takes at least 30 days while shipping domestically can literally be one day.


China has a bad rep for poor quality in manufacturing. This reputation may be based on experience or opinion but in many cases it is both. Staying on top of quality issues is important whether it be overseas or domestic because mistakes can happen. Unfortunately mistakes cost money and other factors, such as communication and shipping, can prolong solutions when using an overseas manufacturer.

 Economic and Political Status

Economic or political factors can have significant impact with factories in China or anyone overseas.   Through the years of the recent recession, there were unexpected price increases that occurred because of the currency fluctuation and volatile oil prices. Although it also can effect domestic costs and prices, economically keeping things in the U.S makes much more sense.

We have over 30+ years of design, engineering and manufacturing experience and are ready to take on your unique challenge. Let  Reflective Concepts be your trusted source for all your manufacturing needs   Give RCI a call at 262-605-0500 or fill out our contact form to get started on your  next project or let us know if you we can be your Plan B. 


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Topics: Fabricated Reflectors, Custom light reflectors, Reflective Lighting, Tailored Reflectors, Reflector Manufacturing