Name: Edsal Manufacturing and Sandusky Cabinets
CEO: Bruce Saltzberg
Manufacturing: Chicago, Franklin Park, Ill, Littlestown, Penn., Millington, Tenn., Arvin, Calif., and Zhongshan China
Edsal Manufacturing and Sandusky Cabinets manufactures steel shelving and furniture throughout the United States. In 2004 the company started operating in Zhongshan, China in order to supply the Chinese domestic market.
Click through the slides as CEO Bruce Saltzberg shares Edsal’s story.
Q: How has having your product made in America influenced your organization?
A: Making the product in the USA has allowed Edsal to grow during the last three years. It has allowed those Edsal and Sandusky employees to earn salaries that they spend back at our customers’ retail locations.
Q: What factors did you consider when deciding to manufacture domestically?
A: We considered total cost. This includes the cost of the product, the cost to import the product, the cost to receive and to warehouse the product. We considered quality --higher quality materials and processes may dictate product made in the USA. Lead time also played a factor--in order to react to large swings in demand, making the product in the USA provides Edsal three to seven days of lead time. Overseas typically requires eight-12 weeks of lead-time. We also took the environment into consideration, made in the USA products are typically comprised of 70% recycled materials. Overseas product may have little or no recycled content. In-bound and out-bound transportation for our products averages less than 1,000 miles. Overseas products travel more than 8,000 miles. Less travel means less fossil fuels burned to deliver the product. Another factor is political and currency risk. Domestically-manufactured products have little exposure to U.S. dollar rising or falling in value so our costs are relatively stable. These products also have little or no exposure to import duties and tariffs. Our contracts also played a role since some government contracts require products to be made in America.
Q: What is one of the biggest challenges to growth as the company moves forward?
A: One challenge is maintaining a level playing field with overseas competition. In the case of competition from China, subsidies to competitors in the form of undervalued currency and low costs and labor standards will continue to be challenging. Convincing customers (retailers and distributors) that buying American made goods is also important.
Q: What is the biggest challenge to maintaining manufacturing in America?
A: The three biggest challenges are health care costs, card check and cap and trade. Health care poses a challenge because it increases our labor costs unfairly versus overseas competition. Card check could dramatically increase labor costs. While Cap and Trade could dramatically increase energy costs and regulatory costs versus overseas competition
Q: Where is there opportunity in the market for your products?
A: Anywhere you see steel furniture or steel shelving; whether that is in your garage or basement, in the office, in a warehouse or on a movie set. Items like steel desks, filing cabinets, workbenches, lockers, cabinets, racking or shelving all are opportunities for Edsal and Sandusky.
Q: What is your company doing to promote domestic manufacturing?
A: We are buying more than 80% of our raw materials from USA/domestic suppliers. We are talking to our customers, suppliers, and employees to let them know how important buying USA-made goods is to the recovery of the US job market and reduction of the US trade deficit.
An in-depth look at small businesses that are choosing to keep their business in the states and what that means for their bottom line.