|Jacob Fattal, Publisher |
As 2013 winds down, we can look back at a year when "Onshoring" became a major trend — one that's good for business both here and abroad. Many companies have found that there were too many hassles and costs involved with manufacturing in China, coupled with the ever-present threat of theft of intellectual property. And yet China still sources enormous quantities of consumer electronics for shipment to the U.S.
With the yearend holidays looming, retailers around the world are eagerly stocking shelves with a lot of goods still made in China, and looking to get their businesses solidly into the black. During holiday sales times, bargain hunters will queue up as much as 12 hours before stores open their doors, looking to snap up advertised door-buster bargains that are being offered at ridiculously low prices.
This year's trade shows have been terrific. Even the smallest shows have seen an infusion of new exhibitors and a comfortable, if not overwhelming number of visitors. We have often heard the truism from exhibitors: "It's not the number of people, but the quality of the contacts." And at the major shows, there has been a large number of exhibitors who have sold major equipment right off the show floor.
We have just finished a round of highly successful trade shows — SMTAI and productronica have been everything we could possibly ask for. January kicks off the new year with the inevitable circus of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which shows off the technology that consumers will be buying during 2014. Then, right after that, come the manufacturing trade shows in February and March, notably Electronics West in Anaheim, and APEX returning to Las Vegas for two years. These shows have been growing, and will point the way for a new growth spurt in electronics manufacturing, particularly for products made in U.S.A. as onshoring continues its relentless push. What it all means is that 2014 will reach new levels of recovery in our industry.