This Week on The Importance of American Manufacturing:
Meet Derek Singleton. Derek is the Manufacturing Analyst at Software Advice. He is also the editor of the Manufacturing Blog at Software Advice.
Q. Please tell us a little about yourself and your company?
A. I’m the Manufacturing Analyst at Software Advice, an Austin-based research firm that reports on technologies and trends in the manufacturing industry. I’m also the Managing Editor of the Manufacturing Blog at Software Advice where I often write in support of American manufacturing and cover the trend of “reshoring” manufacturing from low-cost foreign production back to the United States. However, I do so with the realization that some manufacturing is unlikely to come back to the United States at all so I look for industry opportunities.
Q. When were you first inspired to support manufacturing in America?
A. I’ve always had a lot of respect for the ingenuity that it takes to create something but I first started to really support American manufacturing when I was in college getting my Political Science degree. While I was working toward my degree, I started to become very interested in the economics of manufacturing and felt like the decline of our middle class could be partially attributed to the decline of American manufacturing.
Beyond that, I felt it was important to support American manufacturing because of the multiplier effect manufacturing has on the economy at large. Studies have found that for each dollar the manufacturing industry produces, an additional $1.43 is added to the overall economy. Meanwhile, the service sector only adds $0.70 to the economy for each dollar it produces. So I think it’s important to the overall health of our economy and the trade balance in the U.S.
Q. Why is American Manufacturing important to you?
A. Manufacturing is important to me for reasons beyond economics, however. I think that in some ways we’ve lost touch with what it means to create a physical product. And I think that can have negative impacts for encouraging the kind of critical thinking that goes into building something from concept to finished product. I’d like to see more emphasis on learning how to create products in our schools, and I think that giving more support to American manufacturing is one way to do that.
Q. How have you or your company supported American manufacturing throughout the years?
A. At Software Advice, we talk to American manufacturers of every size each day and they’re all looking for a way to improve their level of efficiency at their plants. While there are many paths to improving efficiency, the modern manufacturing plant drives a lot of efficiencies through software.
We help these companies figure out the best systems for their needs. Deploying the right technology can help them operate at a level of efficiency to remain competitive with low-wage manufacturing countries overseas. It’s a small contribution, but we can save them a lot of time and effort figuring out a complex market. Meanwhile, I always try to provide actionable tips for improving plant operations in my writing on the Software Advice Manufacturing Blog.
Q. Favorite quote?
A. Whether or not you think you can do something, you’re right.
It was a great pleasure to have Derek join us this week. His insights made some really great points in regards to manufacturing. Thank you all for reading!
Join us next week for another segment of ‘The Importance of American Manufacturing.’
If you, or someone you know, would be interested in being interviewed on the Importance of American Manufacturing, please send inquiries to Logan Beam at [email protected]
As seen in ‘The Made in America Movement’ and the ‘Darke Journal.’