Welcome to our Supply Chain issue! In the high-speed, globalized business world of the 21st century, supply chain management is a critical make-or-break factor. The Romans knew well how important the supply chain was, which is why they became the masters of building roads to secure their empire. The British Empire, upon which the sun never set, likewise ensured its security by having mastery of the sea. In business, supply chain management evolved to feed the assembly line, and today wrestles with complex webs of global inputs and outputs which are imperative to business survival, let alone growth. In this issue, we will examine some of the latest developments and core considerations to keep your company's supply chain clicking along at the speed of light.
In this issue, we examine Manufacturing in the U.S. In our feature on Advanced Manufacturing, Ed McCallum provides excellent insight and advice into what manufacturing executives should seek in siting their facilities. John Rhodes offers a clear-eyed look at the Utilities sector and provides a pragmatic perspective on the issues ahead. And Harry Moser delivers eye-opening, mission-critical information for all those concerned with the bottom line, and illuminates the hidden financial benefits of Re-Shoring facilities back to the United States. Also, Jennifer Alten explores several Foreign Trade Zones, and Linda Dobel examines some of the Designated Sites, existing across the country. The Association for Manufacturing Technology provides a snapshot of where manufacturing is now and a roadmap for going forward, and Greg Jones of FTZ Corp. explains some of the significant advantages found in operating within FTZs.
So much has been written about alternative energy and the "green economy" that it becomes easy to get lost in a sea of information under clouds of catchphrases. It's equally easy to get carried away by possibilities and grand visions of the future (especially if one was raised on silicon wafers). But our mission at Trade & Industry Development is not simply to cheer on these growing industries, nor to rehash what is already well-known. Our focus remains on how these things impact industry from an expansion and site location point of view, and how decisions in this arena can help companies maximize profit and minimize risk going forward.
Winston Churchill once said: "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." These are definitely interesting times for the aerospace and defense industries. The U.S. defense industry is evolving to meet the needs of a military force faced with the 21st century challenge of asymmetric warfare, while simultaneously maintaining the leading-edge in conventional weaponry to best equip our soldiers for combat in two ongoing wars and hopefully discourage any others from breaking out. And the aerospace industry, in its critical role as a cornerstone of national security, is facing those same issues while also witnessing the retirement of the space shuttle program and facing economic headwinds in general aviation.
This issue of Trade & Industry Development presents 30 different success stories via our Corporate Investment & Community Impact (CiCi) Awards article. We are excited about these awards as they recognize those economic development agencies that "did what it took to get the job done." Seldom an easy task!
Well, the H1N1 Virus seems to continue to wreck havoc with some people. At the time of this writing, the vaccine is still hard to come by. When I called my pharmacy the other day to refill a prescription, there was a recorded message explaining they were still out of the vaccine. And while shopping in a department store, I heard a message over the public address system explaining how to avoid coming in contact with, or spreading, the germs.
Thinking about all of this hit home with me as I was contemplating this issue of Trade & Industry Development. This issue has a heavy concentration on health-related topics. And why not? The subject of health absolutely affects each and every one of us.