Tag Archive: iPhone

Wisconsin Provides HUGE Tax Incentives to Lure Apple Manufacturer

September 25th, 2017

Supply Chain Briefing

The state of Wisconsin granted $3 billion in tax incentives to Foxconn to entice them to manufacture in the midwestern state. This is not only the highest government subsidy ever offered for a foreign company to locate to the U.S., but it also specifically entices production that goes into the Apple iPhone. It certainly proves that blanket statements about innovation in government are just as inaccurate as all others! Wisconsin shows that thinking outside the box can be achieved even in government.

Wisconsin manufacturing

Clearly, it also shows that manufacturing is relevant in today’s environment. Have you thought about whether you are thinking outside the box? And are you searching for what might be available to support manufacturers? There are actually many programs (federal, state and local) where you can gain “free” money for things you already do – perform research & development, provide training (California has incentives), and the list goes on. Feel free to contact us anytime to learn more.

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?

What might seem impossible to us might not be! Do you tend to write off ideas before considering their full value? Perhaps we should take a page from Wisconsin’s playbook and look at the big picture, think long-term and mix it up a bit. We should also take a second look at innovation. Do we have a work culture that will support out-of-the-box ideas? If not, we must start there.

And, last but not least, do you consider manufacturing relevant? Although I live on the border of the Inland Empire in California, which is known for big box distributors (Target, Amazon, Apple 3PL’s etc.), it is simply amazing how much manufacturing is also located here. You hear about how everything has moved to China or Mexico and manufacturing is dead but “we are not dead yet” (reminds me of the Monty Python…) Actually, we are far from dead – there is quite a strong push to locate manufacturing closer to customers and leverage innovative collaborative and efficiency programs to ensure profitability to boot. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at programs like APICS Inland Empire‘s session on “Changing Trade Policies and its Effect on Reshoring“. Fascinating stuff no matter where you live.


If this topic interests you, take a look at Samsung Expanding Manufacturing in the U.S.




Innovation Does NOT Need to be the Next iPhone!

September 26th, 2014

supply chain

In today’s Wall Street Journal, there is an article about Alan Turing who believed strongly in artificial intelligence and is one of the pioneers related to understanding the power of the computer.  What I found compelling about the article was it’s sub-title, “Today’s biggest innovations are coming from the combination of human inspiration and the computer-processing power”.

I find this to be undoubtedly true in today’s business environment.  There are very few companies who will become wildly successful by inventing the new iPhone; instead, those who are wildly successful find ways to combine different needs and formats together.  For example, there are nice-looking watches that count steps, catch you up on email, provide alarms, stream music and the like “all-in-one”.  The “right” combination and re-combination of people, processes, products, services and technology yields results.

One tip to implement this week: Gather your team (or a group of your peers) together for a brainstorming session.  If a key customer or supplier is dropping by for a visit, consider including them in the meeting.  Introduce the power of thinking of innovation as the recombination of already-existing technologies, processes, products, packaging etc. into a compelling “new” product, service, or process.

Then, let the ideas flow.  I have no doubt it will yield some type of results.  Who knows; you might come up with a “winning idea”.  However, even if you do not choose to implement any of the ideas, if the team understands the value of what they participated in, the worst case result will be more engaged employees and partners.

If you are interested in learning more about how to cultivate a culture of innovation, read my Business Edge article.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain talent? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”