New tagline: 'Made in USA'
Medtrade exhibitors that sport the “Made in the USA” label hope that promoting American-made products will translate into more interest, and ultimately, more business from show attendees.
In an era that has seen thousands of jobs leave the United States for China and elsewhere as manufacturers seek cheaper labor, the companies that have kept production stateside are touting their domestic operations as a competitive
“We do the basic research, design and engineering, and ultimately we produce the product,” said Lawrence de la Haba, senior vice president of business development for Atlanta-based Graham-Field Health Products. “You cannot go overseas and purchase the exact product or match our ability to support the products we manufacture. We believe our long-term success will be based on offering our customers unique, innovative products at a fair price.”
Old Forge, Pa.-based Golden Technologies shares the same outlook.
“Being a manufacturer means we have the ability on a daily basis to monitor the product and make improvements immediately,” said Gary Farley, vice president of operations. “We are continuously refining internal control and our quality every day. We use modern methodologies to support our processes that may not exist elsewhere.”
Golden’s most successful U.S. operation is lift chair manufacturing, which allows the company to provide a faster, better customer response, as well as offer customized solutions in a timely manner, said C.J. Copley, executive vice president of sales and marketing.
“We also keep pricing consistent,” he said. “We haven’t had a price increase in years because we have more control over the raw materials and do all the assembly here.”
Manufacturers say they are also sensing a burgeoning demand for U.S.-made goods among consumers, which strengthens their position in the marketplace.
“We have received a very favorable response to our ‘Made in the USA Initiative,” de la Haba said. “Many customers would rather purchase a product that is made in the USA if it meets all of their other purchasing criteria. In general, there is a growing feeling that products made in the USA should be supported as it will benefit the domestic economy as a whole. The U. S. government, one of the largest purchasers of healthcare products, gives precedence to products produced in the USA and that sentiment is beginning to be felt in other markets.”
Copley added that seniors who comprise the bulk of HME’s patient base are strongly in favor of buying American.
“That generation prefers to purchase products that are made in the USA over Made in China because they know U.S. manufacturing keeps Americans working and supports our economy,” he said. “We had a very positive response from our dealers when we added the Made in USA hang tag to our lift chairs.”