What America’s 10 Largest Producers Can Tell Us About the Future of Manufacturing
Change starts at the top. It’s not just a wise adage — it’s the honest truth. The largest players in any industry are the biggest drivers of change. When it comes to domestic manufacturing, the big-time players are responsible for more than just industry trends — they can literally shape the economic outlook of the country! That’s why, when topics like reshoring and domestic production are gaining momentum during the pandemic, it’s important to see what the big fish are doing to give credence to these ideas.
Here’s a look at the 10 largest manufacturers by revenue in the U.S. and what they’re doing to shape the future of manufacturing:
- Apple calls California home, but has long relied on Asia for its manufacturing. That could be changing very quickly due to COVID-19. India has now emerged as the frontrunner for Apple’s manufacturing operations.
- General Motors (GM) is doubling down on American manufacturing. The company just announced plans to invest $71 million in two new Ohio plants, set to manufacture the future of GM’s engine and transmission products.
- Ford is focused on a future of domestic production. The company committed $700 million to a new facility that will produce its new all-electric F-150 pickup trucks. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. says it “mirrors the story of America and American manufacturing.”
- Cardinal Health is in an industry poised for significant growth over the next decade and could bring strong growth to U.S. manufacturing through the development of new medical devices and supplies. For now, the company is quiet.
- General Electric (GE) is looking to right the ship after falling on hard times. A new CEO means a new outlook on operations and a return to basics. GE recently announced its first line of small appliances in decades and has eyes on increased domestic production.
- Boeing is dealing with significant headwinds from its 747 Max scandal, as well as a fallout with private aircraft manufacturer Embraer. The pandemic isn’t helping, either. It’s going to be a rough decade for one of America’s largest manufacturers.
- IBM is actually on its way out of the manufacturing industry, having spun out much of its production operations to focus on cloud computing. That said, IBM is one of the largest players in the emerging Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), aiding manufacturers in going digital.
- Dell is getting a production bump thanks to the work-from-home phenomenon; however, the company is in a transitional period. Like IBM, it’s moving more to cloud infrastructure and digital systems development, aiding manufacturing’s digital growth.
- Johnson & Johnson is ramping up domestic production as COVID-19 rages on, and could play a significant role in manufacturing the vaccine (once available). Regardless, this manufacturing stalwart is poised for strong growth in the coming decade.
- Proctor & Gamble is in everyone’s house and will continue to have a ubiquitous presence. This company has taught us about supply chain resilience more than anything, as it finds burgeoning growth in a rollercoaster economy.
Each of these companies faces different headwinds and challenges as we move into a new decade of manufacturing. They’re the stewards for what we can expect in the next decade — be it reshoring and domestic manufacturing, new digital innovations, or continued stability as foundational contributors to the U.S. economy.