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Consumers rank quality as top concern for manufactured goods

Consumers value quality products.

Some manufacturers may believe they can balance improving profits and meeting customer demands, but oftentimes businesses are out of sync with their customers' needs. According to "The Product Mindset 2013" study by Underwriters Laboratories, quality is the No. 1 driver of consumers' decision-making. While many manufacturers produce high-quality goods, the majority of consumers think manufacturers would sacrifice quality for lower costs. Manufacturers can have the best of both worlds when they offshore to Mexico by enjoying both cost savings and exceptional production capabilities.

Expanding to Mexico and partnering with a shelter company ensures manufacturers are able to take advantage of the low manufacturing costs offshoring offers while still producing high-quality products to meet consumer expectations. Mexican workers are experienced in specialty manufacturing and suppliers in the country are able to provide materials that are up to manufacturers' quality standards. To align with consumer needs, manufacturers need to optimize their production strategies.

Consumers and manufacturers perceive different values
The UL study asked consumers and businesses from around the world what they think about the ways manufactured goods are produced and how they value the products. According to the study, the quality of manufactured products is the top influencer with both consumers and manufacturers in developed and emerging markets, but the groups differed in how they perceive product quality. Ninety-five percent of manufacturers reported quality was their first concern; however, 51 percent of consumers think manufacturers chose low-quality materials for their products. 

Despite the discrepancy, both manufacturers and consumers said they believed the industrial sector's conditions are improving. According to the study, more manufacturers reported profits in 2013 than the year before, and consumers have higher optimism than in recent years about product quality. 

According to an IndustryWeek blog, Suzanne Lavin, the executive editor of the study and a UL vice president, said the perception differences may cause negative effects for manufacturers, but enhanced communication may be the key for businesses to remain competitive.

"We know that manufacturers are complying with a lot of regulations," Lavin said. "They are building quality products and doing a lot of product safety testing. What we see in the research is maybe they are not communicating what they are doing enough."

Offshoring to Mexico provides product quality benefits
Many manufacturers are dedicated to producing quality goods while still maintaining low operating costs, which can be a tricky balance for even the most experienced executives. Offshoring to Mexico allows manufacturers to retain their quality standards because the Mexican workforce has manufacturing expertise rivaling​ that of U.S. employees. Suppliers in the country are also able to provide quality materials so manufacturers can deliver the same product, even though it is being fabricated and assembled in a country other than the U.S. 

Although Mexico offers these advantages, U.S. businesses can experience challenges offshoring to the country if they don't partner with a skilled shelter company that understands the dynamics of the country's workforce and its supply chains. Maintaining high quality standards is easiest with the aid of a shelter company.

The Offshore Group: You Manufacture ... We Do The Rest

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