Are US Wire Harness Plants Ever a Low-Cost Option?

by: Loren M. Smith, CEO Blue Valley Capital LLC

My short answer to the above question is: “Definitely.”

And why does this important, fundamental question continue to be asked? Probably because our perceptions are clouded by awareness of all the high-volume automotive and appliance harness manufacturers that have moved to Mexico, China and a variety of other “low-cost” locations. In actuality, however, multiple locations in the United States have low-cost harness shops with the capability to provide users a competitive product. These companies—many of them situated in low profile towns around the country—enjoy strong positions with their customers despite threats from Mexico and China. Furthermore, in many cases their proximity to customers is a real advantage.

My initial awakening to skewed perceptions about geography and the people who populate our unsung towns occurred when I moved my wife and our three teenagers from Boston to Monona, Iowa—population, 1000—where I had bought a struggling wire harness manufacturer to become an entrepreneur. Particularly memorable is one of my first trips to the post office.

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