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Macro events drive interest in reshoring, nearshoring production – Furniture Today

Macro events drive interest in reshoring, nearshoring production - Furniture Today

Rosemary Coates said the reshoring movement offers more security in a frenetic supply chain environment.

By Powell Slaughter, Contributing Editor

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Changes posing risks to the global supply chain during the past 10 years are spurring moves to bring manufacturing back to the United States, or at least North America.

That was the take during a presentation at the AHFA Logistics Conference by Rosemary Coates, president of Blue Silk Consulting and executive director of the Reshoring Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization she founded in 2014 focusing on expansion of U.S. manufacturing. She discussed the potential opportunities for furniture manufacturers looking to produce goods and source materials closer to home.

Coates called the 2012 U.S. presidential election, when both major candidates claimed commitment to bringing jobs back to the United States, as the catalyst of the reshoring movement.

Since then, macro events have spurred the trend. Examples cited include geo-politics, China-bashing in America and a corresponding reaction from Xu Xinping in China; global counterfeiting of products; lean manufacturing processes such as just-in-time inventories at greater risk to long supply chains; the rise of ethno-centrism; trade wars including the Trump administration tariffs; and now the lingering coronavirus pandemic.

She noted that several industries already face critical shortages of rare earths and neon gas (electronics and semi-conductors), and pharmaceutical building blocks that have been sourced abroad for years due to lower operations costs in places such as China. Coates said rare earths are found worldwide but are more expensive to extract here.

“In the U.S., we tend to let the market rule, but if we can’t make our own building blocks for pharmaceuticals, we can’t make antibiotics in North America,” she said, if those products are delayed or not available via the global supply chain.

Furniture makers have been plagued by similar shortages of mechanisms, kits, textiles and other inputs sourced offshore during the past two years.

Reshoring takes more than just shifting production to make economic sense, and Coates offered examples of what works and what doesn’t.

General Electric engineers, for example, developed a specific product for U.S. manufacture — the Geospring on-demand water heater targeting a higher end market — that commanded a price making its more expensive domestic production feasible. The company re-opened GE Appliance Park in Lousville, Ky., after a 20-year closure, utilizing new automated and highly engineered production lines.

“They put 4,000 people back to work in Louisville by developing a product that can be manufactured in the U.S.,” Coates said.

She offered the case of Otis Elevator as a reshoring failure. The company brought a production line back from Mexico in 2012 when it opened a new plant in Florence, S.C.

“It was highly automated, but they couldn’t find skilled workers,” Coates said, adding there was no partnering with local schools and colleges for worker training. It didn’t help that the opening was concurrent with an ERP implementation. Production delays cost Otis $60 million in lost business.

“If you are going to reshore, you need to know what sort of products you can make, who’s going to run it and what skills you’re going to need,” Coates said.

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Police locate 2 people, vehicles of interest after Parliament Hill evacuation | CBC News

Police locate 2 people, vehicles of interest after Parliament Hill evacuation | CBC News

Ottawa police have located two people and two vehicles of interest related to the events that sparked street closures and an evacuation of Parliament Hill on Saturday afternoon. 

Local police worked with their policing partners to close the area around Parliament for a few hours on Saturday, while they investigated what they described as a “suspicious incident.” 

Wellington Street between Elgin Street and Bronson Avenue was closed for around three hours, as well as Metcalfe Street between Albert and Slater streets. 

Ottawa police said the investigation found there was no risk to public safety in a tweet. 

Heavily armed officers were stationed along roads leading to Wellington, with vehicles and police tape blocking access. 

At least some employees who work in the Parliamentary precinct received an email saying an ongoing operation is taking place to deal with a possible threat. 

“There has been a SHELTER IN PLACE order given for the Precinct, this entails no movements in or out of our buildings. Parliament Hill has been evacuated.”

Police are continuing to investigate. 

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Greeley Mob Mixer draws interest for unique, flash mob-style networking events in Greeley

Greeley Mob Mixer draws interest for unique, flash mob-style networking events in Greeley

What began as a way for the community to support local businesses, restaurants, breweries and distilleries in Greeley has grown into a much-anticipated monthly networking event where many have formed friendships and business relationships.

The Greeley Mob Mixer, a monthly networking event, is the brainchild of Katie Gale, Ryan Roth, Beryl Durazo, Brady Hull and Emilio Vallejos. The five friends come from different backgrounds and businesses such as insurance, finance, the nonprofit sector and radio broadcasting.

“What we really wanted to do was bring the community out and have them start frequenting restaurants and other businesses that were really slow,” Gale said. “We knew they (local businesses) were having some slow times and it was hard to get business during COVID, so we wanted to help boost business.”

The group came up with the name “Greeley Mob Mixer” since the event would be like a flash mob-style gathering set for a pre-planned day at a specific location in Greeley. And with Wednesdays typically being a slower day during the week for businesses, Gale and the crew decided to host the event on Hump Day.

“So we would bring a ton of people into the business, they would get business, and all of us as business owners would be able to network, talk to each other and exchange business cards,” Gale said. “So it’s a win for us as business owners of the community and a win for the businesses that we frequent.”

The Greeley Mob Mixer is a once a month networking event that is free and open to all members of the community. (Photo credit Greeley Mob Mixer)

The group’s most recent mixer took place Wednesday at WeldWerks Brewing Co., 508 8th Ave., with nearly 100 people shuffling into the brewery to enjoy some craft beer and food from the brewery’s new restaurant, The Annex. As bartenders kept the taps flowing filling up glasses, the kitchen was busy cranking out orders of fries with lemon aioli, pork belly lettuce wraps and other delectable eats.

In addition to WeldWerks, the group has hosted events at John Galt Coffee Co., The Kress Cinema and Lounge, Stella’s Pinball Arcade and Lounge and Crabtree Brewing Company.

In the beginning, the five founders figured they might get a draw of 15-20 people to each event. But news of the mob mixer spread like wildfire, and now, events draw two to three times that amount each month.

“The ability to mob a local business is awesome, and to give a business that exposure, especially when we were coming out of COVID, and have people spend money is really something special,” Roth said. “We have developed a really loyal following.”

Former Greeley city manager Roy Otto, The Myster Collection founder Paul Noffsinger and entrepreneur Zander Marshall were just a few of the folks who attended the event.

As mobbers made their way through the door at WeldWerks, Roth was busy greeting them and encouraging attendees to toss a business card into a bucket for a chance to win prizes.

First-timers and regulars were both welcomed with open arms and enthusiasm.

There are no dues, fees or cost to attend the mixers. All the founders ask is that you support the business hosting the event by purchasing food, drinks or other items. Mobbers can attend as many, or as few, mixers as they wish, and registration is not required to attend — just show up, meet people and have a good time.

“If you can make it great, if not, there will be another one next month,” Roth said. “It’s been amazing, and it truly is the highlight of my month to see this thing we have created and see these individuals together that might not have otherwise met one another and connected.”

GREELEY, CO – APRIL 13:Attendees mix and chat during the April Greeley Mob Mixer at WeldWerks Brewing Co. in Greeley April 13, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)

The best part of attending mob mixers is that there’s no pressure to get up in front of everyone to give a 45-second elevator speech about who you are, what you do and why you are at the event.

With mixers taking place in a new location every month, mobbers get the opportunity to visit businesses and organizations they might not typically have the opportunity to go to or have even known about.

The group is also working on other ideas for mixers such as a poker walk in downtown Greeley in August.

“We just want to mix things up, socialize and have fun,” Roth added.

Mixers take place at 5 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month. Locations of the mixer are posted on the group’s Facebook page at

Attendees don’t have to be business owners to attend. Staff, employees and representatives of businesses, organizations and nonprofits are also welcome to attend the monthly mob mixers. All ages are also welcome to attend.

For more information, questions or to inquire about becoming a host business for an event, email the Greeley Mob Mixer at