2H 2021 Manufacturing M&A Report

For years, the answer to high U.S. labor and production costs has been offshoring, creating goods in other countries closer to raw materials and with cheaper labor and then shipping them across the border or the ocean. Back home, companies were free to focus on branding, marketing, and customer service. “Just in time” delivery was king, maintaining the barest minimum of on-site inventory and relying on overseas manufacturers to deliver a steady stream of finished goods. Everyone was happy. Customers got lower prices, companies ran an efficient machine. But the COVID-19 pandemic, factory closings at home and abroad, sick workers, and subsequent supply chain glitches may have shaken things up, changed a few minds, and forced a turn to new thinking. Meanwhile, we may be witnessing the greatest workplace disruption in generations. Once dismissed as inefficient, today work from home arrangements are so common more than 90% of surveyed employers say they expect work from home, or hybrid home/office arrangements, for “knowledge workers” to continue at least through 2022. That’s a lot of people spending a lot more time in their homes, and… saying, we could use an upgrade around here…

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