This week I had the opportunity to talk with Frank Mannarino, president of DEWalt Professional Power Tools, about the company’s line of American-built cordless power tools being produced in its Charlotte, North Carolina, Manufacturing Operations facility.
Production started in early October. Continuing its commitment to build America, DEWalt is proud to expand its product offerings built in the USA using global materials to include more than 600 different cordless power tools, hand tools and accessories.
Mannarino said that when DEWalt did research on products made in the U.S. the feedback was clear … if given the opportunity to buy a tool or power tool made here in U.S. that is what customers would prefer to do.
“We did enough research on our end to believe opening this Charlotte plant was the right move,” said Mannarino. “Our users are professional contractors and builders themselves. When given the option, most prefer to spend their money on a product that is built in the USA because it’s in line with what they do on a daily basis — building America. There’s a great deal of pride that goes into making things at home — we’re thrilled to bring some jobs back to the U.S. and reconnect with our users.”
The 75,000-sq.ft. facility is part of the company’s distribution center that is in Ft. Mill (the facility straddles the border of North Carolina and South Carolina).
The manufacturing plant is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the distribution center is located in Ft. Mill, South Carolina. The location is close to many of DeWalt’s U.S. customers. Plus, this manufacturing facility is helping boost the local economy and creating more than 250 new jobs.
“We started manufacturing about a month ago, so we have been recruiting employees for the past several months now as things are up and running,” said Mannarino. “We are still ramping up.”
The Charlotte location gives the company flexibility to take advantage of its present footprint and is a good way to service customers here in the U.S. and North America, according to Mannarino.
Servicing the customer is a big driver for DEWalt, and gives the company the ability to build product closer to market.
The footprint also relates to sustainability, which the tool manufacturer implements at all facilities.
“Since this is in our distribution center we have eliminated transportation of finished goods to our distribution hub, so this lessons the overall footprint,” explained Mannarino. “We also use reusable containers when we can as we send components to the Charlotte factory. As a company we are focused on trying to do those things to lesson our footprint and focus on sustainability.”
So within the past two week, I have talked with two manufacturers that clearly see a benefit to manufacturing product in the U.S., plus, many of their customers are supportive of manufacturing in the U.S.A.
I’m not surprised by this 2013 survey finding by the Consumer Reports National Research Center: given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78% of Americans would rather buy the American product.