State of Manufacturing in the US – And How AMBAC Compares

State of Manufacturing in the US – And How AMBAC Compares

The State of Manufacturing in the US

There is no question that workforce shortages, supply chain instability, increased risk of cyber threats, and dedication to ESG initiatives are some of the issues affecting the state of the manufacturing industry in the United States. How does AMBAC handle those issues to ensure your product is delivered on time every time?

"Have you ever played 52 card pick up?" That's what AMBAC CEO, Robert Isherwood, asked while discussing the current state of the manufacturing industry in the United States. In case you're not familiar, 52 Card Pickup is meant as a joke where the dealer creates the false impression that a legitimate game will be played, then simply throws an entire deck of cards on the floor. The only objective? Pick up all 52 cards.

Much like the aftermath of the card game, the manufacturing industry in the United States has been a mess these past few years. COVID 19 - related workforce shortages, supply chain instability, cyber security issues, and the fast rise of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are just some of the factors contributing to the mess of cards on the floor.

AMBAC is no exception to the instability and excessive delays of today's supply chain storm. However, our 110-year history of relationship-based manufacturing has provided us with the tools to navigate this mess. And to ensure that you, our customer, get your product on time.

To be competitive in this new US manufacturing market demands business flexibility. Ongoing risks such as workforce shortages and supply chain instability are held in check by caution. As business leaders look not only to defend against future disruption but strengthen their offense, business agility becomes a critical component for businesses looking to survive (and grow).

However, optimism around revenue growth is held in check by caution from ongoing risks. Workforce shortages and supply chain instability are reducing operational efficiency and margins, making business agility critical for organizations seeking to operate through the mayhem from an unusually quick economic rebound—and to compete in the next growth period. With the risk factors and bottom line considered in every decision, here is how AMBAC is navigating hurdles to ensure your product is delivered on time, every time.

Workforce Shortage

Record numbers of unfilled jobs are likely to limit higher productivity and growth in 2022, both in the US manufacturing market and beyond. According to The US Chamber of Commerce, "Companies of every size and industry are facing unprecedented challenged trying to fill enough workers to fill open jobs. The latest data shows we have 11.3 million job openings in the US, but only 6.3 million unemployed workers. If every unemployed person in the US found a job, we would still have 5 million jobs open."

As a "Best Place to Work in South Carolina, AMBAC is coming through the pandemic rather unscathed in the workforce department. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, AMBAC has hired, and retained, 16 new employees, adding almost a 32% to our workforce.

An open book management culture, being an employee-owned brand, and allowing for a flexible work week and all factors that contribute to employee retention and new recruit attraction. And a complete (and happy) workforce ensures that your product is made to the highest standards, and shipped out the door, on time, every time.

Supply chain instability

Supply chain challenges are severe and still developing. Manufacturers face near-continuous disruptions globally that affect the bottom line and stretch the limits of business agility. Systemwide complications from high demand, rising costs of raw materials and freight, and slow deliveries in the United States all contribute to canceled deliveries, or extremely late deliveries if you are lucky. Phil Levy, chief economist at Flexport, a freight forwarding company based in San Francisco. Says returning of a normal supply chain this year, "It's unlikely to happen in 2022," said "My crystal ball gets murky further out.

The New York Times says, "Fixing these supply chain issues requires investment and technology. It will take more ships, additional warehouses, and an influx of truck drivers, none of which can be conjured quickly or cheaply. Many months, and perhaps years, are likely to transpire before the chaos subsides."

Formerly, American Bosch, AMBAC has been manufacturing heavy-duty engine components right here in the USA since 1910. Our history of long-term relationships with our suppliers ensures that we get you a quality product on time, every time. As an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, we hold our products, and our people, to the highest standards.

Rising threats are leading the industry to new levels of preparedness

Cyberattacks across the US Manufacturing industry in the past year have elevated cybersecurity as a risk management essential for most executives. Surging threats during the pandemic added to business risk for manufacturers in the crosshairs of ransomware. According to the IDC's Ransomware Study, "Approximately 37% of global organizations said they were the victim of some form of a ransomware attack in 2021."

AMBAC not only looks at our cyber defenses, but we also consider the resiliency of our business in the event of a cyberattack. Cybercriminals can shut down operations and disrupt entire supplier networks, compromising safety as well as productivity. We have implemented dozens of controls to protect data and privacy. And even after all those measures have been implemented, we're constantly feeling like we missed something or that there's a threat we haven't learned about. Eternal vigilance is the only way to ensure we protect our business.

ESG investment
In today's global economy, US manufacturers must adopt more sustainable and ethical business practices if they want to remain profitable and competitive. The importance of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) is being brought more and more into the light. According to a KPMG report, " 71% of CEOs believe it's their personal responsibility to ensure that the organization's ESG policies reflect the values of their customers." And PWC reports, "More than 75% of consumers and employees said they're more likely to buy from or work for a company that stands up for ESG principles."

Remanufacturing is inherently positive in terms of environment, energy efficiencies, and carbon footprints. Every part that we reman is diverted from landfills. Consequently. It also means a new part isn't being manufactured, which results in huge positive impacts such as less mineral extraction, energy to manufacture, transportation, etc.). In our new production, we've lowered energy/carbon footprint in many ways - upgraded to efficient lighting, upgraded equipment to save energy, eliminated processes that generate hazardous waste, and recycled a lot of our waste stream.

The social aspect of ESG consists of labor standards, wages, and benefits, diversity, racial justice, pay equity, and supply chain. We're employee-managed. Labor standards, pay equity, and wages are chosen BY THE PEOPLE that are getting them. For example - how many companies have the front line determine the team's work hours, raises and benefits, working conditions, employee policies, etc.? Safety standards are set, and enforced, by the people affected.

We work with a wide variety of companies (that aren't our customers or suppliers) and share best practices on employee management. We spend huge amounts of time and effort in training and education. We teach people from all levels to be business leaders. Diversity extends beyond the hot buttons. The deeper question around diversity is not what your population mix is - (we do that too) but we include everyone in the decision-making process. A high integrity supply chain is hard for most small companies. We choose to source as local as possible, and where we can from companies we know.

In conclusion, AMBAC is no exception to the instability of the US Manufacturing industry. However, our nomination as an SC Best Place to Work, long-standing relationships with our suppliers, dedication to our cyber security, and dedication to ESG efforts guarantees our customers have their product in-hand, on time, every time.