From ‘Made in China’ to ‘Made in America’.
We are very proud of the fact that ALL of our GoBoxes™ are hand-machined and assembled right here in the good ol’ USA. However, it wasn’t always that way. Our original plans entailed working closely with off-shore manufacturers to take advantage of the incredibly attractive low per-unit pricing that only these countries could offer due to their incredibly low labor costs.
Actually, after hiring both an import/export consultant along with a multi-lingual interpreter, we were able to fairly easily communicate and conduct business with our new foreign suppliers. As a matter of fact, our very first order of several hundred units of our early concept was actually manufactured in Beijing, China.
In order for us to successfully manufacture our products in China, we still needed to prototype our concepts here in the U.S. then ship them to China for the process of duplication and, ultimately, ‘mass producing’ in large quantities.
During the prototype process, back here in the U.S., I worked closely with a fantastic guy that I had met earlier named Tony, who owned his own shop and managed a small crew of his own. Tony, and his crew, worked extremely hard to help us engineer, design, prototype and, ultimately, get our designs ‘export ready’ for offshore production.
One day, I walked into his shop and looked around and asked “Where’s Jamie?” (a good kid who worked hard for Tony). Tony replied, “Oh… You know… This is a tough economy…” and then he proceeded to let me know that he has “a really good guy coming in who can take care of you guys and your needs moving forward…” I realized at that moment that Tony wasn’t able to make ends meet and that I was going to be looking for a new prototype shop, sooner, rather than later.
Well, we both sat down, sharpened our pencils, and explored our options together to see if we could find a solution to both of our problems. By the end of the day, we had solved our mutual problem together as Tony became our new Prototype and Production Manager and Apply On-The-Go had just purchased its own prototype and production shop! That’s right, even though Tony (and his crew) could not compete with China’s $2/day wages, he could, however, do a lot to assure us an excellent product while providing guaranteed quality and superior service levels at a very low cost AND, allow us to bring production back to America.
Essentially, we traded ‘cookie cutter’ mass production for Artisan hand-craftsmanship and I truly feel that our product offering is better off for it. And, I know that many of our potential clients will appreciate our demonstrated commitment to ‘buying America first’.
Today, Tony’s hard at work as our new Prototype & Production Manager, Jamie’s back on board and our GoBoxes™ proudly wear the ‘Made in America’ badge. Most importantly, we are extremely honored to be doing our part in ‘Keeping America Strong’.
UPDATE – June, 2013 – We’ve just completed the move to our much larger NEW Production and Assembly facility located in Southern Oregon. We have almost doubled the number of tooling/assembly workstations. We look forward to giving back to the community that has welcomed us with such open arms.