Reshore and Restore: How Anchor Harvey Thrived Amidst a Global Pandemic

Leading a Company in the Current Business Climate Comes With Many Challenges, but There’s Still a Lot of Opportunity for Leaders Who Have the Right Mindset. In a Centuries-old Industry Like Manufacturing, Change Often Comes Gradually, but in the Midst of the Global Covid-19 Pandemic, the Sudden Pace of Transformation Has Opened the Door to New Possibilities.

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Reshoring, the practice of bringing manufacturing operations that had been previously moved overseas back to the country from which it was originally relocated, has been on the rise in recent years with companies shifting production back to the United States at record levels in 2018 and 2019. As the COVID-19 pandemic nears the one-year mark and global supply chains twist and turn amid economic pressures, including the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, the industry trend toward reshoring has only accelerated. Companies across America are rethinking their operations, enabling beneficial supply chain revisions to material sourcing, advanced shop-floor workflows, introducing more strategic planning, and re- aligning the global web of industry partnerships. Recent data from the Reshoring Initiative has shown that in 2020, American reshoring outpaced foreign direct investment (FDI) for the first time since 2014 and that “Reshoring will continue to be key to manufacturing growth and to U.S. economic recovery in 2021 and beyond.” The Coronavirus continues to introduce heightened levels of uncertainty into the manufacturing process and the global supply chain. This uncertainty has renewed the interest among companies to review the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of their production, enabling them to make informed financial decisions by examining the direct and indirect costs of products. As manufacturers increasingly rethink where and how they do business, Anchor Harvey – a 100-year-old precision aluminum forging company – has stepped up to showcase the benefits of reshoring and help companies move their supply chains stateside.

Understanding TCO

For most companies, the first step towards reshoring involves understanding how it can be of benefit. For years, the common perception has been that outsourcing overseas is more cost-effective than manufacturing a product locally. For decades, despite the occasional negative wave of publicity, the surge of offshoring seemed to make financial sense. Offshoring would allow companies to save money on wages, which would then be reflected in a lower cost of the consumer’s final product. However, this line of reasoning always assumed that there was no financial penalty from offshoring or that any penalty incurred would be offset by the upfront cost savings. Many companies are beginning to question this piece of commonly accepted wisdom as they reexamine the TCO of their manufacturing. According to Suzanne de Treville, visiting professor at MIT and Professor of Operations Management at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, companies that rely on overseas manufacturing have been left asking why they have such “massive inventories, yet in spite of those inventories they frequently are not able to meet all demand.” By factoring in additional costs, including the inability to meet demand, but also tariffs, logistics, lead times, quality, and more, the direct and indirect costs of overseas manufacturing begin to accumulate quickly.

Total Cost of Ownership is a calculation designed to help companies make informed financial decisions. TCO takes the complete manufacturing chain into account to provide a holistic view of costs rather than just looking at a component’s purchase price. The upfront price of acquiring a specific part overseas may appear relatively small initially. However, costs incurred during product manufacturing and lifetime, such as service, repair, delays, replacements, insurance, and other incidentals, commonly cause unplanned expenses to rise significantly and accrue rapidly. At Anchor Harvey, the true cost of overseas manufacturing is something we have long known. Anchor Harvey, having been in business for nearly a century, benefits from a long history of experience. Drawing upon decades of past knowledge enabled us to move expeditiously and meet increasing demand in several industries as companies feverishly moved to reshore operations in the face of the havoc being wrought by COVID-19 on global supply chains.

Laying the Groundwork

Taking a proactive approach has allowed Anchor Harvey to stay ahead of the mandated shutdowns and economic turbulence caused by COVID-19 while simultaneously zeroing in communication efforts toward essential industries and companies looking to reshore and restore their operations. From email campaigns, social media posts, podcast interviews, and crafting a free TCO whitepaper to educate companies on the benefits of reshoring, we were able to seize the opportunity to assist companies looking to reshore and restore operations from the beginning of the pandemic. As the pandemic wore on and supply chains grew increasingly wracked with new pressures and unprecedented instability, we began to lay a solid marketing groundwork promoting Anchor Harvey’s local manufacturing and 100% domestic material sourcing. We were able to leverage the understanding that there exists a multitude of reasons why companies decide to reshore besides cost. The pandemic accelerated the pace of reshoring due to fluctuating costs, but the breadth of advantages to be gained by reshoring, including improved security and superior component quality, played an equally important role.

Quality & Cost

The long-term success of any company resides in the quality of their final product. Overseas manufacturers often operate with minimal or dubious quality assurance practices and ship products which commonly contain substantial inconsistencies. We were able to leverage this particular shortcoming of overseas manufacturing by starkly contrasting it against the high quality and precision of components from Anchor Harvey.

By showcasing our sophisticated technology – such as our advanced monitor systems that allow us to control every step of the operation and ensure part consistency from 1 to over 1,000,000 – we have been able to highlight the quality of our parts to companies looking to reshore. Businesses in a variety of industries have proven receptive to messaging based on our continuous investment in new processes and how our technologically advanced equipment has allowed us to modernize the age-old aluminum forging process. Incorporating data into our internal processes as well as our external marketing – such as statistics showing that outsourced components have a fault rate that can be as much as seven (7) times higher than their domestic equivalents – proved to be a compelling message. Additionally, by comparing our precision components to the common inferiority of overseas parts, we were able to demonstrate the inherent cost savings of not repeatedly having to order replacements or perform continuous repairs.

As a result, we have shown new and potential partners that reshoring with Anchor Harvey is a cost- effective option and a way to provide customers with better products and final experiences. We also made common mention of Anchor Harvey’s plethora of certifications and memberships, including AS9100, ISO 9001, and more than a half dozen others. While it can be difficult to exhibit physical quality through the digital mediums that have become increasingly infused into everyone’s lives since the start of the pandemic, statistics and certifications serve as commendable stand-ins, offering a means of illustrating expertise and excellence.

As the quality and cost benefits of reshoring became increasingly evident to manufacturers, we also shoring up our marketing materials with several other benefits of reshoring, such as reduced liabilities and improved stability and security. While many companies factor transportation into the cost of overseas manufacturing, it is not uncommon for businesses to overlook certain liabilities associated with international logistics. From ensuring full regulatory compliance and customs requirements to navigating complex tariffs structures, companies reliant upon overseas manufacturers are subject to the laws and multiple governments’ laws and policies—a change to any one of which can result in unplanned expenses.

Stability & Security

The possibility of unforeseeable changes made by overseas governments was a message that resonated with many companies. In a year defined by instability, lockdowns, and the unknown, many manufacturers were, and still are, looking for assurances of dependability and consistency, which Anchor Harvey has been able to provide. Stability, particularly in a pandemic, is a benefit that overseas manufacturers have been unable to match throughout the past year, and marketing this advantage has proven remarkably valuable.

It is also worth noting that mitigating the potential liabilities of any sudden policy changes by overseas governments goes hand-in-hand with limiting the exposure of any intellectual property a company holds. A sudden shift in a nation’s laws can open a company up to legal risks, but such changes can also siphon off immensely valuable intellectual property. In an interview with The New York Times, William Evanina, the director of America’s National Counterintelligence and Security Center, noted how “China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law, for example, requires Chinese companies to support, provide assistance, and cooperate in China’s national intelligence work, wherever they operate.” This law, and others like it, hold a substantial degree of risk for companies engaging in overseas manufacturing as any trade secrets or patented materials they may hold are subject to the discretions of foreign actors. For this reason, one of the pillars of our reshoring message focused on how companies can ensure complete intellectual property protection by reshoring.

Strategic Messaging

Determining where and how to share information was second only to creating the message about how Anchor Harvey can help companies reshore and why they should. We began by expanding our website’s content, updating it with new pages and additional resources for companies looking to reshore. Then, implementing keyword research and search engine optimizations, we worked to make it as easy as possible for companies to find Anchor Harvey and discover our domestic supply chain as well as any additional information they may require.

As we further developed the content on our website, we also began refining our email strategies, stepped up the use of PPC campaigns, promoted content through various news outlets, and became more active on social media platforms. All of which was done to help educate companies about the numerous benefits of reshoring and how Anchor Harvey could assist in restoring their manufacturing within the United States. Bolstered by a digital marketing campaign focused on reshoring, Anchor Harvey has experienced more than 30 percent growth in our social media channels throughout the pandemic, allowing us to connect with a growing audience and create new opportunities.


Anchor Harvey has thrived during the coronavirus pandemic by using targeted and assistive messaging focused on reshoring. Being able to spot and stay ahead of market trends, and then crafting a message based on our abilities that is relevant to the needs of our customer base has enabled Anchor Harvey to thrive during a year when a significant percentage of companies were simply hoping to survive. There’s no secret trick to our success, nor is there a magic formula to convincing a given company to reshore—what there is, however, is a lot of knowledgeable people working together to do what is needed, when it’s needed. Whether that’s studying the direction the industry is heading, understanding the intricacies behind why reshoring is beneficial, leveraging expertise to consistently deliver quality results, or disseminating a well thought out message to seize an opportunity, so long as the final result is always designed with the benefits to the customer first in mind, then success will follow.

2020 has seen Anchor Harvey receive the highest number of quote requests in our company’s 100- year history. By focusing our efforts on helping companies reshore and restore their operations in the wake of a global pandemic, we are setting record sales numbers as we help newly reshoring companies save money, reduce liability, and improve security and overall quality. At several points over the past year, we have expanded our operations to accommodate numerous companies’ needs across a variety of industries. We are currently running around-the- clock shifts, seven days a week, to ensure that supply can keep up with demand. Nobody at Anchor Harvey began this year by asking, “how can we convince companies to reshore with us?” Instead, when the pandemic hit, we asked, “how can we help?”

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