“Global Sourcing”: Do You Know What You Are Getting?

Written by Glen on Feb 16 2010

These days, there is a very weak trend to buy products built in the U.S. Weak or strong, it’s somewhat laughable. Why? Because all it takes is a picture of an American flag for customers to convince themselves that the products they will be purchasing are U.S. made.  But in many instances, they are not.

Case in point: A product I saw at a public facility recently had the U.S. flag showing through the die-cut of the metal container. Proudly built in the U.S., right? Wrong. AmericanFlag-SMALLCurious about whether the product was really made in the U.S., I pulled the whole package out of the metal container. Just below the U.S. flag and the UPC code were the words, “Made in China.”

In an ideal world, our global economy would share high standards and the job would go to the best company, wherever that company builds its products. Unfortunately, the reason it matters where your products are built is that the quality standards customers depend on are frequently much lower when product is built overseas—more specifically, when product is built in China, a fact we have all seen in numerous news reports and that we have continued to study ourselves here at Carrio Cabling.

I can’t tell you how many companies I have studied that do at least some of their business overseas, while proclaiming to be “made in the U.S.A.” If you do even a little bit of investigating, you can easily discover this for yourself.

For instance, not long ago Carrio Cabling bid on a project, and won, against a number of other companies. Everything about Carrio was more competitive—our designs, our pricing, our service—and for that I am grateful.

Our new customer told us that they do not want this particular product to be built overseas, and that is why they selected all of these companies as finalists.

But I think our customer may have been misled into thinking that my competitors were going to build this product in the U.S. On the surface, I can see why they thought so. My competitors have offices in the U.S., and one of them has a picture of an American flag on its home page. But buried in their websites are words and phrases like “global sourcing,” “integrated Asian and U.S. supply chain management,” “flexibility of low-cost outsourcing,” “strategic overseas alliances,” and so on.

I could say much more about the problems I have seen firsthand with China-made products, but for now I’ll end this by saying,  “U.S. made” does not always equal U.S. made. Make sure you know what you are getting, even after you approve the first article.

Carrio Cabling Corporation builds all of its products—every time—in the U.S., at our Colorado manufacturing facility.

Is Custom Really Custom?

Written by Glen on Jul 10 2009

When you order a product that is supposedly custom, is it really custom? Or customized? How do you know? And do you really care?


True Custom™


What Carrio Cabling means by “custom” is really custom – not something we took off the shelf, made a minor change to, and decided to call “custom.” 


Carrio True Custom™ does not mean higher pricing. In fact, in many cases you’ll pay less than you’d pay for a so-called standard product because you won’t be paying for features you don’t need. The features and performance you’ll get from Carrio will match your needs.


A True Custom™ product from Carrio gives you the features you want and the performance you want. Period. It’s that simple. That’s why we call it True Custom™. 

Check us out: www.carriocabling.com

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Does Custom Mean Higher Prices?

Written by Glen on Jun 04 2009

What Carrio Cabling means by “custom” is really custom – not something we took off the shelf and made a minor change it and decided to call it “custom,” like some companies do.

Further, a True Custom™ product from Carrio gives you the features you want and the performance you want. Carrio custom does not equate to higher prices. In fact, in many cases you will pay less because you won’t be paying for features you don’t need. The features and performance you get from us will match your needs. Make sense? Sound great? We think so, and we hope our customers do, too.

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A Simple Man Living in a Complex World

Written by Glen on Jan 27 2009

cc_hardback_coverOver the 21 years since I started Carrio Cabling, I’ve seen just about every trend, every dynamic, every economic situation, etc. But the last 2-3 years—the highlights of which have been the fascination with “half price” and all things China Made—have been more challenging and troublesome than anything in the past. Couple that with eroding business ethics and a crashing stock market and ….well, a simple man like me has a few things to say.

The result is my first book, A Simple Man Living in a Complex World: Life and Business—Campfire Stories from the Asylum.

What’s it about?

  • How businesses and consumers are mesmerized by mass production
  • Why cellular manufacturing works
  • Why it takes so darn long to get your “customized, just-the-way-you-want-it” sub at your local sandwich shop (or any product, for that matter)
  • The quest for the holy grail of near-zero pricing
  • How what seems like a crummy teenage job can change your life
  • The hidden lessons of Star Trek and Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
  • The simple principles for running your business and your life so they are a success

A Simple Man Living in a Complex World is available on Amazon or you can order it directly from us. I hope the book inspires you and makes you think; at a minimum, perhaps it will give you a few laughs. As I was writing, I was inspired to draw some illustrations. They look like something I scratched out in Mr. Doezema’s 6th-grade class at Redlands Christian School in California, but I included them anyway since most days I still feel like that kid.

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Manufacturing Gone Wrong+ Made in China

Written by Glen on Apr 21 2008

Real-life examples …from real life

If you can’t handle either, stop here.

It’s a sad state of affairs today. Not only is nearly every type of product imaginable made in China, but more and more Americans are on edge about the safety of buying China made. In fact, shouldn’t we be wondering about the sanity of this practice? Tainted toothpaste, defective tires, lead paint, mysterious ingredients, metal fragments in Valentine’s candy….are we crazy?

To compound the problem for Milfred and Betty Consumer, even if they decide to avoid anything China made, good luck. As Sara Bongiorni’s 2007 book A Year Without “Made in China” showed, this is a nearly impossible task.

Let’s be clear: The deplorable quality of so many Chinese goods is no reflection on the average Chinese worker, the Chinese people themselves, or products made in other countries. In fact, hey…maybe some day the vast majority of Chinese manufacturers will be following the same standards we follow in this country. When and if that happens, we American manufacturers may have something valid to worry about – and it may be time to look to them for tips.

In the meantime, we consumers have a quality problem on our hands. And we American manufacturers – those, at least, who haven’t given up and gone overseas with the rest of the gang – have a great market niche to fill.
read more…

Is Half Price Really Half Price?

Written by Glen on Mar 12 2008

The Unbelievable Cost of Unbelievable Prices

Attention Purchasing Agents:

Your dad just called. He’s about to have heart surgery. Did you sell his hospital the good cables? Or the “half price” ones?

When you hear a supplier, Heart monitoring cable in surgerytypically one whose business is located across the oceans, offer you “half price,” you jump, don’t you? Of course! You’d be a fool if you didn’t, right?

read more…

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We All Love To Wait…. Don’t We?

Written by Glen on Mar 03 2008

What’s Up With Long Lead Times?

Several months ago, a customer said something to me that was another example of the utter fascination people have with the manufacturing god of mass production. He was defending one of our competitors, who had quoted a lead time that was significantly longer than Carrio’s. “As a company grows, lead times grow,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. Everybody knows that.”

The implication was that my competitor’s services were in demand and therefore, more desirable and that accepting long lead times was part of the price of working with what must be a successful company…like a badge of honor. Of course, the converse was also implied: Because Carrio Cabling’s cycle times are so short, our business must be unstable and unsuccessful. Clearly, in this goofball’s world, we didn’t have enough business; if we did, we wouldn’t be able to deliver quickly.

read more…

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