Mitigating Supply Chain Challenges with Made in the USA

October 12, 2022

Members of our leadership team were recently interviewed about obstacles – and strategies – for NPI (new product introduction). Not surprisingly, the global supply chain was one of the focus topics. Here we will share some of their responses – and why Made in the USA makes a difference for Sealevel, and for our customers.

Where are you seeing the most supply chain challenges?

Susan O’Hanlan, President
There is not a single electronics manufacturing, design, engineering, or development company that has not felt the pinch of the supply chain. And to navigate through that is quite the challenge. The chips, obviously, are the biggest bottleneck. There are other parts that are bottlenecks as well. You keep pushing through: as dates change, you continue working through – and communicating – together. We have an amazing purchasing team that makes sure we have the parts we need to build and ship.

How can “Made in the USA” help mitigate supply chain problems?

Bobby Richardson, Director of Operations
We stock a lot of semiconductors here: we choose to keep those parts in stock on an ongoing basis so we can build finished products to meet ongoing customer demands. Our team plans our production schedule for the most efficient use of stock. With our on-site manufacturing capabilities, I can build anything here at Sealevel any day I want to and control the use of those parts.

Jeff Baldwin, Director of Engineering
Often with “Made in the USA” all departments are operating at the same campus. This is true at Sealevel and, as a result, our engineers can engage our procurement team early in the design process to allow for second sourcing and better inform R&D of preferred components.

Susan O’Hanlan, President
In other countries, we have seen rolling blackouts and other factors that manufacturers have no control over. The United States does not suffer from those issues. We do not have those problems. We have issues, but we do not have those issues that directly affect manufacturing. One of the many good things about having all of our equipment in-house is that we can test and x-ray components for improved quality control.

Why is “Made in the USA” critical to the success of NPI?

Jeff Baldwin, Director of Engineering
Building with products that are made in the USA is beneficial because there is an extra level of communication and collaboration during the development process, as well as shorter lead times between iterations of prototypes and final products.

Susan O’Hanlan, President
If it is built in the United States, you can have confidence in the delivery times, capability, and quality. The majority of the companies we partner with are in critical industries across defense and infrastructure. For them to know that Sealevel is here, manufacturing right here, buying everything that we can inside the United States, and working through all of the product development and supply chain obstacles gives them an unparalleled confidence level.

The Supply Chain & Quality Control at Sealevel

Over the past few years, Sealevel has adopted new strategies and employed different tools to better navigate the supply chain while continuing to guarantee unmatched quality:

  • Doubled the size of our purchasing team
  • Expanded our quality control team and processes
  • Hardened our IT environment for improved security and quality
  • Added dedicated roles for inventory control

To discuss supply chain mitigation tactics and how we can help you achieve your NPI goals faster, please contact us.