As Employers Consider Supply Chain Moves, One U.S. Company’s Sustained Commitment to American Manufacturing – and to Fostering its U.S. Employee Base – Is Yielding Results
There are few hotter topics today than the state of American manufacturing and the U.S. workforce.
Employers and policymakers have lamented the decline in manufacturing opportunities and celebrated investments made to reverse that trend.
In the race to win consumer trust, it’s easy for a company to pay lip-service to American manufacturing. It’s harder for an employer to put its money where its mouth is or to proactively foster the advancement of its U.S. workers.
How different would the American economy look today if employers regularly walked-the-walk with such investments?
A look at one U.S. company may offer some answers.
Leading health and wellbeing company Amway has long invested in a U.S.-based operation for the products it manufactures (including popular brands like Nutrilite supplements and Artistry skin care). More than 60 years after its start, Amway’s model is still one closely tied to its founding principles, which the company’s leaders spotlight as quintessentially American.
Entrepreneurship, independence and hard work are integral to the company’s model, lowering barriers for aspiring business owners by providing products, a supply chain, e-commerce storefronts and mentorship. Hundreds of thousands of Americans in every state have become a part of the model, generating more than $340 million in tax revenue for the U.S. economy in the past 6 years.
So it’s no surprise that of its thousands of U.S. employees, Amway employs 800 Americans on its manufacturing lines – or that “Made in America” applies to so much of its production.
Around 70 percent of the products Amway sells in the U.S. are manufactured in the U.S. – whether by Amway or one of its suppliers.
The company has recently doubled-down on its American commitment, investing more than $300 million in U.S. manufacturing operations in recent years and adding 1 million square feet to its U.S. locations. That includes $45 million to expand Amway’s manufacturing footprint in western Michigan with construction of a state-of-art facility dedicated to the company’s popular XS energy drink; and an expansion of its capacity for production of additional wellness products.
“For Amway, investing in manufacturing here at home is not just a financial decision – it is a demonstration of our commitment to the American way,” said Chief Supply Chain Officer Brian Kraus. “It starts with dollars invested, but is advanced by our continued efforts to enhance collaboration and skill-development among our valued manufacturing employees through our award-winning internal programs. We believe in the American market and continue to invest here holistically.”
Amway’s investments in U.S. operations are continuing, even as a large percentage of its sales occur outside the U.S. market. Billions of dollars of Amway products made in whole or in-part in America are exported yearly, and, in the majority of overseas markets in which Amway operates, many of the products sold were made in America.
Positions at Amway are not the same manufacturing jobs of decades past. That’s because, beyond Amway’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing, the company also demonstrates leadership in pursuing innovative investments in its workforce.
One oft-heard mantra among its sellers is that, with Amway, you are “in business for yourself but never by yourself,” referring to Amway’s support for its entrepreneurs. The company applies that same sense of support and community to its employees, investing heavily in employee skills development.
Amway’s intent is not to hire people who will remain in the same position forever. Rather, the company’s employee-support programs incentivize greater skills and experience to intentionally advance employees to more senior, higher paying jobs (the National Association of Manufacturers recognized Amway’s work in this area).
Put simply, manufacturing employees who start at Amway will find a company seeking to ensure they have a rewarding career, partly directed by their own interests – even if those employees join the company without many specialized skills.
Amway’s commitment to U.S. manufacturing has deep roots and its domestic investments bolster local economic strength and resiliency.
But what does it all add up to for the company’s success?
Common sense would tell us that when a company’s workforce feels valued, when consumers trust its products and when the communities served feel the benefits of economic investments, chances for business success are high.
In this case, Amway’s ranking as the number-one direct selling company in the world – and its role as the top vitamin and dietary supplement brand – speaks for itself.
In a time when the “Made-in America” approach is increasingly questioned, Amway leads the way to show what is possible.