Jason Beaubien, “Border-Town Factories Give Manufacturers an Edge,” Weekend Edition Sunday, National Public Radio, November 20, 2011, https://www.npr.org/2011/11/20/142536024/border-town-factories-give-manufacturers-an-edge(read less)
At a factory in an industrial park in Reynosa, Mexico, just across the border from McAllen, Texas, workers make aluminum vents for heating and cooling systems.
Mike Myers is the general manager of INFASA, a maquiladora — or cross-border manufacturing operation — that employs just over 200 workers. They produce everything from small vent covers that would appear in a house to wall-sized, industrial air intake units.
"We custom make everything. When an order comes in here, we make it to order," he says.
Meyers says being just south of the U.S. border gives his company an advantage in the fiercely competitive global market. His firm gets access to a low-wage workforce in Mexico, yet it can still deliver products rapidly to their customers in the United States. His company's lead-time is just seven days, he says.
… "You're not going to get something from China in seven days unless you put it on an airplane," Meyers says. "Here, we put it on a truck, and it's in. We take an order, we custom build it, we ship it out, and it's out quickly."
… Business leaders on both sides of the border say this is a model for how the region can revive manufacturing in North America.