Newsletter Masthead

August 2017

What is the Future of American Manufacturing?

In 1960, over 25% of the US workforce was involved in manufacturing.  Now only around 10% of the US workforce is involved in manufacturing.  But over that time the share of US manufacturing as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has stayed relatively the same, while the US GDP (economy) has significantly grown. 


Graph -US Employment in Manufacturing from 1960 - 2010

What does that mean? 

It means American manufacturing has had significant productivity gains and will become even more productive - primarily due to automation - requiring fewer workers but delivering increased output.  Yes, there has been some offshoring, but these jobs have been primarily of less automated commodity items.  In 2016, 27,000 MORE jobs were “re-shored” than were “off-shored” according to The Reshoring Initiative





18.3 million

(13.5% of workforce)

12.3 million

(9% of workforce)

Contribution to US Economy

$1.23 trillion

$2.18 trillion

 From the Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor and Statistics


So what is the Future of American Manufacturing? 

The low skilled monotonous tasks of the past won’t exist in the future and will be taken over by robots.  But the manufacturing of custom products and other high-end products will only continue to grow.  When a product is made for the unique needs of an individual company or person, the manufacturer’s margins and market share are protected.  The tool that helps make custom products possible on a mass scale – product configurators.


Benefit of Product Configurators

Reasons to Believe

105% Increase in Deal Size

Rules automate upselling to quote all options the customer could use and not just the options the salesperson is familiar with

28.8% Shorter Sales Cycle

Automated approvals for technical and pricing reviews reduce sales cycle

25% Decrease in Costs of Sale

Decreasing the number of technical resources tied to supporting sales process

49% More Quotes

Automated generation of proposal/quote

16% Increase in Win Rate

By getting quotes to customers faster and being more responsive to their requests

40% Reduction in Order Errors

Rules prevent incorrect product configurations

Eliminates Waste in Operations in the

Making of the Product

Eliminates checking and re-checking of product configurations for manufacturability

Statistics from 2013 Aberdeen Group study and a Gartner Research study


If you are interested in how product configurators can help your organization, contact us.  We have been implementing product configurators for organizations for over 20 years.


Ben Moore
Agent Technologies, Inc.



The Consumer's Workshop: the future of American manufacturing


The Consumer's Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing is a hand book on how to setup the systems within your company and create the workforce you need to be successful now and in the future.  Written by authors that have worked at some of America's largest manufacturers, founded their own manufacturing organizations and helped numerous small manufacturers grow.


The Consumer's Workshop: The Future of American Manufacturing is a must read for today's business leaders.  It is insightful and provocative in its approach to where US manufacturing has been, how manufacturing got into the troubles it faces today and what we need to do to become the standard for world class once again.  If we want to know how to regain that competitive edge once again, the roadmap is certainly the pages of The Consumer Workshop.

-- Bruce Vaillancourt,Director, NIST MEP Program, TechSolve, Inc.

BookThe Consumer's Workshop is an extremely timely review of how manufacturing strategy developed in the past
and how it will change in the future. The author team clearly demonstrates that companies have to change -- and provide plenty of advise how such a change should take place."
-- Frank Piller, PhD, International Manufacturing Consultant

As the authors make clear, eventually American manufacturing will become the workshop for direct production of consumer's own designs -- or it will be no more. Begin that path by following the steps outlined here."
-- B. Joseph Pine II, author, Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition

Investment: $12.99








Manufacturing Statistics:

  •  Industrial production rose 0.4 percent in June for its fifth consecutive monthly increase. Manufacturing output moved up 0.2 percent.  At 105.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in June was 2.0 percent above its year-earlier level. Source: Federal Reserve Board
  • Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.3 percent.  Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Goods and services deficit was $43.6 billion in June, down $2.7 billion from $46.4 billion in May, revised. June exports were $194.4 billion, $2.4 billion more than May exports. June imports were $238.0 billion, $0.4 billion less than May imports.  Source: Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • New orders for durable manufactured goods in June 2017 increased $14.8 billion or 6.4% to $245.8 billion. Source: Census Bureau
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in June 2017 increased $1.8 billion or 0.5% to $397.4 billion. Source: Census Bureau


Agent Technologies, Inc.

Phone:  513-942-9444

Fax:  513-942-9446


Agent Technologies Inc


Founded in 1995, Agent Technologies provides operation improvement through software and consulting.  Solutions include: Custom Application Development, xRP - Online CRM/ERP Solution (, Operations & Mass Customization Consulting and Product Configurators (Oracle CPQ Cloud/Big Machines). Try xRP - Our Online CRM/ERP Solution ( - FREE 30 Day Trial!


Agent Technologies, Inc. | 8216 Princeton-Glendale Road, Suite 191 | West Chester | OH | 45069