04-07-2014, 11:01 AM
Re: Orvis Battenkill II Click and Pawl Reel Review
@ Shotgunfly: Having worked in manufacturing since 1991, and being intimately familiar with lathe, mill, grinding, EDM, plating, brazing, and welding, I can tell you that this reel can be made and sold at the price point I recommended of $149. Further, I travel extensively in China and throughout SE Asia, as well, while daily competing with China on manufactured goods. I know how China quote work.
I agree that US made reels cost more in general, but this is largely an issue of economies of scale and a price point people are willing to pay.
When Orvis set up manufacturing of the Battenkill reels in China, the price points were agreed to based on certain purchase quantities. Orvis has the clout in the marketplace to sell more of a certain line of reels than most companies. Because of this Orvis can agree to purchase quantities, over a specified length of time, that are higher than most reel manufacturers can. Now if Orvis takes those same quantities to a US manufacturer who utilize multi-axis CNC machines and mechanized riveters; add to that a company who builds and runs progressive stamping dies (as mine does); suddenly the US manufacturer is highly competitive.
Knowing what I do about offshored manufacturing, I am fairly confident Orvis did not do due diligence on US manufacturing opportunities for the Battenkill reel line, but rather compared the Chinese costs to making the reels in their own facilities or their existing domestic supply chain.
It is the supposition that US manufacturers can't compete that often prevents our opportunity to do so.