company i work for has been buying back stock for 3-4 years, 1 pay raise in the last 5 years, has a few billion in cash and is working us to death (maybe just our boss). could use some training / documentation on new tasks, better planning, more folks to get work done instead of burning-out a few. my management just doesn't have the balls to ask for more people. no leadership or vision or maybe they just don't care.
It is great to hear that there are companies seeking to expand their operations. Too many are just buying back their stock since they have no future vision for their company and no better idea of how that money could be utilized to grow their businesses.
1. Common sense does not say you should locate close to your demand. It says you should locate you factory so as to reduce all costs - including transport costs. It costs very little to ship finished goods (or partially finished goods) and raw materials.
Different products are of course different. Bulky low value products are clearly relatively expensive to transport. eg. shipping a can of soda halfway around the world might not make sense. Doubling or tripling the cost of shipping a phone would not change anything.
2. Pairing cost with revenue? Where's the sense in that? If I can make stuff cheaply in place A and sell it for a high profit at place B then that's what I'll do.
Sure, that means A gets an influx of money and B gets into debt, but that is not my problem as a factory.
3. Volatility of currency is a problem for global traders, but that is way less of an issue than denying yourself business flexibility.
Great example with bottle water. Where I live (Vancouver, Canada) we import most of the bottled mineral water from France and Italy although we have the largest amounts of water available worldwide! Kris
Those articles are typical hype that feeds the presses.
Too many publicized innovations focus on how to be different from what is being used today, rather than how to directly improve what is being used today.
The examples you cited are typical hype articles. Hype is good feed for the western presses. Innovations which are revolutionary, for the most part, are good for show-and-tell, not for practice. The whole point of the hyped-up articles is to distinguish from what is commonly practiced, by being different more than direct substantial improvement of what is being used today.