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MacroFab is clearly on the grow, so what’s on their minds these days? CEO Misha Govshteyn, speaking from the company’s Guadalajara, Mexico, facility, shares that the company recently closed a second round of funding, bringing the total investment pool to just north of $80 million. Second round investors include Foundry and BMW i Ventures as well as existing investors Edison Partners and ATX Venture Partners. They also just opened a 48,000 square foot plant in Houston, Texas.
Misha, we are focusing this issue on the “mind of the manufacturer.” Where is your mindset? What worries you, butwhat opportunities do you see as well?
Misha Govshteyn: Many customers seem nervous about 2023. They look at the stock market; there's obviously been a decline there. A lot of people are forecasting a recession and that has been reflected in their customer orders or lack of demand. However, our pipeline has never been higher and even if there were a recession, 50% of what we're doing now is reshoring/nearshoring. In fact, 25% of our pipeline is coming from Europe, which we’ve never seen before.
The European business is a new development, and our footprint is all over North America. We have over 100 factories in our network, which means we can move customers out of Asia to North American manufacturing when necessary. In some cases, it's purely based on where their product catalog will be a best fit. About 50% of the work ends up in the U.S., with the other 50% in Mexico. We are seeing more business gravitate toward North America for manufacturing. Even if there was a slowdown in demand worldwide, what's happening geopolitically has everybody rattled enough to where supply chain managers are looking for resiliency in their supply chain. While they're not moving out of China, they’re looking for other options. They want a way to get a foothold in the North American market, including projects I've never seen before.
If something happens geopolitically in Taiwan, the factory space in North America will be at a huge premium. From a cold start to a legal agreement to manufacturing ODM product in North America, it won’t happen that quickly.
The bigger deal is worrying about whether the world will be stable or whether it’s best to move manufacturing to a region unaffected by global instability. We hear that in almost all our conversations.
To read this entire conversation, which appeared in the March 2023 issue of SMT007 Magazine, click here.