Although plans are still being finalized for South Ware Roadsite, the complex could measure up to 150,000 sf, with thestructure going vertical for approximately $40 per sf. If all goesaccording to plan, the center could be operational in 2010. Thecenter will be under the auspices the North American ManufacturingResearch and Education Initiative, a consortium of leaders inbusiness, education, government and economic development.

|

Keith Partridge, president and CEO of the McAllen EconomicDevelopment Corp., says the center was created to help boost astrong manufacturing base not only in the Rio Grande Valley, butthe rest of the US as well. But, it's not the same manufacturingbase from the early to mid-20th century with which most arefamiliar.

|

"This center is the first in the world exclusively focused onrapid-response manufacturing," Partridge explains. "In other words,taking the product from concept to the marketplace in as short astime as possible." The reason for such a center, he continues, isbecause today's customers want low-cost, customized products andthey want those products now, if not sooner.

|

"Companies are moving from providing customers with customizedproducts quickly to needing to take those products as fast tomarket as possible and at as low a cost as they can," Partridgesays.

|

Sometimes, companies hope to take products from design to marketin 30 days. "The only way to do that is to have the people whobuild the tooling, manufacturing component and supplier componentinvolved from the design phase from day one," Partridge tellsGlobeSt.com. "This is creating a whole new way of designingproducts and of educating the workforce."

|

Partridge says that the goal is to bring more manufacturingplants to the South Texas area, but the rapid response paradigm ismeant to benefit the US as a whole. It also could benefitinternational firms as well.

|

"A couple of months ago, the chairman of one of the largestmanufacturing companies in China was here looking to set up amanufacturing plant in McAllen," Partridge says. When asked why,the chairman said his North American customers were demanding afaster manufacturing-to-market time, and more customization ofproducts, which the Chinese plants couldn't perform. "They couldn'tget that speed of delivery from China, which is why he wasinterested," Partridge says.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.