California, Here We Come

The Golden State, which boasts the world’s fifth-largest economy, is a center for supply management activity — from manufacturing to exporting and importing — thanks to its location and infrastructure.

By Sue Doerfler

Welcome to California: Home to Hollywood, Disneyland, beaches, redwood forests and great weather — and a hotbed for all things related to supply management.

The state has more than 38,000 manufacturers, whose goods range from tortilla chips to aerospace components. It boasts a robust infrastructure that includes an expanding warehouse sector and the nation’s two busiest ports — the world’s 10th-largest port complex. California accounts for 11 percent of the nation’s exports. On the talent side, it has a sound educational system, decreasing unemployment and workers with a penchant for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Not to mention the state’s strong economy: “If California were its own country, it would be the fifth-largest economy in the world,” says Braden Baseley, lead research analyst with ProcurementIQ, a division of IBISWorld, in Los Angeles. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$2.75 trillion at the end of 2017, California ranks above the United Kingdom and behind the U.S., China, Japan and Germany in GDP.

The thriving economy — the state’s most recent economic growth rate was nearly double the U.S. average — isn’t isolated to any one region or sector, says Sam Chiu, spokesman for the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Every economic sector except agriculture contributed to the growth, he says: “Financial services and real estate led the pack at $26 billion in growth, followed by the information sector, which includes many technology companies, at $20 billion. Manufacturing was up $10 billion.”

The numbers tell a part of the California supply management story. Location, opportunities and challenge tell others.

Read More >