Troubled About Tariffs? This Tool Can Help

As the owner of a manufacturing company, you’ve probably been closely following the news about tariffs and the trade war. You may be troubled by the news because, honestly, change is scary. No one really knows how these tariffs will turn out—but, as a manufacturer, you know that your business is likely to be deeply impacted by the tariffs.

If you’re unsure about the tariffs and want to know more, this article will help.

If you already understand tariffs and you simply want to know about the handy tool that can help your company better navigate this new environment, contact JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing at sales@jobops.com.

5 Things to Know About Tariffs

You probably already know that tariffs deeply affect the manufacturing industry, but the question is whether President Trump’s recently enacted tariffs are a good or bad idea for bolstering the U.S. economy. Tariffs are a political move, and political opinions are a deeply personal matter. In short: when it comes to debating the tariffs, we can’t make up your mind for you.

However, we can help you clarify your opinion by sharing these 5 key facts:

  1. What’s a Tariff?

A “tariff” is a tax imposed on foreign products entering the country (AKA imports). President Trump has enacted tariffs on neighboring countries, as well as China, in order to support his platform of bringing manufacturing strength back to America.

  1. What Has Recently Received a Tariff in the U.S.?

Steel and aluminum were the first products to receive surprising 25% tariffs this year and now President Trump has enacted a 10% tariff that may affect up to $550 billion worth of Chinese exports. China has retaliated with a tariff of their own for U.S. products. Back-and-forth economic battles like these are generally known as trade wars.

  1. Are Tariffs Normal? Is a Trade War Normal?

Wide-ranging, high tariffs aren’t a popular choice for modern trade because of our reliance on low-cost globalization, but mild tariffs are quite normal. The U.S. averages a 2.4% tariff on all global imports, and we even have ultra-high tariffs for some goods: 168% on peanuts and 350% on tobacco. Trade wars are not normal because they’re based on retaliation and underlying aggression. Luckily, they don’t happen very often.

  1. Are Tariffs Bad for Our Economy?

High tariffs have sometimes been a bad choice in the past, but sometimes they’ve been a good choice too. You’ll hear critics of President Trump’s current trade policy refer back to the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 in support of their views that wide-ranging tariffs are a bad idea (Smoot-Hawley slapped high tariffs on all imports and is generally agreed to have made the Great Depression worse than it should have been), but selective high tariffs can be beneficial to the overall economy because they sometimes help mitigate the potential damage from import surges. Because our modern, globalized world relies on free trade and overseas sourcing, the effects of the recent U.S. tariffs remain to be seen, but the New York Times suggests that President Trump’s tariffs will cost the average American family approximately $270 annually and may cost manufacturers a lot more.

  1. Do Tariffs Help Manufacturers Create Competitive Prices?

These recent tariffs have the potential to help establish better profit margins for U.S. manufacturers because tariffs increase the prices of foreign goods that come from countries with less expensive labor, devalued currencies, or more abundant raw materials. President Trump’s tariffs may drive more consumers to “buy American” instead of choosing formerly cut-rate imports, but manufacturers that rely on China for affordable raw materials may find their supply costs soaring. These high costs could undermine the potential benefits of the tariffs.

So, What Are the Definite Effects of the Tariffs?

Not sure if tariffs are a godsend or a disaster for U.S. manufacturers? You’re not alone. In fact, most manufacturers aren’t yet sure about their response to the tariffs, but savvy business leaders see the tariffs as an opportunity to better differentiate themselves from their competition.

If you’re interested in making the most of this new trade landscape, you’ll want to focus on increasing your customer service, speeding your delivery times, and accurately predicting your changing profitability.

JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing can help.

Why JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing Is a Smart Choice

The one thing we all expect the tariffs to do is increase U.S.-based competition. If President Trump’s tariffs work as intended, they should make pricing competitive between American-made goods and foreign goods by raising the price of imports. That means you’ll have to compete more with U.S. companies than with foreign companies.

To succeed in this landscape, you’ll need to focus on old tried-and-true SMB sales methods, instead of simply competing on price. JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing helps by improving your:

  • Efficiency – Because it’s integrated with Sage 100 and Sage 100cloud, JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing will effortlessly transfer data back and forth between your ERP and your shop floor operations. This speeds you up because you won’t need to do anymore slow, error-prone re-keying and it will help ease procurement too because you’ll have better advance insight into your material requirements.
  • Profitability – JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing’s job costing software helps you achieve efficiencies through greater insight and power over cost control measures, so you can offer competitive pricing. It also provides greater visibility into labor availability, scheduling, and job-by-job profitability, and it even seamlessly integrates with your accounting data and provides agile cost tracking throughout the lifecycle of each product.
  • Customer service – If you consistently provide lower prices than your competitors but your cost-cutting measures result in reduced accuracy and late deliveries, you’ll have bad online reviews, which damages your reputation. JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing helps by better ensuring accurate scheduling along with error-free data transfer direct from your ERP, all of which will keep orders accurate and customers happy.

JobOps helps manufacturers like you pull ahead of the competition with proven, integrated digital tools that increase efficiency, enhance profitability, and improve customer service. Best of all, JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing works seamlessly with your Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud system and is easy to learn and use.

To learn more about how JobOps / Sage 100cloud Manufacturing can help your manufacturing business succeed, both now and in the future, contact JobOps at sales@jobops.com.

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