Building An American Icon

KEY FACTS ABOUT MAG INSTRUMENT'S MANUFACTURING

Mag Instrument has always been headquartered in the U.S.A., where the company’s only flashlight production facilities have always been located, and where it is now expanding those facilities.

 

Every Mag Instrument flashlight was personally designed in the U.S.A., by Mr. Maglica, under whose watchful eye Mag’s engineering staff in Ontario, California, still works constantly at improving and refining Mag’s products and developing new ones.


Every single production employee on the Mag Instrument payroll lives and works in the U.S.A. Of course, Mag does employ sales personnel in the other regions of the world where Mag® flashlights are sold; but all of Mag’s flashlight production facilities, and all of its production employees, are in the U.S.A.

Every Mag Instrument flashlight, no matter where in the world it ends up, comes from a factory located in the U.S.A. and staffed by American workers.

Many companies in Mag Instrument’s position would succumb to the temptation to “outsource” their flashlight manufacturing. Some would lay off their American manufacturing workers and move their factories to low-wage countries, becoming importers into, rather than exporters from, the United States. Other flashlight companies would lay off their American manufacturing workers and would quit the difficult field of manufacturing altogether: They would choose instead to be mere marketers and middlemen, taking orders from customers on one hand while, on the other hand, giving orders to contract manufacturers in low-wage countries to make flashlights for them. Those flashlights, made “offshore,” would then be purchased from the foreign company and imported into the United States, to be bought at retail by those Americans fortunate enough to still have jobs.

This scenario is anything but far-fetched. In fact, every supplier of flashlights with a significant U.S. market share now manufactures all or most of its flashlights outside the United States. Every one, that is, except Mag Instrument.

Among significant suppliers of flashlights to the U.S. market, Mag Instrument is unique in its commitment to U.S.-based manufacturing.

“Mag Instrument is busy exporting flashlights
from the United States.”

While its competitors in the flashlight industry are busy exporting flashlight manufacturing jobs from the United States, Mag Instrument is busy exporting flashlights from the United States.

Why? The answer, again, comes down to one man’s abiding commitment. To “outsource” flashlight manufacturing jobs — to take those jobs away from American workers and send them “offshore” — would violate Tony Maglica’s philosophy in several ways.

For one, it would offend against his faith in the American free-enterprise system, and against the spirit of giving back. Mr. Maglica knows that Mag Instrument got where it is by being an American company. And he deeply believes that Mag Instrument could not have happened anywhere but in America — that nowhere else but in the U.S.A. could somebody who started with as little as he had ever build from scratch a company such as Mag Instrument has become. He also understands the importance, for the well-being of the people of this country, of encouraging entrepreneurship and maintaining a vibrant industrial base. That is why he is proud to be counted as a leader in the current renaissance in American manufacturing. And it is why he has dedicated himself to proving that U.S.-based manufacturing can excel in the global marketplace by using technology to continually improve quality and reduce costs. It is also why Mr. Maglica has been as active as he has in efforts to ensure a “level playing field” for American manufacturers.

To “outsource” flashlight manufacturing jobs would also offend against Tony Maglica’s commitment to quality. There is a reason, he believes, why Mag Instrument has been able to maintain its world-renowned product quality. That reason has to do with his personal vigilance, which requires all of Mag’s flashlight manufacturing to be kept in one place, a place where he can personally watch it happen. His approach to continuous product improvement entails walking the factory floor — observing, teaching, listening to suggestions, praising what is done right and correcting what is not, constantly handling and inspecting product as it is being manufactured, nipping quality problems in the bud, being on the lookout for any small way to further improve efficiency, avoid bottlenecks, or cut waste of time or materials.

Mag Instrument’s kind of continuous quality improvement needs to be practiced up close; at a distance, it just would not work. Mr. Maglica knows the difference between good quality and great quality, and he knows what makes that difference — an abiding commitment to real, true product excellence. Further, he understands that quality is not a goal but a process; not an endpoint but a dogged, relentless pursuit — all day, every day.

To “outsource” Mag’s flashlight manufacturing, to move it to a place where Mr. Maglica could not personally watch it happen, would in his view put cost control and quality at too much peril. To do that would be to risk the end of excellence.