The new Buy American executive order: What it means for federal agencies seeking automated storage solutions

If you have purchasing responsibilities with a federal agency, you likely have heard of President Biden’s new executive order regarding Buy American laws.

With the loss of some 540,000 factory jobs due to COVID-19, the goal behind Biden’s executive order is to boost U.S. factories and hiring, with the funds the federal government spends on procurement.

Here’s a short synopsis of the new Buy American order:

  • The order is an update of previous Buy American regulations for federal agencies dating back to the Hoover Administration in 1933
  • Federal agencies have been able to skirt the requirements by purchasing items with only some American-made content or by seeking an exemption from the rule due to special circumstances
  • The executive order tightens up those loopholes by creating a new position in the Office of Management and Budget to oversee the purchases as well as a website to provide transparency into purchasing activities by federal agencies

Altogether, federal agencies spend roughly $600 billion annually on such purchases. Redirecting those contracts to U.S. firms is likely to provide more jobs for American workers.

How it affects federal agencies needing to modernize their storage with a made in the USA vertical storage systems?

This order is also relevant to those considering investments in automated storage solutions. While there are many providers in the market offering vertical lift modules (VLMs), most of them are still manufacturing their products in Europe, where automated storage devices have long been popular.

By contrast, Modula has always believed in investing in U.S. manufacturing and has been making its full line of made in USA VLMs in Lewiston, Maine, for several years now. To respond to the growing demand for this type of storage solution, in 2019 Modula has added a new plant in Franklin, Ohio.

The 242,000-foot Franklin plant is an iconic building in Ohio and adds an annual production capacity of 2,000 VLMs to the 500-unit capacity of the Maine facility. The expansion was a milestone for Modula not only because it boosted the company’s manufacturing capacity but also guaranteed better access to customers across the United States. And of course, this created more jobs and opportunities in the area. 

Modula production plants in Maine and Ohio

As of today, Modula employs more than 150 people at its two American plants, manufacturing its vertical storage solutions using steel from U.S. producers. This further ensures that the products meet the Buy American requirement.

American federal agencies and local governments choose Modula made in USA automated storage systems

Besides federal agencies, many state and local government bodies have regulations requiring their purchases to go to American companies. One of them is Metro Los Angeles, the transit agency for the county of Los Angeles. As noted in this case study, the “buy American” component was one of the reasons for the transit agency for selecting Modula for its VLM, along with the operation and space-saving efficiencies that the storage system offered.

Other U.S. governmental bodies that have bought automated storage systems from Modula include:

  • Several United States Air Force bases, including Altus, Dover, Edwards, Eglin, Hickam, McConnell, Minot, Nellis, Pope, and Robins
  • American military forts, including Forts Campbell, Drum, Hood, Lewis and Stewart
  • Navy groups, including Carswell Naval Air Station, Naval Sea System Command, Norfolk Naval Shipyard and the United States Navy Depot
  • Defense Logistics Administration (DLA) offices in several states
  • Various state and local transportation agencies, including the Metro-North Railway and New York City Transit Authority
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • United States Postal Service
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center

Besides meeting various governmental purchasing requirements, Modula made in USA VLMs can be ordered and delivered faster than the competition. This due to their closer points of origin. Moreover, with a network of 65 dealers in the United States and a U.S.-based technical support team, service is nearby and prompt.

In addition, Modula offers its customers top-level performance, reliability, and innovative design. So governmental buyers are not giving anything up by picking our automated storage solutions.

In Conclusion

If you’d like to know more about how Modula can solve your organization’s issues, please use this form so a dedicated storage expert can help you select a product that meets your needs.