FEASIBILITY ANALYSES AND HIGH-LEVEL BUSINESS CASE DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE LOCATION OPTIONS
The scope of these studies can range from a single plant to optimization of a mix of business components, e.g., shared services, distribution, R&D. We facilitate stakeholder determination of regional search areas and key performance drivers and obtain specification of the business components to be considered. We then use desktop research, requests for proposals, and other contacts with economic development agencies and other service providers to generate quantitative and qualitative evaluations of a long list of candidate options. A final report and discussions provide the basis for determining whether to proceed with a more detailed evaluation of a short list of candidates
Quantitative analyses are performed during both feasibility analyses and in-depth investigations. In the former regional rates for labor, fringe benefits, facilities, utilities, taxation, etc. are used to derive a cost index for competing options whereas during fieldwork more site-specific parameters including recommended competitive wage rates and local taxes are used. Depending upon the project and in collaboration with the client these analyses can also consider move related costs such as severance, retention bonuses, relocation and startup; freight (inbound and outbound); value of potential incentives; and currency fluctuations. More capex intensive projects will typically be analyzed over a multiyear timeframe.
IN DEPTH LOCATION INVESTIGATIONS AND FIELDWORK
Detailed investigations of potential facilities and labor sheds is performed in each of the selected finalist candidate communities. We typically conduct site/building examinations, meet with community leaders and state officials, interview local employers, recruiters, key utility and service representative, investigate potential incentives, and perform other tasks as identified.The objective of the fieldwork is to confirm the adequacy and quality of the labor supply; verify the labor shed associated with the preferred building/site location; identify employers competing for the same labor supply; determine the patterns of wages and fringe benefits offered by the dominant local employers; evaluate the quality of labor-management relations; and, develop additional information on the available buildings.
Retention Analysis seeks to predict employee and subgroup (notably by grade or department) using a more extensive data set and can be used for both local and long-distance relocations. It is a stochastic process where a probability is assigned based on our experience to each employee by considering a range of data in the employee file which may include longevity of service, grade, marital and dependent status, age, salary, and address. The identity of individual employees to which the data relates is shielded from us, and although the decision any specific employee makes is uncertain, the rolled up quantitative predictions have been found helpful in analyzing the effects of relocation on attrition, severance, retention bonuses, and relocation subsidies. We can also provide advice on how to modify personnel relocation policies to modify attrition towards desired goals.
INCENTIVE AND COMPETITIVE POSITIONING
During fieldwork and after we can work with government officials to help maximize the discretionary tax abatements, grants, training, infrastructure improvements, utility discounts, etc. available to the company through Incentives Prenegotiation. Typically, at this stage we will first reveal your company identity on a confidential basis. Two tools that we can utilize that help in these negotiations are an Economic Impact Analysis that indicates the direct and indirect benefit of the project to the host community in terms of tax revenues, jobs, local sales, etc. and a Competitive Position Analysis which will show the candidate community any shortfall they may have in cost savings to the company compared to competitor locations. This latter analysis is one of the reasons why we recommend that at least two communities, and preferably three are retained for fieldwork. It should be noted that it is essential that this work be performed before the company makes any commitments towards a location.
SERVICES TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPERS AND GOVERNMENTS
Our primary assets to organizations charged with business attraction, retention, and economic development are a viewpoint nurtured from our corporate work and boardroom interaction and our knowledge of the competitiveness and programs of competitor regions. While local officials know their own communities well and are proud of their assets they may be less well versed on what other communities offer business and their liabilities that lessen their project win rate. By benchmarking a community against others in which they find themselves competing for projects, usually for just a specific industry sector, e.g., biotech or advanced manufacturing, we can identify both selling points and weaknesses that can be addressed though actions that we recommend. An Economic Impact Analysis of successful wins can also assist agencies with funding and membership initiatives.
In addition to the services above, we also provide Project Management services related to relocation, itself, is another service offered. We are available assist in the referral, proposal request process, and selection of professionals for related move activities such as real estate acquisition, legal and accounting aspects of incentives, workspace optimization.