Different types of companies will have different criteria when it comes to site selection. It’s a significant decision that most companies will face sooner or later—the challenge is balancing economic factors (taxes, government policies and incentives) against other, equally important considerations, from workforce to location to social climate.
Where does one start? The new or relocated facility will need employees, but few sites come with a fully qualified workforce. Questions of workforce density, availability and trainability must be considered, as well as average wage rates in the area.
For manufacturers, the need to deliver products and receive the raw materials required for production, will make locations closer to major highways (for trucking), rail lines or ports (for overseas delivery) more desirable.
Another question is whether to relocate into an existing building, or to build from the ground up. The first option will require more modification, the second a higher budget. How are such basic needs as utilities (water, power, communications) addressed? There will also be zoning questions to be answered, as well as environmental considerations, which continue to ascend in prominence as awareness is raised on how business impacts the world we live in.
Site selection outside a company’s country of origin presents additional matters of importance, starting with the obvious social, cultural and language distinctions. Proximity to suppliers and competitors may be determining factors as well, though in some cases manufacturers prefer choosing a site in an area where similar industries are prospering. If they’re doing well here, the reasoning goes, so should we.
If some of your workforce will be relocating as well, they will want to know about the quality and availability of medical care in the area, and what type of education their children will receive in local schools. And if they can still get a decent pizza delivered.
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