How to Best Prepare for Site Selector Requests
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Many companies are onshoring manufacturing operations in the wake of COVID-19 delays and supply chain disruptions. As a result of the onshoring trend, community leaders, property managers and developers should be prepared for the opportunity to attract these companies. Site selectors are issuing requests for information as manufacturers in the United States and worldwide seek out ways to protect their supply chains from future disruptions caused by pandemics and a growing number of natural disasters. The most prepared leaders will have the opportunity to compete and win new business for their communities.
The Site Selectors Guild touches on the topic of onshoring in 2020 and 2021 -
“Guild members predict COVID-19 will accelerate the regionalization of supply chains, with 81 percent of respondents saying COVID-19 will have a major impact on global supply chain strategies.
Members pointed out that the previous focus on the lowest cost scenario, which led to growth in China and Southeast Asia, will now become more balanced as companies look to reduce risk. This could benefit North American locations as more companies look to locate production facilities close to the customers they serve and increase redundancy. Many Guild members predict an uptick in on-shoring to the United States, Canada and Mexico – especially in the pharma and life sciences industries.”
Communities should keep up to date with new executive orders
Recent executive orders are putting pressure on U.S. agencies to purchase PPE, medical equipment and drugs from U.S. manufacturing companies, and to do so quickly. This executive order signed on August 8th gives agencies 90 days to present a plan for how they will procure medical supplies and drugs from U.S. manufacturers. Companies who want to continue to supply U.S. agencies like Medicare are experiencing the most pressure. As companies come home, and current ones expand, there will be communities who win contracts and grow because of it.
Steps communities can take to prepare to attract new businesses
In preparation for incoming requests from site selectors, communities should be ready to prepare information on their community assets, available properties, location advantages and workforce. Being proactive now will make it possible to respond quickly to requests for this information. Time is of the essence as companies will need to act fast. Previously, location decisions could end up taking more than a year. As a result of the pandemic, there will be companies needing to make a quick decision in order to adjust to changing rules and regulations. Leaders and property owners should be aware of this and put in the effort up front so that if a site selector calls, they are ready.
The information leaders should have on hand should contain the following -
#1 Available Commercial Sites
Communities should prepare updated information on property listings that includes proximity to infrastructure and the availability of utilities. Information on how quickly permits could be issued and building commenced should be included.
#2 Utility Advantages
Highlight utility advantages like utility availability, rates and broadband access.
#3 Location Advantages
Present location advantages such as proximity to major metropolitan areas.
#4 Transportation Assets
Accessibility assets in the form of rail access and airports should be listed in an easy to read format. These location advantages, along with interstate access, need to be quantified and placed into easily read marketing materials.
#5 Strong workforce
A strong workforce is the result of the strength of educational institutions and training programs. The competence of the local workforce needs to be captured in marketing material that can easily be shared with site selectors and executives.
References and further reading