Current Work Force
Time is leverage. Most companies do not allow enough lead time to adequately prepare for, analyze, and execute a successful relocation or renegotiation of an existing lease. Have your team develop a timeline, including critical action dates, for use throughout the project.
When comparing alternative locations, identify and map all employee residences. More weight can be given to key executives and/or those positions that are crucial to the operation. The most suitable location will often become apparent after comparing residential commuting times and mileage, current and future traffic patterns, and access to airport, rail, highway networks, and clients.
The availability of qualified labor at a reasonable cost is paramount to the success and efficiency of any operation. When choosing a location, determine whether the area will allow you to attract the desired workforce. Demographic studies, surveys of similar industries, and “blind” ads are excellent tools to aid in the evaluation of prospective sites.
Technical criteria are often a primary driver in the space acquisition process because they directly affect your company’s ability to do business throughout the term of occupancy. The availability and quality of building systems, public utilities, and telecommunications infrastructure can vary greatly from building to building and from area to area, thereby limiting the universe of suitable alternatives.
State and local incentives come in many forms, including cash contributions, tax abatements, employee training, and utility rate discounts. Incentives will vary considerably based on average wage rates and number of employees. Larger incentives may be realized when states are competing with each other for the corporate user. As a result, the incentive package must be negotiated well before the final location is chosen and/or announced.
Amenities and Services
In order to attract and retain the most qualified labor force, the amenities and services of the candidate locations and surrounding area should be compared. Amenities to consider include day care, hotels, health clubs, banking, retail establishments, dining facilities, and post offices.
For many companies accessibility to air, rail, and commuter bus service is important. If this is the case, include those proximities and the related schedules in your site selection analysis.
Conclusion – Putting It All Together
The best way to analyze and compare locations is to develop a weighted ranking system based on the relative importance of key locational criteria specifically relating to your company. By applying this system, the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate site will become apparent.