Consultants' Sources of Information
Just like our Corporate Survey respondents, 85 percent of those responding to our Consultants Survey say they use site magazines like Area Development as a source of site selection information. Nearly half also use general business magazines, and slightly more than half use financial publications for this purpose (Slideshow, Chart CC).
Nearly all of the consultants say they use the Internet for site and facility planning, with more than 80 percent using that resource for information on specific locations as well as to obtain contact names at economic development agencies, while three quarters of the respondents seek listings of available buildings and sites online (Slideshow, Charts DD and EE).
More than 60 percent of the respondents to our Consultants Survey search the Internet daily for the above information, and half the respondents contact the locations of interest within a month of their initial search (Slideshow, Charts FF and GG). That's double the percentage of corporate respondents contacting the locations of interest within a one-month time frame, which would again indicate that the consultants are called in more toward the end of their clients' site search process.
Nearly 90 percent of those responding to our Consultants Survey say between one and five locations make their clients' short list and a similar percentage claim to visit the same number of locations (Slideshow, Charts HH and II). The corporate and consultant respondents can at least agree on these last two points.
As previously stated, only half of those responding to our Corporate Survey utilize the services of consultants. In addition, the responses to our Consultants Survey seem to indicate that those corporate executives who are utilizing the services of a consultant are in an active facility planning position, while many of those responding to our Corporate Survey still say they have no new facility or expansion plans - although the numbers have improved since 2009.
Over their respective 25-year and seven-year histories, Area Development's Corporate Survey and Consultants Survey have been a barometer for the industry and we trust the same holds true this year. The remarkable consistency with which our respondents rate and rank the site selection factors leads us to trust the validity of the results. This year, the results of both our surveys reflect renewed optimism for economic recovery and increased plans for growth over last year, albeit at a sputtering pace. We expect next year's results to bear out these conclusions.