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Some Commonalities Among Site Selectors and Their Projects

Although location decisions can vary dramatically by company and project, this year’s top-rated states have a tradition of project “after care” and helping companies go from decision to operations with minimal delay.

Q3 2015
Assessing the general business climates of the U.S. states for location investment is an inherently complex task. While there are general traits and conditions that most companies and site selectors seek during a location search, economic and business climate factors can have widely varying weight and importance for different industries, functions, companies, and projects.

Location project decision goals, objectives, specifications, and priorities change, sometimes dramatically, from company to company even within the same corporate function and industry, based on the company’s specific project expectations; their current competitive position; their network of facilities, customers, and suppliers; and even the team’s personal past experience and preferences.

For example, while one company may be highly focused on labor-management relations, regulations, low taxes, and incentives, another company in the same industry with similar project specs may have a different customer and supplier set, production technology, tax structure, and union history, and therefore be instead more focused on logistics, skill sets, and infrastructure. Therefore, rating state business climates can often be a function of personal preferences or unique industry ?and project experiences.

That being said, there are commonalities and general agreement among site selectors and their projects. Nearly all projects, and now more than ever, are keenly interested in the workforce and the ability to obtain and retain critical skills ?at competitive costs. Companies and their site selectors have long held in high regard states that have a long track record ?in helping companies recruit and train skilled workers that are productive at competitive wages/salaries, and this year’s top ?10 states fit that mold.

Likewise, while any specific cost factor will vary from industry to industry, function to function, and project to project, total variable operating costs are nearly always a critical bottom line location decision factor. This year’s-top rated states have a long history of competitive variable operating costs.

And finally, a factor set that nearly all projects deem very important is the ability to react to project data and feedback requests rapidly and accurately, and then the ability to help the company implement their project quickly, with as few hurdles as possible once the location decision has been made. Once again, this year’s top-rated states have a tradition of project “after care” and helping companies go from decision to operations with minimal delay.

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