Location Strategy Decision Chain
The role of the key groups involved in location selection - and how and when they fit into the decision - must be established early in the process.
Lawrence Moretti, Principal, LFM Corporate Location Solutions (Apr/May 09)
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This is a logical point to selectively expand the decision chain. Sound
location selection practice includes thorough investigation to identify
"fatal flaws" and evaluate the fit of a location with respect to labor
market, operating climate, site/infrastructure, cost, and other factors
deemed important to the project. Sources of evidence are essential.
This is also the right time for the project team to position the
project with community leaders relative to incentives and other
Limits are usually placed on information sharing to
protect project and client confidentiality. This is perhaps the most
critical time to manage the decision chain so it does not
unintentionally expand to additional parties, such as the media,
competitors and others who could potentially compromise the delicate
nature of the decision-making process.
Once the decision becomes clear, other parties enter the process. These
might include relocating employees and business parties who will
potentially be impacted by the decision. Some may have been woven in
earlier and, at least, their interests should have been considered in
evaluating the alternatives. Third-party project delivery providers are
also essential at this stage, including the design/build team,
equipment and transportation providers, attorneys for finalizing
property transactions, residential relocation companies, outsourcers,
and local resources for recruiting and training. Other internal
corporate parties may become more involved as well, relative to changes
in business operations, new processes, and enhanced market access. This
is also the time, perhaps starting with a formal announcement, to
communicate the project benefits and form long-term relationships with
the community at large.
the most crucial message is to account for the eventual role and
potential impact of each and all of these groups and how and when they
fit into the decision.EARLY in the process. This brings this discussion
full circle back to the first stage of having a program decision
roadmap that logically considers the "what ifs" of the decision tree
and the variability of the players in the decision. This is essential
to effectively planning project implementation and to a successful
long-term location decision.
Moretti has over 25 years experience consulting with corporate
end-users, economic development groups, and other parties to global
business geography deployment decisions.