Area Development
27th Annual Survey of Corporate Executives and 9th Annual Survey of Consultants

Brett HunsakerSurvey Results Point to a "Positive Hold"
Brett Hunsaker, executive vice president and regional managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Bill LuttrellEmergence of Big Data Affects Corporate Survey Respondents' Priorities
Bill Luttrell, senior locations strategist at Werner Enterprises
Ed McCallumA Lackluster Recovery
Ed McCallum, senior principal at McCallum Sweeney Consulting
Christopher B. SchastokCorporate Survey Results Mirror General Market Trends
Christopher B. Schastok, vice president at Jones Lang LaSalleg
Andrew ShapiroIncentives Are Still Important
Andrew Shapiro, managing director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company
Thomas StringerCorporate Survey Reflects the New Economic Normal
Thomas Stringer, Business Advisory Services, Ryan & Company
Both the survey results and my experience in different markets point to a “positive hold” mode in effect. In other words, with lots of cash on hand, companies are positioning themselves for growth and are getting ready to start investing into their businesses. Following are some observations about the Corporate Survey results:

Even with the soft labor market, availability of skilled labor is still highly important. Companies are constantly looking for trained workers to fit their operations. This is a huge time and money saver for a company’s transition.

Being the top expense, labor costs remain highly important as do low union profile and right-to-work state. The goal continues to be “gets costs low for the long term.”

Highway accessibility maintains its “very important” to “important” status. This is a factor for office or industrial projects — shorten the time for trucks and employees to get in and out of the facility.

Technology continues to support all of our businesses and availability of advanced ICT services stays top of mind with many corporations when considering relocation.

All of the financial categories remain “very important” or “important,” which supports the need for any and all cost-cutting measures.

Available buildings is high on the list so that companies can take advantage of any cost savings as soon as possible.

As stated above, any significant cost item — like energy costs, shipping costs, occupancy/ construction costs — is found to be “very important” to “important.”

Proximity to major markets is still important since flexibility remains highly advantageous to corporations.

Quality-of-life factors drop down to “important” to “minor consideration” — falling short of cost-savings measures.

The overall rankings of site selection factors varied slightly with major movers being availability of advanced ICT services, moving from 13th to 4th position, and available buildings moving from 15th to 8th.