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4th Annual Consultants Survey

Dec/Jan 08
Chart H, of those responding to our 2007 Corporate Survey, 90 percent said their clients expect to open new facilities within one or two years . . .
Chart H, of those responding to our 2007 Corporate Survey, 90 percent said their clients expect to open new facilities within one or two years . . .
Area Development's editors also polled the consultants who work with our corporate executive readers - as well as with economic development agencies that are trying to lure these readers to locate facilities in their areas. We asked the consultants about the types of clients they have worked with, the site selection priorities of these clients, and their plans for the next several years in terms of new and expanded facilities. Here's what they had to say:

Consultants' Clients
The consultants responding to our 2007 survey have worked on projects in a broad range of industries (Slideshow, Chart A). A third have worked with food and beverage companies, and about a fifth with wood products/furniture manufacturers and with chemicals, plastics and rubber, and electrical equipment/components firms, as well as with IT companies. About a quarter have also worked with fabricated metal producers. Yet, a much larger percentage have worked on site projects in the warehouse and distribution sector (50 percent) as well as in the financial services sector (39 percent). Interestingly, these last two groups - along with IT firms - were not well represented among the respondents to our 2007 Corporate Survey so we can expect the consultants' experiences and responses to differ somewhat from those reported by our corporate executive survey-takers.

More than 40 percent of the responding consultants have provided location studies and nearly 30 percent have been involved in negotiating incentives for their clients. It's quite significant that 41 percent of those responding also said they have made their clients' site selection decisions for them (Slideshow, Chart B). And while more than 40 percent of the respondents said their clients had narrowed down the geographic area in which they wished to locate, 28 percent said their clients expected the consultants to narrow or make the location decision for them (Slideshow, Chart G).

Additionally, 81 percent of those responding to our 2007 Consultants Survey said the number of firms employing their services over the past year has either held steady (32 percent) or increased (49 percent), and 45 percent said those employing their services were new clients (Slideshow, Charts C and D). Last year, only a quarter of those responding to the 2006 Consultants Survey said clients were new.

In terms of employment numbers, a third of those responding said they have worked with mid-size companies (100-499 employees), and about a quarter each with large (500-999 employees) or very large (1,000 employees or more) firms. Moreover, two-thirds of the responding consultants have worked with both investor-owned and privately held firms (Slideshow, Charts E and F).

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