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Corporate Executive Survey Commentary: Results Reflects the New Economic Normal

Thomas Stringer of Business Advisory Services, Ryan & Company, believes the Corporate Survey responses echo the “new normal” of just plodding along, which is going to be the status quo in the economy for some time.

Q1 / Winter 2013
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
The 2012 Corporate Executive Survey continues to serve as the crystal ball into the minds of corporate decision-makers. With over 80 percent of the respondents coming from the C-suite or the real estate /operational disciplines, the respondents are clearly disposed to being a part of the final decision-making process for corporate relocation matters. Their thoughts appear to echo that the “new normal” of just plodding along is going to be the status quo in the economy for some time. With the election behind us — but the fiscal cliff and federal tax discussions ongoing — playing it safe seems to be the most common path forward.

The results indicate a continued focus is on managing costs and that any optimism in the economy is being cautiously managed. The facility decision-making process is now expected to monetize real estate assets through cost savings and incentives, while achieving skill set value-add.

Labor again remains the most critical component of the process, as it should be. Unless a product or service can be produced or performed to its maximum, no amount of cost savings or incentives could cover the loss differential. There is no question that the true balancing act in site selection involves maximizing labor and skill set value-add, while minimizing the cost functions surrounding it. After labor, all of the other factors in the top 15 continue to be costs and those that influence the margins of the decision-making process.

Regions would be wise to focus their energies and funding, maximizing their value propositions to target industries that fit their labor sweet spots.

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