- WDGC has been advising corporations on all aspects of site selection for over 40 years and is well-qualified to design and manage the optimal approach to meet project goals.
- All site selection projects begin with discovery, enabling the combined client and WDGC project team to align on objectives, operating requirements, expectations, and critical path.
- Discovery is followed by commencement of a customized multi-phase location screening process to sequentially narrow the universe of locations to a shortlist that optimizes project objectives.
- Field validation of the shortlisted locations ensures project compatibility and facilitates further real estate exploration and incentives negotiations.
- As an integral part of your corporate site selection project team, WDGC’s consultants stand ready to guide the site selection process from discovery through to implementation. We value our partnership with you and measure our success by your success.
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- Discovery enables the project team to fully align on key operating parameters, including team composition, operating requirements, controlling assumptions, geographic search region, location criteria definition and prioritization, confidentiality and communication protocols, and timing/critical path.
- The site selection consultants at WDGC prepare a thorough baseline information request for the client to complete. After an in-depth analysis and discussion, we’ll work together on revisions until we reach a consensus.
- The objective is to reduce the location universe as defined in the discovery process to a shortlist (typically three locations) through sequential screening.
- Multiple screening rounds narrow the location universe to a longlist of viable candidates (typically eight to ten). Screening factors (statistical thresholds) include population and labor force trends, talent pool depth, labor costs, market proximity, air/highway/rail access, natural disaster potential, cost-of-living, and quality-of-life.
- Increasingly, more detailed screening factors are applied to the longlist to derive the shortlist of optimal locations. In this stage, WDGC corporate site selection consultants prepare and submit a confidential request for information (RFI) to economic development agencies to obtain greater insights on current operating environments. This deeper dive examines the roster of existing and new employers, labor competition, wage survey data, unionization trends, infrastructure developments, taxation, and potential incentives, among other key topics.
- We combine state and local agency responses and desktop statistical research to rank/score longlisted locations (including applicable benchmarks). Utilizing a scorecard model, we rate the longlisted areas on operational factors and cost variables. The shortlisted locations are the ones that score highest on operational considerations and lowest on costs.
- In Phase 2, we validate Phase 1 location screening results in the shortlisted locations and uncover any market attractions or potential ‘red flags’ that may not be fully represented in the screening data. Additionally, WDGC provides a market-specific HR Best-Practices Guide for achieving employer-of-choice market positioning in the finalist location(s). We also fully assess sites, buildings, utility infrastructure, transportation, and other important considerations.
- In the field, WDGC’s experienced site selection consultants conduct face-to-face interviews with corporate HR managers in similar businesses, as well as interviews with local staffing agencies, educational institutions, employment offices, workforce development centers, utility providers, and pertinent government officials (Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, City Planning/Zoning, etc.).
- WDGC validates (and refines when necessary) each labor market indicator to ensure there are no surprises following the final location decision. Our Phase 2 analysis and report provides your management team with a detailed guide for optimizing the staffing initiative in a new location. Included in Phase 2 deliverables are detailed projections for: competitive market-entry and mature wages, pre-qualified applicant flows, candidate selectivity, maximum headcount sizing, and expected turnover during the initial ramp-up and in future years under mature operations.
- Also during the field validation phase, WDGC requests from the lead economic development agency a pre-negotiated and non-binding incentives offering. Our economic incentives analysis outlines all applicable incentive programs, eligibility criteria, potential and projected benefits, and payout schedule. For more information on WDGC’s economic incentives consulting services click “here”.
- WDGC recommends the finalist and back-up locations. Additional field visits by our site selection consultants may be arranged to introduce other members of the project team to these recommended locations.
- Project team concurrence on the recommended locations triggers final real estate and incentives negotiations, preferably in multiple locations to ensure most competitive negotiating positions.
- Lead-up to final commitment and implementation typically requires expansion of the project team to involve other participants (internal/external) such as finance, HR, legal, operations, corporate affairs, and real estate.