From the start of my career, I have been closely involved in positioning strategies for my employers and my clients. My career began with AT&T, executing location decisions associated with the Bell System divestiture. Moving into line management positions gave me the experience to know what it is like to live with the consequences of site selection decisions. That early experience gave me the foundation to craft strategies, analyze options, and develop recommendations for an extensive variety of for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises across a range of industries, sizes, and ownership structures.
Site Selection, or Location Consulting, is at its core a matter of solving “where” problems. The number of people and organizations offering you data and assistance can be overwhelming. What starts our looking like a trip down a winding road toward a solution can start to feel more like a maze.
First, you have to decide if you really have a “where” problem at all. Then, sometimes all you need is to have the terrain explained to you and to be equipped to make the journey on your own. Other times, you need the expertise and resources of a guide to walk with you the entire way, someone willing to let you be in charge, but keep you from falling off a cliff.
Finding the Right Process
To be successful in a location project, you need to make sure you have the right process in place for your enterprise, one that capitalizes on your internal strengths and reaches out for assistance where and how it serves you best. It’s great to have someone with the expertise to have a formal process in place but one size does not fit all where process is concerned, so a flexible approach and the ability to adapt a process to your own timeline and bandwidth is as important as identifying your critical location factors. Even more important is to partner with someone who has the experience to tell you which of your issues can be solved with geography and which will require some other interventions.
Finding the Right Resources
Sometimes you know the conversations you need to have, or the data you want to see, but need a little help figuring out how to make it happen. Having the right internal stakeholders involved is the first step. Then, I can workshop data sources with you so you will have a firm understanding of what is being presented to you, how to interpret and compare it, and what will be missing unless you know to ask for it. Finally, when you move from desktop to field research, I can walk you through the motivations and capabilities of the economic development stakeholders you need to work with and connect you with my personal network.
Finding the Right Place
Ultimately, you may find that you need the expertise or the bandwidth or both to launch an objective site selection project. Whether the goal is a new location or rightsizing your portfolio of locations, I have the expertise and the resources to design a model, evaluate options, and present you with recommendations you can trust to put you where you are meant to be, even if that is right where you started.