BBA Site Selection Process
This much we do know -- location matters and a better process leads to better results.
Site selection is a specialized and rather complex exercise in risk evaluation through data gathering and analysis. It is a process of elimination that provides a framework for determining the total cost of ownership and a facility’s life span.
As this is not a core function or expertise for most companies, those that attempt it without guidance typically meet with poor results.
For companies that seek new locations from where to operate, BBA offers an insightful site selection process that provides a framework for determining costs and benefits of operation for any given place. Phases of the site search are:
• Align and Prepare -- defining the client's location parameters
• Implementation – collecting and analyzing data from prospective communities
• Negotiation and Selection – choosing a location from a finalist group
• Support and Follow-Up – finalizing agreements and incentives.
Phase One: Align and Prepare
To better serve a client, we will want to know the premise for the planned expansion. We will pose many questions so as to gain a deeper understanding of the project before us.
To that end, it is paramount that the Company and BBA develop and agree upon the location parameters which will serve as general guidelines to the project. These parameters will touch on a variety of issues, including logistics, workforce, real estate, and more. Our goal is to:
Define the project scope, budget, schedule, and most importantly the key location decision criteria
Identify the project team players within the company and BBA
Determine potential geographic regions of interest
Phase Two: Implementation
BBA will contact the appropriate economic development organizations within the prescribed geographic region or regions of interest and provide those organizations with requirements and questions in the form of a Request for Information.
The RFI determines what communities may or may not have the assets and resources required to meet the specific needs of the company.
Data collection will not be limited to the responses from the various economic development organizations but will be in addition to independent desktop research employing software pertaining to labor analytics. Based on 0ur findings, we will narrow the list of prospective communities to finalist locations based on the prescribed site search criteria.
During this fact-gathering and vetting phase, BBA will:
Prepare an RFI based upon project information parameters and publish it to economic development organizations within specific locales. (BBA has extensive contacts within the economic development community nationwide.)
Evaluate community responses to the RFI in addition to data independently generated.
Conduct field visits to communities of interest to further assess and validate physical, operating, and community conditions
Identify a “shortlist” among the finalist locations to which BBA will take the company
Phase Three: Negotiation and Selection
We recommend that a company should never select a location based solely on an incentive package that is offered. Rather, a host of business reasons tied to the company’s future and ongoing operational needs should be considered in any site selection search.
Most incentives are of a temporary nature, designed to ameliorate initial certain startup costs and sunset over time. Business considerations, such as supply chain, the availability, and cost of a qualified workforce, utility availability and cost, transportation infrastructure, taxes, among others, will largely determine the efficiency and profitability of a future operation.
Selecting a site without having a balanced view of incentives and operational costs can prove detrimental to a facility’s competitiveness and long-term viability.
Visit preferred “short-listed” candidate sites with the Company.
Finalize community and property evaluations
Complete negotiations on incentive proposals for “short-listed” candidate sites
Conduct further site due diligence activities if required.
Present final site recommendations to the client
Identify and select the preferred location.
Phase Four: Support and Follow-Up
Much work remains after a decision has been made to go forward with a specific building or site. During the course of the project, certain state and local agencies, as well as utilities, community colleges, and property owners, will have likely made commitments regarding site preparation, financial incentives, and/or worker training.
BBA will document all commitments made, to be summarized in a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the goal of establishing contracts between the client company and the various entities. During this final phase of the project, BBA will:
Assist in the preparation and submission of applications for incentives
Provide support for real estate and financing transactions
Coordinate a public announcement of the selected location.
Confidentiality allows the site search process to go forward in a smoother manner. It minimizes the chance of disruptions and intrusions from employees, government officials, vendors, brokers, community activists, and competitors.
BBA will work to ensure client confidentiality by employing project code names and non-disclosure agreements to prevent the release of private information prematurely.