WEDA Members: Follow these Steps to Prepare for Site Selector Requests

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

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WEDA members should prepare for the opportunity to attract new manufacturing companies to Wyoming as a result of the recent onshoring trend. Site selectors have been issuing requests for information as companies throughout the United States and the world look to protect their supply chain from future disruptions caused by pandemics like COVID-19 and the growing number of natural disasters. Members who prepare will have the opportunity to compete, and hopefully win new business for their communities. 

What the Site Selectors Guild had to say about onshoring in 2020 and 2021 -

“Guild members predict COVID-19 will accelerate the regionalization of supply chains, with 81 percent of respondents saying COVID-19 will have a major impact on global supply chain strategies.

Members pointed out that the previous focus on the lowest cost scenario, which led to growth in China and Southeast Asia, will now become more balanced as companies look to reduce risk. This could benefit North American locations as more companies look to locate production facilities close to the customers they serve and increase redundancy. Many Guild members predict an uptick in on-shoring to the United States, Canada and Mexico – especially in the pharma and life sciences industries.”

Be aware of new executive orders

WEDA members should also be aware of recent executive orders that put pressure on U.S. agencies to purchase PPE, medical equipment and drugs from U.S. manufacturing companies, and to do so quickly. For example, the executive order signed on August 8th gives agencies 90 days to present a plan for how they will procure medical supplies and drugs from U.S. manufacturers. This is putting significant pressure on companies who want to continue to supply U.S. agencies like Medicare. As companies come home, and current ones expand, there will be communities who win contracts and grow. 

How WEDA members can prepare to attract new business to their communities 

WEDA members should prepare for the opportunity to work with site selectors and executives by preparing information on their communities assets, available properties, location advantages and workforce. Doing so will make it possible to respond quickly to requests for information. This is an important note to make - time is of the essence. Where location decisions typically take more than a year, there will be companies needing to act fast in order to adjust to changing rules and regulations, new demand within the United States and in an effort to protect their supply chain from future disruptions. WEDA members should be aware of this and put in the effort up front so that if a site selectors calls, they are ready. 

Put together information that contains the following - 

#1 Available Commercial Sites

Communities should prepare information on property listings that includes proximity to infrastructure and the availability of utilities. Be sure to include information on how quickly permits could be issued and building commence. 

#2 Low Utility Rates

Wyoming is an energy hub for the nation, offering low utility rates that businesses can benefit from. By offering natural gas and wind options, for example, many Wyoming utility providers make it easy to save and to reduce overall operating costs when moving from states with less reliable and abundant energy sources. WEDA members should promote this advantage and run the numbers to demonstrate how much companies can save once specific usage rates have been provided. 

#3 Location Advantages 

Present location advantages such as proximity to major metropolitan areas. 

#4 Transportation Assets

Many Wyoming communities have rail access and an airport. These location advantages, along with interstate access, need to be quantified and placed into easily read marketing materials. 

#5 Strong workforce

The strength of our educational institutions and workforce needs to be captured in marketing material that can easily be shared with site selectors and executives. For example, many of the local school districts have workforce training programs and the University of Wyoming system is known for being innovative and industry focused. 

WEDA has prepared these tools

Much of this information is already available on the Wyoming Economic Development Association website. Members are encouraged to use our website to gather information. You can search for sites in your area specifically, along with regional resources, and combine them into a report that can be shared with site selectors. To do so, simply click the icon on the page that says “Add to report”. Once each page has been added, click “View custom report” to generate it. Since we know that site selectors and executives are making fast decisions, the ability to create this report immediately could be very useful.

Create a report

References and further reading

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