Friday, August 14, 2009

Consultant shares ways to enhance site selection

The Wichita Eagle

Time is a major factor when it comes to companies selecting sites to locate.

Consultant Mark Sweeney drove that point home Thursday in addressing the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition's midyear investor meeting at the Hyatt Regency Wichita.

"Site selection sounds nicer than site elimination," Sweeney said, "but elimination is what we do. There are cuts."

Sweeney is the senior principal of McCallum Sweeney Consulting in Greenville, S.C., which helps clients locate acceptable sites for their businesses.

Some of his group's clients include Boeing, Nissan, Dollar General, Michelin and Mitsubishi.

He reviewed various practical steps groups such as the GWEDC can take to increase the chances their sites will be selected.

But all of the areas centered on making the process run faster.

"Clients are very deadline driven," Sweeney said.

By making the process move quicker, he said, he wasn't suggesting anyone should take shortcuts.

"We'd fire the client if that's what they wanted," Sweeney said.

He also discussed site certification, a rigorous process that establishes exactly what a site has to offer in regard to zoning, environmental issues, infrastructure, transportation and other areas.

"There's no perfect site," Sweeney said.

But he said having a site certified is an important part of moving the selection process along quickly and smoothly.

"Those that have a site certified have a competitive advantage," he said. More here.

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