As the economy returns after the pandemic-induced slowdown, a survey released on June 14 from the Site Selectors Guild, reports that manufacturing is pressing on full steam. Guild members, who were contacted in late May and early June 2021, reported that manufacturing location decisions are active due to high demand both for consumer goods and industrial durables.
“States that reopened quickly, and with clear and consistent rules, have been perceived more favorably by companies when deciding where to add jobs and make new investments,” the Guild said in a statement.
The report said that the dynamics of site location have changed due to the pandemic. Developers of industrial and warehouse space are struggling to keep up with demand as the production and distribution of goods have skyrocketed during the pandemic, and are turning empty office and commercial buildings into last-mile delivery hubs.
Another trend in site selection is that diversity, equity and inclusion are becoming more important factors when making location decisions. Guild members reported that consumer-facing companies in particular, which include large, multinational publicly traded companies as week as middle-to-large-sized IT companies, are seeking markets where they can find a diverse workforce.
“Across all sectors, Guild members say they’ve seen the biggest change in diverse representation at the board level which could impact future site selection decisions,” the Guild said in a statement. “They added that DE&I is more likely to be considered for site and expansion decisions for office locations, but talent accessibility and operating costs remain the top priority for most companies."
Sustainability and green energy as a site selection factor is increasing among nearly all industries., according to the study. Companies are looking for ways to reduce carbon footprints as well as stay in regulatory compliance with energy directives. Heavy manufacturing is seeking incentives for renewable and green energy.
And as for the general belief that companies are moving away from big cities, the Guild members feel that sentiment is overblown. While they do see some movement from the city to metropolitan areas, they also see a rebound in downtown recovery.