The corporate relocation decision: The influence of infrastructure

IRES Chicago

By James A. Schnur, CCIM
President and Designated Managing Broker
Integrated Real Estate Solutions

Relocating your business is a big decision. Many factors impact the choice of the right location. In my previous article, I discussed the human factor—a labor pool that meets your needs and the lifestyle that meets theirs!

The influence of infrastructure is another key consideration when reviewing your options. Will you have the access and services to support your business and its goals, including growth and cost containment?

Can you get there from here?

Access is a factor, whether you’re concerned with moving products or people. Can you get what you need, where you need it, in a timely manner? Delays are deterrents, and need to be weighed into your relocation decision.

Businesses that rely on products and materials coming and going need a location that has easy access to transportation—highways, air and rail transit. Freight constitutes a significant cost for manufacturers, warehouses, and distribution centers. Even a few miles make a difference when you’re moving large volumes every day.

In addition to access, the quality of the roads and ease of access is important. Is there major construction happening or in the planning stage for the near future? Be sure you know whether or not your fleet is going to experience delays during construction—which can take months or even years.

If you’re going to utilize air and railroad for your freight movement, make sure the flight and train schedules support your need for speed. Being near an airport or railway is not a benefit if it doesn’t serve the areas you want, with the frequency you need.

Proximity to your markets

Your infrastructure analysis should factor in the proximity to your major markets. You can tighten up your supply chain when you’re closer to the suppliers, customers, and employees. With customers expecting faster delivery than ever before, the closer you are to your frequent destinations will shorten delivery, which impacts your operating costs.

Access will also matter to your employees. In an urban setting, is there ample parking for your visitors and employees? Is the commute feasible for your workers? I worked with a company that found a building to suit its needs. They liked the facility and the price, but I pointed out that it was out of range of the area where they would be drawing their labor pool. They committed to a long-term lease any way, and did, indeed, have difficulty staffing the positions.

The power to progress

The utility service in your area will include electric, water, and IT networks. Manufacturers require a steady flow of all three. Tech companies need the most advanced data networks. How up-to-date are these components of the infrastructure in the region you’re considering?

Increasing demands on wireless networks will continue to mount with the expansion of smart technology and cloud-based enterprises. Is the municipality investing in becoming a “smart city”? How affordable is the electricity and water? What water and energy regulations and restrictions are in place that could limit your production? Does the infrastructure align with your company’s sustainability objectives?

Regions that are forward-thinking with their infrastructure represent an area that is supportive of business development. If you’re planning corporate relocation, Integrated Real Estate Solutions can guide you through the process and provide detailed evaluation, analysis, and options. Contact us to explore the possibilities.

Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. provides clients with the in-depth knowledge and experience that is critical to determine the right path to your next move, lease renewal, or strategic repositioning of your real estate portfolio. Contact us or call 847.550.0160 today about your needs, and put our success to work for you.

Author: Jim Schnur

Jim Schnur is the President and Designated Managing Broker of Integrated Real Estate Solutions, Inc. Jim started the firm in 2003 after almost 20 years negotiating and overseeing real estate transactions at Hewlett Packard Co. and Agilent Technologies, Inc.

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