June, 2008 Archives
Supply chains now have global reach, and product flow often is measured in weeks rather than days. The contingencies of logistics and DC networks have changed dramatically.
Virginia is a place where, when a productive workday ends, business professionals trade their power suits for swimsuits and their dress shoes for tennis sneakers.
The Shreveport-Bossier area has become a big hit with the film industry thanks to attractive incentives, the right infrastructure, and good old fashioned Southern hospitality.
New Mexico BorderPlex—ROCKET-POWERED DEVELOPMENT CITY OF LAS CRUCES • Type of Government: City Manager, City Council • Councilors/Commissioners: 6 Elected by district • Leadership: Mayor, Elected at large • Employees: 1,505 • Police/Sheriff’s Department: 164 Officers • Other Law Enforcement: Do–a Ana County Sheriff’s Dept., New Mexico State Police • Fire Department: 123 firefighters • Fire Insurance Rating: Class 4 • Planning Commission: Yes • Zoning Regulations: Yes The BorderPlex Region, comprised of the Las Cruces NM MSA (Do–a Ana County), the El Paso TX MSA and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico is the largest metropolitan area along the U.S.-Mexico border. This dynamic area is home to more than 2.7 million people and offers unlimited opportunities for business location and expansion. Situated in the middle of the Rio Grande River basin, it offers a superb quality of life with more than 330 days of sunshine and a multitude of recreational and cultural activities. Since 2000, the Las Cruces NM MSA labor force has grown at twice the national rate in the U.S., and employment has grown at almost three times the national annual average. The Las Cruces area is an aerospace hub that is home to the White Sands Missile Range and Spaceport America, a commercial launch facility. Year-end reported gross receipts (all industries) for 2007 increased 10.2% over 2006 and retail sales gross receipts increased 12% during the same period. Manufacturing and business services led all sectors with increases ranging from 19.8% to 46.7%. Spaceport America—Sending Commerce into Outer Space The nation’s first purpose-built commercial space facility, Spaceport America, is under development 40 miles north of Las Cruces in Southern Sierra County. Spaceport America will provide commercial space launch services for a wide variety of space-related industries. Construction of the spaceport is funded primarily by the State of New Mexico as well as Do–a Ana County and Sierra County residents, who have passed tax referendums to support the project. Working together with Virgin Galactic, New Mexico Spaceport Authority unveiled the design of the spaceport in September 2007. Since then, Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with future tenants including Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, UP Aerospace, and Microgravity Enterprises. Pending licensing by the FAA, construction of the main terminal is scheduled to begin in early 2009. Welcome centers will be built in Hatch (Do–a Ana County), home of world-famous Hatch chile, and Truth or Consequences (Sierra County) from which visitors will be able travel to the spaceport to view launches. Located just east of Las Cruces, White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) […]
The Green Heart of Central Texas Nestled in the center of Texas, the Greater Austin metropolitan area, comprised of 11 cities in five counties, is home to nearly 1.5 million people. During the last few years, this progressive capital city, already recognized as a center of technology innovation in a sophisticated cosmopolitan community, has been busy carving out a niché for itself in the clean technologies arena. With access to research institutions, talent, and incentives—and incubators and parks dedicated to clean technologies—Austin is positioned to become a global green leader. A First for Texas: Clean Energy Park Earlier this year, the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Foundation for Innovative Communities (TFIC) announced that Austin will be the location of the first Texas Clean Energy Park (TCEP). The first phase of the 140-acre development is a research park funded by a $600,000 grant from the Texas Workforce Commission. The second phase will be a business park for clean technology companies, such as the solar power company HelioVolt, which has the option to locate any of its research and development facilities and additional operations inside the park. The National Biodiesel Board ranked Austin as having the highest concentration of retail biodiesel in the nation in 2006. “The addition of the first Texas Clean Energy Park will provide excellent job growth opportunities for Austin as well as Central Texas,” says Jose Beceiro, director of Clean Energy, Austin Chamber of Commerce. “Developing efficient new clean energy technologies side by side with innovative applications will be significant in fostering development of the clean energy industry.” The TFIC will partner with research institutions across the country, corporations throughout the industry and other experts within the field in an effort to develop Texas’ human resource and knowledge base. The addition of the TCEP raises the prospect of state and federal funding for talent and research development and brings in another positive asset for attracting clean energy companies from across the nation. “As anchor tenant in the TCEP’s new facility, HelioVolt expects to be joined by academic and industrial partners in developing the future of smart, sustainable solar-powered architecture,” says B.J. Stanbery, founder and CEO of HelioVolt. GREEN POWER! Advanced Micro Devices’ new Lone Star Campus in southwest Austin is striving for a Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council through features including one of the largest roof-based rainwater collection and recycling systems in the world, as well as by using 100% renewable energy from Austin Energy’s GreenChoice program and recycling 75% of waste […]
Federal Agency Brings Thousands of Jobs to Huntsville The U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) recently broke ground in Huntsville, AL on its Von Braun III building, a $240-million, 900,000-square-foot federal facility that will employ approximately 3,000 to 4,000 highly paid technology workers. The new building is the third and final facility in MDA’s Von Braun complex. MDA director, Lieutenant General Henry Obering, calls the six-story Von Braun III building the “crowning jewel in the entire Von Braun complex.” The MDA’s ground breaking is the latest in a series of developments since 2005 at Huntsville’s 38,000-acre Redstone Arsenal facility. Major General James R. Myles, commanding officer of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command, says northern Alabama will receive up to 10,000 new military and civilian jobs at Redstone Arsenal by the end of 2011. “This will also affect Florence to the west to Scottsboro in the east,” Myles adds. Redstone Arsenal has science and engineering jobs paying an average of $80,000 per year with a total payroll of $2.3 billion. Myles says payroll will increase to $3.15 billion, and state tax collections will increase to $224 million when the 10,000 new jobs are created. Alabama Adds Another Automotive Asset Tool Ventures International (TVI), a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company, announced plans in April to open a new service center in Huntsville, AL to better meet the needs of its automotive customers. The new facility will employ eight to 10 new workers, most hired from the Huntsville area. The 12,000-square-foot plant is expected to be fully operational by July 2008. “Huntsville is a perfect site for us,” says TVI President Don Mekkes. “We maintain very high customer service standards and, because many of our major automotive customers have plants nearby, this will improve our service even more for them.” TVI’s future plans include occupation of a 21,000-square-foot facility with full manufacturing capability by fall of 2008. The new plant also will be located in Huntsville and will employ up to 25 workers. Mekkes noted that TVI spent six months analyzing over 100 different markets for the expansion. Huntsville came out on top for a variety of reasons, including its central location for customers, efficient over-road access, and easy access to air travel. Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Evans Quinlivan indicated that the expansion is significant to the community as the automotive industry continues to grow not only in Huntsville and Madison County, but also across the state. “These are the kinds of high-paying automotive manufacturing jobs that are […]
This month, the Expert explains why environmental assessments and conveyance strategies are key to locating on a former military site.
Stuart MacKay, president of MMK Consulting, is the founder and co-author of Competitive Alternatives, KPMG’s Guide to International Business Location. Before 2001, MacKay worked with KPMG for 21 years, including 11 as a consulting partner. 2008 Cost-Competitiveness Rankings by Country 1. Mexico (79.5) 2. Canada (99.4) 3. United States (100) 4. Australia (100.2) 5. France (102.6) 6. United Kingdom (107.1) 7. Netherlands (107.3) 8. Italy (107.9) 9. Japan (114.3) 10. Germany (116.8) Source: KPMG’s 2008 Competitive Alternatives study. Business costs are expressed as an index, with the United States being assigned the baseline index of 100. BF: Could the depreciation of the U.S. dollar actually help our economy since it has made the country a more cost-competitive business location? SM: There is no question that the declining value of the U.S. dollar has significantly improved the United States’ cost competitiveness. Among G7 countries, the United States has pulled into a virtual tie with Canada in terms of relative business costs, ahead of France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and Germany. The drop in the value of the dollar has also helped to reduce the U.S. cost disadvantage against developing countries whose currency has appreciated against the dollar. Over the new few years, it will be interesting to see the extent to which U.S. producers can take advantage of the increased U.S. cost competitiveness, and, at least partially, stem the flow of manufacturing and business operations to low-cost, offshore jurisdictions over the past decade. BF: Mexico’s emerging economy has made it the most cost-competitive location in the rankings. How seriously should companies consider Mexico as a viable location for their business? SM: While the 2008 Competitive Alternatives study found that Mexican business operations have an average 20.5% cost advantage over comparable U.S. operations, Mexico also ranks at or near the bottom for most of the non-cost factors, such as worker skills and infrastructure. My assessment is that the gaps are narrowing, for both cost and non-cost factors. With regard to costs, the 2008 Competitive Alternatives results is a smaller gap than many had expected in advance (although it is still very significant). With regard to non-cost factors, while Mexico remains less competitive than developed countries, many global firms have successfully set up business operations in Mexico in recent years, demonstrating that these disadvantages can be managed. Looking ahead, my expectation is that Mexico will likely continue to improve its competitiveness in non-cost factors, while continuing to offer significant cost advantages over G7 countries. 2008 Worldwide Competitive Analysis from KPMG and MMK […]
From the Desk of the Editor in Chief