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12 Mistakes to Avoid in Site Selection


Site selection, the concept that applies both analytical and qualitative techniques to determine the most favorable location for a business operation, has been around for a long time. Manufacturers have historically taken widely different approaches to location analysis and asset deployment, with varying degrees of success. Some prefer an abbreviated methodology, while others examine every detail, utilizing outside consultants and experts to maximize returns, minimize risk and use location as a competitive advantage.

Few corporate decisions have as many immediate and long-term implications on tax structure, cost of goods sold, supply chain, labor force and overall operating success as the choice of location. Furthermore, several factors have emerged to make site selection increasingly complex. These include fast-track expectations, globalization, strict environmental legislation, tightening labor availability, scarcity of certain labor skills and utility consolidation. With each degree of complexity comes a new set of considerations requiring a higher degree of analysis to avoid risk and make the right location decision.

The accessibility of location information on the Internet may give the appearance that the site selection process can be simplified and accelerated. Unfortunately, applying data without context and experience can lead the search for the most optimal facility location down a path lined with risks, delays, hidden costs and even fatal flaws. At every step in the process, a host of errors can be made that will compromise the final location selection. Here are a few of the critical mistakes that can undermine the analysis and lead to risk, higher cost and unfavorable operating conditions.

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