Inbound Logistics | January 2024

I F YOU NEED PROOF THAT , as the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “Change is the only constant,” look no further than the logistics sector. Both internal changes to a company’s business model and external forces putting pressure on varying aspects of the supply chain cause corporate leaders to continually evaluate and change their distribution goals and networks. Add in a pandemic and two wars and you’ve got the ingredients for the massive disruptions we’ve seen during the past few years. All these changes can cause headaches and sleepless nights for anyone charged with deciding where and when to develop a new manufacturing facility, warehouse, or distribution center—whether on an entirely new site or by expanding an existing facility. Yet, within the constancy of change, certain core principles don’t change much at all. Think of them as the best practices of site selection; they revolve around major inuences including labor, transportation, and costs as well as less obvious factors like natural resources and even climate change. We’ve rounded up eight crucial tips from the experts for considering how and where to place facilities to best serve your distribution strategy. GATHER YOUR RESOURCES Don’t try to make your decision in a

natural resources to offset climate- change risk


easy access to major metro markets



vacuum. Numerous resources can help you with the process, including site selection

consultants, community-based economic- development organizations, commercial real estate rms, and logistics experts. Your company’s internal operating departments are also experienced at what works and what doesn’t work within your distribution network, and how to handle the nancial aspects of the decision. Assemble a working site selection team that has both the knowledge and experience to conduct due diligence, vet every important site selection variable, analyze pertinent data, and agree on a solution.

ESTABLISH A SYSTEMATIC PROCESS Decisions about where to locate facilities are determined by each company's unique business goals, which means they


vary depending on specic circumstances and objectives, notes Christopher Steele, president and CEO of EBP-US, a business consulting rm based in Boston.

PRO-business climate; good incentives


January 2024 • Inbound Logistics 145

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