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Tuesday, April 02 2019
Three Macro Trends Driving the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

The automotive industry and automotive aftermarket industry has recovered, and as new light vehicle registrations continue to grow, it is important for the aftermarket to be aware of emerging trends happening on the roads today that will affect repair opportunities for years to come. Here are some quick insights into the trends driving the automotive aftermarket industry.

One: The Average Age of Vehicles Continues to Climb—At Least for Now

The increasing age of the vehicle population has been a positive aftermarket trend for a long time, and the trend has accelerated greatly over the past six years. Today, it stands at a record-high 11.3 years for passenger cars and light trucks combined, representing a 14 percent increase since 2007. For the five years prior to the recession, average age rose only four percent.

Some wonder why pickup trucks tend to lag behind cars in average age. Light trucks are more likely to accumulate wear and tear than are passenger cars. Individual owners use them for towing, transporting heavy loads, and off-road fun. Many more pickups are also used in commercial situations and get exposed to high levels of use and abuse.

Over the next several years, however, the rise in average age will slow down again. The market will begin to feel the impact of the 40 percent drop in new registrations when the industry bottomed out at 10.3 million units in 2009. We see average age reaching nearly 11.4 years by 2015, and then the rate of growth will taper off. The acceleration in average age will slow to levels not seen since before the recession. Average age will not reach 11.5 years until 2018—as the vehicle population adjusts to the low number of 2008–12 model year vehicles.

New to five-year-old vehicles will grow 41 percent over the next five years. Six to 11-year-old vehicles will decline 22 percent.

While not an encouraging trend for the aftermarket, there are definite positive signs. The overall vehicle population continues to grow. We see the U.S. light vehicles in operation (VIO) growing by five percent over the next five years—hitting 260 million vehicles by 2018. Vehicles are also lasting longer. Over the next five years, vehicles 12 years and older will increase nearly 12 percent. Vehicle quality continues to improve, people are keeping their vehicles longer, and the scrappage rate continues to decline.

The aftermarket must be aware of the potential impact to the type of repairs it will see over the coming years. In general, 6 to 11-year-old vehicles represent more do-it-for-me (DIFM) type repairs. Older vehicles may drive more do-it-yourself (DIY) and routine maintenance, but also require larger powertrain and suspension repairs.

Two: OEM Globalization is Quickly Becoming the New Norm
Growing global vehicle registrations continue to pressure OEMs to accelerate the need for utilizing global platforms and modular architecture. Global new registrations will set a record in 2013 at just over 74 million units. In 2014, the number will be over 77 million. Looking at total global vehicles in operation, the number broke one billion units in 2010. By 2020, the world will stand at 1.3–1.5 billion vehicles.

This rate of growth translates into expanded global production and a need for OEMs to manage costs. They are accelerating the use of global platforms and looking to produce more units per platform. Among the top-12 global manufacturers, the number of platforms will drop from 212 in 2012 to 147 by 2020. As a result, the number of vehicles produced per platform will grow. Across the same 12 OEMs, it will increase 81 percent. OEMs have also been introducing modular architecture. By standardizing the architecture of the engine compartment, underbodies, and driver cockpit, manufacturers achieve greater flexibility and can utilize standardized components.

Fewer platforms, more vehicles per platform, and the increasing use of modular architecture will lead to the use of similar components and the ability to market the same aftermarket product in various regions around the world—a major opportunity for the global aftermarket supplier.

Three: OEM Technology Advances Continue to Provide the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Both Challenges and Opportunity
These advances are coming in several different ways. Gas and Hybrid Cars Continue to increase Market Share. Through August, gas and electric hybrids represent 3.6 percent of all new registrations—an all-time high. Diesels were right behind at 2.9 percent. Electric vehicles, while on the rise, still represent only 0.3 percent. Over the past five years, however, diesel registrations have remained flat while hybrids have increased their share by 64 percent. One reason for this is simply the number of hybrid models now available. The consumer has 45 different hybrid models to choose from today. Between 2008 and 2013, the number of models with diesel engines increased 21 percent while the number of hybrid models increased 125 percent. Because not all makes and models offer these powertrain options in every vehicle and trim level, their popularity may be limited because of the lack of universal availability. Nonetheless, while OEMs are investing in various options, the internal combustion engine remains the leading candidate for clean, efficient propulsion for at least another decade. However, the automotive aftermarket industry must prepare for new technology surrounding this traditional powertrain. There will be increased use of gasoline direct injection and turbochargers. Start-stop capability, cylinder deactivation, and all-wheel drive disconnect are all coming on strong.

OEMs continue to increase the interval between recommended oil changes.

They are using technology—the oil service indicator light—to replace standard recommended maintenance intervals.

While most vehicles on the road have some type of oil service indicator light, the issue is how often OEMs are using the light as the only means of recommended service. Today, 52 million vehicles in the U.S. use the oil service indicator light as the recommendation for when to change the oil. This represents 21 percent of the total VIO and has grown at a compounded annual rate of 14 percent over the past five years. New powertrain technology and the growing use of synthetic oils have extended oil change intervals as well. The average recommended interval for all light vehicles now stands at over 7,500 miles.

What does this mean to the independent aftermarket? Most repair opportunities are discovered during routine maintenance. Oil changes are, by far, the most common service opportunity for vehicles of all ages. This lengthening of intervals has the potential to affect repair opportunities in two ways.

By recognizing these trends early, the aftermarket can innovate and develop ways to communicate with the driver in much the same way the OEMs are planning.

The aftermarket certainly has what it takes to not only adjust to these coming trends, but take advantage of them as well. This industry has always proven its ability to react and innovate in the face of change. Leverage those strengths to their fullest, and the automotive aftermarket industry will continue its legacy of success.

Issues Facing Automotive Aftermarket Industry in 2020
Of the many insights in AASA’s recent landmark study, Automotive Aftermarket Industry Outlook 2020, the biggest issue identified facing aftermarket suppliers – and their ability to survive and thrive in the future – was the lack of a level playing field along the aftermarket value chain. Key findings of Aftermarket Outlook 2020 included that, though the market itself isn’t expected to see radical changes, business and relationships along the value chain have and will continue to change dramatically.

Full service automotive aftermarket suppliers have seen low-cost country competition, incredible concentration among our customers, eroding margins and a shift of power downstream to the channels – as have manufacturers in many other industries in the post-Walmart era. Many aftermarket manufacturers have not responded effectively to these shifts and need to find new ways to create value in order to be able to deal with changed channel partners as peers. The alternative is a decline in relevance and returns for aftermarket suppliers, analogous to the devastation seen among OE suppliers in the last decade.

As the Aftermarket Outlook 2020 study found, aftermarket suppliers face many issues in the next decade. The graphic below captures just some of the many dynamics and change agents at play in the aftermarket industry. These include:

  • the impact of the Internet,
  • manufacturer versus channel brands,
  • OES versus independent repair shops, especially in an era of increasingly complex vehicles, and
  • new regulations, including fuel economy and safety.

The Aftermarket Outlook 2020 study covers each of the issues in more detail. However, as the study progressed, three key trends “popped” as the most important ones facing manufacturer executives:

  1. Parts complexity – The industry is seeing a massive increase in parts complexity, both in the number of vehicles and parts and the technical sophistication of those parts.
  2. Channel consolidation – During the last 10-15 years, channel partners have responded to market pressures and consolidated massively, changing the balance of power in the industry.
  3. Low-cost countries – Low-cost country imports have had a tremendous impact on traditional North American suppliers, eroding the addressable market; conversely, the emerging markets these parts come from represent a tremendous growth opportunity.

As AASA and Booz & Co. discussed these findings at the 2011 AASA VisCon with aftermarket executives, it became clear that there was a single overarching issue that tied the other issues together of most importance to manufacturers: the lack of a level playing field across the aftermarket value chain.

A Winning Aftermarket Aftermarket Industry Model
So what does all of this add up to in the automotive aftermarket industry? What does Aftermarket Outlook 2020 and follow-up analysis in the industry reveal as a winning automotive aftermarket industry model? A summary of key elements is seen in here:

Those in the Automotive aftermarket industry will know they’ve arrived when they experience:

  • Discussions with retailers as equals
  • Improved profits across the aftermarket value chain through value creation, not value migration
  • Halt or reversal of the erosion of full-service suppliers’ market share by low cost country competitors

Achieving these objectives is not only necessary, but possible for the automotive aftermarket industry. 

Bio: Adam Robinson oversees the overall marketing strategy for Cerasis including website development, social media and content marketing, trade show marketing, email campaigns, and webinar marketing. Mr. Robinson works with the business development department to create messaging that attracts the right decision makers, gaining inbound leads and increasing brand awareness - all while shortening sales cycles, the time it takes to gain sales appointments and set proper sales and execution expectations.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2019
Wind Energy Powers Through a Successful 2018

By Celeste Wanner, Senior Analyst, Research and Analytics, American Wind Energy Association

Innovation and Enthusiasm Spur a Year of Significant Wind Gains

2018 was a monumental year for wind power in the United States, with exciting growth, demand from new customers, and continued technological advances. The fourth quarter alone was the third strongest quarter ever for capacity installations with 5,944 megawatts (MW) added, more than all the wind installed in Kansas, the country’s fifth largest wind state. In total, the industry commissioned 7,588 MW of new wind capacity in 2018, bumping the U.S.’s installed capacity to 96,488 MW. More wind deployment and innovations continue to drive costs lower, attracting the attention of new corporate buyers, while new horizons offshore present lucrative opportunities for American businesses.

Among the many innovations making debut appearances in the American market was the introduction of the first four MW land-based wind turbines with orders announced by both Senvion and Vestas. This is nearly twice the capacity of the average turbine installed in 2017. It’s a notable stride in achieving great scale and efficiency by offering developers more options for customizing wind farms to match the unique wind resources of their project site.

As the U.S. wind industry continues to grow and mature, wind increasingly delivers enormous benefits to every state across the country. U.S. wind projects offer low-cost, reliable electricity, new manufacturing and technician jobs, plus millions of dollars in land lease payments and investment in communities nationwide.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2019
Shovel Ready and Certified Sites Add Long-Term Success for Companies

By Lisa A. Bastian, President, Bastian PR

As time slices through 2019, shovel-ready or "certified" site programs of all kinds continue to be key economic development tools fast-tracking the creation (or expansion) of manufacturing or industrial facilities for America's corporate citizens. When done right, these programs don't discriminate by size, but have proven to add long-term value and an attractiveness cachet to both communities large and small.

Typically these sites are certified by either their home states and/or by an outside consulting firm retained by the states and the communities housing the sites. They are prepared and marketed to be either an industrial site ready for a distribution, warehousing or manufacturing or a research/technology park site, suitable for R&D science and technology type organizations and related support companies.

While factors vary, in general shovel-ready properties are promoted as land that has had its planning, surveys, zoning, title work, soil analysis, public infrastructure engineering and related work completed before becoming officially certified. Environmental clearance is especially vital to this process. Before that can be achieved, usually studies are conducted to focus on archeological, geotechnical, endangered species, wetlands, historical and/or other related environmental concerns.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:08 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2019
Reframing Retail as a Community Asset, Not a Liability

By Alexandra Tranmer, Project Manager, Camoin Associates

The transformation of the retail industry continues into 2019. Beta-testing drone deliveries, cashier-less grocery stores and sampling new paint colors through augmented reality are just a few of the strategies that retailers are using to expand their market share and reach their coveted consumers. Yet, beyond using tactics like experiential retail and re-evaluating consumers’ purchasing preferences, retailers, and perhaps community builders at large, continue to grapple with how the right retail mix can be leveraged as a complementary asset to residents and other businesses. Although Credit Suisse predicted that 20-25 percdnt of U.S. malls will close between 2017-2022, the demand for retail as an amenity that contributes to the development and competitiveness of other markets is strong. While retail is certainly still a challenging sector for small business operators, chances for success are greatly improved when retail is integrated into the fabric of our commutes, daily lives and work patterns. This article will explore how retail is positioned as a critical component of development in large metro areas and smaller cities, and the role of the economic developer in coordinating the multi-disciplinary teams that are necessary to lay the groundwork for retail success. 

Yes, retail remains in a transformative state. Yes, eCommerce has redefined the public’s expectations of how and where they can purchase everyday goods. Ecommerce sales however only comprise about 10 percent of total retail sales. The 2018 3rd Quarter U.S. Retail Sales report from the U.S. Census reports that total retail sales reached $1,340.2 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2018.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 02 2019
A Retrospect and Forward-Thinking Overview of Freight & Transportation Trends in 2019

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

Understanding the state of overall supply chain management is a massive undertaking. It involves countless hours of research, continuous review of leading supply chain experts, consideration of technologies, capabilities from around the globe and much more. The internet is an invaluable resource for shippers and carriers, especially those of smaller size, looking to make a splash in the global supply chain. Unfortunately, the path to understanding this behemoth of information is riddled with rabbit holes, thorns, and even sharp objects. Instead of trying to make sense of the lot by yourself, we’ve taken the initiative to put together these freight and transportation trends to know and use in making supply chain management decisions throughout the coming year.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the end of 2018 and move forward into 2019 with general trends affecting the freight and transportation industry. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:13 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019
Aerospace and Defense: A Billion Here, A Billion There

By Michael D. White, author and freelance writer

Like industrial fraternal twins, the aerospace/defense industries are related, yet, as the name suggests, serve two separate and distinct markets − aerospace, which largely comprises the production, sale, and service of commercial aircraft, and defense, which supplies the nation with the military land, sea and air systems critical for its well being. 

Falling in the narrow crack between the two are the space vehicles, mainly satellites and drones, utilized for both military and commercial use. 

A&D is the leading net exporting industry in the U.S., generating a net trade surplus of $86 billion in 2017, according to the Virginia-based Aerospace Industries Association. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 01:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 01 2019
The Workplace Reimagined: Autonomous Vehicles Poised to Reshape U.S. Office Market by 2030

By Mike Consol, Editor, Real Assets Adviser

By disrupting the way employees commute to work, autonomous vehicles are expected to fundamentally reshape the U.S. office market by 2030, according to a report from CBRE. Most significant, the primacy of commercial real estate’s traditional decision drivers—geographic location and access to talent—may decrease as the importance placed on the workplace experience and building amenities grows.

Based on extensive and proprietary research, including interviews with leading experts in the autonomous-vehicle space, CBRE’s report predicts autonomous vehicles could account for between 11 percent and 27 percent of vehicle miles traveled by 2030. Factors considered in CBRE’s analysis include the rate at which the cost per mile for self-driving cars decreases compared with personal cars, the time it takes to develop software capable of navigating both inclement weather and complex urban roadway layouts, and advances in vehicle manufacturing capacity.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2019
Green Renewable Economy, Boom or Boondoggle?

By Don Holbrook, Site Location & Economic Incentives Consultant

The economy has been on a rabid growth spurt since 2012 or 2013 depending on your outlook on net job growth. In fact, 2018 has seen some of the best GDP in decades. But, all this could be coming to an end soon. Why? Another perfect storm has built up just over the horizon and is about to make landfall in the U.S. shortly.

The ingredients for this slow down or recession involve some major shortsighted blunders and some transitional timing as well.

The rising interest rates are putting pressure on over-leveraged companies, tied to a trade war threat, a major shortage of talented high tech and skilled workers buoyed by rising fossil fuel prices, and now you have our current chaotic economy.

Now along comes the renewable clean energy expansion, which is highly supported by the general public as the wave of ballot initiatives continued in 2018 to ratchet up conversion to clean energy benchmarks. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2019
Recent and Emerging Trends in Cybersecurity for Economic and Business Development

By Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President, Camoin Associates

What is Cybersecurity?
Hardly a day goes by with without news regarding cybersecurity threats. Whether it is about elections, eCommerce, business, or social media threats – digital systems are growing and creating both challenges and opportunities for business development. There are many definitions of cybersecurity. One I like to use is from computer systems leader, Cisco: “Cybersecurity is the convergence of people, processes and technology that come together to protect organizations, individuals or networks from digital attacks.
1” I like this definition because like it goes beyond technology to include people and processes. This aligns well with how I view economic development as operating within a dynamic system of people, organizations and networks.

Why is Cybersecurity Such a Big Deal?
So why such a big deal about cybersecurity? The answer: it is increasingly impacting our ability to conduct business from communications and networking, to markets, trade, logistics, and transactions. Additionally, our response to such threats to develop systems, services, and products that detect, correct, and protect is creating economic and business development opportunities. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 12:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2019
A Site Selector's Perspective to Profit from Your Data Center!

By Angelos Angelou, Founder & CEO, AngelouEconomics, AngelouEconomics.com

In real estate, it’s about: “Location, Location, Location!” Location matters – no really, it does!  When the data amount is region-specific, it is important to have data centers off-site in the areas when needed. It is also a great option for driving down costs coming from being away from a major data hub such as those in cities. This is more than just choosing a data center closest to the customer’s business operations. Additionally, communities looking to recruit a data center operation should look at their commercial energy costs, talent pool and potential underdeveloped areas to place a data center. Connectivity will be a key consideration for a data center and is a key consideration for data center customers.

Both technological advances and companies adapting to industry changes contributed to the growth in number of data centers and data center expansions. A significant amount of the IT budget is spent on maintenance to keep up with the updates from growing customer demand.

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Thursday, January 10 2019
Plastics: Global Rankings and Industry Report

Summary
The 2018 Global Trends report, published by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), depicts a global plastics industry that is thriving despite numerous political and societal threats to the continued, unfettered operation of its supply chain.

At the time of this writing, the U.S. has attempted to rectify its trade imbalance with its trading partners. Existing free trade agreements have been updated and higher import tariffs have been imposed on a broad range of products—from aluminum and steel to other products vital to U.S. manufacturing, including plastics materials, machinery, products and molds.

Meanwhile, in the last 12 months, anti-plastics sentiment has grown as concerns about marine litter and waste have gripped the public consciousness. This has given proponents of material deselection a much greater audience for their arguments, and the introduction of bills that ban products like straws, bags and plastic foodservice packaging has continued, mainly in the U.S. and mainly in coastal states and communities.

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Thursday, January 10 2019
Medical Device Manufacturing: A Growth Industry Healing the World

By Lisa A. Bastian, President, Bastian PR

The U.S. medical device industry holds the title as the world's largest medical device market, boasting a market size of around $156 billion. In 2017, the industry represented nearly 40 percent of the global medical device market.

Highly competitive and driven by heavily-funded R&D initiatives, its universe of diverse products prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses or diseases, or are used to detect, measure, restore, correct and modify a bodily function or structure for health reasons. Industry players create everything from dental equipment/supplies, electro-medical equipment and in-vitro diagnostics, to irradiation apparatuses, surgical appliances and medical instruments.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, January 10 2019
Technology in Key Supply Chains is Evolving Supply Chain and Logistics Planning

By Adam Wasserman, Managing Partner and Lois C. Yates, CEcD, GLDPartners

In one way or another, advances in product or business model technology has created quite significant changes in how companies are managing and planning their supply chains. Evolving corporate requirements have cascaded a wide range of new requirements to corporate supply chain managers and their external logistics partners. This dynamic has created a panoply of new challenges to what has been largely quite established and stabled supply chain environments.

To some in the logistics industry, these dynamics are creating new business opportunities, while to others these new requirements are producing challenges to legacy supply chain business. Generally speaking, these kinds of corporate requirement changes are causing upheaval and new logistics complexity – creating new opportunities for a number of logistics companies who are able to provide new service offerings and appropriate levels of product and customer care.

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Tuesday, November 20 2018
Oil and Gas Production at Record Highs and Fossil Fuels Continue to Play a Major Role in the U.S. Economy

By Angelos Angelou, Founder & CEO, AngelouEconomics, AngelouEconomics.com

Fossil fuels—love them or hate them, they’re the backbone upon which modern civilization was built. They’ve made nations. They’ve sparked wars. And, most importantly, they’ve provided the key ingredient for the most rapid and sustained economic expansion in human history.

Yes, it’s true that fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—are by their nature finite resources. It’s also true that their use releases climate-impacting carbon emissions into the atmosphere. These considerations, as well as the rise of a new generation of renewable energy technologies, all but guarantee that fossil fuels will largely go by the wayside at some point in the future. Maybe it will be in our lifetime. Maybe it will be in our children’s lifetime, or their children’s. Given the constantly evolving trends, tech, and geopolitics influencing the global energy sector, it’s hard to make long-term prognostications with any certainty.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 20 2018
Profiling the Food and Beverage Industry: Trends In Baking And Snack Foods

By Frank Spano, Managing Director and Kyle Johnson, Location Consultant, The Austin Company

The food and beverage industry in the United States has shown positive signs of expansion over the past ten years. Forecasts and growth models indicate this expansion will continue into the future, though possibly at a slower rate. The following factors may assist in explaining this upward trend:

  1. Major plant upgrades at existing operations or replacement of older, outdated facilities. Continued plant upgrades and existing plant expansions may result in more automation and less job growth.
  2. New product innovation based on changing consumer demands.
  3. Continued market entry into the U.S. from smaller and medium-sized European and Asian operations, along with continued growth from established foreign-owned operations located in the U.S.

One notable portion of the food and beverage industry, the baking and snack food industry, shines as an important segment of the U.S. economy with nine percent growth from 2007 to 2017. The following discussion examines this industry over the past ten years and makes general conclusions on its projected growth.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 20 2018
3D Printing Finds a Custom Foothold in Manufacturing

From rocket thrusters to shoe soles, additive technologies expand their sights
By M. Mitchell Waldrop - Originally published in Knowable Magazine

Since May 2015, in a portion of its WorldPort distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky, United Parcel Service has been operating a spare parts warehouse with no spare parts. Instead, the facility is stocked with ultrafast 3D printers that can build up almost any plastic part that’s required, layer by layer by layer—and have it ready for UPS to deliver anywhere in the United States by morning.

“It was a no-brainer,” says Alan Amling, UPS’s vice president for corporate strategy. Storing spare parts for quick delivery was already a big moneymaker for the company, he says. UPS operates more than a thousand field stocking locations worldwide—all full of items that somebody might need someday, maybe. The industrial customers who pay for that service have to keep the parts available because of warranty contracts, says Amling. But they hate it. “Inventory storage costs are massive,” he says. “So we started to see 3D printing as a solution.”

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 19 2018
Reshoring: Changing Conditions Impact Location Decisions

By Harry Moser, Founder/President, Reshoring Initiative

For decades companies have been chasing cheap labor offshore and then importing products to sell in the U.S. market. The impact of offshoring on the U.S. economy has been significant. Offshoring to China and elsewhere have cost about five million U.S. manufacturing jobs, helped contribute to wage erosion and had a dramatic and negative effect on workers and the economy in every state. Communities have lost, on average, 27 percent of their manufacturing workforce since 2000. About 63 percent of the job loss is due to offshoring of jobs.

Companies have also been impacted, since their largest market, the U.S., has experienced flat or declining real personal incomes and thousands of business customers have disappeared. In view of the current strong surge of jobs back from offshore, understanding the reasons for the losses and the current opportunities to bring millions of jobs back can help site selection consultants and corporate real estate brokers succeed. Knowing what drives reshoring and FDI can help identify siting solutions that overcome the problems experienced offshore.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 19 2018
The Healthcare Industry as a Critical Driver of Cluster Development

By Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President Camoin Associates, Alexandra Tranmer, Project Manager Camoin Associates

In previous research articles on healthcare, we have considered digital technology trends, the changing dynamics of real estate and retailization of the healthcare industry, and why healthcare should be a consideration in a community’s economic development strategic planning. This time around, our research examines the critical role that healthcare plays in supporting and growing industry clusters, specifically, Life Sciences, Information Communications Technology (ICT), and Medical Device Manufacturing. These clusters are producing significant contributions to the nation’s economy and creating high wage jobs.

While healthcare is often deemed too difficult to manage at a local level due to the federal involvement in regulations or overlooked as a non-export industry, local and regional economic developers can harness the workforce, technology, and sheer size of the healthcare industry to further support job growth in their communities. Furthermore, the number of projected openings in the healthcare field continue to rise and supporting and training the workforce for these positions will be crucial to ensuring the stability and growth of healthcare networks across the country, while providing significant employment and career opportunities.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, November 19 2018
The Value and Challenges of Certified and Shovel Ready Sites in the Site Selection Process

By Phil Schneider, President, Schneider Strategy Consulting LLC

In 20 years, certified and shovel ready site programs have evolved from a unique tool and competitive advantage to economic development table stakes. Site readiness programs in one form or another have become an established part of many, if not most, economic developers’ tool kits. Site readiness programs are established in over 30 states, developed and managed by state and local economic development organizations – both public and private – chambers of commerce, electric power utilities, railroads, port authorities, and other industrial development entities.  

The reasons for their increasing popularity and ubiquity are clear: speed to market is increasingly critical in the site selection process, companies are no longer willing to bear the cost of extensive due diligence for multiple sites on their own, and the risk of site timing and condition unknowns has become unacceptable in the location process.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 18 2018
Foreign Trade Zones: A Valuable Tool for Local and Regional Economic Development

By Greg Jones, Vice-President, FTZC™ (Foreign-Trade Zone Corporation)

In his Magnum Opus commonly known as “The Wealth of Nations,” 18th century Enlightenment philosopher and economist Adam Smith noted, “Every man thus lives by exchanging, or becomes in some measure a merchant, and the society itself grows to be what is properly a commercial society.” If one were to update this observation, one might say that every man and woman’s livelihood depends on the exchange or trade of goods, services, and every form of property. Since ancient times, trade in goods has fueled the growth of cities, the construction of roads, ports, and other infrastructure, and indeed, nations and empires. In those days the trade of goods was – literally – a pedestrian affair. Merchants loaded goods and commodities on a beast of burden and hoofed-it to the village, town, or city where the goods would be sold. Today, trade ranges across the globe, with raw materials, parts and components, and finished products being produced, marketed and transported in every country, city, town, and household via multiple modes of transportation: ocean, air, rail, and highway.

As trade has expanded and become more complex, competition has become global. The competition to attract and retain value-added business operations, and thereby reap investment, employment and prosperity is also global in scope.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:10 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
 

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