Like every other part of business, site selection is trying to figure out the new normal. The implications of COVID-19 are significant, yet there remains great uncertainty.
A recent survey of site selectors by our friends at Consultant Connect identified four upcoming shifts as a result of the pandemic:
- Companies will lessen the focus on large metros and shift to smaller cities poised for growth.
- Manufacturing will shift toward more automation and artificial intelligence.
- Consumer demand will continue to drive e-commerce, third-party logistics, and last-mile delivery growth.
- Supply chains will become shorter and more diversified with a move to more suppliers to guard against closures.
Site selectors also predict an increase in onshoring projects in manufacturing (non-auto), data centers, telecommunications, finance, agriculture, and food and beverage.
The Roanoke Regional Partnership is reaching out to site consultants through virtual meetings. New tools for conducting site visits online are also in the works.
Economic development has and will continue to change, and the Roanoke Regional Partnership is working to be well-positioned to compete in the new environment.