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                           PROJECT CASE  


Fleetguard, Inc.FLEETGUARD NELSON (Cummins Filtration)

This subsidiary of Cummins was searching for a southeastern U.S. location to produce auto parts. The company’s real estate advisor identified 8 communities that featured 250,000 SF buildings (to house 400 workers) meeting physical criteria. Per the client’s request, WDG Consulting identified 4 greenfield (no buildings but acceptable sites) to compare against the 8 communities with vacant space.

WDG Consulting then proceeded to conduct a two stage analysis to identify the best long-range location. In Stage One, we performed a desktop review to compare and rank the 12 candidate locations. Comparative data included population, adult educational attainment, labor force, number of semiskilled and unskilled manufacturing workers, unemployment rate, electric power costs, real estate costs, tax rates, air quality, motor carrier service, possible incentives, manufacturing wage rates, unionized operations, union election results, roster of major industrial employers, and newly announced manufacturing plants (a signal of future labor market competition). Statistics were drawn from WDG Consulting’s proprietary database, published/online sources, and contact with each area’s economic development agency. Three areas emerged as the strongest locations after Stage One research.

In Stage Two WDG Consulting undertook field based, due diligence evaluation of the three finalist locations. This included:
bullet Confidential interviews with area manufacturers to learn of their recent operating experiences; opinions on future business conditions; insights on keys to success in the area especially from a labor market standpoint; and thoughts on the viability of the respective location for the project in question
 
bullet Interviews with other organizations who could shed light on the business operating environment, including:
bullet Government officials
bullet Education/training officials
bullet Personnel agency
bullet State’s Job Service
bullet Utility representatives
bullet Trucking companies
bullet Real estate owners
bullet Economic development organization
 
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Examination of geotechnical maps and satellite images for targeted sites/buildings
 

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Physical inspection of sites/buildings
 

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Request of the lead economic development group to provide a formal incentives package

WDG Consulting then assessed how well each location could support the new facility’s most critical operating requirements. These embodied the following:

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Affordable wage levels, now and in the future

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Ample supply of qualified workers possessing at least a high school degree, solid basic skills, PC literacy, and ability to work in self directed teams

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Low staff turnover

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Minimal unionization threat

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Less than 6 month lead time to commence initial occupancy

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Moderate occupancy costs

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Competitive transportation costs including taking advantage of backhaul opportunities

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No environmental problems associated with the site

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Fair taxation including exemption from inventory tax

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Ability to reach the majority of customers within next morning delivery by motor carrier

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Stable, reliable, low cost electric power

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Meaningful incentives package

After comparing each location on the above and other considerations, WDG Consulting recommended Waynesboro, GA (20 miles south of Augusta) as the preferred location for the new auto parts plant. Fleetguard Nelson accepted WDG Consulting’s recommendation and has enjoyed success in Waynesboro, typified by:

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Wage rates 15% below those targeted by the company

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Transportation costs 10% less than those targeted by the company

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Annual staff turnover, 25% less than the targeted level

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Fast track building retrofit and permitting allowing Fleetguard Nelson to commence occupancy within four months

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Approximately $11 million in savings over 8 years derived from an incentives package negotiated by WDGC

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Over 1,800 well qualified workers that applied for 400 positions

 
 

 

     
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