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                           PROJECT CASE  


Gardner Denver’s worldwide headquarters was in western Illinois. In 2008 the company embarked on a major, new strategic initiative called the “Gardner Denver Way.” To successfully execute the strategy, best of class executive/managerial talent with manufacturing experience will be needed.

As the headquarters was situated in a small town, national recruiting was increasingly problematic. Local talent pool was also thin. Additionally, access for customers, suppliers, and Board members was difficult.
Consequently, top management decided that front office activities would need to move to a metro with a global business platform. Administrative support activities would remain in western Illinois.

WDGC was retained to recommend the best location for Gardner Denver’s headquarters. The operation would require:

bullet Staffing: 60, mix of relocatees and new hires, manufacturing experience key
bullet Office space: 25,000SF, well positioned to executive residential clusters, suburban business campus preferred, and ample amenities within the Park
bullet Air service: nonstop to numerous gateway cities as travel to/from 40+ plants important, nonstop to Europe and Asia important as well
bullet Reputation of new location should help to fortify stakeholder appreciation of the new corporate strategy
bullet Quality-of-life/cost-of-living needs to be attractive both for existing employee relocation and national recruiting
bullet As with most corporate headquarters move, the drivers are strategic as opposed to cost reduction

WDGC initiated an extensive search for the best headquarters location. Our analysis took into account:

bullet Size of the executive/managerial talent pool
bullet Corporate and divisional manufacturing headquarters base
bullet Quality-of-life rankings
bullet Cost-of-living
bullet Affordable housing
bullet Commute patterns
bullet Air service: domestic, international, average delays
bullet Available office space in preferred submarkets
bullet Higher education resources
bullet Incentives
bullet Projected impact on employees: relocation and separation
bullet One-time relocation costs: HR, RE, transition

WDGC recommended that Gardner Denver relocate headquarters to metro Philadelphia. We further recommended a site within the immediate western suburbs (Main Line). The company settled on vacant office space in Wayne (PA). Relocation was completed in early 2011.

The company has enjoyed success in greater Philadelphia. Operational advantages have included:
bullet Over 65% relocation acceptance rate by employees from the origin site
bullet Reduced time (by 50%) to fill open positions
bullet Ability to fill most new positions from the Philadelphia labor market
bullet Ample selectivity when nationally recruiting
bullet Enhanced air access by augmenting Philadelphia with Newark
bullet Less than 30-minute commute for nearly all employees
bullet More frequent visits to HQ by key customers


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