PRINCETON, N.J. — A recently completed national site selection study that compared the cost of operating a high-technology manufacturing facility among 45 small market cities in the U.S. has named Quincy, Wash., "The Best in the West."
The independent study was conducted by The Boyd Co. Inc., a location consulting firm in Princeton, N.J., and focused on up-and-coming small market cities in each region of the country considered to be on the radar screen for new high-tech industry as the economy emerges from recession in 2010/11.
In the study, overall costs were scaled to a hypothetical 250,000-square-foot production facility employing 300 workers. Additionally, the analysis was structured to be a useful cost comparison tool for broad range of high-technology companies engaged in advanced manufacturing operations and computer-operated production processes in sectors such as precision metalworking, engineered plastics, carbon composites and other advanced manufacturing fields.
Regionally in the West, annual costs range from a high of $28 million per year in Walnut Creek, Calif., to a low of $21.1 million in Quincy, Wash.
"In today’s difficult business environment, comparative economics are ruling the corporate site selection process. For many companies, improving the bottom line on the cost side of the ledger is far easier than on the revenue side. As a result, location decisions at every level of the corporate organizational structure, from off-shored call centers and remote branch plants and warehouses right up to the corporate head office, are all being made with cost minimization as an overriding objective," said Jack Boyd, president of The Boyd Co. "Competitive pressures brought on by global free trade are also making comparative costs the white hot issue in today’s corporate boardrooms."
Following are overviews of the top-ranked small cities in each region: Quincy, Wash., in the West; Ardmore, Okla., in the Central Region; and Lenoir, N.C. in the East:
Quincy, Wash.: Best in the West
Plentiful, low-cost and green hydroelectric power is fueling much of the high-tech growth in and around Quincy, Wash., population 6,500. Located in the Columbia River Basin in central Washington, the area has attracted major facilities of Microsoft, Yahoo, Intuit, REC Silicon and BMW-SGL. Quincy is rich in fiber optics and is located on the main line of the BNSF railroad and is linked to port facilities in Seattle/Tacoma via I-90. Water, which is in short supply in many western cities, is abundant in Quincy and its unique microclimate boasts 300 days of sunshine. With no personal income tax in Washington, workers in Quincy keep can more of what they earn.
Ardmore, Okla: Best in the Central
Ardmore is strategically located along the NAFTA Super Highway, I-35, midway between Dallas and Oklahoma City. Its mid-continent location, low land costs, construction costs and utility rates have attracted a number of advanced manufacturing firms like Michelin, Valero, 3M, Southwest Silicon and recently announced Flanders Corp., a major producer of cleanroom air filtration systems. Ardmore is only 90 minutes from the high-growth northern suburbs of Dallas, DFW International Airport and major metropolitan area amenities of the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
Lenoir, N.C.: Best in the East
Lenoir is shedding its image as a furniture industry capital and establishing itself as the epicenter of a new cluster of high-technology companies locating along the U.S. Highway 321 corridor stretching from Charlotte to the Tennessee border. Joining old line furniture firms like Broyhill, Bernhardt and Fairfield based here are high tech giants like Google, Corning, Apple and Commscope. A favorable labor market, low costs, a moderate climate and proximity to Charlotte are major advantages for Lenoir.
To view the full report from this study, click here.