Site Selection for Headquarters & Support Centers

For most companies locating at the right location, in the right region and finding the right plot of land, building or office space, is becoming crucial to operational success. New investments in buildings, technology and talent are done for the long run. As the business environment in which a company needs to make a location decision is becoming more uncertain every day it is of huge importance to make a robust and future proof decision on new office operations, whether it is a headquarters, shared services center, general business center or a customer support center.

The importance of a thorough location decision process

A company can have a variety of reasons for starting the location selection process for a new office location: growth of the business, availability of the right talent pool, cost reduction, harmonization of processes and systems, consolidation after a merger or acquisition.
The realization of a new office location comes with significant investments and internal changes. The new location is created with a long term objective and therefore the impact of the new location should also contribute positively for a long time period. In other words: in case of a wrong location decision the negative implications will also have a negative impact for a prolonged period of time (e.g. an overheated labor market leading to issues in finding the right talent and eventually in higher costs and attrition rates).

Specifics of location selection for a new office by BCI

Location selection is done based on three types of factors:

  • Costs - All relevant factors that can be translated into money such as land/real estate, labor, taxes, etc.
  • Quality of the business environment - Factors that cannot be translated directly into currencies but that still have a direct effect on the performance of the new operation. Think of availability of talent, labor flexibility, language availability, accessibility, etc.
  • Risk - All external business disruption risk factors that a company itself cannot influence but that still may have a substantial impact on the future operations such as inflation risk, exchange rate risk, transparency risk, natural disaster risk, etc.

In the location selection for a new office for headquarters, a shared services center or a customer support center the talent factor is absolutely key. Around the world, especially in the most attractive hotspot locations, the tension on the labor markets is already high and is expected to increase. Companies are looking for solutions by implementing automation and robotization or by looking for new upcoming locations where labor is still available. BCI pays a lot of attention to the availability of the right talent base in its approach, not only by looking at today’s situation but also by projecting the labor market towards the future.

Site Selection for Headquarters & Support Centers & BCI advice

BCI advises companies throughout the world in the selection of the optimal location for their new headquarters or support center.
Based on more than 33 years of experience, BCI has developed a proven approach for international location and site selection. This approach is based on an integrated assessment of costs, quality of the business environment factors and risk factors.
Our approach is fact-based, utilizing own databases, international reliable sources as well as a unique network of contacts around the globe (recruiters, investment agencies, real estate agents, etc.).
BCI delivers a clear final report with unbiased recommendations as well as a detailed data report showing the complete process of site selection and all data used for comparing the locations in each phase of the project.

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  • Allen & Overy – Multiple office location selection projects
  • AkzoNobel – Global shared services center location selection
  • AstraZeneca – Shared services center analysis in Europe, the Americas and Asia
  • Cofco International – European and Latin-American location selection
  • Emirates – Reservation center location selection
  • ExxonMobil – Shared services center location 
  • Marriott – Reservation center location selection
  • Microsoft – European office location
  • SAP – European office location
  • White and Case – Location selection for shared services

Cases