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Tuesday, March 28 2017

By Hrishue Mahalaha, Managing Partner, Innovation Economy Partners; Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President and Alexandra Tranmer, Economic Development Specialist of Camoin Associates 

  Jim Damicis and Alex Tranmer of Camoin Associates, along with their colleague, Hrishue Mahalaha of Innovation Economy Partners, write this month about the evolving retail industry. Shopping malls have ruled the retail real estate market for the last two decades, but changing consumer preferences, technological advances and eCommerce have significant implications on real estate markets and economic development efforts in communities across the country. Retail stores, including restaurants and bars, are often the hub of the community, a communal commerce center where people come to buy goods, interact with other community members and support local businesses. Yet, there is news of establishments, large and small, going out of business appearing on an almost daily basis. What does this mean for the future of community’s who have relied on retail for economic activity in the past? 

  To answer this key question, we first consider why economic developers should consider a retail strategy as part of a wider economic development strategy. We will then explore the changing nature of retail, current trends and projections for the future. We will close with recommendations for how economic developers can mitigate some of the changes and work collaboratively within a changing retail landscape.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 27 2017

By John Hensley, Deputy Director of Industry Data Analysis, AWEA

  American wind power has reached a historic milestone: it is now the largest source of renewable energy in the U.S. by installed generating capacity, with enough nameplate capacity to power 24 million American homes. Wind’s growth has brought enormous benefits to the economy, sped up the path to energy independence and revitalized U.S. manufacturing. Here’s a look at how we got here.

Wind Power Drives Job Growth
  Over 100,000 American workers now have wind energy jobs. These well-paying positions are spread across all 50 states, meaning your state has wind energy jobs even if it doesn’t have a wind farm. That’s because over 25,000 workers at more than 500 U.S. factories build wind turbines and related parts.

  Many of these jobs are in the Rust Belt and interior of the country, bringing new opportunities to the areas where they are needed most. For example, Ohio leads the nation in wind manufacturing with over 60 plants, while Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan boast 26 a piece. Meanwhile, in Texas, the country’s leader in installed wind capacity with over 20,000 megawatts (MW), 38 factories churn out wind parts and there are over 22,000 wind jobs.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, March 27 2017

By Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing & Digital Marketing Consultant at Cerasis

  To avoid incidents of mismatch between supply and demand, establish more efficient manufacturing and lower costs, it is necessary to establish an environment of consistent supply chain visibility. To implement this visibility, it is crucial that companies take into consideration many elements. Everything from sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, to the sales channels which feed supply for a finished product are essential factors. One of the often-missing links, however, in supply chain visibility, is transportation management. Basically, the act of getting the needed finished goods from start location to destination. We call this the transportation supply chain.

What is the Transportation Supply Chain?
  Transportation refers to the movement of product from one location to another as it makes its way from the beginning of a supply chain to the customer’s handle. This requires a new broad look at the business of transportation supply chain, including supply chain management, logistics, and procurement. Freight transportation costs in the United States amount to about six percent of the GDP, which means that a large portion of a company's supply chain costs come from transportation. As we have stated in blogs posts about understanding how transportation costs fit into the business, the more you think more holistically as a logistics or transportation manager about the role of transportation in the overall supply chain and business, and less about the tactics of transportation (technology now is the business process enablement tool), you can strategically work with other players in the supply chain in order to more effectively reach the corporate and business vision your organization has set out to reach.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 24 2017

By Ben Harper, Director and Co-founder,  Fairmont Consulting Group LLC

  State and regional development organizations have placed a strong emphasis on commercial aerospace in recent years – decisions that have been very well justified by the growth the industry has seen. Commercial aerospace has proven very attractive to economies by virtue of its utilization of skilled manufacturing workers and the current “super cycle” that has provided steady and stable growth of aircraft deliveries since 2003 despite broader economic cycles. Combined with other secular trends within the commercial aerospace market, such as shifts towards composites materials and a desire for more significantly dollar-denominated supply base from European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the United States has seen significant new investment over the past decade and a half.

The Shifting Commercial Aerospace Outlook
  Total commercial aircraft order backlogs are near record levels, representing nearly eight years of production at 2017 rates. But, the industry outlook for the aerospace industry is beginning to shift, driving an important inflection point that demands review of strategies built on the continued growth of the aerospace industry. In 2016 book-to-bill ratios, the measure of new aircraft orders placed in a year to the number of aircraft delivered, fell below one for Boeing. Airbus surprised the market by managing to achieve a 1.06 ratio. In contrast to prior years, overall order backlogs are flattening or modestly declining, and OEMs have announced that they anticipate further erosion of the backlog through the end of the decade. Further, the historic visibility provided by the order backlog is not evenly distributed across the industry – narrow body production rates are likely to grow by nearly 20 percent between 2017 and 2020 with the underpinning of substantial backlog, while a dearth of new widebody orders may lead to reductions below current OEM guidance which has already seen progressive downward revisions. An increasing OEM focus on cost reduction programs is challenging current investments, and giving suppliers pause as the contemplate the investments required to support OEM growth targets. Prior assumptions of continuing long term growth are no longer accurate, and that the commercial aerospace cycle is turning. The large order backlog should support a soft correction rather than a steep cyclic downturn, but the inflection point has arrived. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 24 2017

By Dawn Baetsen, president of D.E. Baetsen & Associates LLC

  The automotive industry enjoyed another year of growth; yet, the industry may face its most arduous task of effectively fusing rapidly-changing technology while providing product that satisfies the consumer experience, is built with the highest standards of safety and security, meets government standards, and is built to last while maintaining affordability for consumers. Government is in the driver’s seat regarding taxation, regulation, and protectionist policies all having tremendous long term effects on the industry. Relaxed regulatory standards and reduced corporate taxes encourage the industry; however, trade agreements and border taxes will have an impact and will increase the cost of automobiles. On the minds of all automotive executives is the effects of emerging political risks in the major markets of North America, the European Union, China, and Brazil. Social and economic disorder follows and regional market economies will significantly impact the global industry now and in the future. Despite overarching macro-economic risks, the industry is focused on the consumer driving markets while a new culture of vehicle access versus vehicle ownership emerges.

  The three major markets for automakers grew during 2016 with China sales growing by 15 percent or to 24 million units. The United States grew by 0.2 percent or 17.9 million units, while Europe posted an 7 percent increase to 15 million units. The Japanese market for a second consecutive year declined -1.5 percent largely due to a sluggish economy while emerging markets of Brazil and Russia continued to fall off -21  and -11 percent, respectively, as reported by Euler Hermes Economic Research. India’s demonetization policy took a toll on vehicle purchases declining 50 percent during 2016. Most automotive research groups suggest maintaining a global presence is critical to sustaining growth as shifts to a mobility culture, particularly in urban areas, will impact light vehicle demand for size and type depending on the market and regional demographic nuances. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:30 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 24 2017

By Don A. Holbrook, Site Location Consultant Managing Partner, Vercitas Group

  It’s time for community leaders and economic developers to take an entire new view of tourism. In the past tourism has been more of a secondary thought that is built around festivals and conferences for most cities and towns. Today tourism deserves a seat at the big table. It has proven to be a sustainable and home grown industry with far reaching appeal. 

  In 2016 the World Travel and Tourism Council reported that tourism has experienced seven consecutive years of growth and 2017 looks like another great year. It represents 9.8 percent of the world’s GDP ($7.2 trillion USD) and 284 million jobs (one out of every eleven jobs). Tourism has a sustained average growth of four percent annually.

  The United Nations World Trade Organization has even gone on a mission of spreading the gospel of “Why Tourism? Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries. This growth goes hand in hand with an increasing diversification and competition among destinations.”

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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