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 Feature Industry Articles 
Monday, September 30 2019
How Rapidly Changing Technology is Impacting Location Decisions in the Logistics Industry

By Jeannette T. Goldsmith,  Vice President, Strategic Development Group

“Every company is a technology company.”  I can’t remember who said this first or where I heard it, but there is no doubt that this statement is true. Even with the inevitability of it, we continue our collective hand-wringing about the move to greater automation and artificial intelligence on the manufacturing floor. There can be little doubt, however, that technology has already resulted in dramatic shifts in the transportation and logistics industry. These shifts have affected all facets of the industry including warehousing, distribution channels, fleets, and workforce. Strategic Development Group has seen how these changes are impacting the way in which companies select new locations for their logistics business.

Autonomous Vehicles and Drone Delivery
Perhaps the “sexiest” technology trend in the logistics industry is the use of autonomous vehicles and drones in the movement of products. While I am fascinated by the potential for autonomous vehicles, I have my doubts about how fast this technology will be adapted. There are two reasons for my hypothesis.  

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
Ports Take Advantage of FTZ Alternative Site Framework for Economic Development

By Meredith Martino, AAPA

A consumer in the market for new pair of eyeglasses might find interesting a banner ad on a website touting designer eyewear at a discounted price. The promise might sound too good to be true to the average shopper, but the reality is one that is not only possible but actually is encouraged by a growingly popular new option under a decades-old U.S. government program. By utilizing some of the benefits of a FTZ and taking advantage of the program’s Alternative Site Framework (ASF), a U.S.-based producer could incorporate well-known designer frames and cases manufactured overseas into a finished product that could be passed onto a U.S. consumer at a lower cost.

Vision care products manufacturer Coastal.com is doing just that. Founder and CEO Roger Hardy saw a business opportunity in the markups charged by opticians and optical stores and passed onto consumers. He created a business-to-consumer model that would keep costs down for the end user of the vision products. The Canadian-based company continues to grow, reaching consumers throughout the world.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
Outdoor Recreation Tourism - The Motor Driving Rural Economies of the Future?

By Rachel Selsky, AICP, Camoin310

Introduction
Many medical experts tout the benefits of getting outside on a regular, but have you ever considered the potential benefits of focusing your economic development efforts outside as well? It may not be a bad idea considering that the United States has seen an increase in overall participation in outdoor recreation activities, typically categorized as motorized or non-motorized, over the past few decades. 

While non-motorized outdoor recreation activities like hiking and biking are well documented and studied in relation to growth, economic impact, attraction strategies and the benefits to communities, motorized outdoor recreation activities are generally thought of as a smaller component of the overall industry and are somewhat less studied. As more rural communities begin to promote outdoor recreation tourism as a component of their economic development strategies, it is increasingly important to understand the full spectrum of opportunities related to outdoor tourism, including those within the motorized recreation sectors and how to best encourage and support their growth. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
The Right Location for Metal Fabrication? Near You

By Mark R. Smith, Contributing Writer

The fabricated metal industry is, in a way, similar to other industries, perhaps like the printing industry. That’s to say, the products each produces seem ubiquitous.

During the average person’s stops during the day, you may well see printed items: books, publications, brochures, folders, bills, mail, business cards, labels, etc. That list could go on, as it can for metal fabrication. Think about desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, door latches and handles, screws and nails, faucets, railings, hangers, etc.

You get it.

The point is in both industries, raw materials, software, equipment, deep thought and some elbow grease are required to create an infinite amount of finished products that many of we human beings use daily.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 11:15 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
The Next Digital Economy

By Don A. Holbrook

Economic development has traditionally been slow to respond to trends and then when they do they are usually behind the wave. The same could be said of the approach by in large for attracting investment into the Digital Media Age. Too many of the legislated programs in the USA, this vision is Films and Digital Productions of Film based industries in the world of the silver screen old school images of Hollywood productions.

George Gilder recently wrote his latest prediction on this real topic of Digital Media and/or the Digital Economy, called “Life After Google.” States such as Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas and New Jersey pop up on the first page of Google searches under this subject, but the links lead to film credits for the most part. This old school vision is not where the hotbed of growth is occurring and/or going to continue to grow.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
​​​​​​​Making Your Next Back Office Location a Success

By Dennis J. Donovan, Wadley Donovan Gutshaw Consulting

Introduction

Back offices comprise an agglomeration of support activities that are pivotal to successful operation of corporate (and not-for-profit) enterprises. These business units typically support c-suite and client interfacing operations.  Among functions usually associated with a back office are accounting, payroll, recruiting, planning, inventory management, procurement, regulatory compliance, supply chain management, market research, document management, transaction processing, inside sales, customer service, and IT help desk.

This article addresses the keys to optimal geographic deployment for back office entities. Up first is a brief discussion on strategic considerations that proceed an initiative to uncover the ultimate location. Then we outline the key elements involved in establishing the framework for a back-office location analysis. Subsequently, the multi-phase process that should be followed to land in the best spot is outlined.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:44 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 30 2019
Business Aviation Embraces Technologies for Cleaner, More Efficient Travel

By Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

Business aviation has long been a valuable tool for connecting companies and communities of all sizes across the nation and throughout the world. The industry also continues to embrace new technologies offering the potential to not only increase the level of productivity that business aviation may provide, but also to perform these roles with an even greater emphasis on sustainability.

This is a very exciting time, and not only for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and members that already utilize business aviation to increase their efficiency and competitiveness. Citizens, service providers and urban planners in communities large and small also stand to benefit, as these developments offer the promise to advance metropolitan transportation infrastructure, emergency response and quality of life considerations across the country and around the world. Urban Air Mobility May Revolutionize Intercity Transportation Over the past few years, a new transportation segment has emerged alongside more traditional business aircraft and rotorcraft seen at NBAA-sponsored events. Urban air mobility (UAM) aims to revolutionize travel across large metroplexes, utilizing optionally piloted and even fully autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles to transport on-demand passengers and cargo.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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