April 19, 2013

The future of manufacturing and its impact on your business park

In November 2012, McKinsey and Co. published a report about the future of manufacturing. If you have not read it yet, do it as soon as possible!

McKinsey has 3 key findings about the future of manufacturing, and we try to add some conclusions and tips about its impact to commercial real estate sector:

1. Manufacturing’s role is changing: 
'The way it contributes to the economy shifts as nations mature: in today’s advanced economies, manufacturing promotes innovation, productivity, and trade more than growth and employment. In these countries, manufacturing also has begun to consume more services and to rely more heavily on them to operate.'
Tip #1: Offer a complex, innovative and service-rich business enviroment
If there are academic/private research centers or global business service providers/BPO companies nearby your business park, than look at them as the part of your sales offer. Even more: try to attract such service providers and research facilities into your business park - and not just an office tenant, but as a sales promoter of your industrial real estates. Attract them with preferential facility pricing and the promise of new business for them!

2. Manufacturing is not monolithic:
'It is a diverse sector with five distinct groups of industries, each with specific drivers of success'
Segments of manufacturing. Source: mckinsey.com

Tip #2: Start to think about target industries
Are you sure your location's labour market, education, transportation infrastructure, supplier's background industries etc can serve all the possible industries from automotive to food processing, from nuclear energy to textile? How to select a target industry? Well, as a start, industries which have successful past and presence in your location, probably have a promising future, so do not invent warm water (excluding when you focuses on beverage industry).

3. Manufacturing is entering a dynamic new phase: 
'As a new global consuming class emerges in developing nations, and innovations spark additional demand, global manufacturers will have substantial new opportunities—but in a much more uncertain environment'
Tip #3: In market communication, focus on magic world like 'nearshoring' and 'advanced business environment'
Unfortunatelly you cannot relocate your facilities to Shanghai. And you cannot prevent the increasing consumption of emerging countries and the increasing manufacturing investments there. However, you can talk about the advantages of closeness of matured markets, the stabile legal environment, the high transparency and open society. These factors can be relevant for many industries and companies.

What do you think about these impacts? Share your opinion!

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April 5, 2013

4 almost secret ways to promote your business park

You probably has excellent connections to real estate agencies and maybe to the local government, but is it enough to the success? We show you four simple ways to reach more clients.

Polgar, the Industrial Park of the Year 2011, Hungary. A brochure is not enough.

#1 Press presence
The 1st rule of sales is say something interesting. If it's interesting enough, the media will publish it as a news. To produce news about your park/location, it's no way to talk about your fancy new logistic hall - no one wants to hear sales offers. Instead - and this could be the 2nd rule of sales - talk about the client's benefits: what specific and actual (new) benefits do you and your location provide. A new, local vocational education program or a new client (and new jobs) could be a good start.
Focus on business media, and, in key journals, you should buy a PR article to smooth the future connection.

#2 Conference sponsoring
Good to know who is your client. A well managed business park has some target industries and some industry-specific features (e.g: LCD manufacturers need much water to the production). If you know your target market, you can find some forums, where the potential corporate executives are present in a big number. Industry events, industry association's conferences are the best places to focus on.
Last year, the office park I work for as an interim marketing manager, sponsored the national outsourcing association's annual conference. There were all the local managers of global business service companies, the largest tenants of local office market. As a sponsored speech, one of our potential clients talked about himself, the company's best practices - and why they will rent an office from us. For a half-PR article price we got focused and relevant, executive-level introduction.

#3 Study tours
In the hotel industry, study tours are organized for hospitality journalists, tour operators and for other key influencers. This proven way is relatively rare in business park industry, however the situation how to sell a hotel room and to lease out a business space is very similar.
There are several real estate agents, foreign diplomats responsible for economic affairs, joint chamber of commerce etc, who are opened to know more about your investment destination. If you organize a short business trip for them, they can have more in-depth information, more local contacts. If there is an economic development agency in your investment destination, you can share the costs. And remember: say something interesting in your invitation.

#4 Internet marketing
Your business park probably has a nice website. The bad news is websites are dead - you need a strong web presence instead. When we are talking about web presence, we think about useful and interesting content produced for your potential clients, and shared in social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, SlideShare etc.
Another business park I work for as interim marketing manager, focuses on electronics manufacturing companies. We made a presentation for electronics industry, to support their site selection in Central and Eastern Europe:

Internet marketing also includes business blogging, e.g: the previous business park's ElectroSites Blog is about Eastern European site selection topics - we write useful and true stories about electronics site selection issues, including the fair introduction of our competitors. Because this is almost the only one public source in this topic, we became a site selection authority in CEE electronics industry.

What do you think? We were more than happy if you could share your opinion hereunder. Or, if you need a confidential response, contact us via email.

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