Streamlining the Site Selection Journey for New Customers06.09.20
When U.S. and other foreign companies want to set up manufacturing in Mexico, the site selection process is the first step necessary in order for operations to begin. As manufacturer demands rely heavily on digital communication and coordination, IVEMSA has adapted facilitating the decision-making process of evaluating an operation in Mexico. Starting from the initial consultation, everything is handled remotely. IVEMSA provides resources, such as labor information, operational costs, and building selection support, in anticipation of the onsite visit.
By streamlining an already effective process to adapt to ever-changing needs, U.S. manufacturers can solidify their site selection in one or two validation trips (rather than four or five), while keeping the planning efficient, productive, and within the safety standards and regulations in place for businesses today. This method has been successfully followed for decades and saves companies valuable time, money, and resources by limiting unnecessary travel.
Fortunately, continuing advancements in technology have made it feasible to conduct virtual property tours and digitally share essential documents and other information from each party as needed to initiate the site selection analysis. IVEMSA begins the site selection journey with information gathering and reporting, followed by an in-depth analysis of potential properties, and finally, the scheduled site visit with continued project monitoring for quality assurance.
Step 1: Information Gathering
Although many foundational elements are similar within the manufacturing industry, each company has its own specifics on how production must run in order to be successful. Based on the parameters of the project laid out by the manufacturer, IVEMSA uses them as a guide to source building options that match the criteria. Members of the IVEMSA team will visit potential site locations and prepare an analysis of each. This includes a:
- Building report
- Photo album
- Video tour
- Layout options of the facility
- List of pros and cons of the area and space
These analyses provide the logistics of properties that are deemed a good fit. After a list of possible sites have been vetted, a conference call with the local general manager is scheduled to explore the pros and cons of operating in each city.
Additionally, in the information-gathering stage, manufacturers learn about the benefits of working with IVEMSA’s shelter model as well as how IVEMSA can assist companies that wish to operate as a standalone entity. With the support of years of experience and the premium level of expertise IVEMSA offers, manufacturers can explore the advantages and disadvantages of each solution as it pertains to their company’s needs and plans for the project.
Step 2: Cost Analysis
IVEMSA then creates a financial analysis that will outline the costs of operational setup, such as salaries, real estate, and other associated project costs. This is determined by several factors, including the company’s headcount, description of positions, building square footage, utilities consumption, and any additional, relevant data.
IVEMSA can provide a side-by-side comparison of different locations in multiple cities to show the advantages of each area, which will help guide businesses toward a well-informed decision This multi-page cost analysis involves a:
- City Comparison Matrix
- Operation Cost Analysis
- Labor Cost Analysis
- City Highlights
In addition, IVEMSA facilitates a virtual meeting with the local Economic Development Agencies from each city to field questions and narrow down which site will be the best fit. All of this data is shared prior to the manufacturer’s physical visit to confirm the city and building location.
Once the site visit is scheduled, IVEMSA will coordinate the pick up at the U.S. border or airport and will provide local transportation and PPE as necessary, such as face masks, safety glasses, gloves, antibacterial gel, and any pre-requested precautionary measures.
Step 3: Timeline Preparation
After the site is confirmed, IVEMSA will support the coordination of contractors and set up virtual meetings with the manufacturing company to select the best fit for the operation. IVEMSA will prepare a timeline or Milestone Plan that will list all activities per department in order of priority. This optimizes the operational setup to start production as swiftly and effectively as possible. Among the checklist of items required are:
- Securing basic permits needed to operate
- Connecting utilities
- Building improvements
- Installing furniture
- Managing Transportation services
- Setting up IT/Communication services
- Overseeing initial imports and exports
- Complying with environmental health and safety measures
As setup continues, IVEMSA will monitor and share video of work being performed. This allows a company to step in as needed to make modifications or improvements.
Delivering Customized Solutions for Manufacturing in Mexico
There are several parts to each step of the site selection journey and the beginning stages of operational setup. Working with a team with firsthand knowledge and insight into the best space availability, competitive workforce, and legal and trade compliance regulations helps to make the process as smooth as possible. We continue to provide customized solutions for manufacturers as they begin expanding their operations to Mexico.
Since site selection can largely be handled remotely via scheduled calls and the delivery of thorough analyses and reports, manufacturers are well-prepared prior to making any in-person visits. The result is a more effective, streamlined process that benefits everyone involved.