The location of an industrial plant plays a vital role in determining its success. Management should weigh the pros and cons of the location in terms of cost and revenue as each location might influence these variables in different proportions.
Let us try to understand the need for a new facility location.
The location attributes described below are fundamental in the decision to locate an industry. Although for particular firms some are more important than others, a significant shortfall in an area’s ability to provide even one of these may greatly reduce the attractiveness of that site.
The management will be interested in such locations where there is adequate supply of labor. Some operations need skilled labor and some unskilled. The cost of labor is an important factor to be considered as it influences labor productivity. However, low labor cost is not necessarily an advantage, if the workers are poorly educated and trained. The management has to be mentally prepared to pay for skilled labor who have the training and experience needed for the planned operation.
Electricity and water are major energy resources needed for production activities. For example, a textile mill needs to have round the clock power supply, for continuous production and a dyeing plant is in need of copious water supply. These industries will be on the look out for a location that has abundant energy resources available at low cost.
The industry has to be located near the market so that the produce can quickly reach the market making the transportation costs minimum. Domestic trade heavily relies upon road transport as there are numerous service providers and there is well-developed infrastructure connecting even the remotest of locations. International trade takes place through either airways or waterways. In places like Kerala, inland waterways help in transporting merchandise within the domains of the territory.
Many businesses depend on materials of various types such as unprocessed raw materials for use in manufacturing and finished goods for inventory, in wholesale and retail establishments. The availability and cost, including transportation costs of these materials are critical location factors.
Other factors that influence location decisions are government regulations, climate and environmental quality of an area, soil texture, and attitudes of state and local governments’ etc. The economic viability of a project is undoubtedly enhanced by appropriate location. The location should also conform to environmental protection laws to maintain the ecobalance of that particular habitat. Organizations are expected to dispose of with the effluents in a systematic manner and this has to be kept in mind while choosing a location.