Business & ManagementIB

Reasons for location choice

Reasons for location choice....Availability, sustainability and cost of land....Availability, suitability and cost of labour....
Reasons for location choice

Quantitative reasons

  • Availability, sustainability and cost of land.
  • Availability, suitability and cost of labour.

   – Different countries have differently skilled labour (e.g., Germany has lots of engineers), low socio-economic countries have cheaper labour.

  • Proximity to the market.
       – For heavy/large products it is inconvenient to have to transport them very far.
  • Proximity and access to raw materials.

   – If the raw materials are the heavy part, then it’s inconvenient to transport them very far.

  • Government incentives and limitations.

   – Government may subsidise businesses opening in rural areas.

  • Feasibility of e-commerce.

Qualitative reasons

  • Management preferences.
  • Local knowledge.
  • Infrastructure.

    – Is the area supported by transportation, communication and support networks.

  • Political stability.
  • Government restrictions and regulations.
  • Ethical issues.

    – Pollution, noise etc. may affect location.

  • Comparative shopping (clustering).

    – As a grocery store, having a competitor right by your store can help/hinder sales.

The choice of location for industrial operations is a critical strategic decision for businesses, significantly impacting their operational efficiency, costs, and ability to serve customers effectively. This decision is influenced by a myriad of factors ranging from the proximity to raw materials and markets to the availability of labor and the regulatory environment. By examining these factors in detail, businesses can make informed decisions that align with their strategic objectives and operational requirements. This exploration delves into the reasons behind location choices at the industry level, providing examples to illustrate the impact of these decisions.

Proximity to Raw Materials

Industries that rely heavily on bulky, perishable, or difficult-to-transport raw materials often locate their operations close to the source of these materials to minimize transportation costs and potential spoilage. For example, the cement industry, which uses bulky raw materials like limestone and clay, is commonly found near limestone quarries to reduce transportation costs and maintain production efficiency.

Access to Markets

Being close to key markets is essential for industries where quick delivery is crucial or transportation costs are high relative to product value. The automotive industry, for instance, often establishes manufacturing plants in or near major markets like the United States, Europe, and Asia to ensure efficient distribution to dealers and customers, minimize shipping time and costs, and respond swiftly to market demands.

Availability of Labor

The availability of a skilled or semi-skilled workforce at reasonable costs can influence location decisions. Industries with labor-intensive operations, such as the garment industry, may choose locations in countries with lower labor costs to maintain competitive pricing. Bangladesh’s garment industry, a global leader in apparel manufacturing, exemplifies how access to an abundant, cost-effective labor force can drive location decisions.

Transportation Infrastructure

Good transportation infrastructure – including roads, ports, railroads, and airports – is critical for the efficient movement of raw materials, finished goods, and employees. The decision by Tesla, Inc. to locate its Gigafactory in Nevada, USA, was partly influenced by the state’s strategic location, offering excellent logistics and access to key markets through an extensive transportation network.

Utility Availability and Costs

The availability and cost of utilities like electricity, water, and gas can significantly impact operational costs and influence location choices. Industries with high energy demands, such as data centers, may opt for locations with access to abundant and cost-effective energy sources. Google’s decision to build data centers in regions with access to renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, reflects the importance of utility availability and sustainability considerations.

Government Policies and Incentives

Government policies, incentives, and regulatory environments play a significant role in location decisions. Tax breaks, subsidies, and relaxed regulatory requirements can attract industries to specific regions. The semiconductor industry, for instance, has seen significant investments in regions offering substantial tax incentives, infrastructure support, and research and development grants, as seen in Singapore’s successful attraction of semiconductor manufacturing giants through favorable policies.

Quality of Life and Community Infrastructure

The quality of life and availability of community infrastructure can affect the ability to attract and retain skilled employees. Industries in sectors like technology and finance, which rely heavily on highly skilled professionals, may choose locations with strong educational systems, healthcare facilities, and cultural amenities. Silicon Valley’s success as a tech hub is not only due to its proximity to top universities and venture capital but also its high quality of life, attracting tech talent from around the globe.

Environmental Considerations

Environmental regulations and the potential impact on the surrounding environment can influence location decisions. Industries with operations that could have significant environmental impacts, such as chemical manufacturing, need to consider regulatory compliance and community acceptance. The choice of locations away from densely populated areas or in regions with stringent environmental protections exemplifies how environmental considerations can shape location strategies.


The decision on where to locate industrial operations is multifaceted, requiring a balance between various economic, social, and environmental factors. By carefully evaluating these factors, businesses can select locations that not only optimize their operational efficiency and cost structures but also align with their strategic goals and values. As industries continue to evolve in response to global trends and challenges, the importance of strategic location choices remains paramount, directly influencing competitive advantage, sustainability, and long-term success.


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