14 things to consider in selecting a factory location

Choosing and selecting factory location rightfully is a difficult task for entrepreneurs, especially for beginners. A right plant location is a ‘make or break’ decision from an owner’s point of view.

Location of the business is the most important factor influencing its success or failure. It is a long-term decision which should take into consideration not only the present requirements of the organisation but also its future expansion plans. Errors in location may be very difficult and expensive to rectify. Location of a plant has a bearing on the layout of machinery and equipment as well as on the process of production. There is no ideal location for all firms or even for one firm at all times. The choice of location depends on several important factors. It is influenced by the kind of products being manufactured, costs of production and distribution.

A sound business plan should be the foundation of your site-selection process, detailing facts including the goods the plant will produce, quantity of goods the plant will produce, five years of production planning, future growth expectations. The objective of a locational plan is to find out the optimum or best location for the particular plant. Such a location not only results in the lowest cost per unit but also facilitates orderly growth of the firm. In this article, we intend to explore 14 things to consider in selecting factory location.


1. Availability of Raw Materials

Raw materials are the basic components of finished products. This is one of the most important considerations when selecting factory location. If your required raw materials are perishable items, then you must tend to locate the plant nearer to the raw material source. Otherway, it also reduces the transportation cost which affects hugely the cost of the production.

2. Proximity to Market

Every finished product needs to go to the market for consumer consumptions. Here also transportation overhead increase the cost of the finished product. In case you are initiating a fully export-oriented plant, availability of processing facilities gains importance in deciding the location of one’s industry. Export Promotion Zones (EPZ) are such examples.

3. Infrastructural Facilities

This is important in view of the fact that all supporting services required for the successful operation of the plant. Availability of communication facilities is also an important part of the infrastructure. An existing vibrant infrastructure in the vicinity is much preferred than the need based infrastructure getting developed after the plant commissioning.

4. Government Policy

The Government offers several incentives, concessions, tax holidays for few years, cheaper power supply, factory shed, etc., to attract the entrepreneurs to set up industries in less developed and backward areas. In this scenario, you must prioritize this factor in selecting factory location.

5. Neighbours

Neighbours play sometimes vital role in getting licenses permissions from different Govt. authority. If you are establishing the plant nearby a domestic area, then authorities may ask you to get a ‘No Objection’ from your neighbours.

6. Availability of Manpower

Local availability of skilled and semi-skilled manpower will add to the efficient running of the plant. Besides, you must study labour relations through turnover rates, absenteeism, and liveliness of trade unionism in the particular area.

7. Availability Of Utilities

Utilities like electricity, water resources etc. play an important role in almost every factory operations. A stable and uninterrupted power is required magnitude, without fluctuations in voltage and frequency is important for the successful operation of the plant.

8. Local Laws, Regulations, and Taxation

You must check prior the laws related to pollution control board. In food products, you must check the FPO regulations. In the case of wood industry, you must maintain the distance from forestry. Taxation is also an important factor as well as State Subject. In some highly competitive consumer products, its high quantum may turn out to be the negative factor while its relief may become the final deciding factor for some other industry.

9. Ecology & Pollution

Nowadays, there is a great deal of awareness towards the maintenance of natural ecological balance. Regarding the effect of pollution from the specific type of plants, social obligations are to be met. The nature of the site selected should preferably have some advantages to meet these requirements. You must be careful about effluent disposal, in the cases it needed.

10. Distance from Your Residence

Yes, it’s important. In a small scale factory operation, an entrepreneur self plays a vital role. You should not select a place that has adequate distance from your own residence.

11. Competition

If you are dealing with an innovative product and your plant is in an industrial zone, then you might face competition in manufacturing automation from other companies.

12. Incentives, Land costs. Subsidies for Backward Areas

In some cases, Government offers several incentives, concessions, tax holidays, cheaper lands, assured and cheaper power supply, price concessions for departmental (state) purchases, etc. to make the backward areas also conducive for setting up industries. You must take into consideration these issues in selecting factory location.

13. Climatic Conditions

Climatic conditions affect both people and manufacturing activity. Certain industries require the specific type of climatic conditions to produce their goods. For example, jute and textiles manufacturing industries require high humidity.

14. Political conditions

The stability of political environment is essential for industrial growth. It builds confidence and political instability causes lack of confidence among the prospective and present entrepreneurs to venture into the industry which is filled with risks.

Hence, the most advantageous location is that at which the cost of gathering material and fabricating it plus the cost of distributing the finished product to the customers will be at a minimum. The choice of an optimum location requires a judicious balancing of all these factors. This list of 14 things to consider in selecting factory location definitely helps you to get almost the right plant location for your manufacturing operation.

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