History of the Interstate Highway System

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Investment Aid in Europe: H&A, Thomson Reuters release joint white paper

Hickey and Associates

H&A is excited to share the joint effort white paper with Thomson Reuters. Investment Aid in Europe: 2016 Regional Update provides analysis and updates of European policies and programs dealing with economic development and investment aid in Europe. To download and enjoy this free white paper, visit the Thomson Reuters Pinpointer website.

Investment Aid in Europe: 2016 Regional Update
When seeking to invest in Europe, businesses looking to take advantage of investment incentives must be aware of a variety of  rules and policies that are now in effect, particularly how they differ from programs in other parts of the world. Developed and administered by the European Commission, new guidelines dictate the ability for European Union (EU) Member States to deliver fiscal aid to businesses. In addition, the EU has introduced a program to encourage and expand R&D activities throughout their membership — altogether, there is nearly €80 billion earmarked for the new R&D roadmap.
To read more, visit the Thomson Reuters Pinpointer website.
habitat for humanity

H&A hits the links for 5th year at Raise the Roof Golf Tournament

habitat for humanity

H&A has been a proud sponsor of the Raise the Roof Golf Tournament, an annual event supporting the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) organization, for five years. TCHFH programs assist families across the seven-county region making up the Twin Cities metropolitan area.  Since 1985, nearly 10,000 families have been served by TCHFH volunteers to have the opportunity of being a homeowner and realize housing and financial stability. This year’s tournament was once again hosted at the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park, MN, an historic course dating back to its first golfers in 1917.

“It’s been a great 5 years! Each year we try to be better than the last. We have a lot of fun while supporting the community in Twin Cities,” said H&A Principal Mark Beattie.

While H&A enjoys supporting TCHFH, the tournament does have a competitive scramble format.  With a strong team of local corporate real estate leaders, the group finished with a -8 (8 under par).

To learn more about the annual tournament, please visit the official Raise the Roof Golf Tournament website. For more information on the TCHFH, please visit www.tchabitat.org.

H&A Media Contribution: Global Site Selection featured in SIOR Report Summer Edition 2016

global site selection by david hickey

David Hickey, H&A Senior Director, was featured in the summer edition of the SIOR Report, a global publication serving members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). The article, “Global Site Selection” briefly highlights varying site dynamics to identify and evaluate globally. To view the article in its original form click here.

The full article is below.

Global Site Selection: A Comparison Between Regions
Summer Edition 2015
By: David Hickey

Since the outset of the 20th Century, commercial real estate brokers have been masters of their local markets. Knowing the ins and outs of every square foot of available space in their own unique market, brokers are trusted partners and advisors.

Today, corporate leaders still rely on brokers to conduct business at the local level. However, with a rapidly evolving global economy, real estate brokers now must focus on much more than just the community they may call home.

Corporate real estate leaders are faced with challenges not seen by generations before them with a marketplace on a global scale. Instead of focusing on a particular region or a metropolitan area, these executives are making location decisions in every corner of the world. With little experience dealing on a a global level, location strategy is being managed and led with advanced tools and proven strategies to utilize a vast array of data sources that ultimately determine the optimal site for a project.

When dealing on a global level, real estate leaders need to recognize and understand the differences between regions and countries, and how best to normalize the factors under consideration. In the following article, we will briefly highlight varying site dynamics to identify and evaluate in several regions of the world, ahead of your client’s next global location decision.

North America

Companies that are investing in the United States, Canada, and Mexico have a list of factors to consider. One of the most critical aspects of a location decision on the continent is access to vital infrastructure. With a key driver for investment being the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), businesses look to capitalize on the advantages of manufacturing and marketing goods between the nations. With extensive rail, road, and waterway networks, there are vast opportunities to effectively locate a site and meet the transportation requirements for the company today, as well as, into the future.

Another site decision factor unique to North America is the impact of public incentives. As in many parts of the world, governments provide financial support and inducements to businesses for the creation of jobs and investment of capital in their respective communities. Most often, these public incentives are utilized to drive business at the national level. In the United States, economic development, effectively public incentives, are driven at the state and local levels with no oversight from the federal government.

This approach creates an extremely competitive environment between the respective jurisdictions, and may provide for drastically different results for projects. Knowing how this system effectively operates, and how it varies from other regions of the world, is vital for a corporate leader.


As investors look to their EMEA portfolio, there are an array of aspects to understand that are unique to anywhere else in the world. No different than other parts of the world, labor is a driving factor in most European site decisions. Nevertheless, corporate leaders face a variety of specific challenges when looking at labor.

Europe has a talented and expansive workforce. In many countries, the workforce is vastly underemployed desperately seeking corporate jobs. Many economic development professionals are constantly promoting labor pools featuring educated, multilingual individuals. However, these are also not the low-cost environments where the majority of the investment is being focused today. Instead, corporate leaders are finding themselves in locations with a workforce that can meet the skill requirements, but not the number of employees to fill an ever-increasing demand. This evolving scenario is being evaluated on a daily basis by labor analytics firms, and is a critical factor to review when making a European site decision.

Asia Pacific

Culture plays a role in every business decision made on the global level. Corporate leaders undertaking site location decisions in the Asia Pacific region must deal directly with these variations. While many countries of the region have developed friendlier practices and policies for western businesses, there are key economic players with vastly dissimilar ownership, lease, and trade laws. These laws can lead to serious consequences if misunderstood, and potentially introduce challenges which could take years to overcome.

As with many parts of the world, there may also be challenges to capture and quantify key data sets typically relied upon in location strategy. When conducting a sophisticated location decision, corporate leaders should review a number of different sources to effectively normalize the data sets available to them, particularly related to labor supply. Additionally, primary research, while often difficult and expensive to capture, can be priceless when making critical site decisions.

Latin America

Latin America has countless market opportunities for corporate leaders to uncover. Everything from natural resources, manufacturing, technology, and business process outsourcing, the countries making up Latin America are ripe for success and incredible growth. Unfortunately, the socio-political struggles witnessed by many in the region have led to great uncertainty for investors.

Nevertheless, with the proper due diligence and comprehension, there are many regions of Latin America without such uncertainty in this domain than one may imagine. In looking at Latin America for a future site, it is critical to understand and effectively quantify the socio-political environment on the ground.

Global Evaluation

In the end, the world is becoming a smaller place and corporate real estate portfolios are crossing more borders than ever before. When making critical location decisions, there are countless factors to consider before choosing the final site. As clients undertake these decisions, the factors mentioned provide only a snapshot of the vast differences between the regions. Each and every factor should be properly identified and evaluated comprehensively.

In future editions, experts from H&A will provide more-in-depth looks and analysis of issues facing today’s commercial real estate advisors, including forecasting future markets and real estate opportunities on the horizon.


H&A Media Contribution: Public/Private Partnerships Help Entrepreneurs Bring Ideas to the Marketplace

procurement-q22016coverJeff Troan, Principal, Hickey and Associates LLC, was featured in Area Development Site and Facility Planning magazine. Titled, “Public/Private Partnerships Help Entrepreneurs Bring Ideas to the Marketplace”, Troan writes about the evolution of how a company grows and how the market has adapted to best support small businesses.

The full article is below. To view the article on the Area Development magazine website, click here.


By: Jeff Troan

It is unquestionably a challenging task to select the 20th century’s finest prose, but certainly the late President John F. Kennedy has to rank among the best elocutionists of the era. Whether or not you were a supporter of the Kennedy administration, or even alive then, its’ hard not to be moved by eloquence like this:

“…We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

To put that speech in perspective, JFK uttered those words at a time when the first commercial printed wiring boards (PWBs) were just being introduced (developed under a military contract, by the way). PWBs are the core of all modern electronic/digital technology. Prior to that, people were roping vacuum tubes together with wire on ungainly half-ton steel chassis to make radios work. JFK was proposing going to the moon… Marvelously, however, that generation of Americans did indeed make it to the moon, and “do the other things” that JFK prophesized in that Rice University speech. In it, JFK outlines a new demographic pattern forming, in which people all over the world are living longer and healthier, being educated better, and communicating more effectively. In his vision, he sees these elements condensing into a perfect storm of human endeavor that would see the pace of technology accelerate by magnitudes over the coming century.

We are now a little over 50 years into Kennedy’s vision of the future, and his observations and intrinsic belief in mankind have not proven ill founded. We have indeed seen the pace of technology accelerate exponentially in each decade since JFK’s death, with each generation of hardware and software built upon the last, with ever more complexity, intricacy, and capability. Technology cycles that used to last half a century now are lucky to last half a decade. Instant worldwide communication permeates modern culture as if it were indigenous to the species, and knowledge profligates in microseconds. Today, we are able to fight medicine’s pathogens with genetic weapons, thwart tyrants with cell phone cameras, and visit the globe from our desktop.

“It is all new technology, and the engineering and business teams see limitless possibilities for growth.”

Growth Possibilities for Small Businesses

After a childhood spent mesmerized by the moon program, an adolescence engulfed in engineering, and more than three decades working at Lockheed Martin, these days I especially enjoy working with small businesses in the rapid growth stage. It is all new technology, and the engineering and business teams see limitless possibilities for growth.

Most exciting is what appears to be a new generation of “old” entrepreneurs in the marketplace (i.e., fifty-somethings) who bring a lot of business savvy, which is good because the entrepreneurial ladder from founder to IPO’d gentry (i.e., company has gone to Initial Public Offering – founder retired) is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Gone is the “new economy” of the 1990s when start-ups were drowned in equity capital from Wall Street long before showing a hint of profitability. Gone are the easy debt markets of the 2000s when you could leverage your way to solvency on real estate and cheap debt. In the end, the old dictum has proven to remain correct: in the physics of finance, “profit attracts capital and little else.”

So in these days of modern laissez-faire finance, how does one get from founder to IPO’d gentry? Well, most small businesses create adequate capitalization along a hierarchy of the founders’ investments; one or two rounds of friends’ and family investment; one or two rounds of angel investment; and finally one or two rounds of venture capital. Arriving at this point, the financial dictate would be that the business should either move to an IPO, be bought out by another public company, or be dissolved for lack of interest in the first two options.

Public/Private Partnerships

For all but the best technical innovations, the startup company must be profitable, or close to it, before it can become a legitimate IPO or business sale. This means it must endure at least one round of venture capital before reaching the markets. However, if nothing else, capitalism always seeks new efficiencies, and so it has been quietly developing alternate markets to augment classic venture capital financing. These fall in the form of public/private partnerships. The public sector has come to realize that private-sector jobs, especially in core industries, are the sole fuel that drives a local economy.

In the last two decades, the discipline of economic development has matured, providing a defined methodology for job generation in local communities. For the small to medium company trying to reach IPO status, economic development assistance can be found in three forms:

1. Technology and scientific grants;
2. Government performance contracts; and
3. Economic development support

Technology and scientific grants are cash or in-kind compensation offered by a public or private source, aimed at developing a certain field of science and/or engineering deemed important to the grantor. Often the technology goals of a small business merge well with those of a grant, and the funds can serve to move a startup toward IPO status.

By far the most prolific site for these grants is operated by the federal government at www.grants.gov. On any given day, there are 2,000 to 2,500 active grants open for solicitation by the federal government. But don’t stop there, you can also find these opportunities at the national laboratories, via state governments, or through private philanthropic enterprises.

Government performance contracts take public/private partnership a step further, by creating a buyer/seller performance contracting relationship between a small business and a federal government agency. The U.S. government is the largest procurement operation on the planet, buying just about a trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services every year. On large procurements, the prime contractors are required to subcontract 20 percent to 25 percent of the value to small and small disadvantaged business (SDB). Beyond that, the U.S. government conducts billions of dollars of set-aside procurements open only to small business. And it’s’ not just the sales that are good, it’s the cash flow. The government customer prints his own money, paying on terms that are both generous and prompt. Progress payments are often invoked, allowing a contractor to collect revenue while development is under way, rather than waiting until the product is delivered to market.

All this points to government contracting as a great way to improve cash flow for a business working toward IPO. If you’re in a technology industry, it’s likely that either the military or some civil government agency is working along similar lines. Why not leverage a government contract to develop commercial technology and bring in fresh investment cash at the same time? U.S. government Requests for Proposal (RFPs) are listed and updated daily at www.fedbizopps.gov. Open federal solicitations usually number between 25,000 and 50,000, and these break out into further opportunities, as large procurements are subcontracted out to three or four layers of vendors.

“The U.S. government is the largest procurement operation on the planet, buying just about a trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services every year.”

Economic development support is the process of utilizing public-sector programs aimed at generating job growth, to “optimize your company’s underlying business climate.” While scientific grants and government contracting are latent forms of economic stimulation, economic development is explicit. If you operate a small business that may one day blossom to generate a significant employment base, you are eligible for incentives support. If your small business brings in fresh cash spend and exports product, you are extremely valuable to regional economic growth. And if your small business qualifies as disadvantaged, you can add demographic progress to your positive economic attributes.

On the front end of a business’s growth, economic development programs bring discount financing, loan guarantees, infrastructure support, workforce development, and labor subsidies. On the back end, they bring tax abatements. One of the great mistakes made by small companies is not to worry about state and local taxation until they’re profitable, invested, and manned-up. Tax abatements are based on job generation and capital investment, and can’t be claimed in arrears. So if you take the time to fill out the paperwork when you’re at 10 people and $200k of investment, all the additional growth generates tax-free status. If you don’t, you’ll just wind up in a rather frustrating conversation with your local economic development agency later. Further, sales and property taxes are not income-driven, and while startups generally have a limited liability prior to IPO, cash squandered on tax comes directly from founder compensation. Economic development support can be found in federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as via utilities.

Some Examples

Indian Energy LLC is a company that has done an excellent job of using public/private partnership to forward its business, as well as the state of the art in the energy sector. The company specializes in developing local power microgrids that supply their customers with low-cost reliable power, augmenting and some day bypassing, the local public utility grid. Led by Allen J. and Allen G. Cadreau and Henry J. Boulley Jr., all of whom are members of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the firm enjoys Native American SDB status with the federal government, which it has merged with a proclivity for winning U.S. Army contracts for power-related development and implementation. The result is a financially robust energy growth firm with a lengthening list of proprietary partnerships and patents, including a new form of highly efficient kinetic energy storage and a military hardened energy management and controls platform. This capability is demonstrated on a large military base in California.
United Precision Corp. (UPC) has a different heritage but similar mission for growth. For nearly a century, the San Fernando Valley in northwest Los Angeles was a haven for aerospace companies. In particular, it was home to the manufacture of precision machined components and subassemblies necessary for advanced aerospace applications in aircraft, spacecraft, and the energy industry. When a legacy supplier of precision machined seals and relief products was acquired a few years ago, the San Fernando Valley operations were closed and decades of workforce experience were in jeopardy of being lost.

Recognizing a danger of losing this skill set and potential industry void, Robert Hawrylo joined with former employees and launched United Precision Corp. Hawrylo re-established operations in the Valley, and hired back the journeyman machinists and engineering staff, which are critical to maintaining quality production. Today the company has expanded to manufacture high precision machined metal seals, burst disc, and relief valve products, along with offering the value-added services of CNC machining and TIG lathe welding.

UPC [is attempting to] blanket the federal government contracting industry to re-introduce its machined metal seal and burst disc/rupture relief capabilities to the military, NASA, and their major contractors. In addition, the company was able to obtain workforce development incentives from Los Angeles County, and intends to pursue a full range of economic development support from California as sales and profits grow.

H&A Media Contribution: Leveraging the Corporate Real Estate team for Risk Mitigation

Leveraging the Corporate Real Estate team for Risk Mitigation by Wouter Schuitemaker

Wouter Schuitemaker, Managing Director, EMEA, was featured in a recent article in The Procurement magazine, a global publication serving executives within the dynamic industry of procurement, particularly focusing on challenges facing today’s corporate world.  Titled, “Leveraging in the Corporate Real Estate team for Risk Mitigation”, this article discusses four key factors of site decisions and their impacts on risk mitigation.

The full article is below.


Leveraging the Corporate Real Estate team for Risk Mitigation

February – March 2016
By Wouter Schuitemaker


Choosing a site for future operations – whether it is a manufacturing plant, a office facility, or a logistics hub – is no easy task to undergo. Today, commercial demands require the location to be in proximity to a network of stakeholders, customers, and resources, while also meeting all the requirements of running a successful business. Companies must consider and analyze a list of factors in their site selection process to effectively mitigate any future operational risks. In the following article, we’re going to focus on four of the key factors in making the final site decision an their impact onrisk mitigation. The factors include the following: Infrastructure, Labour Force, Logistics and Supply Chain, and Taxes and Regulatory Environment.


Infrastructure is critical in any site decision, no matter what the industry may be. When undergoing a site location analysis, one of the immediate tasks is to review the existing infrastructure at the site. Infrastructure, which ultimately drives much of the decision process, can vary greatly between site under consideration.

They may be a requirement for a reliable grid base of electricity, to a certain speed of broadband. Infrastructure considerations in Europe span a wide range of issues such as electricity development, roads and bridges, access to proper communication channels, sewage and water systems, and transportation modes, among many more. Companies must examine the sophistication of these systems in their site selection assessment and ensure the existing systems are sufficient to meet their business needs. Developed infrastructure systems will tremendously mitigate the risk of operational failures in the future. 


Over recent years, the labour force has become one of the key drivers in locations strategies for multinational corporations. Labour dynamics are changing much faster than ever before due to greater mobility, increasing wages in previously low cost jurisdictions and improved skill levels. Therefore, it’s essential for executives and business leaders to ensure the necessary skills are available at the right cost. However, companies no longer look for the lowest cost labour in order to get the job done. Skills and education are playing an increasingly pivotal role in selecting the right labour for business operations, which in turn, demands that decision makers have better access to dependable forecasting. A prevalent challenge in Europe is the mismatch between the roles to be filled and the skill level of applicants relative to the job. A recent study conducted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows that 25%-45% of workers in Europe are either over or under qualified for their job, revealing a substantial mismatch between the supply and demand of labour. According to the study, which reviews twenty-four European countries, several factors are directly causing this trend, including an imbalance in policies and practices on a gender basis. As a business leader in the European market it is essential to have a detailed understanding of such factors in the regional labour market via labour analytics studies to enhance planning and mitigate the risk of workforce challenges in the future. 


Logistics and Supply Chain is a consistent leading factor in choosing a location. Executives are conducting network optimization studies to ensure a robust network of partners exist in regions under consideration. At the same time, government leaders throughout Europe are placing an additional focus on investing in seaports and airports to directly support companies entering their markets. Furthermore, governments are establishing strategic partnerships and alliances to ease tariffs and fee charges at the borders. Continued investment in roads, bridges, railway systems, harbours and ports, and airports is important to assure companies it makes sense to invest in their respective locations. As a procurement manager it’s crucial to analyze the logistical dynamics of the locations you are reviewing. By partnering with experts in such analyses, business leaders can gain access to the latest technologies and methodologies. Over the last decade the pace of change means logistics solutions quickly become outdated, and in the digital age new tools and methodologies are emerging. Logistics management is a discipline that is continuously expanding but also evolving as it grows in importance. A robust supply chain and logistics study will minimize the risk of facing complications once operations begin and forecast any future challenges. It will also help to guarantee a dependable network of partners and supplies that meet your unique business needs are in place.


In Europe, each nation has a unique tax system and regulatory environment that businesses have to understand in order to comply. When doing a comprehensive site review, companies must therefore place significant emphasis on understanding the tax policies and also appreciate the legislative environment in each prospective location. In Europe, corporate tax rates range from as low as 9% to over 50%. As a business that enters a new country, examining tax rates in the prospective locality could greatly influence your ultimate site decision. In addition, government policies and regulations can differ greatly across the region, which can have a huge operational impact. By working with site selection experts, businesses can ensure full understanding of the systems and policies in place and make decisions based on the relative perceived impact of each factor weighed up against key business drivers. Business hurdles associated with legal requirements during establishment of the business will also be reduced as will any future risks that may be faced.


As business leaders making location decisions know, a site decision is increasingly a far more involved and complex process than the simple identification of an appropriate site and cost effective labour force. Companies must undertake a comprehensive must undertake a comprehensive analysis to determine not only the best location for the business now, but also forecast changes  in the regulatory environment, future investments and improvements in infrastructure in different jurisdictions, and trends associated with ever-changing labour markets. Whilst the site selection process has more often than not been treated as a static process, with costs today factored into analyses, changes in all of the areas discussed above ha potentially huge operational implications. However, with the support of a complete and proven site selection process, the corporate real estate team will not only help the business mitigate significant risks going forward, but also help to reduce cost for their organization by forseeing longer term shifts in factors often outside the control of the business.

H&A releases new report on incentives and economic development policies in US


Hickey & Associates (H&A), a global site location, incentive advisory, and workplace solutions firm, has released a new report on incentives and economic development policies in the United States.  The report, H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – Winter 2016, is a comprehensive review of the new laws and policies in place entering the new year.

As U.S. states compete for business and seek to grow their economies, public officials turn to economic development policies and laws to support the process. Across the county, these policies differ greatly from state to state. Many states deploy significant incentive packages to entice companies, with others aiming to lean on their business reputations and tax policies.

Over the past few months, business leaders have witnessed major changes in several states, while many have maintained a certain status quo of sorts. H&A’s report, H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – Winter 2016, reviews these many changes throughout the U.S.

Click here to download the comprehensive report: H&A Legislative and Incentive Update – Winter 2016 Download.

H&A Media Contribution: Supply Chain and Logistics in Europe

Sunday, December 6, 2015

David Hickey, Senior Director, EMEA, was featured in a recent article in The Procurement magazine, a global publication serving executives within the dynamic industry of procurement, particularly focusing on challenges facing today’s corporate world.  Titled, “Supply Chain and Logistics”, the article takes an in-depth look at what procurement executives face when establishing and managing a logistics network in Europe.

The full article is below.


Supply Chain and Logistics in Europe
November-December 2015
By: David Hickey

Supply Chain and Logistics are becoming one of the top elements of managing business operations at the corporate level. Executives are seeking new ways and innovative processes to enable their companies to run effectively and efficiently in a global market. Over the last decade, supply chain solutions have been quickly becoming outdated, and new tools and methodologies are emerging in the digital age. These trends are empowering global leaders to discover and develop new ways to manage the movements of their products and services around the globe. Supply chain and logistics are increasingly becoming an art and a science that is continuously evolving and expanding.

Global businesses make location decisions on a daily basis, whether it be expansion, consolidation, retention, or even all of the above.

When determining where the best location will be for their operations, logistics and supply chain strategy become a very critical factor in the decision-making process. Companies want to make certain that the site is effective in meeting the demands of their customers and to efficiently source goods from suppliers, all while ensuring transportation costs are kept at a minimum. In addition, companies takes

into account the future by forecasting customer demand, supply routes and trends, energy costs, and other shipping, commodity and transportation – related expenditures.

Why are Supply Chain and Logistics so Important?

Technological and communication advancements have created the need for goods and services to be transferred and moved across continents, which have made effective Supply Chain and Logistics strategies a global necessity. Supply chain and logistics are affected by many factors in the business world today, including the rapid growth of multinational corporations and strategic partnerships, global expansion and sourcing, and the swift development of technology. Each of these trends has dramatically effected corporate strategy and the bottom line of most multinational corporations. Due to these emerging trends, supply chain and logistics have become the most critical business area to many companies around the world today.

To any global corporation, the impact that supply chain has is significant and exponential. Strong supply chain teams could help organizations streamline everything from day-to-day product flows to unexpected natural disasters.

Moreover, effective operations impact customer service by making sure the right product assortment and quantity are delivered in a timely fashion. Additionally, those products must be available in the location that customers expect. Supply chain managers also help firms decrease the use of large fixed assets such as plants, warehouses and transportation vehicles in the supply chain.

Governments around the world are also focusing their efforts on establishing strong Supply Chain and Logistics networks in which attracts many global investors.

Governments are establishing ports and airports, and ensuring the existence of strong infrastructure that enables companies to transport goods across different continents. Furthermore, governments are establishing strategic partnerships and alliances to ease the tariffs and fee charges at the borders between countries. They continue to invest in roads, bridges, railway systems, harbors & ports, and airports to expand their value-add and ensure their countries are ready to receive multinational corporations into its soil.

Supply Chain and Logistics in Europe

Supply Chain and Logistics have global processes and procedures that apply in every part of the world. However, there are differences between regions and certain challenges and unique risks.

In a recent Gartner study, several of the top European supply chain organizations shared similar traits and features. Some of the traits are operating on a global scale, while still being able to respond to local markets, multiple models through segmentation, collaboration, digital experimentation, boast a culture of excellence and change, sustainability and invest in talent and technology. These organizations have created and identified common practice from their operations in Europe and discovered how to mitigate risk in their supply chain management.

Supply Chain Challenges Facing European Companies

Today, European companies are faced with several challenges in their Supply Chain and Logistics operations.

One of the on-going challenges that face European companies is the lack of information and the data that enables them to improve their processes and procedures. 

As a result, many companies are resorting to creating their own analyses and studies to come up with the best structure for their organization. Many European companies have to deal with thousands of suppliers and products on a regular basis. The lack of data makes it extremely challenging for companies to maintain a strong network of suppliers. Moreover, it makes the procurement of products, many of which have hundreds of components, very challenging.

A second challenge that European companies face in their supply chain operations is finding the best ways to mitigate risks in their supply chain network.

As companies increase their network of suppliers, they might find one or two firms down the chain that may present substantial reputational risk. Certain companies have identified alternative strategies, while many companies are left unsure of the correct action to mitigate such risks. Therefore, firms that can develop clear and consistent policies for applying these various approaches are likely to reap substantial rewards. When a problem arises, firms that have taken coherent action will have the best ability to react and rebound.

Lastly, another challenge that European countries are facing in their Supply Chain and Logistics network is infrastructure. A recent research by the European Commission (EC) has indicated that 30% of road freight transport over 300 km should shift to another mode of transportation such as rail or water by 2030. The EC recommended an additional 20% change by 2050. The recommendation is coming as a result of infrastructural changes across many European countries.

Moreover, many European countries are also moving toward more fuel efficient ways of transportation, and they continue to experiment with green and renewable energy.

In conclusion, Supply Chain and Logistics managers should keep close attention to changes in the procurement world. New trends are coming to surface on a daily basis and significantly changing the rules of the game for multinational corporations. As processes and methodologies evolve, procurement executives must adjust their strategies and operations, accordingly. Particularly, European companies should be at the forefront of innovation and development in order to compete on the global market. Discovering solutions and strategies to face existing challenges will greatly benefit the companies in the near term, as well as, to pave a path for future growth.

Lack of information, risks mitigation, infrastructure: the three challenges of European Supply Chain and Logistics

SiteTrends Federal Update: ETA Announces $100,000,000 in TechHire Partnership Grants



To equip individuals with the effective skills required to compete in today’s high growth industries, the  Employment and Training Administration(ETA) recently announced the availability of $100,000,000 in funding for the TechHire partnership grant program.  

These grants will provide direct assistance to job seekers interested in finding employment in H-1B industries, including Information Technology (IT), healthcare, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and broadband, among others.  

Through the program, individuals will have greater access to training programs that will provide the skills necessary to realize success in today’s competitive sectors.  In the end, employers will also have the tools necessary to find these highly-skilled individuals to fill the vacancies.  Utilizing public-private partnerships, the programs will be led through a collaborative approach by the workforce investment system, education and training providers, and other business-related organizations.  

Additionally, the program is set to work directly with companies to improve the skillsets of their incumbent workforce.  The grant program is a key component of President Barack Obama’s TechHire initiative.

Program Goals:

  • Expand access to training and learning programs with accelerated timetables. These programs will typically be completed in less than two years.
  • Improve the success rate of targeted populations for completing training programs and ultimately finding employment. This assistance will be done through networking, job serach support, active job development, transporation, mentoring, and financial counseling
  • Establish a bridge for trainees and employers to effectively find one another once the program work has been completed;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to developing programs that meet the real time needs of the marketplace for employers and trainees; and,
  • Develop programs that not only address the requirements set forth in today’s marketplace, but also are innovative to adapt to a dynamic future.

Program Details:

  • Grants are four years in length, commencing around June 1, 2016;
  • 30-40 grants will be awarded in amounts of from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 depending on the number of individuals served;
  • Grants will be awarded to a consortium that must include the public workforce system, an education training provider, and a business group composed of for profit or nonprofit organizations;
  • Particular focus will be on assisting young adults ages 17-29 who have barriers to employment such as disabilities, limited English language proficiency, and criminal records.

Eligible Training Expenditures:

  • On-the-Job Training
  • Paid Work Experience
  • Paid Internships
  • Registered Apprenticeships
  • Incumbent Worker Training (up to 25% of participants served by the application may be incumbent workers)

Interested in learning more about opportunities through the TechHire partnership grant program?  Contact an H&A expert today at (800) 840-8850 or via email at traininggrants@hickeyandassociates.com.