Location and strategy
Location and strategy
Just an introduction to better understand the questions: we are a foreign engineering company specializing in steel construction design (calculation) and detailing. We work most of all in industrial projects (steel buildings for factories, silos and other plants with steel structures) but we also have good experience in other kind of buildings and bridges.
We have offices in Italy and in China and we can give good quality and prices (just take this for granted in this thread). We are about 20 people. We are seriously considering opening a representative office in the US where we recently had rewarding experience with a couple of projects in Nevada and Indiana.
The aim of the representative office is to better market the U.S. and to better serve the customers with local support.
1st problem: location
Where do you think would be the best location for our representative office? Which elements should be considered? We shouldn’t need much of local human resources, so the point, we guess, is to be in an expanding area, full of new projects (California for bridges and buildings probably? Chicago for factories and plants?), easily connected with the rest of the States (Denver?). Also how open minded are locals to foreign companies may be a point, wouldn’t it (so, East Coast?)? We made some researches about competitors in the detailing market and we found many big companies in California, a few in the south (AZ, FL, TX, also AL), some in the Midwest (but not that much in Chicago and Denver), only few in Boston-NYC area.
2nd problem: strategy
In the US we are not licensed engineers, so we'd like to find licensed engineers as partners that can subcontract to us for detailing (and design eventually) and then they should check, (eventually correct), approve and stamp our work. The interesting thing in our offer, we think, is that we can provide these engineers with the workforce (detailing most of all, but also calculation and checking) to bid for big projects without investing all the money and time to build this “back office” strength. Strong offices with already many detailers and engineers will not be interested in us (even though with our detailing they can make their prices down in offers) but, we suppose, small (or new) engineering firms that want to get bigger jobs should be our market, shouldn’t they? We may also help their marketing and credibility with our international testimonials and interesting prices due to overseas activities.
At the earliest the office will be opened in 1 year, more likely in 2-3 years.
So, any suggestions for location? Advice (and critics, why not?) over strategy?
Mech - Steel structure design