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Three R’s elevate Charlotte County as the smart location choice.

Although the pandemic is far from over, important lessons have already emerged regarding the creation and maintenance of robust supply chains. Call them the three R’s: Risk management, resilience and reshoring, all of which point up Charlotte County’s superiority as a manufacturing and distribution location.

Risk Management: For years, lowest-cost labor has been a primary driver of supply chain design, leading to complex and sometimes opaque systems that don’t reveal weak links until too late. From the start of the pandemic, as the lack of seemingly insignificant parts ground more than one supply chain to a halt, the truth of the old proverb “For Want of a Nail” has become painfully clear. The lesson: Managing costs is still important, but managing risk is equally important. And proximity is one effective way to provide critical risk mitigation. As a May 2020 Industry Week article recently noted, manufacturers should “explore strategies to ‘buy where you make’ and ‘make where you sell.’” Charlotte County’s proximity to a dense consumer market of seniors, strategic for both sales and testing, makes it the smart choice for any medical device manufacturing or pharmaceutical supply chain.

Resilience: A key element of risk management is building systems with the ability to recover readily from adverse events. While “resilience” became a buzzword after the SARS outbreak and the 2011 Japanese earthquake, COVID has transformed the buzzword into a rallying cry across society, from politicians like Marco Rubio writing in the New York Times to management heavyweights like Bain and Company advising clients. The lesson: Going forward, labor resilience will be paramount. And that makes Charlotte County an even stronger location choice, offering four excellent hospitals and superb healthcare resources that help assure a healthy, driven and resilient workforce.

Reshoring: The need for risk management and resilience is also adding momentum to the reshoring movement. In the wake of severe shortages in testing, PPE and other medical supplies, the Site Selectors Guild forecasts an increase in reshoring to the U.S., especially in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. In addition to market proximity, Charlotte County offers an abundance of cluster advantages, including affordable workforce, access to medical centers, and regional education resources that include 10 universities and colleges and five technical schools in Southwest Florida.

A recent report by McKinsey and Company suggests that one of the lessons of COVID is that companies should start now to pass the next “inevitable” test, in order to “emerge from this crisis better prepared for the next one.” And as Dave Gammon, Director of Charlotte County Economic Development, points out, Charlotte County is ready right now to help companies pass that next test with flying colors.

“I’m speaking to site selectors and industry leaders around the country, and as they address these new considerations, the more they learn about Charlotte County, the more it becomes clear we’re the strategic choice for a stronger future.”