Buck Consultants International will open its fifth international location at the start of 2016, in Atlanta – the US. The new office will allow the consulting firm to improve its ability to advise US firms on their international expansion.
Buck Consultants International (BCI), a Dutch headquartered consulting firm, is one of the largest players on the market specialised in site selection and supply chain issues, with around 65 professionals working from five offices in Europe – the Netherlands, Belgium, France, German and the United Kingdom.
Recent years have seen the firm support dozens of North American businesses with their expansion into Europe. In 2013, the firm advised Donaldson, a filter producer, about its choice to locate its air filter factory in Skarbimierz (Poland), while last year, law firm Hogan Lovells and machine producer GSI, among others, were supported in their location strategy trajectories. To arrive at its key advice to its clients, the firm factors in a holistic set of location conditions, including geographic location, accessibility, employment costs and the tax laws of the various locations.
Consultancy advice for American businesses that are expanding to Europe and Asia now accounts for 40% to 50% of the firm’s total revenue, says founder and director René Buck; with expectations that more American clients will be seeking similar expansion plans. As the world economy strengthens further, businesses are increasingly turning to international expansion, particularly in the US: “The US remains the largest investor outside its domestic market,” says Buck, and predicts that the Americans will increase their international activities in the coming years.
To better serve the market, Buck, who last year joined the prestigious ‘Site Selectors Guild’, together with his partners – BCI has seven shareholders as partners working at the firm – decided to open an office in the US. “The closer we are to our customers, the better,” says Buck. Atlanta became the city of choice for the new office, Buck says about the strategic move that, “from here we can be at the major centres such as Boston and Silicon Valley quickly”, he adds that one of Atlanta’s key features is access to a large (international) airport.
To lead the activities of BCI in the US, the firm has attracted Allison Turner (51), a veteran in the field of international direct investment and trade. Turner worked for the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency for the past 15 years, where she was responsible for helping South East US companies expand their operations into the Netherlands. In the role Turner, who holds an MBA from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, worked with among others for the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Nissan. “It’s a wonderful challenge to expand the activities of BCI in the US market,” says Turner, who has been appointed Vice-President North America.