Time to Wake Up

By Adam Bruns

One of the strongest forces influencing company location choice can be that most elemental force of all: gravity.

Take sand, for example. Most construction projects looking for it don't look beyond 60 miles away from the project site because hauling the heavy sand farther than that begins to erode profit.

Then there's the sandman — and we're not talking about heavy eyelids. As anyone who's ever moved can attest, one of the most cumbersome things to transport is a mattress.

"We try to be within about 300 miles of the longest distribution point because of the weight and size of the mattress and how quickly we try to respond to customer orders," says Paul Dascoli, CFO of Serta Simmons Bedding (SSB), which operates 39 plants and employs 6,000 people across North America. "We try to get an order out between 48 and 72 hours after we receive it."

The specific gravity of a company headquarters is another thing altogether. Dascoli and the SSB team recently weighed all the factors and decided to move their HQ the 723 miles from Hoffman Estates in suburban Chicago to the northeast Atlanta city of Doraville. (Site Selection documented the construction of the company's architecturally unique new Illinois home in May 2006.)

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Source: Site Selection Magazine