Location of business

by Business Case Studies on Friday 30th September, 2011

The children's TV programme Blue Peter has last week been broadcast from its new home in Salford for the first time, with a new set and a remixed theme tune. After 53 years in London, the show is among those to have moved in order to boost the BBC's presence in the north. Tim Levell, the show's editor, said that the programme's purpose would remain the same but that the move was a chance to refresh it. 'Underlying everything, Blue Peter has the same values,' he said. 'We are about telling younger viewers about things that are interesting to them – that's always been the same. The wrapping is slightly different but the present inside is still the same.' (BBC, 27th September 2011)

A number of BBC departments, including Children's, Sport and 5-Live, are moving to MediaCityUK in Salford over the next few years. The BBC sees the move as providing the potential to expand. It gives the corporation the opportunity not only to increase production but also to take advantage of the overall cheaper running costs of the new northern base. As an organisation publicly funded through TV licence fees, it has a duty to make the most cost-effective use of that funding.

All organisations need to consider carefully where they locate their business. Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the UK's largest car rental company. Enterprise focuses on customer service as a core element of its strategy and a key differentiator of the business. As part of this strategy, Enterprise attempts to locate its 350 branches as close as possible to its customers. Most people (over 75% of the country's population) live within five miles of an Enterprise branch. This helps to ensure Enterprise can keep its promise to customers on the speed and efficiency of its service.

A large multi-national company like Enterprise may sometimes take a location because it offers a strategic advantage. It may stop a competitor obtaining the location or may be situated in a developing area where the longer term projections are very good. For example, the new Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch at Heathrow airport has operational advantages for Enterprise. It is a bigger site and allows more efficient operations. Its location means that shuttle times to the airport terminals have reduced. It now takes 10 minutes less to transfer customers from the Enterprise offices to the terminal buildings.

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