Business relocation can aid in employee attraction, retention

Part three in our series on growth management

GRI’s current headquarters at 3420 W. Capitol Dr. in Milwaukee

GRI’s current headquarters at 3420 W. Capitol Dr. in Milwaukee

For Michael Floyd, chief executive officer of Glenn Rieder, the numbers tell the story behind his company’s upcoming move.

When Floyd and James Caragher purchased the architectural millwork manufacturer and custom interior contractor 17 years ago, it had 40 employees and annual revenue was just under $7 million. Today, the company employs 215 and has more than $50 million in annual revenue.

“We were out of room and there was nowhere to expand,” Floyd said of their current 93,000-square-foot facility. “We faced challenges daily because we didn’t have enough space.”

When businesses grow out of their locations, owners have several options: expand, build new or move into an existing facility. Glenn Rieder is a prime example of what happens when a company decides to build.

For Glenn Rieder, expansion at its existing location on West Capitol Drive in Milwaukee was not possible because it was landlocked.

Assembly area in the current GRI building

Assembly area in the current GRI building

“Our company is housed in three buildings that were constructed over four decades. The facility layout is choppy and inefficient,” Floyd said. “There was nowhere to go.”

Once Floyd and Caragher decided to move ahead with a new facility, they began searching for a site. After looking at a variety of properties in different communities, they settled on a 12-acre lot in West Allis.

The factors driving their land-buying decision included space for future expansion and a location that would be a benefit to employee retention and recruitment.

“Like many businesses, we face the challenge of recruiting and retaining employees,” Floyd shared. “We think a state-of-the-art facility will increase our ability to attract and retain the workforce we need.”

Glenn Rieder’s new 120,000-square-foot facility on South 67th Place is near a portion of West Allis that city officials worked hard to revitalize. The area includes restaurants, stores and housing, plus a new hotel.

GRI’s new, 120,000 sq. ft. facility will be located in a revitalized West Allis neighborhood.

GRI’s new, 120,000 sq. ft. facility will be located in a revitalized West Allis neighborhood.

“We were impressed with the revitalization work done by the city of West Allis. The amenities located nearby are what our workforce is looking for,” Floyd said.

The new site is also easily accessible from the interstate – a key for a company that draws employees from a seven-county area.

“We wanted to be in an urban, centrally located area,” Floyd added.

Glenn Rieder employees are excited about the upcoming move according to Floyd. Construction should be complete by the end of 2017.

“Businesses are not successful because of computers or the latest machines. They are successful because of the people,” he said, “We are committed to creating an optimal work environment. Everyone here is very excited about the upcoming move.”

Next time, I’ll look at the steps Glenn Rieder took to design its new facility and prepare for its upcoming move. Sign up to read more on my series about business expansion options.

Glenn Rieder designs, manufactures and installs custom architectural millwork and interiors for resorts, luxury retailers, restaurants and commercial offices across the United States.  See a collection of their work.

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