Global Direct Investment Solutions

Corporate Development for a Networked World

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Executive Survey

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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Please help us to improve our services by taking a few minutes to respond to any or all of the ten topics below, as explained in the two right columns.

You can also download the Survey (Adobe .pdf).

If you prefer, just call us at 847-304-4655 to discuss your thoughts on these or other topics which would help us to better anticipate and respond to your own specific needs, or send us an e-mail.

This deliberately is not a survey designed to gather opinions, perceptions, or statistics for quantitative analysis (hot topics, trends, etc.) or for public relations purposes.  As a self-selected population, it would not be a statistically valid sample for market analysis. 

We just want to better understand the investment priorities and past experience of the executives who use this website and our services so we can learn how to better serve you and similar executives in the future.

We use these basic, open-ended questions to seek your insights and suggestions for improvement of our services to yourself, and to thereby recognize and meet common needs among the many top executives we serve.

We want to develop practical knowledge about issues of common importance to executives and their advisors through feedback from executives to share "lessons learned" and "proven solutions",  and to identify potential changes they foresee in their global operations.

We will use such feedback to help focus our limited resources on common priorities.  This complements our direct work with executives about their active and future investment plans and strategies, and expands our knowledge about past projects.

All survey responses are confidential.

Download the Survey and explanation (.pdf file) >

This research helps us to anticipate how to meet future needs as we do our research and networking.  We do not publish or distribute survey responses to others.
Please copy the ten topic headings below into your reply, whether by e-mail or by fax to 847-304-5375.  You can also mail replies to the address at the bottom. The sections below elaborate on the ten suggested topic headings for replies, as listed at left.

See also two Optional Questions below

Illustrative responses.  These are short topic heading examples.  Feel free to elaborate on any topic as much as you wish, or call us about it.
SUGGESTED TOPICS - explained at right

1. Global strategic location or alliance issues

2. Research challenges for project planning

3. Local knowledge to plan investment decisions

4. Interest in local experiences of other investors

5. Services you may need help to find

6. Places you may need to research

7. "Lessons learned" from past projects

8. "Proven solutions" which you already found

9. Project timing, frequency, scale, type

10. Project decision makers, team members


Optional questions :

A. How to follow-up with you or colleagues

B. Sharing your insights - but not without your OK


Please send replies by e-mail to :

Fax :  847-304-4655

Mail :


Global Direct Investment Solutions

Attn : Global Executive Survey

P.O. Box 439

Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439


Please call Bruce Donnelly if you would like to discuss either the survey or your corporate development interests, such as to explore how we may help you.


We hope you will also choose to share your "lessons learned" and "proven solutions" from past projects, and any suggestions of useful resources to share with executives with similar interests, so that we can continuously improve the value of this free service to executives.


TEL : 847-304-4655



If you would like to have networking opportunities to meet informally or communicate with executives who seem to share your interests, please tell us.


We are evaluating the level of interest in such activities among top executives, and their preferred way to handle such personal introductions and professional networking activities.

1. Global strategic location or alliance issues for the expected changes and plans of your company

Which regions of the world (including the US) are places where you expect to need to plan significant changes to your operations in the years ahead?   What is driving these changes?  How large or critical is the commitment involved (not just financial, but to the company's future)?

In the case of alliances, are you seeking R&D collaboration with universities or other businesses, support for market entry or product commercialization, or knowledge-based services and intellectual property development (and protection) in new locations?

What types of changes do you foresee, and what support might you need for such decisions which you may not already know where to find?  Which markets (whether you already operate there or not) do you need to monitor very carefully for changes which might affect your investments?

Expansion in a US region, or Canada, Mexico.

IT development or support work in India.

Manufacturing operations in China or elsewhere in Asia.

Regional shared services centers worldwide.


M&A or partner search in Eastern Europe.

Developing regional operations in South America.

Customer contact centers - global service network.

Consolidation or relocation of US or European units.


Business issues driving these changes

Scope and strategic impact of the likely commitments


Changing markets which need to be monitored closely


Market research priorities to support strategic planning.


Services you might need help to find - location selection

2. Research challenges for project planning

In the past, what have you found to be the most difficult issues to address when planning investment projects?

What do you expect to be challenging for future projects, and what could be done now to make your task easier?

Finding reliable information about local labor markets

Checking availability of critical skills

Comparative costs between regions or countries

Logistics implications of location alternatives


Project finance, incentives, and taxation implications

Learning what other recent investors have encountered

Weighing the importance of many qualitative differences between competing locations

3. Local facts, market knowledge, or support services needed to reach investment decisions

What could local area representatives or professional service providers do to organize facts and share local market knowledge and contacts about locations of potential interest to you so that it would be faster and easier to develop and implement your project plans?

You have presumably seen some of their websites, and what they already provide.  We provide links to thousands worldwide.  What is missing or would add high value for your planning purposes?

Timely profile of the available labor force and skills

Accurate information about local wages and benefits

Logistics costs and lead times to major markets


Industry clusters, supplier base, markets served


Facility costs and typical terms of sale or lease

Site and construction costs

Available site and facilities, prior history


Telecom and energy infrastructure


Project approval processes, investment incentives

4. Local experience by other investors

If you were deciding between competing investment locations, what types of executives would you want to contact about their experiences doing business in those areas, and what would you most like to find out?

How would you expect to perform such research, and how important would you regard this as a factor in the development of your plans?

Is this part of your "due diligence" on project plans?

Actual experience at recruitment and retention

Work ethic, performance, employee relations

Quality of the local supplier base, support services

Regulatory environment, attitudes toward investors

Recent or expected changes in the area

Networking among executives within the area

Negotiable costs and incentives

History of reinvestment, satisfaction with the location

If they weren't there already, would they invest there?


Who to ask, who should do it to make it credible, etc.

Can much of this be done in advance by a professional?

5. Services you use, or may need help to find

You may already have well-established professional service provider relationships for the places where you already do business (accountants, lawyers, corporate real estate brokers, tax specialists, logistics, etc.).

Would you recommend any of these highly to other executives who are considering investment in such locations?  What professional services might you expect to need to find when you set up or acquire operations in new locations?  Are you considering changes to existing relationships?

Specific referrals to respected services you use, and the scope of their services.

For example, they may be very good in some parts of the world or some specialties, but not in all areas or the multi-disciplinary challenges of a new business location.

We welcome introductions if you feel that we should become familiar with their capabilities to help others.

Changes which may be considered in the future

New services which may need to be found; where, when.

Survey Participant 

Please include in your Survey reply :

Name and position title

Company name

Mailing address

Phone, fax, e-mail


A brief description of the company, such as key points which differentiate it and drive success.

Report Recipients

On request, we will distribute a report about the key conclusions from our Survey research.

Please tell us who should receive a copy, and how we should send it (address and e-mail).

Our intention is to send a brief e-mail when the report is available, with an executive summary of the key conclusions and a link to download the full report (Adobe .pdf file).

Research Suggestions

We welcome suggestions for specific future research related to this specialty which you believe would be particularly helpful.

Research Sources and Contact Referals

We welcome suggestions of industry or professional associations which you think would either have interest in our work or be a useful source of research information or personal contacts among similar executives.

We also welcome suggestions of existing research sources and publications which you find to be particularly helpful for reference when facing corporate development issues such as those found in this Survey.

Finally, if you can suggest professional service providers or peers among executives at other companies who you regard as trusted advisors for issues such as those found in this survey, we would welcome your referrals to expand our own network of contacts, or please let them know of our work.


Thank you very much for participating.

6. Places you may need to research

Even if any investment plans are not imminent, there may be places where you want to start learning more about the business environment for investment because of the possibility of future projects. 

What locations might be of potential interest, and why?

Is the interest at this point very exploratory, or is a project fairly likely to develop within the next year or two?

How is China changing?  Russia?  Eastern Europe?

Is Korea a potential base of operations to service company interests in the northern Asia Pacific region?

What is happening in India, other than some of the tech clusters such as Bangalore?  How is it changing?

Is Brazil becoming too risky for investment again?

How are investment conditions changing in Mexico?

How are state budget crises and other changes affecting negotiations for US projects among the various states?

Are costs significantly lower in Canada than the US?

7. "Lessons learned" from past projects

War stories.  What was it really like to set up a new operation somewhere, or expand, relocate, consolidate, or close operations? 

What would you want other executives to know, which you wish you had known beforehand?

How would you plan such projects differently now?  What proved to be critical to the success of the investment?

What made it better or worse than you had expected?

Recruit a local HR leader early, if not first.

Start planning very early for expatriate assignments, and get help figuring out compensation issues, tax compliance

Getting critical equipment imported can be difficult in some countries, or approvals can delay the process and project.

The lead time for investment project approvals and any incentive negotiations can be months longer than expected.

8. "Proven solutions" which you already found

You found what you needed to make a project work, despite the challenges.

Share whatever you can (non-confidential experience using specific information resources or professional service providers) so that others don't have to "re-invent the wheel", and can be referred to good services which you would use again.

Such referrals need not be attributed to you.  We can make the introductions privately, or openly through this website, without citing the source of the suggestion.

A construction and project management firm in China, or logistics professionals for getting products in and out

Legal and tax counsel for doing business in Brazil, including intellectual property issues, royalties, etc.

HR professionals for setting up operations in India

HR professionals for planning restructuring in Europe, such as the complexities of facility closures, relocations, etc.

Global IT infrastructure support, capable in emerging markets rather than just highly developed countries

Location selection and incentive negotiations in the US

9. Project timing, frequency, scale, type

How soon might your company make an investment decision for a major project somewhere (new location, merger or acquisition, alliance, expansion, relocation, consolidation, closure), such as a change which might affect 50 or more jobs over time, or have a strategic impact on the future performance of the company?

How often do such situations arise at your company?

What is the likely scale of future investments, and how would you characterize them?  For example, are they highly labor-intensive or capital-intensive operations?

Are they commitments to new markets, or expansion within existing ones?  Do they involve new products or services, or the growth or redeployment of existing operations?

Considering a project in <location>, within <time>, probably involving <new jobs> and <capital investment> as a new product is launched in that regional market

Seeking alliances, R&D collaboration, joint ventures, academic linkages, privatization opportunities, etc.

May consolidate operations in <region>

Mostly just expanding at existing sites.  Adequate space for the next few years.  Unlikely to need new locations.

M&A activities might change the picture suddenly, such as to evaluate the operations which may be acquired, or reconsider the location of the acquired operations, or the need to consolidate or expand such operations with others.

10. Project decision makers, team members, and decision process

Who gets involved in planning investment projects?  Who takes the lead in the planning work, and the eventual approval of the investment decisions?

Multi-disciplinary team typically considers all aspects of the changes to the business; who participates, leads?

Line executive designated to lead the project(s) : who?

Process for financial and top-level project approval, and the role at different stages of project planning.

OPTIONAL (A):  Survey follow-up contact instructions

Please indicate when we should contact you if you would like to discuss your reply, the results of this research, or how we may assist you directly.

Please include your name, position, company, address, phone, fax and e-mail so that we may update our records and schedule follow-up action as you suggest.

If we should contact other executives at your company, or friends at other firms, we welcome your suggestions.

OPTIONAL (B):  Sharing your insights, with prior approval

We do not intend to quote or publish survey responses.  There may be ways, however, in which you would be willing to share your insights with peers.

Please let us know if you would be willing to allow us to privately quote specific remarks for attribution when we are working with other executives who can benefit from your insights, or introduce you if you are willing to have other executives contact you when facing similar issues, or if you would like to have networking opportunities to meet with such peers, as in the case of a special interest group focused on a particular topic, industry, or region. 


You may already know that there is no need for timely support action by us during the next few months, but may already want to introduce ourselves or meet other executives or service providers at the appropriate time in your planning work. 

This helps us to be efficiently responsive.  If we may be able to help you, whether now or in the future, we prefer to personally introduce ourselves so we can consider your expected interests as we plan our research work. 

Unless you indicate otherwise, we assume that all remarks are to remain confidential between us.

We use responses to guide improvement of our services to executives such as yourself.

This helps us to identify useful services, important unmet needs, and to anticipate future research priorities and contact needs, so that our services can become more responsive and valuable for the benefit of all participants.

Please send replies by e-mail to :

or by fax to 847-304-4655, or by mail to the address at right.

Global Direct Investment Solutions

Attn : Executive Survey

P.O. Box 439

Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439

Lists of area representatives (economic development, investment promotion agencies) by location

See also : new "advertising recall" service to highlight recently published ads, or our "event recall" service, with website links and contacts.

US : Northeast US : Great Lakes Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
Major project announcements and GUIDE Project Profiles by area (selective lists) - see also by Industry
US : Northeast US : Great Lakes East and Midwest Canada Mexico
US : Mid Atlantic US : North Central US : Mountain South America
US : Southeast US : South Central US : West Coast Central America, Caribbean
Europe South Asia Australia, New Zealand Middle East, and Africa
China, Taiwan Southeast Asia Korea Japan
Tip : these shortcuts can be found at the bottom of many pages to make it easier to navigate quickly to whatever list you need.  
Location Consultants For Executives - many links Lessons Learned Proven Solutions Sharing Project Work
Consultant tips (articles) Tax Consultants International Law Firms Strategy & Finance Incentives
Corporate Real Estate Design & Construction REIT's, Developers Human Resources Utilities
Associations & Publications Governmental Sources Ports, Rail, Airports Logistics Services Global Home , Events, and News about us
Referral Process Highlights Biographic Profiles Projects and The Market Recently published ads by areas or service providers Welcome Area Reps!
Major Real Estate Listings Awards, Sponsorships Useful Promotional materials "Event recall" service Our services for areas

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Copyright 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009  Global Direct Investment Solutions, Inc.      Last modified: 01/27/09