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Austin-AECOM : The Austin Company : Facilities Location Group

Contact :   TEL   847-304-4655

Bruce Donnelly    (Biography)

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GUIDE Service Profile : Location and Incentives Consulting, Facility Design, Engineering and Construction

Austin-AECOM - The Austin Company : Facilities Location Group
Executive Summary   (see also : available brochures)

For those planning a "fast track" project, the "Austin Method" has been delivering an integrated design - build solution since 1904, from the preliminary project definition and design specifications through location selection, engineering, subcontracting, and construction.  This can significantly shorten project timelines and save money relative to other "fast track" or "design-bid-build" approaches, with a reliable project budget commitment established early in the planning process. 

A key point is that this provides clear and undivided responsibility for project budgets, which can be reliably estimated by Austin at an early stage, rather than at the end of a detailed design and bid process.  This also makes it possible to weigh the cost and performance implications of design "tradeoffs" from the earliest stages of planning, rather than as changes after a bidding process or contractor suggestions in response to bid specifications from an architect.  Austin already takes responsibility for such considerations from the start because it takes the responsibility to build what it designs within the agreed budget constraints.  The buzzword for this is "value engineering", which Austin has delivered for 100 years.

The Austin Company provides consulting, design, engineering, and construction services for complex manufacturing operations and other types of operations which may require specialized facilities :

  •  Aerospace manufacturing
  •  Air transportation (terminals, support operations)
  •  Banking and financial services (data centers)
  •  Biotechnology
  •  Broadcasting
  •  Chemical processing
  •  Communications and Information Technology
  •  Food and beverage processing
  •  Laboratory research and testing
  •  Logistics
  •  Mail processing
  •  Newspaper publishing
  •  Pharmaceuticals

This includes not only the construction of facilities, but also the engineering and implementation of manufacturing and supply chain processes, and the relocation of manufacturing operations.  There is also flexibility in the combination of their services for those clients who prefer to follow a different approach than the usual "Method", such as to adapt to the project planning processes of clients.

Their Facilities Location Group specializes in business location decisions as either an independent service or in close cooperation with the related services of The Austin Company, according to the preferences of clients.  North American projects are their main focus, but they also do work on a global basis.  They have over 50 years of experience in this niche for more than 1500 assignments.

Contact information


This Service Profile has not yet been updated for the change to Austin AECOM


Don C. Schjeldahl             (see Biographic Profile)

Director of Planning

The Austin Company

Facilities Location Group

6095 Parkland Blvd.

Cleveland, OH 44124


TEL      440-544-2617

FAX      440-544-2640

e-mail :


Alternate contacts :

Frank Spano, Facilities Location Group

Mike Pierce, VP of Sales & Marketing (for all services of The Austin Co.)


Website :


The services of the international operations of The Austin Company can be coordinated through the US offices.  This can be convenient for clients who may need local design, engineering and construction expertise in the project locations, but need to coordinate some aspects of project planning work in North America.  Similarly, companies based in Europe or Asia can work through local offices to coordinate projects in North America.  The "Austin Method" provides a consistent global process to efficiently coordinate project planning from start to finish.


Europe :


The Austin Company also has a subsidiary in London and Cheshire, as well as an associated office in Amsterdam.


Asia-Pacific :


The Austin Company has associated offices in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane) as well as Singapore and Shanghai.  For Australia and Singapore refer to , and for China

Scope of Services -

Their Facilities Location services are described at ;

  • Network Logistics Study - comparing alternatives for production and distribution - number and location of facilities, modes and frequencies of shipments, customer service characteristics
  • Favorable Area Study - identify favorable region for cost and service criteria
  • Community / Site Study - communities or sites which fit selection factors
  • Metropolitan Area Study - best district within a metro area, and best sites or facilities within that district, for a new operation
  • Building Evaluation Study - confirm suitability for intended use
  • Labor Market Study - local area workforce characteristics, HR practices
  • Property Due Diligence - pre-acquisition services to support the transaction and avoid surprises
  • Negotiations - incentives, improvements, infrastructure, use rates, terms for property lease or purchase, or other negotiable location factors.
Biographic Information

Articles published

On The Fast Track, February 2001, Business Facilities


Choose a New Site in 15 Easy Steps, January 2001, Business Facilities


Getting the Most From Your Community Visit, July 2000, Business Facilities


Tapping The Resources of The EDO, May 1997, Area Development

Specialties : Types of projects

Particular strengths include aviation manufacturing operations, newspaper plants, broadcasting centers, food and beverage processing, laboratory and R&D operations (such as pharmaceutical or biotech), and air transportation facilities (terminals, maintenance facilities, ground support operations, etc.).

Illustrative project summaries - not available at this time

Refer to the illustrative client list for examples on their website

Illustrative client list -

An extensive list of award-winning projects is provided on their website.  Not all of these may have involved facilities location selection services, but they illustrate the range of experience available through The Austin Company.

The history of the firm also reflects a remarkable legacy of major projects.  A brochure, "Creating Facilities for Tomorrow's Technology", highlights a large number of projects across the various industries in which Austin specialists.  The following are just a few examples, out of many.

Other related services of the firm - refer to their website for details.

The Facilities Location Group is a small, specialized location consulting service within the larger services of The Austin Company, but it does not work exclusively for design, engineering and construction clients of The Austin Company. 

The firm also offers related types of consulting services, such as to address the design and implementation of advanced manufacturing or supply chain processes, rather than just the location selection, design, and construction of facilities, or the expansion or renovation of existing facilities.

A.O.Smith Corp. Federal Reserve Bank Pepsi-Cola Bottling
Aeroquip-Vickers Inc. Hitachi Ltd News & Observer Publishing
Alaska Airlines Household Credit Services Steelcraft - Ingersoll Rand
Arvin Industries KeyCorp Union Pacific Railroad
The Boeing Company Konica Manufacturing USA Ltd West Teleservices Corp.
Alliances with other firms - none known at this time.

The firm sometimes works with outside specialists, such as consultants with unique expertise for a particular industry or type of project, to complement the in-house capabilities of the firm when necessary.

There are also well-established relationships among subcontractors from prior project experience, which helps to identify qualified contractors who will reliably deliver the expected quality of work on time and within budget.  A potential benefit of the "Method", by comparison to traditional design-bid processes, is that detailed costs can be established, subcontractors selected, and construction work can be programmed at an early stage.  This can be valuable in some "hot" construction markets where top contractors are in demand, or in places where good working relationships may be more effective at achieving the desired cost, quality, and project timeline than a normal bidding process for one project.

Feedback from participants or clients - not available at this time

This would be selective feedback from executives with direct experience working with the service provider.  We do not propose to publish all such feedback, but may quote such feedback when authorized to do so by the executive involved, and when the comments seem appropriately reliable and relevant to other executives.

We welcome feedback from executives who have worked with The Austin Company for location selection or related services to support their projects.

Relationship Disclosure

There is no relationship at this time beyond general awareness of prior experience through informal contact as a leading location consultant which can also support engineering issues for complex projects, including the design, construction, and renovation of major facilities and their production processes in many countries.

A proposal was recently made to The Austin Company about active participation in the SICR service.  It was on the same basis as proposals to other location consultants, namely, a non-exclusive and independent, success fee relationship to get to know their capabilities better and thereby be well-prepared to introduce executives who might otherwise be unaware of their existence and capabilities to support major investment projects. 

Relationship leader at GDI Solutions for potential clients :

  •  Bruce Donnelly

  •  There is no working relationship yet at this time, although a proposal is in the approval process.

Service proposals are agreed directly between The Austin Company and clients.

For details about their services at this time, please contact Don Schjeldahl directly, and please let him know how you found him !

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Global Direct Investment Solutions, PO Box 439  Fox River Grove, IL 60021-0439  TEL 847-304-4655  FAX 847-304-5375

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