Hants West Business Park Expansion Feasibility Study
The Towns of Windsor and Hantsport, the Municipality of West Hants and the Hants Regional Development Authority first engaged us to produce the “Hants West Business Park Expansion Feasibility Study”.
Shortly thereafter, we were hired to prepare an implementation, marketing and selling plan for the expanded park. The strategy was in large part to take advantage of the vacuum of marketing and selling functions among Annapolis Valley Region parks.
The two main deliverables were recommendations for the form and content of an inter-municipal cost and revenue sharing agreement and programs of marketing and selling activities. Our experience is that public sector and NGO sponsors of commercial parks focus on marketing at the virtual exclusion of selling actions. We drew a sharp distinction between the two and specified the actions and the delegation of authority needed to identify leads, qualify the leads, make sales offers and conclude sales contracts.
The selling program emphasized short-turnarounds for individuals selling steps. Each step would produce outputs that provided information on what subsequent selling efforts to a potential customer should entail.
Programs to Improve the Labour Force Supply and Community Responsiveness to New Technology, Strait-Highlands Area of NS
We helped the communities that make up the Strait Highlands area of Nova Scotia to identify the steps they could take to improve their ability to adopt and adapt to new technology in order to create a more flexible labour force. The communities recognized that they would have some resistance to change, much of which they might not even be aware. Technology is rapidly changing and the process of adopting and adapting are in themselves complex.
We identified the scope of changes needed and reduced the list of actions to take to what we considered the bare minimum needed to show some measurable change. While not the whole solution, the strategy would start movements in the right direction and was well within the communities ‘capacity to implement. The most valuable result would be for the communities to see that they could respond to change to build confidence for future steps.
Identification of the Fiscal & Land Use Planning Implications of Transferring Ownership of the Old Welland Canal to the City of Welland, ON; and Preparation of a Negotiating Position
The federal government and the City of Welland were at a standstill in the negotiations to turn over ownership of a seven km section of the Welland Canal to the City. We helped the negotiating teams of the federal and city governments isolate the major benefits and risks associated with a transfer of ownership. We then:
- identified the benefits and risks that either side considered deal breakers or deal makers;
- estimated their cumulative economic and environmental impacts;
- determined which of the benefits and risks not considered breakers or makers could tip the balance;
- resolved the list to include only benefits or risks that could make or break a deal; and
- formulated an economic development plan around the make or break benefits and risks.
The economic development plan was lean in that it included only issues that could make or break a deal. This process helped both negotiating teams focus only on:
- make or break issues; and
- the minimum level of economic potential that needed to be achieved by the City for a deal to be acceptable.
The transfer was completed, the City has implemented the make or break economic development uses of the canal and returns have exceeded breakeven. One of the recommended uses, a venue for rowing and paddling (Welland International Flatwater Centre), hosted events for the 2015 Pan AM / Parapan AM Games.
Implementation Plan, Digby Development Agency, NS
The Municipality of the District of Digby and the Town of Digby tightened the definition of priority economic directions in their 2016 strategic plan to:
- maximize opportunities in renewable energy (tidal and wind);
- secure the Tidal Power Servicing Centre in the Port of Digby;
- develop a marketable industrial park along with supporting, governance policies and an inter-municipal cost & revenue sharing agreement; and
- engage stakeholders in creating a vision for sustainable job/industry development.
Our work focused on the 3rd and 4th priorities. The recommendations for the implementation plan were tied to our assessment of the economic and demographic contexts and the findings of the SWOTT and PESTLE analyses.
We prepared implementation, marketing and selling plans for two scenarios; one assumed renewable energy production and the Tidal Power Service Centre took root and a second that assumed they did not.
The effort made to prepare scenarios turned out to be one of the most important values recognized by the clients.
Renewable energy from wind and tidal forces is developing more slowly than expected.
The clients have implemented recommendations from the second scenario that focused on exploiting the changing economic relationship between the area and the Halifax CMA. We identified unique market positions and value propositions the area had to exploit the evolving rural-CMA economic structure.
Economic Impact and Growth Prospects of the Nova Scotia Wine Industry, for the Winery Association of NS, Grape Growers Assoc. of NS & the NS Liquor Corporation
The Nova Scotia Winery Association members are estate producers who source the their grapes from Nova Scotian vineyards. The Association produced a strategy to double the number of estate producers and the hectares of grape production in 10 years. A key to achieving the strategy’s goal was to improve access to the NS Liquor Corporation (NSLC) stores and private wine stores. Access to the stores depended on quality, price and sufficient supply. While the quality was there, there were difficulties with price, which in turn limited sales and restricted the size and security of supply.
We used our proprietary inter-regional input-output model and time series logit models to identify the pricing and mark-up scenarios that would increase sales and leave the NSLC and private stores with a profit that would be greater due to lower mark-up and higher volume, which in turn would support the growth of production of Nova Scotia grapes and wine.
Our application of the models focused only on what the models could do to produce information useful in business planning versus their all-to-typical use to provide speculative measures of impacts of what-if futures and and getting lost in the matrix algebra of the models.