Global center of competence

Plant Location International (PLI) is a specialized consulting service within IBM Global Business Services® acting as the global center of competence for Global Location Strategies. With a track record of six decades, PLI has established itself as a market leader in providing advice to companies on their location decisions, covering all sectors and types of business functions. Drawing on extensive knowledge of what shapes corporate investment decisions, PLI works with government agencies worldwide for economic development and investment promotion in their efforts to improve their locations for investors.

The benefits

Optimal risk-reward footprint solution

Locations ready for digital transformation

Actionable business environment improvement

The services

Corporate location strategy and site selection

Digital disruption significantly affects global corporate investment patterns for expanding, consolidating or re-locating activities. IBM’s rigorous approach to selecting the optimal location helps minimize operational risks while maximizing advantages related to markets, talent access and costs.

Digitally reinvented supply chain strategy

Digital technologies are transforming global value chains with significant implications on how and where value is created. A digitally reinvented supply chain strategy results in lower costs, better service levels and less operational risks through smart optimization from sourcing to distribution.

Putting smart to work for economic vitality

In the era of Globalization 4.0, this agile approach to economic development as a platform emphasizes skills, capabilities and innovation as catalysts for growth through integrated support and effective promotion, innovation enablement and industry development.

Digital operating model design and footprint optimization

An increasingly data-driven economy is transforming global value chains, challenging companies to understand how best to structure their operational footprint by identifying opportunities for global digital operating model optimization through a restructuring of their operational footprint.

Global location trends analytics

In a constantly transforming world economy, companies and governments need to understand how today’s global dynamics influence where companies expand their businesses and create jobs around the world. IBM’s global location trends analytics provide instant compelling insights into relevant trends.

Smarter cities

Cities are technologically empowered as their core systems become instrumented and interconnected, enabling new levels of intelligence. At the same time cities face challenges and threats to their sustainability that need to be addressed holistically to become “smarter” cities.

Global Location Trends Analyzer

This cognitive, online analytic tool tracks corporate location selection by monitoring companies’ real-life decisions about where to establish or expand their global business. Based on Cognos Analytics on Cloud technology, the tool provides a level of detail far and above what is available in IBM-PLI's annual Global Location Trends report. With the tool, companies are able to get analytic insights on competitive investment behavior in specific industries, as well as insight into the investment performance of selected geographies and much more.


How to get tool access

The tool is available through a fixed annual subscription with fee for unlimited usage.  Contact Koen Gijpers via email: for immediate tool access.

Case studies

Operating room

Choice of successful new manufacturing location

IBM supported this North American MedTech company in creating additional manufacturing capacity for their medical devices to serve the European and subsequently the global market from a new greenfield site.

Interior of pharmaceutical manufacturing plant

Supply chain strategy reduced network complexity and improved performance

For this OTC pharma manufacturer, IBM identified at least 5% gross margin savings and working capital reduction by nearly $200M achievable within five years as well as transportation savings “quick wins” achievable within year 1 to help respond quickly to the global economic crisis.

Computer circuit board

Economic development strategy to attract ICT and electronics into Africa

IBM identified the true potential for developing the ICT and electronics industries in this African country by assessing global value chains and  country capabilities and competitiveness as input for an action plan and roadmap.

People working in office at desks

Digital sales center optimization strategy for a more balanced footprint

IBM’s in-depth footprint scenario analysis defined short-term improvements and long-term strategic choices including the reduction from 45 existing points of presence to 12 centers globally.

Analytics graph

FDI market share analytics as input for go-to-market strategy

Based on in-depth trend analytics into the country’s performance in securing foreign direct investment by sector, business activity and origin country, a future proof go-to-market strategy was developed for this European investment promotion agency.

People looking at computers in library

Developing a vision for The City that Learns

IBM created the vision for a new sustainable Australian education city by developing strategic guidelines through digitally enabled initiatives and input into a technology masterplan to realize the smarter journey.

Educational resources


Understand how the pandemic has impacted corporate investment plans


Learn how to improve economic competitiveness and vitality

Thought leadership

Check out our expert contributions to other IBV thought leadership reports

Thought leadership

Three keys to competitiveness in an era of economic uncertainty

Want to learn more?

"In today's globalized world, almost every business transformation has impact on where companies best operate. With over 60 years experience, Plant Location International is an IBM global center of excellence for supporting companies with optimizing their global footprints."

Roel Spee
Global leader, PLI