|Progress editor, Patsy Stoddard speaks with David Taylor from Proctor and Gamble at Sen. Bennett's rural conference.|
David Taylor from Proctor and Gamble spoke to Sen. Robert Bennett's conference goers on why they chose Utah to locate their new manufacturing plant.
P&G will invest $300 million into Utah in Box Elder County. It's just the beginning and they have room to grow and expand. Taylor said they don't usually build new plants, it's much cheaper to expand existing plants; but they were so impressed with Utah and Box Elder County they wanted a green field project and hope to enlarge upon that facility as the future presents itself. The demand for P&G products was growing at a steady rate so a new plant became feasible.
Taylor said as P&G moves into an area, then suppliers often follow them. One of the reasons they chose Utah was the outstanding people. Taylor said they produce quality products but what he believes sets them apart are the intangibles, their people with values and principals and the people of Utah are a great match for P&G.
P&G began in 1838 with the merger of a candle maker and a soap maker and they have become a major United States success story. They do business all around the world. They manufacture 300 branded products which Taylor described as superior products. One of their mottos is "Touching lives; improving life." Their company is also very innovative and always looking at new products and technology. The new factory will produce family care products including Bounty, Charmin and Puffs brands. As part of their effort to be community partners P&G donates $1.8 million in charitable donations, annually. The new facility in Box Elder County will be operational by 2010 and will employ approximately 300 people. Taylor said he has been with P&G for 28 years. He went to Duke in electrical engineering. He worked in marketing for a time before joining P&G. P&G becomes a part of the community wherever they locate.
The Box Elder site includes 720 acres and a million square foot plant will be constructed. P&G searches for a balance with their factories they work to protect their employees along with the environment. They are working with an architect who will help blend the plant with the natural landscape of the area. They are also looking at solar panels along with natural gas for energy and geothermal. They will make use of skylights in the facility to reduce energy expenditures.
Taylor said Utah was in the running for this facility along with six other sites. They chose Utah because of its centralized location west of the Rockies. They chose Utah because all of the technical requirements needed by P&G were met. They chose Utah because of the competitive prices for building along with competitive wages and a location where growth could occur.
They were also offered incentives, which made the area attractive, but Taylor said, Utah wasn't the cheapest place they were offered to build. There were other factors that made the Utah location more attractive than the locations which were merely cheaper. P&G hopes to attract workers who will grow and expand with the company.
Senior managers visited Utah and were very impressed with the colleges in the area and applied technology centers. Utah offers a quality workforce. Taylor said the Utah team of Box Elder officials, Sen. Bennett and Gov. Huntsman and state economic development employees were wonderful to work with and Utah really set itself apart. The Utah team addressed every barrier. "You can be proud of Utah's efforts," said Taylor.
Taylor said when you are trying to attract business you really need to listen to the wants and needs of that business. "Businesses are not all the same, one size does not fit all," said Taylor. "We are very convinced that we have made the right choice and Utah is the place P&G will be proud to call home. We are very committed. Together we will build an outstanding business and we look forward to a long and prosperous future in your state," said Taylor.
Taylor fielded questions from the audience at the summit. Someone wondered how P&G found the energy picture in Utah and how that effected their decision to locate here. Taylor said they found electricity and natural gas costs in Utah to be very competitive. They are also looking at branching out into alternative energies for that plant.
Taylor was asked about water usage at the manufacturing plant. He said the plant will use a good deal of water and they plan to turn back as much of that as possible. He said it is often commented on within their company that the water they turn back is a lot cleaner than they started with.
When asked about the way P&G develops new products Taylor said they look at innovative ways to do old things.
When looking at support businesses P&G has need of includes: packaging, chemicals, delivery of products, distribution of product and communications. The plant manager, Joe Tomon will identify what supply bases are needed and where the supplies will come from. Tomon will stay open and interested in what the local suppliers have to offer.
Sen. Bennett said business opportunities can arise in keeping P&G supplied and encouraged entrepreneurs and those with existing support businesses to keep that in mind as the plant becomes operational in 2010.