Editor’s note: The Netherlands-American Chamber of Commerce Southeast, based in Atlanta, publishes a monthly interview spotlighting one of its members.
In June, the organization caught up with Allison Turner, who previously headed up the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency’s Atlanta office, where she spent 16 years and became a fixture in the Dutch business community. She also served 10 years on the chamber’s board.
Now, Ms. Turner is putting her connections and experience to use with BCI Global, a consulting firm that helps companies navigate relocations and supply-chain issues around the world. She’s still working out of the Atlanta office, serving as the 35-year-old Dutch company’s vice president for North America. The interview below is reprinted with permission:
NACCSE: What is your business industry category or specialty?
Ms. Turner: BCI Global is a specialized consulting firm, supporting companies with their global footprint optimization, supply chain and location decisions.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
We help companies figure out the best locations for all their operations around the globe and how to move their products in the most optimal way.
What are the biggest challenges?
With so many outside influences such as geopolitical decisions as well as internal decisions on technology, designing the right global footprint has become even more complex. Location decisions can have a big impact on a company’s success, especially nowadays when labor shortages and talent availability are so important. Understanding the company’s longer term goals is key in determining the development of a company’s global footprint.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
We compete with the typical largest consulting firms and a few regional firms. Several aspects make our company stand out: We are truly global in our knowledge and experience, we have proprietary databases and software that combine our location work with supply chain and we have a practicality to our work which stems from years of providing implementation and project management support.
What do you like about your work?
I love meeting with people from different industries and areas of focus; I’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot and my work is meaningful when I am able to add-value and contribute to the success of a client.
How was the business started?
Mr. Rene Buck started our firm in the Netherlands nearly 35 years ago supporting U.S. companies as they entered Europe. Since then, our clients have requested our support in other regions in the world. Just last year we won an award in the Asia-Pacific region as a leading supply chain consulting firm.
How many employees does the business have?
We have 70 employees.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
I have lived in Atlanta since 2001 and have found it to be the perfect location; affordable, easy to fly out to clients and a great living environment.
What is your No. 1 business goal over the next year?
I have a target for how much business I want to generate and to continue to expand BCI Global’s brand awareness in the U.S.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with the Dutch/Americans?
For both Americans/Dutch, being prepared for a meeting is key. But sometimes it is necessary to tweak the message: Americans like to hear accolades and to be clear on what you are good at (it’s okay to brag when it’s true), Dutch are not as fond of ‘bragging’ and like to focus more on examples that would illustrate what you are good at (without actually saying you are good at it).
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
I live in Inman Park with my husband and two kids. We love our neighborhood and are volunteering for the annual festival in April. Atlanta is a great city to raise a family and enjoy city life.
Allison Turner | Vice President North America
M: 404 747 2213
P: 404 261 4590
BCI offices around the globe :
Nijmegen, The Hague, Atlanta, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Shanghai, Singapore and satellite offices throughout Europe.