Finding Success in Greater Memphis

Greater Memphis is a hub of commerce for companies from around the world

By
Bill Lewis
On Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 13:05
Memphis, TN

Greater Memphis is a destination of choice for domestic and international companies that find success in the region’s dynamic economy and pay it forward by creating career paths for their employees and supporting the community.

“It is key for Shelby County to recruit and retain corporate jobs to maintain the economic growth happening in the area. With several universities located in the area, more and more young people are beginning to call Memphis home," says Eric Divelbiss, president and CEO of Collierville-based Orgill. "When these students graduate and begin their job search, many look for careers at headquarters operations like Orgill’s."

More corporate employment opportunities lead to a better housing market, increased small business support and more involvement in charitable activities, and often mold future leaders of the community, he says.

Orgill is the world’s largest independently owned hardlines distributor. The company moved into its new four-story headquarters building in Collierville in 2017. It invested $21 million and announced the addition of 115 new jobs to its 300 member headquarters staff.

Skilled Workforce, Low Costs

The office supports Orgill’s distribution network, including seven distribution centers and three export facilities located throughout North America.

“Trees along the perimeter of the property provide shade for employees that walk along the paved walking trail or enjoy their lunch in the picnic area,” says Divelbiss.

The region offers significant advantages for back-office and headquarters operations, including a skilled workforce, a pro-business environment and a lower cost structure.

Those advantages make it the natural choice for headquarter operations for companies including FedEx, International Paper and AutoZone, all on the Fortune 500. The region is home base for Baptist Memorial, Accredo Health Group and Smith & Nephew, the medial device maker.

The region is a hotbed for foreign direct investment (FDI). It is home to more than 200 foreign-owned companies including Thomas & Betts, a division of the Swedish-Swiss multinational ABB. The company consolidated its research operations into a new location in Memphis, where it is investing $20.7 million and creating 90 new jobs.

Investing in the Future

Others are growing as well. FedEx is investing $1 billion in an expansion of its Memphis World Hub. AutoZone purchased two buildings in Memphis' historic Cotton Row district to expand its downtown headquarters. The company has more than 6,000 auto parts stores across the United States and international locations.

In addition to creating economic opportunities for its employees, AutoZone provides economic support and leadership for community organizations.

“AutoZone’s founder, Pitt Hyde, is the model of philanthropy and community involvement we should all try and emulate,” says Ray Pohlman, AutoZone vice president.

Companies doing business in Greater Memphis enjoy an outstanding quality of life that makes it easy to recruit and retain top talent.

Memphis, TN
Courtesy of Phillip Van Zandt/Memphis Tourism

Greater Memphis Has Telecom Advantage

Broadband infrastructure gives Greater Memphis an edge in attracting call centers, shared service operations

“Our employees enjoy family-friendly events in the area and many choose to support charities through local races and golf tournaments. We regularly host employee events throughout the area, such as Family Night at the Redbirds game, a day at the Memphis Zoo, or entertainment at Main Event. These events help maintain a strong company culture that focuses on employees and their family’s well-being,” says Divelbiss.

“The large population in the area ensures there are enough quality candidates to fill positions at our headquarters. The local area has a well-established transportation infrastructure that makes for easy commutes for our employees. With this reasonable commute and a low cost of living, most employees settle down and stay in the area long term, reducing the amount of employee turnover,” he says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Lewis is an award-winning business journalist whose work has appeared in publications across the United States.