Beckman Coulter expects to close its Palo Alto operations by the end of 2008 to reduce costs and improve its ability to recruit and retain skilled employees.
The majority of activities in Palo Alto are associated with development and manufacturing of centrifuges, a major product line in the company’s discovery and automation product area. The operations will be relocated to the greater Indianapolis area, which is home to other Beckman Coulter discovery and automation products. Approximately 220 employees are currently employed in Palo Alto.
“Closing our facility in Palo Alto was a difficult decision because the people there have always done excellent work and we have a long history in the area. By relocating our operations to the Indianapolis area, we can work aggressively to manage our costs and maintain our leadership position in centrifugation, an important asset of the company,” explains Pam Miller, senior vp of supply chain ,anagement. “Also, we’re able to take a longer-term view of work force planning.”
Beckman Coulter cited several factors for choosing the greater Indianapolis area for the relocation. Among the most important were the ability to leverage the company’s existing presence in Indianapolis, the region’s favorable local business environment, and lower total cost of operations. Other reasons include access to a local work force with strong skills in both engineering and manufacturing, the state of Indiana’s strategic intent to focus on life sciences and advanced manufacturing, and the area's central location, which helps improve the efficiency of product distribution, notes Miller, who adds that the action will have no impact on Beckman Coulter’s 2006 results.