After reading your article in the February issue entitled One less headache, I wanted to let you know that it may be helpful to readers to offer an alternative viewpoint to the thesis of the article.
As an architect who has extensive experience in corporate office design, I have recent experience with all different types of delivery strategies for architectural projects (with CompuServe, McGraw-Hill and others) and would like to point out that the architect has a responsibility to be the agent of the owner to represent the interests of the owner to the construction industry.
So, some companies may find that the owners representative is redundant and may find that the owners representative is only needed if the owner has the budget to support this second opinion. In fact, I have found that most projects run more smoothly based upon the approach and professionalism of the participants, not the expert knowledge of each team member with the construction industry.
Oftentimes, an owners contact who has a more intimate understanding of the owners business strategy will be most effective since they hold a passion for the success of the business and how the architecture informs or expresses the business to the outside world.
Wandel & Schnell, Architects
This years conference, which rotates each year among Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, is set for May 3 and 4 at the Adams Mark Hotel in Columbus.
The event features Alfred R. Berkeley III, president of The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., as the luncheon speaker May 4. Prior to joining Nasdaq, Berkeley was a managing director and senior banker in the corporate finance department of Alex, Brown & Sons Inc., where his primary expertise involved large computer software and electronic commerce companies.
The keynote speaker May 3 is Nancy Kramer, founder and CEO of Resource Marketing Inc., a $75 million technology marketing and communications firm with clients including Hewlett Packard, Adobe, Sun Microsystems, Cisco Systems, Burton Snowboards, The Limited, Huntington Banks and others.
Thirty companies from throughout the Great Lakes region will give presentations on their business plans in the hopes of drawing interest from investors at the conference.
In 1999, Innovest presenting companies included Accelent Systems, Akron; Docosa Foods Ltd., Columbus; MedHost Inc., Toledo; Medsonics US Inc., New York; and PlanSoft Corp., Twinsburg. Successes from previous conferences include Columbus-based Continental Auto Receivables Inc., which secured $6 million in funding as a direct result of its Innovest presentation in 1996, and Cincinnati-based Synchrony Communications, formerly Intelecare, which raised $275,000 from three private investors it met through Innovest 98 and has since done an $11 million private placement.
This year, Innovest is produced by Enterprise Development Inc., Ohio Department of Development and Columbus Investment Interest Group. Host organizations are Battelle; Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP; Deloitte & Touche LLP; Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce; Huntington Capital Corp.; KPMG LLP; The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.; Ohios Edison Technology Centers; PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP; SBN magazine; Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP; Venture Assets; and Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP.
How to reach: Innovest 00, www.innovest.org, or call Enterprise Development Inc., (216) 229-9445. Attendees should contact Rich Simpkins at ext. 152; presenter information is available from Charles Burkett at ext. 157.
Dan Friedman and Mark Alley began their pavement maintenance company in 1997 with a simple philosophy go after the business you know you can get, limit expenses and make customers happy through quality workmanship and excellent service.
Directing their efforts at residential customers, the AmeriCoat founders devised a direct-mail campaign aimed at homes valued at $125,000-plus and focused on Upper Arlington, Bexley and Clintonville and nearby Delaware and Marysville. Five percent of all distributed fliers, which feature AmeriCoats uniformed employees and gleaming equipment, result in contracts.
Its not a blind campaign, said Friedman. Weve built a database which holds almost every single driveway in Columbus. We know whether its asphalt or concrete and how big it is. We literally can market at will and get as much business as we want.
Alley says the company compiles data by using staff and temporary employees to conduct neighborhood surveys during the off-season.
AmeriCoat has been profitable from the start, reporting a $16,000 net profit on revenues of $151,000 in 1998, the first full year of operation. The 1999 revenues for the 10-employee company, six full-time and four part-time staff, jumped to $250,000. AmeriCoat hires additional, temporary employees during the busy season, using seven crews to do the work.
When Friedman, 30, president, and Alley, 26, vice president, founded the company, they needed to control salary expenses. Friedman stayed on with employer Black & Decker for three years during AmeriCoats planning and launch stages, and Alley continued working at S.T.A.R. Seal of Ohio until 1998. Both had developed their careers with promotions through sales and marketing positions.
Theyre extremely creative and innovative in their approach to marketing, says their National City banker, Anne Jennings. When they applied for a loan, they gave one of the most professional presentations Ive seen.
Soon after getting the loan, Jennings said, the pair didnt hesitate to ask her to help get National City as a client.
Theyre not timid, she says. They go after business aggressively.
Jennings, vice president of National Citys business services group, says even when the AmeriCoat team loses a contract bid, they follow up with customers to find out why and make improvements.
Although AmeriCoat services other commercial accounts, including Lone Star Steakhouse, 75 percent of its business is residential. This year, Friedman and Alley expect the company to be the market share leader in the residential segment of the market.
But while business was excellent June through September, the owners had been looking for ways to keep staff employed and trucks running during the cold season. They considered snow removal but deemed it too difficult and unpredictable.
A flier dropped off to Alleys family in Indianapolis, offering to string Christmas lights for a fee, provided the answer. Why not try it in Columbus, Alley and Friedman thought. The same equipment used for AmeriCoat could be put to another use. Dubbed The Light Before Christmas, the new venture debuted in 1999.
The response has been tremendous, says Friedman. We did hundreds of jobs and booked up almost instantly. We had to turn away a great deal of business because we didnt have the capacity to fill the orders.
Most customers opt for the mid-sized order: 2,000 lights for $150, Friedman says. The company did few commercial orders, but Friedman says companies will be a major focus in 2000. The pair has a smaller operation of The Light Before Christmas in Tampa and hopes to franchise the company in the next few years.
This year, theyll try a new form of direct mail for both operations that is expected to quadruple their business. While AmeriCoat already has a small operation in Grand Rapids, Mich., the partners want to expand the company in the next five years to cities close to home Cincinnati, Cleveland and Indianapolis. They know business will grow steadily, one customer at a time.
We may not turn a profit on an individual customer, says Friedman. But theyll keep us for life because theyre tickled that were relentless in keeping them happy.
Muntaqima Abdur-Rashid is a Columbus-based free-lance writer.
Bruce V. Holdereads dedication to veterans started early.
A veteran himself, Holderead served six years as a communications electronics technician with the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard. In addition, his first job was working as a veterans representative on a college campus, helping veterans go to school with GI funds. Soon after, he went back to school on the GI Bill himself and studied counseling.
Now, for more than 24 years, he has been employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Serving as vocational rehabilitation and counseling division officer at the departments regional office in Cleveland, Holderead is responsible for all aspects of vocational rehabilitation and counseling services for approximately 1,800 military veterans with disabilities.
However, his dedication extends beyond those services, says Lynn E. Johnson, counselor in charge in the Department of Veterans Affairs Columbus Office and Holdereads nominator for the SBAs Veteran Advocate of the Year award. Holderead won the award in both the district and state competitions.
On a personal level, Johnson writes, Mr. Holderead is a very congenial fellow, who masterfully blends the human side of life with the achievements of the day. His intelligence, good nature and belief in the importance of his work is uniquely balanced by his attention to detail and ever-present awareness of big-picture progress.
Johnson adds that Holderead is dedicated to his staff, acting as a supervisor and mentor and encouraging flexibility to accomplish the veterans affairs mission.
Since 1984, Holderead has been an advocate of self-employment programs for veterans with disabilities.
Holdereads work has allowed veterans throughout Ohio start or expand their own businesses.
In 1998, he developed the Veterans Mean Business Conference to help veteran business owners learn how to do business with local, state and federal government.
The conference was expanded in 1999 to include Cincinnati and Cleveland and to aid veterans just starting their own businesses.
We had about 250 veterans go through the training last year, and were hoping to increase that this year, Holderead says. The economy is changing a great deal, and more and more people are working on their own, either self-employed or semi self-employed.
This year, Holderead plans to continue the conference in eight cities: Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. Plans are just beginning for the conferences, he says, most of which will be held in November.
Holderead gets the most satisfaction out of his job in seeing the results of his assistance to veterans.
I think the best part is when you see a disabled veteran whos kind of down and out who gets the support they need, gets the services they need, the training and the assistance, Holderead says.
They often call him to tell him about the good job theyve nailed.
A lot of folks come back year after year and say, Im still doing great; thanks for all the help you gave me, Holderead says. Thats really rewarding.
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.
Quick: Whats the first thing you think of when you see white fencing or Georgian architecture?
Bill Ebbing hopes New Albany crosses your mind.
After all, The New Albany Co. has featured these signature items in all its developments since the ideas birth from the minds of Les Wexner, owner, and Jack Kessler, chairman, in the mid- to late-80s.
Its all about establishing a brand for your product or service.
The brand for New Albany was to raise the bar for not just residential [development] but creating a master-plan community thats world class, says Ebbing, the companys president. The planning, quality of architecture, image with the white horse fence, large setbacks thats been in place from the very, very beginning.
The beginning came when Wexner built his own home in the area, says Jim Vutech, principal at Conrad, Phillips & Vutech Inc., the marketing, advertising and brand-building firm that helped establish the New Albany brand.
He felt, If I can build a wonderful environment for myself, maybe I can do that for others, Vutech says of Wexner. From the beginning, it was destined to be different. He wasnt doing it as a developer; it was a personal decision of his.
The power of the brand, Ebbing says, comes from the goals of the planned community: aesthetic beauty, lifelong learning, health and wellness, and the reputation of doing good.
By creating a partnership with the Village of New Albany and making sure every detail followed the brand, the company has seen success in sales: More than 160 new homes, lots or existing homes were sold last year in the country club community alone. The results are unprecedented, says Lu Klaiber, vice president of sales and marketing for New Albany Realty, considering the price points of $600,000 for the average home and $120,000 for the lot.
Look in the mirror
The first step to having a successful brand is to find out whats special about your company, says Vutech.
A brand is basically what defines a product or service, he says. It really comes down to the attributes of a company that separate it from its competitors. It becomes kind of an asset that needs to be protected and nurtured and reinforced.
For The New Albany Co., the brand of raising the bar and world class was established before the first home was ever sold. The first steps: Researching the concept and choosing a top-notch team to ensure the quality of the planned community.
New Albany is not about where you live, its about how you live, Klaiber says, quoting one of the companys slogans.
Wexner and Kessler both of whom live in the community visited country communities such as Williamsburg and the James River plantation houses for ideas.
Then they solicited their dream team. Among them: Gerald McCue, former chairman of the University of California at Berkeleys Department of Architecture and retired dean of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, as well as founder of MBT Associates in San Francisco; Laurie Olin, former chairman of Harvards Department of Landscape Architecture; New Albany Country Club Architect Jaquelin T. Robertson, principal of Cooper, Robertson & Partners in New York; interior designers Keith B. Irvine and Thomas J. Fleming of New Yorks Irvine & Fleming Inc.; and golf course designer Jack Nicklaus.
Next, The New Albany Co. had to prove its worth, keeping the brand intact in every aspect of the community, Ebbing says. The details had to be consistent, from the residences to the business park: the white horse fences, the wide open setbacks along the road, preservation of natural features such as creeks, and dedication of land to the park system.
Ebbing says another key was to establish partnerships with the community, working with local government leaders to create a historic village center study, for example, or meeting with the historical society early on to choose road names taken from the founders or prominent families of the village.
Partnering with the village, the township and the schools helped bring the entire community to reality, he says.
One of our biggest selling points for the business park is that its part of the community, not out in the middle of nowhere acting on its own. Its embraced by the community, he says, noting its attracted such tenants as Abercrombie & Fitch, Aetna U.S. Healthcare and Express-Med Inc.
Tell the world
With the concept developed, the company needed to spread the word, even before it began building.
Our challenge from a marketing standpoint was to communicate to potential home buyers not what New Albany was then but what it would eventually become, Vutech says. Basically, we were asked to sell a product that didnt exist.
Initial materials focused on the expertise and qualifications of the original team.
That became the foundation of the brand, Vutech says. Based on their reputations alone, there was no doubt that New Albany would be a world-class development.
The key to a successful brand, Vutech says, is communicating it clearly, consistently and often.
Vutech says a worthwhile exercise for any company establishing a brand is to audit every point of contact with its potential customers, from the way the phone is answered to the style of the invoices, the Web site, sales literature, trade shows, news releases and vehicles on the street.
In addition, branding must be continued once it is established.
Before we do any development, Ebbing says, we try to go back and focus on those four aspects: aesthetic beauty, lifelong learning, health and wellness, and doing good.
Continued success of any brand, says Vutech, whose firm also has done branding for the likes of Childrens Hospital, Duffy Homes and Energy.com Corp., means keeping a handle on customer reaction.
A company could choose to measure goals of profitability, productivity, specific sales or volume, or employee morale to determine whether the brand is working.
We routinely do what we call account planning, but its basically making sure you establish benchmarks and that you can quantify the effect that the marketing is having, Vutech says.
Often, the results are measured through the use of focus groups, surveys or mail questionnaires.
In the beginning, The New Albany Co. focused on telling its story through the architecture and homes in the community, says Klaiber of New Albany Realty.
But we reached a maturity point where we needed to market the community as a whole, she says.
Now, for example, The New Albany Co. funds the Classic Signature Series events, inspired by Wexners wife, Abigail, and sponsored by the New Albany Civic Association. The series includes cultural, educational and entertaining events for the community such as fireworks and a festival for the Fourth of July, concerts in the parks and a lecture series.
Everything we do, every subdivision, office parcel, marketing component we put in place helps to reinforce that brand, Ebbing says.
And having a brand, Vutech says, will separate successful companies from those less successful.
Theres an awful lot of clutter in the marketplace, he says, and I think the only way to break through that is to have a clear understanding of who you are and translate that well to all of your audiences.
Joan Slattery Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.
At the speed of byte How SubmitOrder.com got its brand up and running in just two months By Joan Slattery Wall
In a hurry? Havent got 10 years to build and cultivate a brand like The New Albany Co. did?
JT Kreager, president of SubmitOrder.com, and his public relations agency, Lord, Sullivan & Yoder, know it can be done more quickly if necessary.
Timing was ripe in the online world when the idea for SubmitOrder.com was hatched. At the end of last April, Kreager met with LSY, telling the firm he wanted a July launch date for the e-commerce order fulfillment company.
After backing out the anticipated production time leading to the launch, we were left with one week for planning, says Rob Cathcart, director of marketing services for LSY.
For two days in the first week of May, the PR firm met with 12 members of what would become SubmitOrder.coms management team. During that brief time, the group determined the prospective customers and competition, outlined the values of the company, chose the company name and decided how to launch the company and utilize the role of marketing and public relations.
The fact that we had those two days together, with everybody in the room, helped us move a lot faster because we had it all condensed, says Carroll Conklin, the LSY executive vice president and director of strategic services who headed up the meeting.
Within a week to 10 days, the firm gave SubmitOrder.com a marketing plan proposal, and then LSY began putting the plan into action.
- First, LSY conducted a media audit, determining who was saying what about e-commerce so they could decide how to contact media, and held media training for SubmitOrder.coms key executives.
- Then came the pre-launch activities, which included employee meetings, trade show preparations, media and competitive monitoring and production of a videotape of customer testimonials, the Web site and print ads.
- Finally came the launch phase, with news releases; e-mail blitzes; media tours, road shows and trade shows; print advertising in such publications as Fast Company, Fortune, Interactive Week and Ad Age; and Web merchandising.
How do they know they were successful?
SubmitOrder.com was launched July 22, 1999. By the end of August, the initial sales goals had been achieved, preparing new customers for the holiday buying season, Cathcart says.
In addition, SubmitOrder.coms name had appeared in articles, ads and other press coverage yielding more than 117 million impressions, or estimated sets of eyes that had exposure to the company.
The success didnt get past outsiders, either. In December, Silver Lake Partners and The Barksdale Group, Silicon Valley firms that invest in technology and Internet companies, invested $75 million in SubmitOrder.com to acquire a majority stake. This allowed the start-up to secure its venture capital objectives: obtain money to grow and access to networking and partnership opportunities in their industry. Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.
The owner of a new business with a great product but a very limited marketing communications budget once asked me what I could do to help him make an initial impact in his target market within about four months.
Print advertising wasnt viable; the budget just couldnt support producing an ad and buying the space to place it multiple times. Besides, numerous magazines reached the potential customers he wanted to reach, including a mix of business trade publications and the big and very expensive consumer magazines.
So I took him on a media tour, with a presentation about the product, to some of the top publications, many in New York City. We visited with 19 editors in two days. More than half were with McGraw-Hill publications, all located in one building.
We also visited publishers of multiple publications and included a stop at the New York Times, where we met with a syndicated columnist. That single meeting, which lasted about 45 minutes, led to a story that was carried in newspapers across the country, including one right here in Pittsburgh. The story was read by millions of people.
What I wanted to do with this client and what you should consider doing if youre thinking about putting together a media tour was to develop an approach to engage each editor in a discussion that would lead to the development of a feature article specifically for that publication.
Heres how to do it:
1. Make a list of all the publications reaching your customers and group them by city or geographic region. Youll probably find a number of them based in the metro areas of New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
2. Develop a statement about why readers will be interested in reading about your product or service and call or e-mail the editor. E-mail seems to be the most effective way to reach most of them. Craft the message. It needs to be brief, but have enough detail to convince the editor that you have something in which readers will be interested.
3. Call the editors to arrange a meeting. If the editors youre meeting with work for the same publishing house, (McGraw-Hill, for example), your commute between offices may consist of a ride on the elevator, and you can schedule meetings closely together.
4. During each meeting, briefly engage the editor in a conversation about how information about your product or service will be of interest to lots of readers.
5. If the editors are scattered around the city, it may be to your advantage to rent a conference room in a hotel thats centrally located and invite the editors to come there. Do a brief presentation before noon, go right into a Q&A session and then have lunch brought in. That offers privacy, and you avoid the confusion of asking the editors to move to a different room.
6. As soon as you return to your office, write a personal note of thanks to each editor for meeting with you and remind the editor of any discussion you had concerning a specific article. Remind him or her about possible topics, deadlines, etc., that were discussed in the meeting.
This follow-up of the media tour is what makes it a marketing communications activity that pays for itself many times over. Youre now in position to begin developing an article with the publication. Mission accomplished.
Jeff Krakoff is president of Krakoff Communications, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based marketing communications and public relations agency. Reach him at (412) 434-7718 by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roger P. Sugarman finds it brings balance to his life.
Bea Wolper enjoys it so much she invested 600 hours of her time last year.
For Tanny Crane, it offers the opportunity to network, compare benchmarks with her own company and broaden her personal horizons.
The three have not found the secrets of a management guru or some hot, new CEO course.
However, each would encourage other executives to follow the same path: Volunteering to serve on the board of a nonprofit organization or another company.
“Most of the benefits, I have to say, have been in terms of meeting so many people I would never have had the opportunity to [meet] who are so committed and so concerned about what happens in Columbus,” says Sugarman, a partner with Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter. Sugarman is immediate past chair of the United Way of Franklin County board.
“You need to pass on whatever you can to help whoever you can,” says Wolper, a partner at Chester, Willcox & Saxbe LLP and a self-proclaimed “firm believer” in community service. “Community service should be as much a part of your life as earning a salary.”
Those in early, mid- or late careers alike can offer service on a board.
“It’s never to early to start passing on what you know,” Wolper says.
Choosing a board, she says, requires a passion for your cause.
“You’re not helping anybody by adding expertise, energy or your time unless you have a passion. If you have a passion for doing something, it will show,” says Wolper, who serves on the National Board of Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises, International Women’s Forum, COSI, Greater Columbus News Bureau, League Against Child Abuse and other boards. “The boards you sit on will reap the benefits of your enthusiasm.”
“I’ve been asked to sit on a number of boards I admire and I respect but I don’t have a passion for,” echoes Crane. “I’m always flattered. It’s very flattering to be asked to be on a board.”
Crane, president and CEO of Crane Plastics Holding Co., serves on the boards of Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University; the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce; Bank One, Columbus; Federal Reserve Bank Business Advisory Council; and Society of Plastics Industry. She also is president-elect of the board of Action for Children, a special passion of hers.
In addition, Crane served as the 1999 campaign chair and sits on the board of the local United Way, an organization that’s had her attention for years.
“My dad had been involved on the United Way board, I think from the late ’60s or early ’70s, and was a general campaign chair in ’74,” she says. “I followed him exactly 25 years later. I think it was born in my system.”
However, Crane adds, she must balance her time. She and her husband have agreed to try to limit themselves to two nonprofit boards each because those often take more time than for-profit or professional boards due to fund-raising.
“I really want to be involved. I don’t want to be a name on a letterhead,” Crane says.
When you volunteer for a board or are asked to serve on one, Crane says, ask lots of questions. How much time is required? Must I donate money? How many times does this board meet? Do I need to raise money? Will I be required to serve on a committee?
She also suggests seeking the input of current board members.
Sugarman, who also serves on the boards of Leadership Columbus and Columbus School for Girls, has seen board service from the opposite side; he served on the United Way’s board nominating committee.
Despite the time these commitments take, these executives agree they reap more benefits from serving on a board than simply the satisfaction of serving the community. Wolper says proving your dedication to the board by following through with promises on a timely basis helps with this.
“People see you doing that in that capacity and will say, ‘That person must do that also in their business capacity.’ In their minds, then, you become a person who does what they say and has good judgment,” Wolper says.
Sugarman says service on a board has given him the opportunity to see a different perspective than that which lawyers might bring to the table.
“It’s enabled me in my own law firm to see how those goals and objectives can drive an organization and really help you achieve what is at the heart of what your business is supposed to be about,” he says.
Crane has found volunteering serves as a pivotal step to other boards or opportunities, and individuals interested in making a career change might find something of interest through serving on a board.
She sees her service as a way to broaden her own horizons. For example, the Bank One board gives her insights into the banking industry that she might not have otherwise. She can find out, through other boards, what’s being done about financing, retention, productivity or cost reductions and benchmark her company against others. She also keeps in touch with the issues of a growing community.
“We happen to be on the Southeast side of Columbus,” Crane says of her company. “I could be in a cocoon down here, but being on boards, I see what’s happening in the city.
“I really believe,” she adds, “in this generation, we really need to step up to the plate and take ownership of what we’re going to do with our community.”
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.
As I read a study by SBA’s Office of Advocacy entitled “The New American Evolution: The Role and Impact of Small Firms,” I was startled by the repetition of the word “change” in the text.
Perhaps I reacted because of a course my senior staff had attended, “Leadership in a Time of Change,” designed to give them the tools to bring our employees through a period of rapid program changes and into the future unscathed. More likely, it was because I’d recently read the bestseller by Spencer Johnson, M.D., “Who Moved My Cheese?”
While employment has remained virtually unchanged in the European Union recently, it has increased by at least 14 million in the United States, Jere Glover, SBA’s chief counsel for advocacy, writes in regard to the study.
What accounts for this? Differences in competition, entrepreneurship and start-ups are major factors, he says.
Glover adds that “the American economy is not a still photograph it’s a dynamic organism that changes while you’re looking at it. Looked at from the perspective of process, change and evolution, small firms make at least two indispensable contributions to the American economy:
- As sources of constant experimentation and innovation, they are an integral part of the renewal process that defines market economies. They have a crucial role as leaders of technological change and productivity growth. In short, they change market structure.
- By creating opportunities for women, minorities and immigrants, they are an essential mechanism by which millions enter the economic and social mainstream.”
The study explores Dynamic Theory, asking why firms start up in industries in which existing firms are experiencing losses and losing market share to foreign companies. The study suggests that “new firms [entering] the industry were not simply to increase output by being smaller replicas of large incumbent enterprises, but by serving as agents of change.”
“Dynamic Theory favors small firms because it shines the light on change. In the new information economy, continued innovation and change is the rule,” the study states. “More than half of the sales of high technology firms comes from products less than 18 months old. Seen through the dynamic lens of evolutionary theory, the economic welfare implications of the recent shift in economic activity away from large firms and toward small enterprises is welfare-enhancing because start-ups introduce change into the economy.”
On a different level, “Who Moved My Cheese?” explores the maze of today and suggests that one’s view of change and reaction to its implications greatly affect personal outcomes and those in business.
SBA’s programs and employees are changing to move in sync with small businesses. We wish our award winners and all of your small business friends and relatives well during their Small Business Week 2000.
Frank D. Ray is the Columbus district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration. He can be reached at 469-7310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen M. Moore, a partner of Bricker & Eckler LLP, has been appointed to serve a five-year term as state chair for Ohio of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Joel Korte, president of Urban Environments Inc., a Columbus-based professional landscape contractor, has been appointed to the Franklin Park Conservatory Joint Recreation District board of trustees for a three-year term.
Michael Huntley has been named president and COO of King Thompson, Realtors. Huntley, former executive vice president and general manager of the company, was president of the Columbus Board of Realtors in 1998 and named Broker of the Year in 1999 by the 5,000-member trade association.
Michael Collins, president of Promotions One and vice president of Collins Studios Inc., has been named the Westerville Area Chamber of Commerce 2000 Community Service Award recipient. His involvement in community service includes the executive board for the Columbus Race for the Cure Foundation, the Westerville Rotary Club and the board of the Westerville Community Reinvestment Housing Council.
Wayne Lin, partner and president of Columbus-based golf companies Mars Golf Supply and Red Planet, has been chosen by Golfweek magazine for its 40 Under 40 list. The list names 40 golf industry people under the age of 40 who are expected to shape the business and the future of the game.
Jane A. Blank has been named principal of The Knowledge Group, a new comprehensive communications network design and consulting firm. In 1989, Blank founded Telecommunications for Health Care, which merged with The Knowledge Group earlier this year. Also at The Knowledge Group, Martin McMurray has been appointed president and managing principal.
Westerman Inc. of Bremen has hired Scott Carpenter as executive vice president and CFO. Carpenter, a certified public accountant, will be responsible for the companys finance, accounting and other administrative functions.
Lord, Sullivan & Yoder Inc. has promoted Pat Smith and Mark Placenti to the position of vice president/director of client services. The two share the title and take on the responsibilities of Nancy Barr, who was promoted to president of LSY earlier this year. Smith joined LSY in 1993 as vice president/account supervisor after a distinguished career in marketing communications and advertising. Placenti joined LSY in early 1999 as vice president/group account director. Before that, he was president and co-owner of Whole Brain Films in Phoenix.
Renier Construction has hired Edward Rice as vice president, project development, and Steven Wolf as vice president of operations.
Mark Shy, vice president and co-founder of the Columbus-based general construction and construction management company Renovators Inc., has been elected to the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America, Simon Kenton Council, as senior vice president of programs.
LifeCare Alliance has elected Kamilla Sigafoos, COO of The Ohio State University Hospitals, as president of its board of directors. Other officers elected are John Ennis, director of benefits administration at Battelle Memorial Institute, as vice president; Maryann Ingram Kelley of White Castle as secretary; and William P. Zox, partner at Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn, as treasurer.
Ohio Credit Union System has named John R. Florian COO of the Ohio Credit Union League. Florian joined the league in 1991 as director of government affairs and has held the position of vice president of advocacy since 1997.
Larry L. Dunn has been promoted to Columbus region president of Croson-Teepe Mechanical Contractors.
The YWCA of Columbus has promoted six senior staff members. They are Kathy Lansberry to vice president of finance and COO; Carol Trowbridge to vice president of childcare and youth programs; Linda Kanney to vice president of human resources; Beth Morrow Lonn to vice president of development; Sue Phillips to vice president of development; and Barbara Pratzner to vice president of planning and business enterprises.
Seven local public relations professionals were elected to the 2000 executive board of the Central Ohio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The new executive board members are president, John Kompa, Edward Howard & Co.; president-elect, Denise Baker, Lord, Sullivan & Yoder; treasurer, Susan Merryman, UUNET; secretary, Laurel Johnson, School Employees Retirement System; vice president of planning and procedures, Julia Bradley, Wexner Heritage Village; vice president of membership, Maureen Miller, Ohio Consumers Counsel; and past president, Douglas Frazier, Clary Communications.
James H. Haller, executive vice president and CFO at Harper Engraving & Printing Co., thought hed negotiated pretty well for his companys package shipping.
After all, his prior experience of 17 years working for UPS enabled him to find an 8 percent discount for the West Columbus company.
Soon, however, he discovered he could do even better.
Working with Brett Febus, managing partner of ShipSave Consulting LLC in Hilliard, Haller received a total discount of 18 percent an additional savings of about $25,000 a year for his company.
By me not knowing what the market would bear, I only knew the UPS guidelines, Haller says. I really didnt know what kind of incentive I could get.
Febus discovered Haller was receiving some of his rates from the wrong rate chart. He also found Harper Engraving wasnt shipping as many packages as anticipated when the UPS contract was written.
I was able to lower his commitment to UPS, Febus explains. He hasnt promised them so much, but he is also getting a bigger discount.
Febus also helped Haller with a client, who wanted packages delivered regularly to Canada, by working with the UPS Customshouse Brokerage to set up paperwork with customs.
Ultimately what it does is customs is notified further in advance than they normally would be about the product youre preparing to ship up to Canada, Febus says. As a result, theres less of a chance for that package to be held up in customs.
In addition, the process should help Haller reduce his brokerage fees because instead of customs having to deal with individual packages, its going to deal with groups of his packages.
Febus, whose company is in the process of being acquired by Intrepa LLC, an Indiana-based warehouse and transportation management company, says much of his work involves making unique changes to each customers contract so theyre receiving the most benefit. He consults with clients via his Web site and sometimes works with carriers on their behalf.
Febus, also a former UPS employee, works with small package carriers including UPS, FedEx Corp., Airborne Express and DHL Airways Inc., but generally customers want to stay with their current carrier.
When you switch carriers, theres just so much internally thats involved, Febus says. Sometimes its just not worth the headaches.
For Doug Byorth, president of Focus Logistics Solutions LLC, ShipSave fulfills a niche for managing small package delivery allowing him to bring more services to his customers.
It solidified us with our clients in that they know we are addressing all their logistics modes of transportation regardless of our in-house expertise, he says.
Febus got the idea to form his company about a year ago when a customer suggested an unbiased consultant would help him understand the rates carriers were offering.
In cases like Hallers, where the client currently receives a discount from the carrier, Febus splits the savings he finds with the client for two years. So Haller, who got an extra 10 percent discount by working with Febus, will pay Febus half of that discount. In cases in which the client does not currently have a discount, Febus charges 25 percent of what he gets for them. That fee also lasts two years.
The factor of not having to find the discount on his own was a benefit for Haller.
Im a small business $10 million a year, Haller says. In my position, I dont have time to go chasing down all the answers.
How to reach: ShipSave Consulting, www.shipsave.com, 921-9091
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is associate editor of SBN Columbus.