Archive Search

Advanced Search

Search results
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Partnering for success

Written by
Blue Point Capital Partners does not believe in the slash-and-burn concept of buying a business and making wholesale changes in every aspect of the organization. Instead, managing partners David Given and John Kirby typically will only invest in businesses where the owner wants to stay involved and retain a significant ownership stake in the company. Given and Kirby see Blue Point as a partner that can provide financial resources and bring both operational and other resources to the table to maximize the probability of future success. Blue Point seeks to build partnerships with the companies it invests in and develop…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Speaking up

Written by
Since joining Prentke Romich Co. in 1999 as its president, David L. Moffatt has embraced PRC’s mission of making life easier for people with speech disabilities. PRC manufactures and develops augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices and other technology for the speech-impaired. Moffatt faced several challenges when he joined the company. One of the biggest challenges was helping medical professionals understand the potential impact of AAC devices on the lives of patients. To overcome this challenge, Moffatt raised product awareness by expanding the company’s outreach program to speech language pathologists and other medical professionals who work with speech-impaired clients. As…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Seizing the day

Written by
Richard M. Marcus knew from an early age that he would not be satisfied until he had built a successful business. His time spent working in family-owned restaurants in Dayton and his experiences as a business student at Bowling Green State University solidified his resolve. However, it wasn’t until he was working as a sales representative at a fire protection company that the opportunity presented itself. RemTec International got its start as a fire protection company with one major customer: the U.S. military. Soon after, the government became interested in reducing its dependency on ozone-depleting gases, especially halon. Marcus took…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Reinventing the wheel

Written by
Ed Kenty is focused on continuously reinventing Park Place International. The company was founded as a hardware reseller in 1991 by John Warcaba and Dan Grajazl. In 2003, it entered the service industry by offering post-warranty hardware maintenance services for Data General Equipment. Then, when Kenty joined as president and CEO in 2004, he shifted the company to become a multiplatform service provider by investing in service infrastructure and selling complex multivendor solutions. This led to the acquisition of Technical and Logistical Consultants, a systems integration firm. The company, based in Chagrin Falls, sells hardware manufactured by vendors such as…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

The long haul

Written by
When Ailish M. Murphy founded MurTech Consulting in 2000, she could not have known that the events of Sept. 11 would send the economy into a recession. Not that she would have done much differently if she had. Murphy’s insatiable entrepreneurial drive was coursing through her veins. More than 20 years ago, her parents started a catalog business selling Irish-themed products. Her brother owns a company that designs e-commerce Web sites. And her sister was recently incorporated as a merchandising analyst. Given her family history, it’s no surprise that Murphy craved her own enterprise while selling various IT-related services for…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Celebrating the difference entrepreneurs make

Written by
Celebrating entrepreneurs and their businesses has been an Ernst & Young priority for more than two decades. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award encourages entrepreneurial activity among those who have potential and recognizes the contribution of people whose vision, leadership and achievement inspires others. It is one of the ways we make a difference. It is the first — and only truly global — award of its kind. The award celebrates those who build successful, growing and dynamic businesses. We recognize entrepreneurs through regional, national and global…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Maintaining balance

Written by
An effective wellness program helps create a healthy balance between one’s work life and personal life. Part of the trick is to find a good way to balance what happens on the job with what is going on at home. The key is to find that balance and achieve it with minimal disruption, says Moshe S. Torem, M.D., the chief of integrative medicine at Akron General Health System. “Both blue-collar and white-collar workers must establish boundaries or their work will pressure them all the time,” says Torem. “In corporate America today, there is a phenomenon called ‘presenteeism.’ That is when…
Wednesday, 25 June 2008 20:00

Top techniques

Written by
When CnD Industries Inc. became too tied into just two customers, Clyde Shetler decided it was time to diversify. The owner of CnD Industries says that until the mid-1990s, his custom steel fabricator and large machine shop was heavily dependent on two customers, and each quarter, he worried when he studied the sales-per-customer numbers. “We started to see a downturn in that business,” he says. “And that’s when we said, ‘We have to diversify this customer base.’” As a result, the customer base at CnD today is much more diversified, leading the 67-employee company to 2007 revenue of $6.7 million.…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Hole-in-one

Written by
The National Golf Foundation reported that golf course closures exceeded course openings for the first time in the group’s history and predicted the best an operator in this area could finish was even with last year’s receipts. However, that wasn’t the case for the Cleveland Metroparks, which finished its golf season with increases in revenue (6.2 percent) and rounds (2.5 percent). One may not have to look any further than the organization’s customer service practices to explain the organization’s success when others were having trouble. Because golf clubhouse employees are sometimes the most visible representatives of the Metroparks, it’s important…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Careful planning

Written by
When a family is going through difficult times with a loved one’s health services, there are many stressful decisions to make. To provide comfort and a little peace of mind through that process, Cambridge Home Health Care creates an atmosphere of understanding customer service from the very beginning. Knowing that the choice for an in-home health care provider is not an easy one, Cambridge offers a meeting with the family and the person needing care before any services are rendered. The meeting, which comes at no cost to the person interested in the service, allows everyone to be sure they…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Taking time to listen

Written by
Gary Shamis and Mark Goldfarb, managing directors of SS&G Financial Services Inc. try to provide services better than the average accounting firm and understand they have to offer more to distinguish themselves from the pack. They do this by taking the time to get to know clients and their needs. “Listening helps us to understand a client’s expectations so that we can exceed what is expected,” Shamis and Goldfarb say. The firm goes out of its way to make clients feel important by tracking their birthdays, anniversaries and other important personal details to form relationships with them. SS&G has made…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Building relationships

Written by
At S&A Consulting Group LLP, great customer service is as simple as building friendships. Led by Nipendra and Rita Singh, the engineering and management consulting services group has made a name for itself by bucking the trends of the consulting services industry, where holding onto a client for 10 or 15 years is a rarity. Their philosophy is price will become less of an issue to clients if you give them value above and beyond what they’re expecting. That’s why S&A goes out of its way to make a personal connection with clients, getting to know their families and their…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Exhibiting service

Written by
A representative from a college in northwestern Ohio recently called the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage with a hefty request. The school’s freshman class was studying the Holocaust but didn’t have the time nor the funding to transport every student to the museum. Though it was the weekend and the school was more than 100 miles away, the museum dispatched a staff member to drive one of its resident Holocaust survivors out to share her experiences at a school assembly. That instance wasn’t a one-time affair. The Maltz Museum regularly sends out docents and other representatives as part of its…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Relax, refresh and rejuvenate

Written by
Is your business looking a bit tired? Have the stresses and strains of the marketplace taken their toll on your managers? Is employee morale drooping along with the bottom line? If so, you may want to treat your business to a visit to the spa. The first step is to clean the exterior. Soaking in rare minerals or volcanic hot springs while wrapped in seaweed may do wonders for the skin, but some soap, water and plenty of elbow grease will remove the grit and grime from your business. Pay special attention to collecting paper, leaves and other detritus that…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Customer caring

Written by
Patients at Hospice of the Western Reserve don’t have to change their ways or needs to be a customer at the hospice. Rather, the nonprofit, community-based organization believes in the philosophy of “Meeting patients and families where they are.” That means recognizing that everyone is different and respecting patients’ families, choices, cultures and lifestyles. To reinforce that belief, CEO David Simpson and Western Reserve, which cares for patients and families across Northeast Ohio, created specialized programs for various diseases, including cardio-pulmonary disease, dementia and renal disease. The hospice also created a program called “Peaceful & Proud,” which provides personalized care…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Fighting the flood

Written by
As a warehouse and logistics provider, D+S Distribution Inc. needs to focus on service. When one of its customer’s warehouses flooded, contractually, it was the client’s responsibility to cover “an act of God,” but instead of taking this attitude, D+S employees dove in headfirst to find a solution. After informing employees of the situation, D+S contacted the client with the unsettling news that its products were waterlogged. Instead of leaving the client on its own, D+S told the client that a nearby, unaffected warehouse would be used temporarily while D+S employees restored the flood site. Despite the headaches and hardships…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Lesson learned

Written by
Victoria Tifft isn’t the smartest person at Clinical Research Management Inc., and she’d be the first one to tell you that. As founder, owner and president of the biomedical research firm, she’s surrounded herself with a team of people with superior levels of expertise in many fields of study. Although some egos might collapse under this arrangement, Tifft says it’s the savviest way to manage in business. Leaders can’t know everything, she says, and when they approach a gap in their knowledge, where better to turn than a bevy of skilled, in-house resources? At CRM, Tifft has approximately 200 such…
Monday, 26 May 2008 20:00

Good moves for hard times

Written by
Lately, headlines don’t paint a pretty picture of the banking industry. Financial institutions are attempting to shy away from funding previously announced transactions and taking significant write-downs on balance sheets to reflect diminished values of loan portfolios, and — in many cases — there’s less lending capacity for loans, as banks are attempting to build up reserves. Still, strong companies in a position to grow can set themselves up for continued success by assessing strategic and financial options. “In times like this, the strong get stronger,” says Steven S. Goykhberg, MBA, CBA, associate director, corporate finance for SS&G Financial Services,…
Thursday, 01 May 2008 13:52

Enrolling in managed care organizations

Written by
Open enrollment for managed care organizations is this month, allowing employers to switch MCOs if they aren’t satisfied with their current organization. Open enrollment is only once every two years.“It would be too much of a mess to follow claims,” says AdvoCare Inc. PresidentKaren Agnich, describing the purpose of the open-enrollment time frame. “Anemployer would not want to get lost in the mess.”Switching is as easy as filling out a form — which can be obtained through theOhio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) or an MCO — and then sending orfaxing the signed form back to the bureau. Or, you…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

The honest truth

Written by
While Don Misheff jokes that he’s been successful because he got lucky by marrying the right woman and the right firm, his true success can be attributed to more than what’s on his resume — it’s his character. “Honesty, honesty, honesty — and integrity,” he says. “I tell my kids, ‘You only have one chance to lose it. You lose your trust, you don’t get it back. It’s the sacred thing you have to protect.’” These aren’t attributes he simply preaches about and doesn’t do himself. They’ve been evident throughout his life in the choices he’s made. As a young…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

Where to meet?

Written by
Once a tentative schedule has been determined, corporate meeting planners must choose where the meeting or event will be held. That responsibility is often trickier than it sounds. “The most important tip is to do your homework on possible facilities and make on-site visits,” says Joe Folk, general manager of the Professional Education and Conference Center at Kent State University’s Stark Campus. Smart Business talked with Folk about the surprising impact that a venue can have on the success of a company event. How, indeed, does the choice of venue affect a company event? So many times, meeting planners think…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

Cool under pressure

Written by
CnD Industries Inc. is an example of how a small business can succeed in a world of hegemonic supercompanies. In the recession following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Clyde Shetler, the company’s owner, adapted to the unsettled economic conditions by changing CnD’s direction from smaller fabrication and small machine work to custom steel welding and fabrications. While many competitors folded under the market pressure, CnD endured by redefining itself in a changing market. The Canton-based custom steel fabricator has expanded to three locations and is capable of keeping all steel orders in house, which means its success isn’t tethered to…
Friday, 25 April 2008 20:00

Honoring excellence

Written by
Being successful entails much more than simply sustaining solid earnings growth. That’s an outcome of numerous factors, such as being innovative; making necessary investments in people, products and processes; understanding your specific industry; and demonstrating the ability to make hard decisions that lead to positive outcomes. Each year, the Business Excellence Awards of Greater Canton honor companies in the Greater Canton/Stark County region that demonstrate overall business excellence. Through a comprehensive nomination and judging process, companies are evaluated on their performance in the following areas:  Growth in employees and business Expansion of operations/efficiencies  Investment in capital improvements/facility expansion  Demonstration of…
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 20:00

The elusive sheepskin

Written by
Colleges and universities anticipate a 17 percent growth in enrollment over the next 10 years, much of it in the “adult learner” category (adults 25 to 64). Many of these students will receive financing from the companies for which they work. “Forty percent of people in the work force participate in some form of continuing education,” says Dr. Patricia A. Book, vice president for regional development at Kent State University. “Employees with high school diplomas earn an average of $29,000 per year, while those with bachelor’s degrees earn $54,000. The work force understands the value of investing in education and…
Wednesday, 26 March 2008 20:00

The Clarke file

Written by
Born: Cincinnati First job: Sweeping floors in my father’s company Education: Bachelor’s degree, business administration, Washington University of St. Louis; master’s degree, business administration, University of Chicago What is the greatest business lesson you’ve learned? The philosophy that you get better or you get worse; you never stay the same. You’re continually improving. If you were to say, ‘What’s the key to success?’ it’s absolutely hiring the best people you can find and providing a platform for them to execute on the strategies of the organization. (The senior team members) view ourselves as a resource for the entire organization to…
Sunday, 24 February 2008 19:00

Listen up

Written by
Diversity drives creativity. That notion may not be particularly revolutionary, but it has nevertheless proved invaluable to Jeff Johnson at Weaver Industries Inc. As executive director of the organization, which provides vocational training and employment opportunities for 750 adults with developmental disabilities, Johnson must routinely apply out-of-the-box thinking to solve commonplace dilemmas. In 2005, for example, he was charged with creating a new venture to provide more employment opportunities for Weaver’s internal customers. So Johnson turned to a diverse group of executives from the Akron community to assist him and established an enterprise task force. The unique backgrounds of those…
Sunday, 24 February 2008 19:00

What’s your worth?

Written by
Whether you’re selling your business or doing estate and gift tax planning, you may need to know what your company is worth. Business valuations take into consideration the economic and industry outlook, the investing public’s confidence, your financial performance, assets and market value, and more. “There is not one universal formula used to value a company,” says Elaine Rockwell, CPA/ABV, CVA, associate director in the business valuation and litigation consulting services group at SS&G Financial Services, Inc. There are guidelines that should be considered, however. The same ruling that valuation practitioners relied on 50 years ago still applies today: Revenue…