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Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:00

Country Pure Foods helps kids eat their vegetables

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You were probably told at one point early in your life that you had to eat your vegetables in order to grow up big and strong, whether you liked them or not. That’s the beginning of the story.With the passage of federal legislation in 2010, Country Pure Foods Inc. needed to find a way to incorporate vegetables into the products it sold through its school foodservice business.Country Pure supplies hundreds of millions of portion juices to schools across the United States from locations in four states. Now, it needed to come up with a product where a vegetable juice was…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:00

Evolution of Manufacturing 2013 Sponsors

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About our sponsors Cuyahoga Community CollegeIn October 2012, Tri-C opened its beautiful and spacious 50,000-square-foot Advanced Technology Training Center (ATTC), featuring high-bay labs, multipurpose training areas and an energy-efficient and naturally lighted environment for learning. The ATTC links workforce education to the latest technology, and combined with the college’s Unified Technologies Center (UTC), it is the largest technology training complex in Ohio. The ATTC was designed and constructed to achieve LEED Gold Certification. It provides students with education, hands-on training and employment preparation skills for well-paying jobs.Many of the programs offered take between 10 and 18 weeks to complete, providing employers…
Within the manufacturing facility of Thogus Products Co., a plastic injection molding manufacturer, space was becoming limited, yet customer demand was getting higher. In order to keep customers happy as well as define their processes, Thogus and its president, Matt Hlavin, revamped resources within the plant.The company put forth an effort to manage material more efficiently, manage inventory effectively and find ways to treat customers better. After getting a team together to execute this effort, Thogus was able to move machines, inventory and shelving, and with the same square footage, the company was able to efficiently stock material, manage finished…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:00

Bruce Hendrick stepped in and saved RBB Systems

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When the tech bubble burst in the fall of 2001, RBB Systems faced urgent, intense financial challenges. Virtually overnight, demand from its largest customer plunged 90 percent. Bruce Hendrick was asked to step in as president to help the company out of a dire situation.Committed, but not without apprehension, Hendrick accepted the challenge and bought in to the company. Hendrick quickly stabilized the situation by reassuring creditors through a focus on quality and service to customers. And it worked — RBB slowly but steadily recovered its financial footing, attracting new customers and serving the existing base well.However, by 2005, RBB’s…
Quality Electrodynamics has a passion to produce high-quality products at the lowest possible cost. The global developer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced medical equipment electronics achieves that passion through the use of lean (flow) manufacturing techniques, which the company calls its “ideal state” goal.With the guidance of president and CEO, Hiroyuki Fujita, Quality Electrodynamics has established ways to create a path toward the company’s “ideal state” goal. The company has made it mandatory that every process in operations must flow continuously from start to finish, new obstacles will be resolved one-by-one, workflow will be harmonized and simplified, and the culture…
Munich, Germany-based H.C. Starck Inc., led by executive CEO Andreas Meier, continues its development as a global company, producing manufactured goods that benefit the entire world economy, many of which are made at the company’s Euclid, Ohio, facility, which houses the fabricated products business unit, led by CEO Dmitry Shashkov.H.C. Starck’s leaders are well aware that companies cannot get complacent in today’s business environment. Continual change and improvement, rapid adaptation and sustainability are essential factors in determining whether a business can survive.With that in mind, H.C. Starck spent much of the previous year expanding its lean manufacturing principles throughout the…
The R.W. Beckett Corp., based in North Ridgeville and led by president and CEO Kevin Beckett, is built on a platform of three core values: integrity, excellence and respect for the individual.The Beckett Corp. works to nurture relationships with both employees and customers on a daily basis, and it has helped the company expand internationally — to Canada in 1990 and to China in 2007, producing electronic assemblies for the HVAC industry, and manufacturing and marketing oil burner equipment for the growing HVAC Asian market.As it has expanded, Beckett Corp. has embraced new technologies, transitioning its manufacturing facility from one…
ArtiFlex Manufacturing LLC has a name derived from two words: artisan and flexible. They’re two words that define the essence of Artiflex’s business. “Artisan” signifies the company’s diligence when it comes to working with customers to design and build high-quality, cost-effective tools. “Flexible” indicates the company’s ability to utilize its multiple locations, many presslines and organizational DNA to meet the needs of its customers.Led by CEO Erin Hoffmann, Artiflex has been building on these core competencies to better recognize the way in which the company can be useful to the niche vehicle market. ArtiFlex has expanded into current production model…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:00

Donna Rae Smith; Originality factor

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When my great grandparents immigrated toAmericafromItalyin the late 19th century, they sought to assimilate. Like many newcomers, their goal was to work hard and blend in with their American neighbors.A lot has changed since then. We’re a far more diverse nation than we were 100 years ago and technology has made the world a much smaller place. Success still requires hard work, but it no longer hinges on blending in. In fact, the opposite is largely true: In order to compete and thrive, individuals increasingly need to identify and magnify what it is that makes them different.The same holds true…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:00

Movers and Shakers Cleveland February 2013

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Cleveland-based Creekside Financial Advisors LLC has announced that Jeanne Cowart joined the financial services firm as a client manager supporting Alan Yanowitz, J.D., a Creekside financial adviser.Cowart’s strong analytical skills combined with her deep client-service experience makes her the ideal candidate to work with clients on a day-to-day basis and provide them with the data and information they want, in a manner that suits their particular needs.Cowart comes to Creekside after serving in client management roles at Edward Jones and AmTrust Bank. At Edward Jones, she was responsible for managing the operations of the office and, most importantly, delivering a…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:37

Soaring to new heights

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Voss Industries Inc. is a vertically integrated, employee-owned business composed of three divisions: Clamp Technology, which serves the industrial marketplace; Voss Aerospace, which serves manufacturers of airframes, jet engines and space vehicles; and Voss Technologies, which serves high-tech markets such as hydrogen fuel cells, medical technology and telecommunications.Key product lines include extensive prototype and OEM components, sheet metal and machined V-retainer couplings and mated flanges, band clamps, strap assemblies, sheet metal ducting, bulge-formed shapes, custom-welded fabrications and specialty fasteners.In order to effect continuous improvement in its manufacturing processes, Voss, led by CEO Daniel W. Sedor Sr., has developed benchmarks for…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:34

Growth and vitality in its mix

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Vita-Mix Corporation, privately owned and operated by the Barnard family since 1921, manufactures and markets blending and mixing products to the public and to the restaurant-hospitality industry. During the past four years, Vitamix, led by President and CEO Jodi Berg, has experienced tremendous growth and demand, with production volumes quadrupling. Not only has the volume increased, but the number and types of customers that Vitamix serves has grown as well.Growing quickly over a short period can create challenges for manufacturing procedures. Fortunately, Vitamix has been able to turn these challenges into opportunities to improve operational capabilities. Vitamix first attempted to…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:30

Sustainable growth

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Lean and green is the evolution of manufacturing, according to employees at Visual Marking Systems. The Twinsburg-based company, which provides custom graphic design services, has spent years perfecting the lean piece, investing in a “pure lean” for nearly a decade. So it makes sense that it’s now ramping up its focus on the green aspect, undergoing a 12-month sustainability initiative to implement “green” into the company’s existing lean systems and further evolve its lean enterprise by eliminating waste and minimizing its carbon footprint.Applying a dual focus on lean and green, VMS launched several new waste elimination projects, including a closed-loop…
Thursday, 31 January 2013 19:26

No assembly required

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In a fast-changing, global business environment, Superior Products LLC is among the growing number of manufacturing businesses looking to become leaner, faster and more efficient for customers.Under the leadership of President Don Mottinger, the manufacturer and provider of logistics services has continued evolve in order to compete with low-cost competition from overseas. This means delivering customers more service with less cost. Through lean manufacturing practices, Superior Products has been able reduce its manpower needs by 46 percent over a decade, minimize waste and increase efficiency in operations.Superior Products has implemented a number of initiatives to drive lean operations. One is…
Having a driver training or fleet safety program is likely something your insurance company already has on its radar. Companies with five or more vehicles and a history of claims could be required to complete the insurance company’s fleet seminar or safe driving training.But even if your company has a good driving record, some type of driver safety class and/or additional training benefits your business directly, as well as the insurance company.“It does have an impact on your rates, only because if you do implement a fleet training seminar, each year or every other year, you will start to see…
Whether it’s a major event such as Hurricane Sandy or simply a snow day, businesses need to be aware of the wage and hour implications of weather-related absences.“It is important to have clearly defined policies in place that address the many pay-related issues that are involved with a weather-related closing,” says Jenny Swinerton, general counsel at Sequent. “In addition, it’s always a good idea to implement a contingency plan that identifies essential personnel who are vital to the continued operations of the company and establish procedures for communicating with employees regarding emergency closures.”The same issues apply in cases when businesses…
In order to eliminate or mitigate inefficiencies, businesses must take a close look at current processes. This enables employers to uncover pains, such as the amount of paper being routed throughout the enterprise or the time it takes to process an invoice. Being able to recognize these inefficiencies is great, but many times, quantifying the end result is much simpler than isolating the source of the inefficiencies.“The problem can be anything — accounting, human resources, policies, leasing documents,” says Nano Zegarra, director, Imaging Solutions Division at Blue Technologies. “It also could be a simple fix, but perhaps the company doesn’t…
It’s tempting to always want the latest technology for your business, but it’s more important to determine what you actually need in a Web hosting service before rushing after the flavor of the moment.“Cloud service is the way the market is going because it’s efficient and effective. But it doesn’t make sense to push everyone to the cloud. A local pizza shop that has only 1,000 visitors to its site each month could go with a $4 per month hosting package on a shared server that will fit their needs very well and they’ll be very happy with it,” says…
If you surveyed 100 people about the recent tax changes, 95 of them probably will mention the capital gains and income tax rate increases at a certain level, but those are the two changes that may have the least effect, says Bruce Friedman, CPA, director in assurance at SS&G.“There were a couple of items that the publicity focused on, and therefore the general public focused on, which, based on my experience with taxes, aren’t necessarily going to be as big of an issue as some of the subtle items out there,” he says.Smart Business spoke with Friedman about some overlooked…
Think your company has no confidential information that needs to be protected? Think again.“All companies have confidential information which, if compromised, could cause immeasurable damage,” says Kate B. Wexler, an attorney in the Business, Corporate & Securities practice group at Brouse McDowell. “Confidential information can be tangible or intangible and of a technical, business or other nature.”Wexler says there are occasions where such information needs to be shared with employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, vendors, potential partners and others, and a confidentiality agreement should be put in place to protect the company’s interests.Smart Business spoke with Wexler about confidential information and…
The Weatherhead 100 identifies the 100 top growth companies in Northeast Ohio based on sales from 2007 through 2011. Companies on this list must have sales of more than $100,000 in 2007 and more than $1 million in 2011. In addition, the companies on this list must have had a minimum of 16 full-time employees in 2011. 1. Magnus International Group Inc. City: Painesville TownshipYear founded: 2007Sales growth: 2,735.6%Employees: 50-249www.magnusig.comMagnus International is a manufacturer and distributor of unique, natural animal feed ingredients, natural waxes and alternative fuels. 2. MFS Supply LLCCity: SolonYear founded: 2006Sales growth: 2,306.6%Employees: 16-49www.mfssupply.comMFS Supply is a leading manufacturer…
Thursday, 03 January 2013 15:16

Weatherhead 2012 Upstarts

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The Weatherhead Upstarts are companies whose percentage of sales growth qualifies for the Weatherhead 100 and that employed 15 or fewer employees and/or had less than $1 million in net sales in 2011. 1. Content Marketing InstituteClevelandYear founded: 2007Sales growth: 1684.28%Employees: 1-15www.contentmarketinginstitute.comContent Marketing Institute runs the largest international event in content marketing (Content Marketing World) and the leading magazine (Chief Content Officer). 2. Payroll4Construction.comBrunswickYear founded: 2006Sales growth: 917.52%Employees: 1-15www.payroll4construction.comPayroll4Construction.com is a payroll service provider just for the construction industry. 3. DXY Solutions LLCClevelandYear founded: 2006Sales growth: 377.69%Employees: 1-15www.dxysolutions.comDXY is a mobile technology consultancy. We create innovative mobile apps and embedded products 4. Guggenheim…
Thursday, 03 January 2013 15:13

Weatherhead 2012 Centurions

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The Weatherhead Centurions are companies with 100 percent or more sales growth (or equal to the 100th company’s growth percentage if less than 100 percent) from 2007 through 2011 and net sales of $100 million or more in 2011. 1. Shearer’s Foods Inc.City: MassillonYear founded: 1974Sales growth: 219.98%Employees: 1,000+www.shearers.comShearer’s Foods manufactures/distributes Shearer’s award-winning snacks and produces salted snacks for private label and co-pack customers. 2. Great Lakes Petroleum Co.City: Warrensville Hts. Year founded: 1997Sales growth: 216.02%Employees: 50-249www.greatlakespetroleum.comGreat Lakes Petroleum is a distributor of motor fuels and lubricants operating in Ohio, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. 3. Safeguard Properties LLC City: Valley…
6. Weatherhead CenturionsTradex International Inc.City: ClevelandYear founded: 1986Sales growth: 61.2%President: Saji DanielTradex International is a leading supplier of disposable gloves and apparel. Tradex International Inc. CEO Saji Daniel started his company out of his car. In 1988, the Cleveland State University student learned of a new Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandate requiring health care professionals to use disposable gloves to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B. Daniel started buying gloves and selling and delivering them between classes door-t- door.Now, 24 years later, Tradex is the largest U.S. supplier of disposal gloves, serving the medical, food, janitorial and industrial…
15. Weatherhead 100SpaceBound Inc.City: LaGrangeYear founded: 1987Sales growth: 200.26%CEO: Patricia MillerFounded in 1987, SpaceBound is a global tech distribution company. It’s the parent company of Galactics.com, BargainStation.com, SQRsolutions.com, NothingButSoftware.com, PricePlunge.com and XSDepot.com. SpaceBound Inc. began in 1987 as the brainchild of two struggling college students who needed a quick money fix.Fast forward 25 years and the global technology distribution company has grown from an original line of 75 software products to more than 70,000 and is projected to process more than 720,000 orders by year’s end. In addition, it added seven new team members this year alone, bringing its total to…
1. Weatherhead CenturionsShearer’s Foods Inc.City: MassillonYear founded: 1974Sales growth: 219.98%CEO: C.J. FraleighShearer’s Foods manufactures/distributes Shearer’s Award-Winning Snacks and produces salted snacks for private label and co-pack customers. Shearer’s Foods’ success speaks for itself. In the past five years alone, the Massillon-based snack-food maker has doubled its production, sales, facilities, product offerings and associates. “Shearer perfection in every bag” is the company’s motto, and the product quality epitomized by that phrase has always been, and continues to be, the No. 1 reason for Shearer’s remarkable run of success.Widely known for manufacturing and distributing its award-winning snack-food products, Shearer’s also manufactures private-label products…
1. Weatherhead 100Magnus International Group Inc.City: Painesville TownshipYear founded: 2007Sales growth: 2,735.6%Co-owner, president and CEO: Eric LofquistMagnus International is a manufacturer and distributor of unique, natural animal feed ingredients, natural waxes and alternative fuels. Magnus International Group Inc. bases its growth model on high-volume product development coupled with a high degree of trust in sharing information with its suppliers and customers.That model is working remarkably well for the Painesville Township-based manufacturer. Magnus has achieved explosive growth during its five years in business. The lion’s share of that growth has taken place since 2010. Up to that point, Magnus had concentrated on…