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Thursday, 28 June 2001 20:00

Newsclips

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Do more with less Although the axe is falling at many companies -- maybe at yours -- you still need to complete projects quickly and on budget. How can you do that with fewer people? Keep the communication flowing, says Stanley Portny, author of ''Project Management for Dummies.'' Here are his tips for effective project management with a leaner staff. Prioritize. Encourage employees to talk openly about the demands on their time at work and help them find the activities they need to put on hold while they focus on the project. Don't dump and run. Although it's tempting to…
Thursday, 28 June 2001 20:00

Managing the supply chain

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John Q. Manufacturing gets an order via electronic data interchanges, cueing the customer service representative to check for errors and process. As the order enters the system, a raw materials request is aggregated with its sister division many miles away, bumping the price into the next lowest category. Several qualified suppliers place bids on the Web, and an e-procurement program signals the low bidder it has been awarded the order for the raw materials. The supplier's system responds with ship and arrival dates, which are automatically inserted into a work order. A lead time is assigned and an acknowledgement generated…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

People-based strategies

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Do you have any of the following at your company? Employees and managers who ask, ''Why would I ever want to work anywhere else?'' Rapid growth while maintaining margins in excess of the industry norm. A respected leader. A team of long-tenured employees who have taken true ownership of their jobs. Some of the best talent in the industry continually inquiring about job opportunities with the company. A strong financial and cash position while providing above average income opportunities to employees. Many of those sound too good to be true, right? Not for one company I've been working with. It…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Editorial excellence

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SBN Magazine in June garnered three Excellence in Journalism awards from the Press Club of Cleveland. Former SBN Cleveland managing editor Dan Jacobs was recognized with two honorable mention awards in the "Features, Personality Profile," and "Features, General," categories for "The Art of the Start-Up" and "A gathering of the tribes," respectively, under Business Publications. SBN Columbus associate editor Joan Slattery Wall picked up a second place award in the General News category for her story, "Divide & Conquer." This year's Excellence in Journalism competition drew 1,124 entries from a variety of daily and nondaily newspapers, radio and television stations,…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Wanted: biz plans

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Did you know that Northeast Ohio ranks 44th in the nation for new business start-ups? The region, however, contains more than 100 providers of assistance and resources for business owners. That's the impetus behind VentureQuest 2002, the Council of Small Enterprise's business plan challenge that runs through December 2001. The competition, also sponsored by SBN Magazine, seeks to connect those with ideas with those who can make them happen. The winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize and a variety of business support and small business ''must haves.'' The top five business plans will receive a $10,000 cash prize and…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

When employees attack!

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Despite the recent media attention on serious and fatal violence in the home, school and workplace, national statistics reveal that extreme violence in the workplace is declining. But as positive as this is, there remains an increased problem of low-level, employee-on-employee violence, the seemingly minor incidents of harassment, threats and intimidation that occur in many businesses. According to the results of the Workplace Practices Survey, at least one of 92 CEOs and HR managers who responded believes his company's biggest challenge is dealing with problem employees. And, while that person is in the minority, more than 10 percent of respondents…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Invisible employees

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''I'm upstairs now and I'm making an important phone call,'' Lisa Kay tells her 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old daughters. ''Everybody be quiet, OK?'' Amazingly, not a peep is heard downstairs. ''They're usually good,'' she says over the phone. ''They don't make too much noise.'' When she's not taking her daughters to school or to the babysitter, Kay spends a few hours compiling a target list of manufacturing firms for partners at her accounting firm, Plante & Moran LLP. After her children are tucked in, she types in a few database searches for new clients that fit her market. Kay is…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Extra! Extra! Read all about it

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In an age in which SEC Fair Disclosure rules are increasingly restrictive and Internet chat rooms filled with employee gossip can make or break a company's stock performance, sometimes the best way to control sensitive financial information is to share it. It should come, then, as no surprise that more than half of the 92 CEOs and HR managers who responded to this year's Workplace Practices Survey said they meet with their staff at least once quarterly to review financial information, the state of the company or company policies. A growing number of business owners and managers are opting for…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Power to the people

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What would happen to your company if tomorrow you arrived at the office and found every employee missing in action? Could you and your senior level staff -- assuming they weren't among the MIA -- simply pick up the slack, carry on with business as usual and satisfy your customers' needs? Probably not. And unless your business is a small firm with only a handful of clients, you'd probably be in deep trouble. That's why successful leaders typically surround themselves with competent employees talented enough to execute upon their vision and strategic plans. The smartest leaders recognize the importance of…
Thursday, 26 July 2001 20:00

Fun works

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Leslie Yerkes believes American businesses are starved for fun in the workplace. But all is not lost, she says. There are plenty of business owners out there who understand the need for fun and use it effectively in their companies. Yerkes, president of Cleveland-based Catalyst Consulting Group, researched companies nationwide known for their successful integration of fun and work. Then, last year, she hit the road to visit each one and talk face-to-face with the owners, managers and employees. Yerkes collected their stories and shares them in her new book, "Fun Works: Creating places where people love to work" (Berett-Koehler…
Tuesday, 27 February 2001 19:00

Building a future

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The architecture industry is facing one of its worst labor crunches in recent history. There are fewer than 100 university architecture programs in the United States graduating fewer than 100 students per program. Moreover, with the School Capital Bill passed by the Ohio legislature last year earmarking $1.8 billion for school construction projects, there aren't enough architects in the state to handle all the work. While it may not be able to solve the immediate crisis, Herschman Architects in Beachwood started a program that may help the labor shortage five or 10 years down the road. In conjunction with the…
Tuesday, 27 February 2001 19:00

Digital repo

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On July 1, changes in the Uniform Commercial Code will affect millions of daily business transactions nationwide. Ohio is just one of 27 states that adopted revisions to Article 9 of the UCC, which was updated to take into consideration emerging forms of e-commerce. The District of Columbia also adopted the changes, and there is a growing movement to get the remaining 23 states on board before the law takes effect. Article 9 deals with a lender's interest in personal property used as collateral to secure payment of an obligation. For example, when a bank lends money to a car…
Thursday, 30 August 2001 20:00

Business Notes

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The United States Department of Education awarded Lakeland Community College a $123,000 grant to increase businesses' and students' awareness, understanding and participation in the international marketplace. Odyssey Printwear of Aurora acquired North Royalton based Excel Advertising. K.F. Graphics and It's Just DM established a creative alliance to provide marketing programs for companies operating in a slowing economy. CAMP Inc. received funds from the Cuyahoga County Workforce Investment Board to administer the Incumbent Worker Training Grant for residents of Cuyahoga County. CAMP also received a $100,000 grant from SBC/Ameritech to expand the Ameritech/CAMP Center for eBusiness Services & Solutions (A.C.C.E.S.S.). The…
Thursday, 13 September 2001 13:01

Don't lose the culture

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You've worked hard for years to build your business and its culture. The team works together, people are happy and excited about the company, you've done a good job managing growth and leading the business. But then the bottom drops out. Sales fall from record highs to levels not seen in years, and it happens suddenly. Even worse, instead of bouncing right back, it has been months and sales are still very low. Decisions have to be made. How do you manage responsibly, keep costs in line and try to make at least some profit without ruining the culture you've…
Wednesday, 12 September 2001 20:00

Using media relations in sales

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Staying visible in today's marketplace is often critical to staying alive. That's why it's necessary to aggressively market your business. Marketing and public relations are perhaps the most vital tools for selling your company's products and services to potential and existing clients. Without putting a face on your company, customers will not really know what your business is all about. The media is an outlet that is often underutilized. Here are some easy steps to get started. Press kits as sales tools So you've put out news releases and and had numerous articles written about your company. What do you…
Thursday, 13 September 2001 08:31

Raising capital to raise capital

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To quote an attorney at a recent meeting, "The capital market is ugly." Talk about being concise and accurate. Everyone agrees capital markets are tough now, and that getting a start-up or expansion deal funded is far more difficult than it was two years ago. That said, deals are still being done. To have a deal join the ranks of those consummated, an entrepreneur must make it so attractive it bucks the ugly market. It's common to say businesses can be funded, but ideas cannot. This implies the entrepreneur has a revenue-producing business or has all the ingredients, including an…
Thursday, 13 September 2001 07:52

Fighting union fervor

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The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations are fertilizing union growth with some big bucks. Gone are the days of heavies breaking up wildcat strikes with baseball bats and chains. The old strong-arm tactics that used to be synonymous with the AFL-CIO are no more. In their place are strategic plans and educational support foundations, which combine with cash reserves in excess of $10 million. Today, the recently founded AFL-CIO Organizing Institute teaches the art of union organization by a different book. Rather than wage an adversarial campaign, today's unions have adopted a new tact -- the…
Thursday, 13 September 2001 07:15

No regrets

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At 13 years old, Michael White should have been playing ball and running a paper route. Instead, the then-political wanna-be volunteered to work on a campaign that whetted his appetite for politics. Thirty-seven years later, White is winding down his final term as mayor of Cleveland, saying he wants to raise his children and spend time with his wife. During his 12 years in Cleveland's City Hall, White never sugar-coated the truth or danced around the issues. One thing that can be said about the White administration era is that it was never lukewarm. Cleveland's movers and shakers either loved…
Thursday, 13 September 2001 06:50

The ABCs of ADR

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To avoid costly, time-consuming litigation, many employers are settling disputes outside of the courtroom through the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR offers both employers and employees a win-win situation by finding a common ground, then constructing a creative and collaborative solution. Four commonly used ADR techniques are: Mediation: A trained facilitator, known as a mediator, assists the disputing parties resolve their difference informally by helping them achieve a mutually acceptable agreement. Arbitration: A neutral third party resolves a dispute after hearing arguments and reviewing evidence from both parties. Conciliation: A neutral third party helps resolve disputes by improving…
With the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 being signed into law earlier this year, there have been significant changes in the way the financial sector is regulated. However, the bulk of the new regulations will be coming online over the next 18 months.“While the Act’s main focus is the soundness of the financial systems, it also impacts a broad spectrum of financial transactions, products and sector participants, including public and private companies seeking to raise capital through private placements,” says Edward Quinlisk, chair of the Securities Practice at McDonald Hopkins LLC.Smart Business spoke with Quinlisk…
Did you know that Euclid Avenue used to be called Buffalo Road, which was a shuttling ground for the Underground Railroad? Most Clevelanders tend not to know the interesting factoids behind the city’s history, but that’s something that Chris Ronayne is trying to change. He is the president of University Circle Inc., the development, service and advocacy organization that’s responsible for the growth of University Circle as a premier urban district and world-class center of innovation in health care, education, arts and culture. Ronayne spoke at the Smart Business Live luncheon Oct. 19 about how UCI is driving economic development…
Thursday, 25 November 2010 19:00

3 Questions

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  Gregory J. Skoda is the chairman and co-founder of Skoda Minotti. He specializes in helping clients grow and develop their businesses, and he also works with clients in developing and implementing strategic plans, providing creative business and personal tax planning, succession, estate planning, wealth accumulation strategies, and assisting with mergers, acquisitions and dispositions. Q. What should businesses do to take care of their accounting needs in this economic environment? You never really know whether you have a great doctor, just whether you have pain today. The same is true about our profession: You never really know whether you have…
Most people get a physical checkup at least once a year. Such things as blood pressure and heart rate tell a lot about one’s health and the direction it is going. Why not do the same with your business’s financial health as well? Sean Richardson, the NorthCoast president and CEO of FirstMerit Bank, says the idea of a fiscal — rather than physical — checkup is not a new one. However, it is typically overlooked in the rush to meet other deadlines. “Many business owners get regular medical or dental checkups,” Richardson says. “Yet, when it comes to evaluating their…
Tuesday, 02 November 2010 20:00

For every season

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So how should I describe the current environment for selling a business?I could just stop now and simply say that it is not the ideal time to sell a business. That would be an accurate enough statement, but this would not provide the reasons why it is notan ideal time. So let’s set the scene better: I have a bit of a problem with insomnia, and economic history is my passion. Combine those, and I’ve come to the conclusion through many late-night hours that we currently face a set of political and economic hurdles that are unprecedented in our country’s…
On any given morning, Tom Richmond might see one of his products featured on the “Today Show.”At the July 20 Smart Business Live luncheon, Richmond discussed The Little Tikes Co.’s continued innovation — even though it doesn’t come naturally to him.“I always thought people must go up on a mountain and smoke something and come back with some great idea,” says Richmond, company general manager, who also serves as executive vice president for MGA Entertainment Inc., Little Tikes’ parent company. “How can there be a process associated with that? But actually there is, and it’s amazing.”That process begins in the…
Health care is changing, and the path to accountability requires health care organizations to transform the way care is delivered. “Our mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care to our members and the communities we serve will not change under health care reform,” says Belva Denmark Tibbs, vice president of medical operations with Kaiser Permanente. She says more and more organizations have begun using integrated care delivery models, in which physicians partner with the health plan insurer to provide patient-centered care that uses evidenced-based medicine to identify the best treatment for patients. Smart Business learned more from Denmark Tibbs about…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 20:00

The concept of exercise

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Joshua Trentine, the founder of OVERLOAD Fitness discusses the concept of exercise and the inverse relationship between volume frequency and intensity.Joshua Trentine is the founder of OVERLOAD Fitness. Reach him at (216) 292-7569.