Connecting with students

March 1, 2016  |  Business, Management, Resources

Opportunities for the next generation. As businesses and industries transition and evolve, more professionals recognize the importance of continually connecting with the college and university students who may be interested in learning more about the specialty fabrics industry. Just ask Stephanie Ci…
CRM programs run the gamut

February 1, 2016  |  Business, Management

There are dozens and dozens—maybe hundreds—of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs on the market. And it seems that most are difficult to use. In terms of navigating the programs, many CRM packages seem to be rated along an arc of complexity, from user-unfriendly to totally i…
Out of this world

February 1, 2016  |  Business, Management

Brent Anderson is a partner and engineering manager at Aerospace Fabrication & Materials, a Farmington, Minn., company that specializes in the design, fabrication and installation of Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) Blankets for use on spacecraft, launch vehicles and cryogenic applications. The comp…
When employees leave: fact finding

February 1, 2016  |  Business, Management

Mine the hidden resources of departing employees with a thoughtful exit interview. When it’s time to hire that new employee, you pull out all the stops: a complete review of duties and responsibilities, a tightly crafted list of desired skills and careful interviews. You make the hire—and hope t…
Person to person

February 1, 2016  |  Business, Management

Meeting face-to-face with overseas customers brings a wealth of benefits. I’ve been traveling to Asia, including China, since 1981, promoting U.S. products for more than 100 firms. One vitally important lesson I’ve learned is the value of talking with overseas customers in person. Face-to-face c…
Keep moving

January 1, 2016  |  Business, Features, Management

For most businesses, change is an essential part of long-term success. Ongoing innovation, in products, processes, service and value, is the best way to beat the competition. Innovation. It’s the essential ingredient in any company’s ability to thrive and stay viable for the long haul. Innovativ…
Streamlining with software

January 1, 2016  |  Business, Features

Today’s software and apps help fabricators keep pace and stay competitive, efficient and productive. Few words captivate the software and app sector more than the word change. Software and applications are drastically changing the way we do business, and many specialty fabric end product manuf…
Payroll perils

January 1, 2016  |  Business, Management

The Internal Revenue Service may be relentless about collecting income taxes, but mistakes in withholding and paying payroll taxes to the IRS can mean real trouble for a business. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can be tough on collecting income taxes, but mistakes in withholding and paying over-…
Back to shore

January 1, 2016  |  Business, Features, Management, Perspective

Jeff Schmitt balances the reality of off-shore manufacturing with how to bring production back to the U.S. “At the end of the day we’ve got to figure out ways to be competitive,” says Jeff Schmitt, senior vice president of operations for The Coleman Company Inc., Golden, Colo. “As the pe…
Tapping into innovation

December 14, 2015  |  Business, Features, Management

Innovation doesn’t always come easily, but creating a culture that fosters creativity can improve the process (and results) of continuous improvement. Every company knows that innovation is vital, but knowing how to innovate is a different matter. Why are some companies able to launch one new idea…