Technology and growth

October 1, 2015  |  Business

Taking the time now to learn about automated manufacturing processes can save time in the long run, while increasing productivity and revenue. Automated cutting and the associated use of CAD software has been available to those processing textiles since the late 1980s. While technology has matured, …
Managing cyber security

October 1, 2015  |  Business, Management

Don’t fall asleep at the computer. The recent headlines about Internet hacking and high-profile security breaches have focused on large retailers such as Target, Neiman Marcus and Home Depot, and big banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co. Unfortunately, fraud and financial data losses are not limited…
Loopy thinking

September 17, 2015  |  Business

From yarn to fabric, and back to yarn: recycling and repurposing materials. For companies with vision, strategic moves often require a leap of faith. In 2012, Designtex began using yarn produced from recycled fabric waste it had accumulated. “At the time, we were not sure if we would be successful…
Estimating for profit: Where to begin

September 1, 2015  |  Business, Features, Management, Marine, Markets

Understanding the customer’s unique wants and requirements goes to the heart of successful custom projects. Larry Schneider, owner of Homestyle Awning & Upholstery in Bay View, Wis., recently worked on a project that seemed fairly simple—adding screens to a car trailer so the customer could …
Explode your business

September 1, 2015  |  Business, Management, Marketing

Is your company growing as fast as it should? Over the years, you’ve built a reasonably profitable business; but lately, sales and profits have either increased only slightly or have remained flat. You know your business has far greater potential, but you’re not quite sure how to make it happen.…
Should you extend credit?

August 24, 2015  |  Business, Management

Fabricators stress caution when extending credit to customers. On the surface, it sure seems like a slam-dunk decision for a marine fabrication shop to not extend credit to customers. “Let’s see, when you write off thousands and thousands of dollars—maybe even $100,000 over the 30-year life of…
As the ACA stands

August 1, 2015  |  Business, Management

Despite legislative and legal challenges, now is the time to prepare for new requirements in 2016. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been around since 2010, despite more than 50 Congressional attempts to repeal it, its shaky financial footing may do it in. The ACA’s sharply increasing hea…
Business and pleasure

July 1, 2015  |  Business, Management

Attending trade shows is a valuable part of business strategy—with tax benefits. Self-employed specialty fabrics professionals—the owners, managers and employees of an industrial textiles and products business, even shareholder-employees—have long been allowed to claim an income tax deduction …
Retirement plan or tax benefit?

June 1, 2015  |  Business

Successful businesses often still have things to learn about managing taxes and income. Many business owners and managers are aware of “qualified plans” or programs like 401(k) and Defined Benefit plans, which allow the sponsoring employer: current income tax deduction for plan contributions; ta…
Safeguarding ideas

May 1, 2015  |  Business, Marketing

Clients may wander to other companies, but your ideas don’t need to go with them. It’s an occupational hazard for event planners and tent rental businesses. You spend no small amount of usually unbillable time developing an event design for a prospective client, only to have that person wander a…