Crony Capitalism – How Bad Has It Gotten In The US?

We all know the problem of the revolving-door in our political leadership and bureaucracy. Folks are in and out of government, keep their contacts and make a fortune from the known reality: it’s not what you know but whom you know. The problem with all this is exactly what Adam Smith warned us about; the incestuous relationship between government and business. Corporations in the US are large and powerful, and have and hire the best talent, retain and control endless resources – these corporations do not NEED government favors, nor does their executive leadership, they are doing fine.

To secure the most optimum efficiency in our economy, we must keep the free-market as free as possible, when we allow a skew due to political favors or inside information, or allow lobbyists to the run the table, often at the expense of the people all we do is prove the cynics correct that; the game is rigged. Perhaps this is why Donald Trump has promised to; Drain the Swamp. And, he’s human too, I have no doubt he will drain the left-side of the swamp first, but it’s still a good start. The trick is to set a new set of rules, lay down the letter of the law, and move forward.

In Harvard Business Review, December 2013 Issue, there was an interesting article titled; “Unwinding Inequality” and in that article was a quote by Angus Denton; “When people use their success to change the rules in their favor, that success is no longer to be celebrated.”

“Yes,” I say, “Indeed.” But let’s take this argument to a higher level shall we. First, I find it rather hypocritical to read of this in the Harvard Business Review, as most there believe in the concepts of Adam Bellow who wrote the book “In Praise of Nepotism” which might explain why all the Supreme Court Justices went to Ivy Leagues, Harvard or Yale, some both. Worse, look at the academic records of the last 5-presidents of the US, and a darn good many senators, and heads of major bureaucracies, corporations and NGOs.

Second, if we dissect that quote, it talks about “success” and the concept of changing the rules once one, a group or corporation gains in the synergy of their own success. Well, isn’t this really the same challenge with guerrillas or terrorists attacking the status quo, authority and government – if they succeed, they are then in control and then they inevitably seem to use the same so-called tyrannical methods of ruling that their predecessors had before they ousted them – thus, the word “revolution” as it just goes round and round as another group comes along to then unseat their new authority.

Now, one can see a similar process in business and industry. For instance, read;

1. “Rule Makers and Rule Breakers,” by David Garnder
2. “First Break All the Rules,” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
3. “The Innovator’s Dilemma: The Revolutionary Book That Will Change the Way You Do Business,” by Clayton M. Christensen

Once the company garners market share synergy, and industry status, it moves to change the sector’s associations to lobby to get the rules and regulations changed to its way of doing things blocking future disruptive competitors from coming along to change the industry just as they had to get to where they are today.

The easiest way to do that is through crony-capitalism, campaign contributions, public-private business partnerships, which also leads to selling goods and/or services to the government and secure a free flow of money to further continue their dominance by playing with the political elite – who all went to Ivy League schools. Thus, I find it so fascinating that HBR (Harvard Business Review) had the gall to even publish that article – due to the obvious hypocritical nature of the norm which comes from that elitist institution. Please consider all this and think on it.

The Best Places To See If You Go To Italy

Ravioli, Tiramisu and lush red wine- we all know how amazing all of these things are in Italy. But another thing that Italy is famous for are its beautiful and renowned travel destinations. This country is filled with remnants of the Roman Civilization and extraordinary architecture from the past. What most of us don’t know is that Italy is actually home to the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Literally everything in this country is worth seeing. But for those of us, who don’t want to or don’t have enough time to go through the whole countryside, here is a list of places you can visit to ensure you get the best of Italy:

1. The Leaning Tower Of Pisa:
This architectural beauty is actually a mathematical phenomenon that still confuses many brilliant minds. The tower of Pisa, famous for its incline is actually a wonder of the world which the most important reason for you to see it. And if you’re a fan of archeology then that’s an added bonus as well. People from all over the world come here all year round to view this. And if you’re planning to go to Italy as well make sure you book your tickets using Alaska Airlines.

2. The Colosseum:
The Roman Colosseum is also one of the Wonders of the world and is the largest amphitheatre in the world. This was created by the prehistoric Roman Leaders and is one of the biggest mementos of the Roman Civilization. It has more than 80 entrances and can house more than 50,000 people at one time. This amphitheatre was actually made as a center of sports and entertainment and has hosted several such events throughout history. However, its condition has deteriorated significantly over time due to natural disaster and climatic conditions.

3. Venice:
The city of Gondolas and water, Venice is a sight to behold for anyone who loves water. The city is famous worldwide for its beauty and the fact that it has been built completely on water. If you’re a romantic at heart, then this is the one place that you should definitely not miss out on. The structures here are comprised of over 150 canals in such an intricate manner that further enhances the beauty of the city.

4. Piazza Del Campo:
The city of Tuscany is home to one of the most beautiful and magnificent medieval squares – The Piazza Del Campo. This seems to be very common in Italy, but this structure also has some of the beautiful architecture that has been seen in the world. Twice or thrice a year a horse race is hosted here which involves circling the Piazza Del Campo and that is definitely a sight to see.

So book your ticket to Italy today using Alaska Airlines and remember to have a lot of fun and stress less holiday!!!

Coffee Shop On Wheels – How About Parking At a Rest Stop for Weary Travelers?

One thing us retired entrepreneurial company founders like to do is think up new potential start-ups. Luckily for me, I’ve started a little think tank that has several of us on board. Lucky also for you, if you want to start a business, we don’t mind sharing our ideas with you, heck maybe you can get some funding and make a go of it, do something great, fill a niche and be the next successful start-up entrepreneur out there. I wish you well.

Okay so here is a recent idea we came up with, actually it is an old idea, rehashed. There have actually been some franchises that do this. This has a different twist. Do you know how rest stops along the highway sometimes have vendors selling food? Usually, someone has a deal with the state and gets a license to do business there? How about a mobile food truck that serves up Lattes, Mochas and Espresso – high-end coffee?

One of our think tankers suggested we call it “R and R” and try to get it licensed in all states.

Indeed, there are mobile restaurants in every state almost – some have purposely made it tough on the sector due to restaurant industry lobbyists. I like the name idea, and I had once prepared a business plan for my brother’s company – the potential company would have been named Jumping Java – with on-site corporate parking lot delivery. The runners would take the orders and deliver the coffee inside the company. R&R might be a good name, but some people drink coffee to pep-up and not to rest or relax, so that might not be the right name. Unless you told them the name was for “Ramp-up and Race-Forward” or something. Well, it would be a huge logistic nightmare, you’d need commissaries for the mobile units, home bases, required by law.

You’d need permission where to park, licenses in every city, most cities have ordinances for what they might deem street vendors thus, controlling when and where you can set up. Each state is required by law to send it out to bid, and then the lowest common denominator, minority company paying ridiculously low wages would be competing with you while their employees lives 10 people to a house, and they got a 15% bid advantage for being a minority or woman owned business, and an SBA loan, that others could not get.

Then the government would PR the crap out of it telling everyone how some Bozo Congressman was providing jobs. It would be a nightmare to deal with the state. Worse, they often close the rest stops for no reason, and you’d be out of business for that time period. Then there is the crime issue, and angry people that the bathrooms are not cleaned, even though that isn’t your fault. You should see the stuff that goes on at rest stops. Although having someone there selling something does add a level of safety, because people are there.

One think tanker noted; “Sometimes there are people giving free coffee at rest areas trying to make their roads safer.”

Yes, I’ve seen that, and I am in favor of it. Maybe the state would pay for just plain “free black coffee” and you could sell the higher-end coffee drinks or, the state gives you free rent, if you give the cheap black coffee out for free and then are free to sell the expensive stuff. Be Great, Don’t Hesitate.

Fulfilment by Amazon and How It Helps Explode Your Business Profits

In this modern society where almost everything is digital, it is hard to believe that there are still those who prefer traditional methods, such as in the field of advertising.

Online advertising has been a hit in the last decade. Internet marketing has taken over businesses by storm and doubled their revenue. However, some people still see the field as unnecessary and taxing so they try to convince others to veer away. Below are other reasons why some individuals dislike online marketing:

Inability to adapt with technology
A person may refuse the method because they may not be technology savvy. They are afraid that technology is hard to monitor or manipulate so they choose to stay manual.

Mastery of craft
A lot of traditional people spent years perfecting their craft, so they believe that their capabilities are sufficient. Online marketing is a threat to physical advertising because it minimizes the need for logistics, hence the repulsion.

Less Jobs
Some people think that digital work reduces employment opportunities due to computers replacing manual labor. Only a handful of people are necessary to make internet marketing work.

Information Breach
Putting everything on the internet is a risk for hacking or information leakage that’s why many are skeptical about it. Online marketing requires a substantial amount of data that can be easily stolen or erased.

Lack of Equipment
Many marketers don’t have reliable internet or computers to handle critical work. Manual advertising is easier to delegate and segregate, so smaller businesses prefer it.

Lack of Empathy
Advertisers believe that online marketing is not good for client relations because it promotes a more detached form of communication and a robotic response. Manual advertising is more personal so it is easier to convince people.

Lack of Authenticity
Marketers are wary of online advertising because people nowadays are harder to convince, especially in terms of the authenticity of a product. Since everything can be manipulated or edited, they would have to work more to attract clients.

Population of Non-internet users
A big percent of the population is still manual so it is impractical to promote online marketing in these areas. Online commercials only work with regular exposure but if the audience only uses the internet a few times then it is a wasted effort. Manual advertising is beneficial when people are more inclined to support physical efforts or are part of a community network.

Promotes Mediocrity
Senior marketers believe that online marketing encourages laziness in the younger advertisers because most materials can be recycled, edited or rehashed. Marketing is a skill developed from experience and virtual training may not be enough to develop and create a better breed of advertisers.

Technology is a waste
People believe that using gadgets and computers are harmful to the health of workers so they don’t encourage the employment related to such. Manual advertising promotes brain functions through practice and personal relationships development. It is important for some people to backlog technology to help the environment.

Despite the many reasons why people may talk you out of online marketing, it is still undeniable that this form of marketing has a lot of potential. Learn how you can maximize the web when it comes to marketing your products and services, so you can expand your reach.

John Richards has many years of experience creating and developing books, eBooks, manuals, and videos, on a variety of subjects, including online wealth, pet care, Internet marketing, direct mail, health and wellness, and CD/DVD distribution service. John’s website provides ideas and practical advice for people who want to enjoy the rewards of earning an income from home using simple websites.

Different Uses of Graphite

Graphite felt is available in several thicknesses and widths to match the specific application. It is most commonly used as an insulating material, such as cladding, heat shields, or filters. Most of the felt is low density to help improve performance by letting a furnace or similar object heat and cool at a quicker rate. This low density also helps to control and stabilize the temperature to create the atmosphere that is more constant and maintains the more productive heat all the way through.

The felt can have an extra coating which is useful to give more protection against erosion. Graphite felt is made to be easy to cut to size and install in place. Plus, there is a rigid form of this material and created in a variety of shapes, such as rings, cylinders and baffles.

Here are a few of the popular uses of graphite:

Ceramics industry

The use of graphite is common in the ceramics industry to help increase performance while the furnaces are working at high temperatures, as well as giving greater mechanical strength and electrical conductivity.

Automotive industry

Graphite is the preferred material to use in place of asbestos in the automotive industry and can feature in a variety of areas, such as the brake lining and gaskets. Plus, it is a major aspect of brushes used in the electric motors.

Defense Technology

Graphite is a practical choice for a wide range of military aerospace vehicles because of the ability to endure high temperature ranges. Also, this material is a useful choice for space shuttles and applied as surface tiles. The material is very stable with high resistance properties, and can endure temperatures that reach up to 3000 degrees C.

Electronics industry

The use of an ultra-pure form of graphite is becoming more popular in electrical circuitry and components because of the increasing reliance on computers. Also, the graphite is a favored choice for electrical circuits and systems that rely on automation.

In addition to graphite, there is also a carbon fiber felt which is a similar type of material and useful in applications that need high temperature insulation, such as furnaces. This material also has high heat properties even with thin layers to provide the reliable and long-term insulation results. Plus, this material is able to avoid contracting or shrinking to help maintain the consistent heat and avoid issues with hot sports or cavities.

10 Important Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting An Online Business

These ten factors may not necessarily appear in the same order as listed below but certainly, they are vital for the issue at hand.

HERE ARE THE TEN QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

1. What type of online business do I want to engage in?
2. What do I have on offer that will be better than my Competitors in my niche?
3. Do I need to prepare a business plan for my business?
4. How much will it cost to set up my business?
5. Is my business online based or BOTH online and offline?
6. Do I need a dedicated website for my business and how much will it cost?
7. How will I market my business whether online or offline?
8. What is the right strategy to use to market my business?
9. Am I getting value for money in advertising my business?
10. Am I reaching the right audience with my advertising?

Having a positive answer for all these questions can only lead you to the next stage of your pursuit of running an online business.

Engage yourself in research into the business you want to get involve in and have a go at it. Take for instance, the Mobile Phone Industry. Statistics have shown the total number of mobile phone users worldwide from 2013 to 2019. For 2017 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77 billion. Customers and potential customers use their mobile phones to browse the internet for Products and Services more than a Laptop or Desktop computer, so it make sense for business owners to utilize this piece of technology for marketing their products and services. This could suggest that there is an opportunity to tap into the mobile app industry to meet the needs of these businesses requiring mobile apps.

Millions of apps for almost anything you can think of, are now in circulation whether for free download or at a cost. You might ask, why don’t I have a slice of the pie and start a mobile app business? The excitement kicks in, but one has to have some kind of knowledge about the whole App design process. This will probably force you to dig deeper into your research on the whole aspect of mobile app development. With this being established, my first question is answered; through study and research, you have made an informed decision to get involved in Mobile App Design and Development. But, what will you be offering that will be better than your Competitors? This is not a simple question to answer, but to say the least, strive to offer quality products and services to customers, and simply make your Products and Services more affordable while maintaining quality.

Starting a business without some kind of a business plan is like driving onto a very long motorway with 1/4 tank of fuel, with the hope that it will take you to the next service exit. The business plan will give you a breakdown of what you need for the business even though success is not guaranteed, as there are a number of opposing factors along the way.

There are a lot of businesses with little or no startup cost as opposed to other businesses with huge startup cost. It also depends on whether your business will both be online and offline. You have to decide if the business you want to indulge in, has minimal startup cost.

To setup an online business, does not have to cost an arm and a leg, if you take the time to do extensive research into the business you want to get into.

If your business is online based, advertising it to the right audience can be a huge task. Finding the right sources to advertise your business, can be quite challenging and risky as this is where you can spend huge sums of money to advertise, but yet get little return on investment if the advertising strategy is wrong.

Advertising a business to a targeted audience involves a number of factors like;

1. Google Indexing
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
3. Domain Authority (DA)
4. Page Ranking (PR)
5. Back links
6. Social Media
7. Joining Forums
8. Blogging
9. Google AdWords
10. Google Analytics
11. Keywords Research

To do all of these stuff can be demanding and boring, but if you need success in any business, you just have to get on with the task at hand.

Handing over this challenging task to an SEO Expert can be quite expensive. If you put the time and effort in and do your research and utilize the available SEO tools on the Market, believe me, you can bring your online business to life without ‘breaking the bank’.

To conclude, I would say to minimise business startup costs, try to do as much as you can yourself. When you have exhausted all avenues, seek help.

I did not need any website design experience to build the Apptitecture’s website. Therefore, not having to ask a web designer to build a website, has saved me some money which I was able to channel elsewhere in the business. Starting an online business can be quite daunting but with hard work and determination, you can have a successful business in the end.

The 8 Questions You Must Ask Before Working With Any Business Credit Building Company

There are few business credit building companies out there, however, those that are out there are taking advantage of the lack of knowledge from the general public regarding business credit and how to get a business loan.

DON’T LET THEM RIP YOU OFF!

I’m going to try to show how to get unlimited capital for your business…

Without risking your personal assets, lowering your personal credit score, or damaging your personal credit history

These 8 Simple Questions will ensure Your Success Building Business Credit when looking for a Small Business Loan

There are simply too many people who hire business credit building companies that are not happy with the results. Before choosing another company, if you ask these 8 questions you will be assured that you will be working with a legitimate company who can help you build business credit and more importantly get the small business loan you seek. Getting that business loan is after all what you’re looking for, isn’t it?

Why is it so important to work with knowledgeable advisor? Why can’t you do it on your own? The Fair Credit Reporting Act does not apply to the business credit bureaus; this means that if you make a mistake, skip a step, try and take a short cut, your business credit file can be “Red Flagged.” This means your company is prohibited from receiving credit and perhaps that elusive business loan.

There is a proven step-by-step process that MUST be followed if you plan on properly building your business credit and getting working capital. If you don’t follow the proven process then you can be put into the “High Risk” category. When that happens, no lending institution will give you a cash advance or small business loan and there is nothing you can do to remove it.

Make sure to choose a honest credit building company that has the knowledge, experience and proven systems to support you, before you decide whom you will work with, make sure to ask them these 8 vital questions.

Question #1

Will I be obtaining only trade credit or CASH credit?

Be careful, there are a number of companies out there that will only help you obtain trade credit. Trade credit can only be used with the individual creditor, and nowhere else. This is great if you need $3000 of paper products, but is useless if you need payroll loans, inventory loans, or simply to cover business expenses or expand your company.

And if it is CASH credit, will I always need to personally guarantee the application?”

If the company says you will always have to personally guarantee all types of credit – then you are NOT receiving the full benefit of business credit. Keep in mind, the solution must introduce you to business funding services that will not require a personal guarantee, however these non traditional lenders will still be checking your personal credit and need your social security number. They do this to stay in banking compliance.

Question #2:

Will a trained coach show me, step by step, how to incorporate my business and build business credit with an eye to getting that merchant loan or business loan?

My guess is that if you wanted to figure out the intricacies of incorporating your business, and building corporate credit on your own… you would have already done so. (I’ve done it. And believe me… this is NOT stuff you want to muddle through on your own.)

So if you won’t be receiving step-by-step instructions supported by a trained credit coach, resulting in a predictable successful outcome, call another company. (I’ll spell out each step for securing business loans without traditional personal guarantees in crystal clear detail in a later article).

Question #3:

If I get stuck while I’m taking all those necessary steps, will I have to pay you hundreds or even thousands to help me figure it out?

Many companies charge low fees up front and continue to tack on heavy, additional charges each time you call or write for help.

Make sure they deliver everything you need to know to secure a bad credit business line of credit or high risk business loans, all without the traditional personal guarantee. Make sure you will have access to a dedicated coaching advisor and who places no limits on how often you can speak with them.

Question #4:

Will you have the ability to set up capital loans, and monitor the development of your business credit score with all major business credit agencies all within your coaching platform?

Why work with an advisor who is trying to blindly lead you!

Question #5:

When companies promise to get you cash credit, ask them this pointed question: “What type of paperwork is required to get cash lines of credit?

Beware of companies that say it is not required to furnish any financial statements, tax returns, business plans, bank statements, etc., to obtain a small business loan without a traditional personal guarantee. When it comes to getting approvals for cash advance without a traditional personal guarantee, you will need to show that your company is financially responsible and you do this by showing it earns revenue, pays its bills on time and has establish good business credit.

If the company tells you that you can obtain this type of financing without providing any real documents, don’t bother working with them, they are not being honest.

Think about it, is a lender really going to give you hundreds of thousand of dollars without a traditional personal guarantee without you having to show them that you are a “safe-risk?” Over time I will show you exactly what you need to do in order to become a safe risk and secure a small business loan.

Question #6:

How are your coaches paid?

This is a really important question! How would you like to work with someone that could care less if you obtain the business loan you desperately need? Think about it!

Question #7:

When it comes time to apply for a business loan, are you going to pass me off from lender to lender?

This is another very important question. Virtually every credit building company will, when it is time to apply for a business loan, pass you off to one lender to apply, and then tell you to go and apply at the next lender and so on. They literally end up sending you on a wild goose chase and just hope that one of the non traditional lenders can obtain capital loans for you. Does this sound like something a real business credit and financing expert would do?

Question #8:

What kind of a guarantee do you offer?”

It’s critical to get the specifics about guarantees. Because most companies that offer guarantees or promise only that your corporation will get a 80+ Paydex score. While this is a start, it’s not good enough –

If after completing your program, you should have:

Corporate Compliance and documentation review

D&B file and a D&B rating

D&B Paydex Score

Business credit file with Corporate Experian with an intelliscore

Business credit file with business Equifax with the appropriate business credit score.

Trade accounts and/or Vendor Accounts with and without a personal guarantee.

A Business Credit that can be used to leverage financing opportunities

This is not, by any means, a comprehensive list of all the questions entrepreneurs should ask when it comes to building corporate credit. But if you address these costly and dangerous errors, you will be on your way to building a safe, secure, and financially sound business-the business you always dreamed of!

Hopefully, these 8 questions will help ensure that you work with a credit building company that will be honest, upfront as well as help you successfully establish your business credit and leverage it into new small business loans and opportunities for your business.

Preparing Your Car for Winter

The Canadian winter season can considerably influence driving conditions. In situations like this, drivers are more prone to accidents. It’s critical to focus on cautious driving to protect yourself and keep your family. Safe driving also helps minimize your insurance rates while reducing wear and tear on your vehicle.

Here are a few checks that you can perform to ensure that you, your family and your vehicle remain safe over the winter months:

Take your auto in for a tune up before the first snow fall. Having the peace of mind of a well maintained vehicle all year is an excellent idea, but it’s particularly essential during the winter when driving conditions are impaired.

Ensure you have the right oil for your vehicle. In general, thinner oil like 5W30 works better in cold winter conditions than 10W30 or 10W40, which are thicker. Thinner oils circulate easier, which makes lubrication of your engine easier in cold temperatures. To find the right oil for your specific vehicle, check your owner’s manual.

Keep your gas tank full. A full gas tank lowers the chances of running out of gas and being stranded. In addition, it brings down the possibility that your gas lines will freeze up because of condensation or water vapor buildup in extremely icy climates.

Ensure your battery is in great condition. Being stuck in remote areas and being unable to start your car is dangerous. Check that your battery’s connections are corrosion free and for batteries older than 3 years, consider testing its capacity to hold a charge.

Ensure you keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. A well thought out kit can be a lifeline in the event that you are stranded in the middle of nowhere, or on a highway. A high-quality winter kit for your car should include:
No less than one warm blanket.
A flashlight.
A shovel, in case you need to dig out of deep snow.
Additional warm garments, including boots, gloves and caps.
A well stocked first aid kit.
A bag of salt or sand to give you extra traction if you get stuck.
Food and drinking water. Foods with high sugar content are excellent choices.
Jumper cables.
A flare.
Spare windshield wipers.
Extra windshield washer fluid.

Test your tire pressure. Because of the colder air, your tire pressure tends to drop a small amount in the winter. Keeping your tires at the maker’s prescribed pressure makes your vehicle simpler to handle, making you more secure on the road and will even improve fuel economy which will save you money!

Check that your anti-freeze mixture is correct. Your coolant should have a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water. If you’re uncertain, you can purchase a reasonably priced anti-freeze analyzer at most automotive part stores. Keep your anti-freeze levels above 50% to prevent leaving your engine susceptible to freezing up.

Think about snow tires. If you tend to get heavy snowfall in your area, it might be worth getting snow tires for your vehicle throughout the winter months. The deeper grooves on snow tires provide substantially more traction on snow covered surfaces, which makes them able to stop your vehicle up to 40% more rapidly than all season tires. As well, snow tires are constructed with a specific type of rubber which lets them to preserve their flexibility even in coldest winter conditions.

Consider replacing your windshield wipers if they are not in good condition. Defective windshield wipers can essentially debilitate your capacity to see in wet and icy climate conditions. If your windshield wipers are not making good contact with the windshield and are not clearing it properly, they should be replaced.

Check your brakes. On the off chance that it’s been over six months since your last brake check, have them checked again before the winter driving season. With the dangerous conditions that winter brings, having the capacity to stop quickly is much more critical than in warmer climates.

Performing these checks before the ice and snow can keep your vehicle running safely and easily all winter season. This will give you one less thing to stress over when you’re driving and help to keep your auto insurance premiums low.

Sensible Manufacturing and the Ultrasonic Flow Meter

The Manufacturer MX Awards

Each year The Manufacturer MX Awards aim to recognise great achievements in the industry. Entries are invited for a number of different categories, with the ultimate title of ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ presented to a company that is strong across the board.

The winner of this year’s ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ title was announced in November and Dura Automotive took home the award. The company also returned to the office with awards for ‘People and Skills’, ‘World Class Manufacturing’ and ‘Sustainable Manufacturing’, so it was well worth attending the event!

Investment in Employees, Quality and Sustainability

Dura Automotive are an international company that design and manufacture control systems for the automotive industry. They may be a large operation, but the awards they won clearly illustrate what it takes to grow a successful business; investment in employees, quality and sustainability.

If you take a look on their website, you will see that their objectives are to ‘inspire drivers, customers, our people, the competition and stakeholders through innovation and performance’.

They understand that in order to deliver full customer satisfaction, they need to deliver high quality products. To do that, they need to stay ahead of the competition with innovative ideas, products and processes, staff training and development opportunities and a positive, customer focused vision. In addition, they understand the importance of integrating sustainability into every aspect of their business.

Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable manufacturing focuses on minimising the negative outcomes of production. The overriding aim is to lower the environmental impact of manufacturing and distribution, yet the real benefits to business come from the fact that in working towards sustainability is a process of continuous improvement.

Many manufacturers have been incentivised to take action. On the receiving end of Government initiatives or in a bid to reduce energy, water and waste management costs, more companies have been willing to consider sustainable options. Whilst they may have started off thinking of this as a tick box exercise, the real benefits of taking action soon become apparent. Huge savings have helped many companies to remain competitive in the global market, have paid for other investments or have boosted profits.

Flow Monitoring

When it comes to water and energy use, flow monitoring has proved valuable in running processes at optimised levels, improving quality control, minimising waste and reducing downtime due to problems in the process. This has supported significant cost savings in storage, processing, waste management and utility bills.

By investing in low cost ultrasonic flow meters, which retrofit to the exterior of pipework, flow monitoring can be straight forward to implement. Calibrated to the specific flow range of the liquid or gas that passes through the pipe, the ultrasonic flow meter provides data that quickly identifies when abnormal flow rates are detected. This acts as an early warning system, so the issue can be quickly identified and rectified.

The ultrasonic flow meter also supports the optimisation of the process, which can be highly effective in quality control. This has been widely used to reduce waste batches and waste management costs in food, pharmaceutical and automotive industries, to name but a few.

All of these potential cost savings from an affordable ultrasonic flow meter certainly justify investment in monitoring technology. Other low cost devices including tap aerators and rainwater harvesting systems have also helped UK businesses to gain a lot more than environmental credentials.

Recycled Materials

Another area in which Dura Automotive have invested is in research and developments around the use of recycled materials in their products. When manufacturers consider reusing materials rather than raw supplies, it can present a number of challenges. Being open minded to these challenges can lead to innovative thinking, fresh ideas and approaches which could open up new avenues for the product or company.

The use of recycled materials does depend on sufficient quantities being provided by a reliable source. Having said this, if a large scale operation such as Dura can find viable alternatives to raw materials, then a bit of research could lead to suitable supplies for smaller businesses.

There is often a cost in processing the material to ensure it is of a suitable standard for reuse. Companies may need to explore partnerships with other companies and other collaborative approaches to ensure that cost effective and convenient options are found.

Sustainable Advantages

Like Dura Automotive, the majority of the other manufacturing award winners also placed considerable emphasis on sustainability. If you want to see your company going from strength to strength, a greener approach could deliver many tangible advantages.

Stability, Predictability, Consistency, and Standardization in the Flow of Commerce

The best of all possible worlds is for the government to stay out-of-the-way of commerce, industry and business, and very rarely institute regulations. There are some times when government and businesses, industry associations should collaborate for the sake of standardization, but again, very rarely. The tendency to allow industry collusion, create monopolies, duopolies or quasi-cartels is just too easy. Further, once you create one regulation it’s hard to prevent the add-on affect, the temptation is just too great to add exceptions, additions, clarifications as lawyers, unions, and consumer groups work to lobby legislators to intervene with the regulatory apparatus.

A few years back this was a big conversation at our Think Tank, and one think tanker Andrew stated: “I would have to agree that businesses do need some form of standardization, but we must also understand several concepts! A business must have the capability to micromanage for maximum efficiency. I believe states should be granted the power to standardize businesses, not the federal government.”

Okay but, where I see the definite need for standardization are with things like Internet Protocols, railway track width, freeways for intrastate travel, airport runway markings, frequencies used in communication, food safety, etc. In a big state like TX you could get away with doing almost everything counter to the overall prevailing way of doing things, it’s practically large enough to be its own country, and some Texans would prefer it to be still. Pretty independent minded, even with the population’s mindset of succession from the union. It even has its own electrical grid.

Still, with regards to the flow of energy, transportation, distribution, communication, currency, etc. we need standardization. And to the point of having each state decide, what about every county, every city, or every HOA, down to every person, where do you stop the breakdown of centralized standardization.

The argument for state level standardization could be argued against by someone who is a County Supervisor telling the State to go to hell, we want to do it our way, especially a county like the County of Los Angeles, with 16 million people in it, also larger than most countries. How about a city telling the county where to go, again as an example, let’s take the City of Los Angeles VS County of Los Angeles, see the point.

And realize I am not making an argument for a global government here, but we also need some standardization there too, for aviation, which we do have, maritime, trade rules, and having the Central Banks work together so no one Central Bank doesn’t destroy the entire global economy. See that point. We need SOME standardization, but we MUST retain regional variation. We do this at the Global Level, but we don’t do it enough at our Federal Level with regards to the states in the US and that’s why we have issues now. Think on this.