Thursday, August 7, 2014

Growing Sales and Maximizing Profits

If your sales and profits are down or stagnant and you’re not sure what to do about it, this seminar is for you!

Section 1: Is your Company prepared for growth?

Everything starts and ends with the value your company provides. It’s easy to blame the sales team when business is down and profits are eroding, but you can’t sell what you don’t have and you really shouldn’t expect significant sales growth or high profitability if your company, products and services are not meaningfully unique in your target markets.
In this section we will take a comprehensive overview of what consistently drives sales and profitability in successful growth-oriented companies... and how you can do the same.

Section 2: Is your Sales Team prepared for success?

In this section, we will discuss Sales Systems, Processes, Tools, Skills, and Knowledge required to build and manage a high-performance sales organization that can quickly identify and develop high-potential opportunities that will consistently grow your top-line sales and maximize your bottom-line profits.

Who Should Attend
Companies of all sizes and industries. Whether you are a company of 1, or you are a large corporation, the principles in this seminar apply to you.
  • Smaller companies should send Owners, Managers and Sales personnel.
  • Larger companies should send Company Executives, Sales Managers, and Professional Salespeople.
To get the most out of this seminar, we recommend that you bring a cross-functional team.

Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Time: 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
(Sign-in and full breakfast at 7:30 am)
Location: Owego Treadway - Owego, NY
Cost: $75 ($50 for AM&T Associates)

For questions about this seminar contact:
Jim Cunningham at 607-725-1225

or contact Kathy Peacock at 607-774-0022 x308
Registration Deadline: September 10th

See this and other newsletter articles at
Visit our website at

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Manufacturing Execs Open Pockets, See Growth Ahead

By: Steve Minter, Industry Week

Remaining positive about the U.S. economy and sales at their own companies, manufacturing executives in two new surveys say they will be increasing capital spending to prepare for improving business conditions.

Some 52% of industrial manufacturers in the quarterly Manufacturing Barometer survey conducted by PwC said they plan major new investments in CAPEX spending, up 13 points from the March 2014 survey. The mean investment was expected to be 5.7% of sales, higher than the 5.4% reported three months ago and well above the 4.0% forecast a year ago.

Manufacturers are also increasing shorter-term spending, the survey found, with 75% planning increased operational spending, led by R&D, introductions of new products or services and information technology. More than a third (38%) also plan to be engaged in M&A activity, with 35% planning to buy another business.

"Companies have maintained historically high levels of liquidity and are increasingly looking to put this money to work in strengthening their operations, adding talent and improving technology in a highly competitive marketplace," said Bobby Bono, PwC’s U.S. industrial manufacturing leader. "Plans for R&D spending reached the highest level in the past five quarters, as management teams look to differentiate their products and enhance the value proposition they offer to their customers."

Plans for both domestic and international investment also increased in the MAPI Business Outlook survey conducted by the MAPI Foundation, the research arm of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation. The U.S. Investment Index, which examines plan for domestic capital investment in 2014, increased from 59 this past March to 67 in the current survey. The Non-U.S. Investment Index, which forecasts investment outside the U.S., rose to 64 in the June survey from 59 in March.

There’s No Place Like Home!

Manufacturers remained positive (65%) about the U.S. economy’s prospects for the next 12 months, the PwC survey found, though that figure dipped 6 points from the last quarter. But industrial leaders were much less positive about the world economy. Some 38% said they were optimistic about the global economy, a drop of 3 points from the previous quarter. The largest group, 57% of the manufacturers who market abroad, said they were uncertain about prospects for the global economy.

Industrial manufacturers expect those positive conditions in the economy to translate to improved sales. Some 77% of the executives polled by PwC say their revenue will increase in the coming year, with the average increase pegged at 5.2%, just off last quarter’s projection of 5.3%. None of the executives expected to see sales dip in the next 12 months.

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Manufacturing Day 10-03-2014

Manufacturing Day has been designed to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the North American economy. In addition, manufacturers will learn about business improvement resources and services delivered through manufacturing extension partnerships.


As a manufacturer it’s your opportunity to:
• Tell your company’s story
• Dispel outdated myths about manufacturing
• Inspire a new generation of manufacturers
• Connect with potential customers in your community
• Learn about manufacturing extension partnerships that can improve your efficiencies and work force skills and boost your profits
• Visit other manufacturers to initiate business relationships and learn what is being made in your community

The core element to Manufacturing Day is the schedule of manufacturer’s open houses. Manufacturing Day producers will promote the open house schedule through general and trade media campaigns which will alert thousands of people to visit manufacturers and see that American manufacturing is a vibrant career path and employers need skilled workers. The event will also make it possible for manufacturers to visit other participating companies in their region that may be potential business partners – either as customers or suppliers.

Register to host an open house at your company

Sign-up to visit other manufacturer’s open house events

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Turn Strategy into Action

Competitive Solutions, Inc.

"Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position." - Brian Tracy

Goals provide the focus for organizations to achieve their strategy, but without GOAL ALIGNMENT, employees and departments are disconnected and corporate goals cannot be fully realized.

Employees who understand their individual goals - and how they relate to those of their organization as a whole - will also be more engaged and motivated to play their part within the organization. It is the coordinated, collective efforts of individuals and departments that drive organizational success, as everybody’s energy is harnessed and directed toward common goals.

Employees can only be productive when they know exactly what is expected of them.

Goals that are SMART:
• S - Specific (clearly specify the intended goals)
• M - Measurable (state exactly what the criteria for success will be and how it will be measured)
• A - Attainable (challenging but achievable)
• R - Realistic (employee is willing and able to work towards the goal’s achievement)
• T - Time-bound (clearly defined target date)

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Strategic Planning For A Competitive Advantage

Do you have a Strategic Plan? Is it shared with your team members?

Why Strategic Planning is important:
• Aligns your resources around a common vision.
• Provides a tool to help your organization do a better job with:
  - Focusing your energy.
  - Ensuring that all members of your organization are working toward the same goals.
• Assesses your organization’s direction in response to a changing competitive environment.

Strategic Planning is a disciplined approach to answer the following key questions:
• Where are you now?
• Where are you going?
• What needs to be accomplished?
• How do we get there?
• How will we measure progress?

Strategic planning creates a vision of the future that inspires and empowers your team to contribute to meeting your key strategies. By planning proactively, you will more successfully address your customer needs. Your action-plan will allow your operational improvement effort to connect while meeting your overall company strategy. Additionally, your activities and efforts will concentrate on markets where they will have the most impact and are most likely to succeed. Lastly, you are provided with professional, written plans to all team members that are easy to modify when business climate or competitive situation changes.

OUTCOME: A Compelling Competitive Advantage:
• Identifies your most valued customers.
• Defines and improves your organization’s understandings of your customers wants.
• Helps to clarify your competitive strengths and weaknesses.
• Evaluates relations with stakeholders, customers, suppliers, employees and owners.
• Clearly defines the major initiatives that will produce results and grow revenue.
• Identifies new opportunities and markets.
• Captures what your customer values from you.
• Identifies the key metrics necessary to monitor progress.

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Surprise Change To R&D Tax Credit Rules Is Big Help For Small Business

By Dean Zerbe

It is a rare day that small and medium business owners view news from the IRS and Treasury as a good thing. This news is different – different in a big way. The Treasury announced regulations (TD 9666) that will allow companies to take the Research and Development Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) on amended returns. This seemingly arcane change will mean many more dollars in the wallets of innovative small and medium businesses – money that will be used to create new jobs, expand businesses and keep doors open.

The previous regulations allowed companies to take the ASC only on original returns. This limitation allowing ASC only on original returns is in stark contrast to the regular R&D tax credit (and just about every other tax provision) – which the law and regulations allow you to take for all open years (usually the previous three tax years).

Why is allowing ASC on amended returns such a gamechanger? Simple – even under ASC it is not a walk in the park for a business to qualify (requiring books, records, etc.) for the R&D tax credit. The reality is that for many small and medium business owners it’s not worth the candle to qualify for the ASC if they are only getting one year of benefit. By allowing the ASC on amended returns – Treasury and IRS have completely changed the math for thousands of small and medium business owners, who will now see for the first time the benefits of the R&D tax credit.

For example, a manufacturer who previously decided not to take the R&D tax credit because the company would only see a benefit of $35,000 for the current tax year is now able to amend the company’s previous tax filings and will qualify for roughly $150,000 in tax credits (not to mention the state tax R&D credits for which they may be eligible). It truly is Christmas in June for that company and its employees.

Now the only other problem to overcome is self-censoring by businesses that don’t think they qualify for the R&D tax credit. Tens of thousands of businesses – especially small and medium businesses – wrongly think they don’t qualify. A key is to understand that the R&D tax credit isn’t just for basic research, but is also for applied research. Moreover, the number of industries potentially eligible for the R&D tax credit is vast.

Getting even a commonsense change like this isn’t easy–under any administration. Thanks to Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Tax Policy), John Dalrymple
, Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement at the Internal Revenue Service as well as David Selig at Treasury for all their time, effort and leadership in making this happen. I commend them for their good work and also the administration for its support for this critical change.

Finally, while the administration should be commended for this change, it would not have happened (or happened as quickly) but for Senators and Members of Congress making strong noises in support of this change; key were Senators Coons (D-DE), Cornyn (R-TX), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT) Klobuchar (D-MN) Roberts (R-KS) (a particularly big tip of the hat to the Kansas Senator – who was huge), Schumer (D-NY) and Wyden (D-OR) as well as Members of Congress Brady (R-TX) (raised this issue in markup), Camp (R-MI), Gerlach
(R-PA), Jenkins (R-KS), Neal (D-MA) and Linda Sanchez (D-CA). They have all been champions of helping small and medium businesses benefit from the R&D tax credit.

A good day for small and medium businesses, a good day for jobs and a good day for innovation.

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

I... Am A Manufacturer

• I take ideas and craft them into products that make life better.
• I take raw materials and turn them into parts for... well... everything.
• I help inventors’ dreams become reality.
• I move technology from the laboratory to your home.
• I am a vital part of my local, state and national economy.

I... Am A Manufacturer

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Associates’ Corner - Johnson Outdoors

Johnson Outdoors Gear, Inc. (JOG) of Binghamton, NY is best known locally as Eureka! Tents. Eureka! Tents is a subsidiary of Johnson Outdoors Inc. (NASDAQ: JOUT). Eureka! Tents is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of large commercial event/party tents, military shelters, camping tents, backpacking stoves, furniture and sleeping bags.

Eureka! Tents was started in 1895 by Arthur D. Legg who ran a small custom canvas shop that designed and sewed house and store awnings, Conestoga wagon covers, horse blankets, American flags, and tents.

Eureka! has been making quality tents and seasonal structures for more than 100 years and, for 75 years, ran a successful tent rental business. Eureka! has earned a reputation for quality products and innovative designs in manufacturing earning them multiple IFAI Achievement Awards for tent design and excellence in manufacturing.

Keeping up with the growth of their business, Eureka’s facilities have grown to over 120,000 square feet of manufacturing space and a 30,000 square foot distribution center including the acquisition of Jetboil Inc. located in Manchester, NH. Jetboil is an industry leader in the design and manufacturing of compact backpacking cooking stoves.

The company is also the exclusive US distributor of Silva® compasses.

For more information visit:,, and

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at

Associates Corner - ENSCO Avionics

ENSCO Avionics, Inc. is a provider of safety/mission-critical avionics engineering solutions to commercial and military aerospace customers in the Southern Tier of NY, across the nation, and internationally.
Avionics engineering solutions feature:
  • Software (DO-178B/C) and Programmable Hardware (DO-254) development, integration, test and certification.
  • Vision Systems Solutions utilizing synthetic, enhanced and combined vision technologies to solve Situational Awareness (SA) challenges.
  • IData® Tool Suite – A cross-platform software development toolkit for creating and deploying Human Machine Interface (HMI) applications.
  • IGL – A high performance and efficient OpenGL® SC (Safety-Critical) software GPU.
Core engineering capabilities include:
  • DO-178B, DO-178C, DO-254, SEAL & MIL-STD subject matter expertise.
  • Unique Vision Systems Solutions that feature IData® and IGL for enhanced situational awareness through dynamic visual displays.
ENSCO Avionics, Inc. is a Wholly Owned Subsidiary of ENSCO, Inc. with over 200 engineers and headquartered in Endicott, NY. ENSCO Avionics is an AS9100C, ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

For more information on ENSCO Avionics’ engineering services please contact Tom Matarese at 607-741-6332 or

See this and other newsletter articles at

Visit our website at