Common mistakes cost more than you think

September 1, 2019

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I  was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

OFPANZ annual conference, July 25-27, New Zealand

May 22, 2019

The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) will hold its 2019 Annual Conference at the Napier War Memorial Conference Center in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, on July 25-27. The conference will bring together a diverse range of speakers and workshops, offering a variety of educational, social and professional networking opportunities, including the annual …

Marketing your marine canvas business

May 1, 2019

By David Huntington Marketing is a critical component in the success of all businesses, and marine fabrication is no different. You may be booked weeks in advance, but even established shops should include marketing in their annual business plan to continue to build “brand equity”—making your brand valuable to the customer. Strong brand equity improves …

IFAI announces call for board and leadership positions

April 22, 2019

The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now seeking candidates for positions on its Board of Directors and Division Advisory Boards. The current 1st Vice Chairman Kathy Schaefer, IFM (Glawe Tent and Awning Co.) is Chairman-elect and will automatically assume the duties of the Chairman of the Board in October. …

How to streamline shop processes

January 1, 2019

There are common processes that are a part of every business. These include marketing, sales, estimating, quoting, work orders, scheduling, production, delivery, invoicing and reporting. Whether small or large, every business needs to consider how these tasks flow together in order to effectively deliver its products or services. Streamlining your shop requires you to identify …

Writing off equipment and vehicles is easier now

September 1, 2018

Last December’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) not only slashed tax rates, it also enacted rules that allow businesses to treat as an expense and immediately write off more—including 100 percent temporary expensing for certain assets. This means adding needed equipment, vehicles or even a new shop building is now a lot more affordable. …

Prep for the sale of your business

March 1, 2018

No matter where in the world we run our businesses, we aspire to be successful, profitable and happy. We have either started the business from nothing, purchased an existing enterprise or taken the reins of the family business. Often, we begin with limited skills, have minimal formal industry training and largely “learn by our mistakes.” …

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

Modern technology can prevent targeted cyberattacks

January 1, 2017

Modern, targeted cyberattacks can take any organization by surprise. And these targeted cyberattacks are increasingly widespread. CBS Money Watch reported in June 2015 that more than 80 percent of U.S. companies have been successfully hacked, according to a Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey. According to the CBS report, “Successful attacks by hackers involved …

2017 MFA Time Standards Manual

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change organically …