2016 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2016

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 …

As the ACA stands

Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been around since 2010, and despite more than 50 congressional attempts to repeal it, its shaky financial footing may do it in. According to a report from the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, small businesses are among those most vulnerable to steep health-care cost increases affecting …

Not everything slows down during the slow season

October 13, 2015

Preparing for seasonal lulls includes finding ways to generate income when business slows. One way is to encourage customers to put off certain types of projects until the off-season. Discounts Mark Hood, MFC, of Hood Marine Canvas and Training, Merrimac, Mass., uses this tactic for customers requesting interior or cushion work. Offering a discount for …

Should you extend credit?

September 14, 2015

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 the company—you start to think about giving anybody …

Business ethics: Facing the dilemma

September 1, 2015

It seems like, in the wake of big corporate scandals, a heightened awareness of business ethics pervades organizations of every size. Most ethical dilemmas, however, aren’t that momentous or dramatic. They’re rooted in commonplace business activities you and the people around you encounter every day. How do you manage the ethical dilemmas you face? A …

Credit: Almost a four-letter word

Fabricators take a dim view of extending credit to customers… sort of. On the surface, it sure seems like a slam-dunk decision for a marine fabrication shop to not extend credit. “Let’s see, when you write off thousands and thousands of dollars—maybe even $100,000 over the 30-year life of the company—you start to think about …

What ‘slow season’?

Indoor work, alternative income streams help fabricators get through the off-season. Boating in many locations is seasonal, but the need for income is constant. How do marine fabricators handle that conundrum? A variety of strategies offer ways that canvas shops can use to get ready for seasonal slow-downs in business. ‘The Great Shrink-wrap Race’ “We …

Shop safety checklist

July 1, 2015

Shop operators should consider these items: Automated external defibrillator Proper workspace ventilation for paints, solvents and other chemicals Respiratory protection Eye protection Gloves Operating fire extinguishers Shop evacuation plan and procedures Find more on shop safety with “Better safe than sorry” in our July 2015 issue of Marine Fabricator. More shop-safety information is available online …

First-Aid Checklist

OSHA standard 1910.151 (b) mandates an employer have “adequate first aid supplies…readily available,” although specific first-aid supplies are not listed. OSHA does not have a minimum requirement, but references ANSI Z308.1-2003 Minimum Requirements for Workplace First Aid Kits. According to the ANSI document, a basic workplace first-aid kit should include*: At least one absorbent compress, …

Ten easy ways to cut your 2015 income tax bill

By William J. Lynott If you’re like many busy business owners, you don’t pay much attention to income taxes until the filing deadline looms. “That can be a costly mistake,” says public accountant Jay Blumenthal of Abington, Pa. “One of the most effective ways to pare your business as well as personal income taxes to …