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John Wiegand

John Wiegand

Staff writer

[email protected]

All indications point to West Michigan manufacturers continuing to struggle in the coming year to find qualified talent.

Sunday, 07 December 2014 22:00

Experts predict uptick in auto supplier M&A

Amid an improving automotive market, suppliers with easy access to capital and more deployable cash on their balance sheets are turning to mergers and acquisitions to drive growth.

A year-old law aimed to make it easier for all kinds of small businesses in Michigan to raise capital via intrastate crowdfunding. But the only companies consistently taking advantage of the new fundraising tool have been in the food and beverage industry, particularly craft breweries.

After retiring in 1996 with more than 28 years at the the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Gerhardt Muller launched a teaching career at universities across the globe including the Shanghai Maritime University in China. Muller currently works as the President of SanSail Institute, a training arm of the SanSail Group, an organization that promotes and supports the conversion of diesel shipping vessels to liquid natural gas.

When the founders of Long Road Distillers LLC decided to bring in an experienced professional to manage the launch of its spirits production later this year, they realized they needed to look beyond the local talent pool for help.

Kentwood-based TerraTrike learned all too well the pitfalls a business can face when its sales projections fall short of anticipating the actual demand from consumers for its products.

Changing purchasing behaviors and a shift to lower-volume orders have middle-market manufacturers well-positioned to compete in an increasingly global marketplace against even the largest corporations in the office furniture industry.

Navigating global competition, creating an environment for successful entrepreneurship and dealing with increased collaboration were just a few of the subjects executives discussed at the 2014 CEO Summit sponsored by Business Leaders for Michigan.

A “quirk” in the law that outlines Michigan’s electronics takeback program has recyclers concerned that many old-style TVs and computer monitors could soon end up in the landfill even though they contain harmful pollutants such as lead.

Executives at a West Michigan manufacturer of welding equipment are betting that increased production of gas and oil in North America will fuel growth for the company outside of the automotive industry.

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