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When Dave Gargett first started at Decade Products in 2000, they had very few accounts and one salesperson. That salesperson was Dave. “I was told I would have my own territory and could be based out of my hometown, Grand Rapids, MI. I quickly learned that my territory was the entire USA,” remembers Dave. Flash forward 20 years and Dave is now the National Sales Manager and has six regional sales representatives reporting to him, and Decade Products has grown right along with him.

Join Axios HR and Chemical Bank on March 25th for the first annual Employer of Choice Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The half-day conference will feature special keynote speaker Francesca Gino, author of the New York Times bestseller Rebel Talent. Additionally, industry experts from sponsor organizations will lead targeted breakout sessions on culture development, talent attraction, and building an award winning company culture in 2019. These breakout sessions will equip business leaders with practical tools and methods for becoming true employers of choice in West Michigan.

In the last 5 years, the Michigan manufacturing market has witnessed the introduction of a new collaborative robot (Cobot) on the production floor.  Designed to work alongside workers, Cobots are solving the labor problems for companies that have dirty and/or repetitive work.

Good, bad or otherwise, disruption is inevitable. At least, that is what we’ve come to expect. In the modern age, we’ve experienced three industrial revolutions to-date – steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines, and computerization. Yet, another is coming. Are you ready for what’s next? 

What is a graduate degree? A graduate degree can be a master’s, specialist, or doctorate degree earned after completing coursework beyond the bachelor’s level.

As a four-student engineering team at Lake Superior State University discovered, ambient lighting rarely fits the bill for sophisticated vision applications.

When it comes to training, key members of our manufacturing workforce are being overlooked.

For some, owning a company is the American dream. At some point in their lives, many Americans will develop and own companies. Some will thrive, and some will fail. For the ones who develop successful companies there will come a time where they will transfer control through sale, retirement, or even death.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are forecast to contribute to the rapid, continued growth of the marketing automation industry.

SPONSORED: If your company uses various oils, lubricants and coolants to operate, MB Fluid Services can be an essential partner in helping you keep costs down by reducing your new oil and coolant purchases and maximizing equipment reliability, all while helping the environment. 

Entrepreneurs and inventors often find themselves isolated and working alone. If you are ready to get out of your crowded home office and connect with a like-minded community of people, the Muskegon Innovation Hub has something just for you.

Merit is excited to have Kevin Hayes as our Chief Information Security Officer. We asked Kevin to share his insights on current security landscapes, predicting the next IT crisis and some tips to make your organization more secure

“West Side Best Side” is a moniker that has been recently bestowed upon the northwest quadrant of Grand Rapids’ urban core, due in large part to the development and investment that we have seen over the past few years.

Pick up a manufacturing-oriented trade publication these days, and you’ll probably encounter a deluge of material on the latest 3D printers, collaborative robots or new industrial technology that falls under the wide umbrella of Industry 4.0.

Growing in the face of adversity and challenges was a key takeaway message during this year’s 9th Annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards, hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan.

Today’s favorable M&A environment is pushing many middle-market business owners to consider selling their businesses.

For many small business owners, the idea of trying to manage energy usage and utility relationships can be a bit overwhelming. Would energy efficiency upgrades really impact a bottom line? Who can assist when there are outage issues? Is the price being paid for service at the correct rate?

SPONSORED: Amid a talent crisis, West Michigan manufacturers need to develop a purposeful approach to attracting workers based on company culture and values. Simply being present on social media or posting on the latest job board isn’t enough to appeal to workers in a tight labor market.  

The right people. With the right products. At the right time. Brybelly Holdings Inc., an e-commerce and product development company founded in 2004, had that winning combination right from the start. Like many businesses, it started with a friendly connection and an idea.

This is an incredible opportunity for professionals in many different fields looking to work with one of West Michigan’s largest companies.

The most important asset to a company is its data. In the event of a technical failure or glitch, the loss of data, customer records, business plans and intellectual property can be devastating. Statistics show that without proper backups, two thirds of companies go out of business within six months of a data disaster.

Think you know who uses coupons? Think again. Today, Generation X and Millennials are the biggest users of both digital and print coupons.

On September 20, 2018, the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM) will be celebrating the 9th annual MCOY Awards at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

In recent weeks, Universal Robots has announced the introduction of the new e-Series Platform robot, which promises to be the most advanced technical product in the cobot space. 

So, you’ve cleared all the initial hurdles. You’ve established yourself as a distribution company, you’ve built up your customer base, and you’ve plotted a path for growth. Now it’s time for careful, long-term planning and intentional organization of all of your company’s assets.

Searching for a new lease location, a building to purchase, or even land to build a new facility can be daunting. It is a common misconception to think this endeavor can be handled alone, but in the end, owners or sellers can be taken advantage of without someone acting on your behalf.

Known for their iconic shaker cup used in gyms all over the world, BlenderBottle Company has grown exponentially since first entering the supplement scene in 2000. This Utah-based company manufactures products designed to improve their customers’ everyday lives and fitness routines, and they market their products towards physically active consumers. They are a trusted champion of their customer base, and their products can be found in more than 57,000 retail locations in the United States alone, and are also available worldwide.

One of the great things about being a corporate banker is that you have an opportunity to work closely with a wide range of clients and bring them great ideas that they can use to enhance their business and reach their goals.

Access to, and use of, the internet has become an integral component of everyday life in the 21st century.

When complete, Franklin Partners’ new seven-story office development at 100 Ottawa will cut a very different silhouette in the Grand Rapids skyline.

“We’ve seen astounding growth in the sale of Universal Robots in Michigan. Just last year, Universal Robots’ sales grew by 72%, and there’s no end in sight. The majority of the applications are simple pick-and-place jobs, although, increasingly, we see collaborative robots used in fabrication and quality inspection. More than 90% of the UR cobots sold have been to small and medium sized manufacturers. Cobots help address the skilled talent shortage, enhance quality control in production, and offer safety and ergonomic benefits, all while providing rapid payback on investment.” — Mike Folster – Robotics Product Manager with Behco-MRM

DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks grew more than 160% in the last year with millions of new malware and ransomware variants each day. The growing volume and sophistication of this cybercrime is driving an estimated security workforce shortage of 1.5 million worldwide in the next two years.

Today’s legal environment has transformed the seemingly innocuous job application into a polarizing document with significant liability exposure. “Ban-the-box,” gender identity, and pay equity movements are just a few of the recent developments that have contributed to the large landmine field of liability employers face with their job applications.

Do you want more opportunities, better jobs and higher incomes?  If so, it’s time to raise your hand in support of the Plan for a Stronger Michigan. Released this week, it’s an exciting plan for accelerating Michigan’s economic progress put together by a group of the state’s largest employers and universities. It offers a compelling agenda for advancing the economy and improving the quality of life in Michigan.  

“How can organizations use automation to create a new landscape that moves them forward without shaking up their workforce?”

Cyber threats are on the rise – putting businesses, dollars, and real lives in grave danger.

From office furniture to automotive parts, the manufacturing industry is full of career opportunities. To fill these positions, companies often seek out workers with the ability to adapt and learn new systems to advance their businesses. These workers both embrace their unique role and train others to leverage new technologies and processes.

From his three deployments to Iraq, where he earned two Bronze Stars for his actions, to owning and operating a Lansing, Michigan, coffee shop, Mark Thompson is the type of person who never settles. His next challenge is always around the corner; full of new things for him to learn and be excited about.

Fifteen years ago, Micron Manufacturing Co. made a bold gamble. The Walker-based manufacturer invested substantial resources into replacing more than 60 lathes and other outdated equipment with 19 state-of-the-art CNC lathes featuring autonomous capabilities. At the time, the new automation equipment was relatively unknown, and represented a big step toward what company executives thought would be the future of manufacturing for their business.

The West Michigan economy is peaking, and with an economically successful year in 2017, it is expected that those successes will continue throughout 2018. Many are wondering if that is true, or if West Michigan should expect some headwinds.

The technological, infrastructure, policy and security landscapes are changing more quickly than firms can keep pace. As the Information Technology field continues to mature, the roles of Chief Security Officers (CSOs) are giving way to the rise of Chief Risk Officers (CROs). Though organizations appoint these positions to oversee and mitigate business threats, ultimate responsibility for organizational risk is the responsibility of executive leaders.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are a grand opening tradition.They provide a way to connect with the professional community that surrounds your business in a fun, celebratory setting. We can certainly appreciate a good ribbon cutting here at Richett Media — we organized and executed more than 50 of them in one year!