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Bill McIntyre and Michael Merren, owners of ComForCare Grand Rapids, have been providing in-home health care to families in the Grand Rapids area for over 10 years. Their success – compassion. Care like people are your family.

Starting and operating a business in today’s fast-paced market can be challenging for the owner. It’s tough to find enough time for sales, project management, production, billings, collections and client maintenance. And that’s not even taking into consideration managing a staff.  

Message from The AIA Grand Rapids President
AIA Grand Rapids, a local component of the American Institute of Architects, advocates for the value of architecture and gives architects the resources they need to do their best work through educational opportunities, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession.  Our local chapter of the AIA believes in driving positive change in the West Michigan community through the power of design.

Technology may always be changing, but the Industry 4.0 revolution is here to stay.  

Increased attention in Michigan is being given to the classification of workers as independent contractors or employees. As recently as August 29, 2019, Michigan legislators were in the process of creating proposals designed to limit payroll fraud.

The more you get your brand in front of your prospects the better! Multiple brand impressions help your business stay top of mind. If others think of you first when they need your product or service that creates opportunities and enables growth. Here are 4 ways you can increase brand awareness.

 “I couldn’t complete my homework because I couldn’t find the internet.” Sounds like the digital era’s version of “The dog ate my homework.” Yet for thousands of Michigan’s children, it’s not an excuse but a reality that even has its own term: “homework gap.”

Heed this warning! Failing to invest the time and resources in preparing for a cybersecurity incident could be the death knell for your business. Various studies and reports indicate that a significant number of small companies are unable to sustain their businesses over six months after a cyber attack. What can we do and where can we turn to avoid becoming a statistic?

When The Right Place, Inc. and a small group of local companies formed the Manufacturers Council in 1989, they united under a banner of collaboration and mutual trust. Now, 30 years later, The Right Place | The Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center – West’s Manufacturers Council serves as a vast repository of industry knowledge and a cornerstone of the manufacturing sector in the region. Yet, despite its growth over the years, the council still retains its mission of encouraging collaboration and sharing best practices between manufacturers in West Michigan. 

On October 17, 2019, the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM) will be celebrating the 10th Annual MCOY Award Gala at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. MCOY recognizes Michigan’s general contractors and construction managers with a track record of best practices, professionalism, and collaboration within the subcontracting community. 

Grand Rapids & Detroit, MI—Mark Ermatinger never would have guessed a customer-appreciation event would evolve into one of the fastest-growing advanced manufacturing shows in the Midwest.

Sooner or later, every business owner faces the question of whether or not to sell the business. If you own a business, here are three key questions to ask yourself before considering a sale.

Around the world there are an estimated 125 million family businesses – but no one really knows for sure. The Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University states that the United States is home to 5.5 million family businesses, employing more than 98 million people!

It all started as a part-time job in banking while I was in college almost 20 years ago. I’ve always been interested in business and financial markets. And I’ve observed how the entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in West Michigan.

What businesses or industries are benefiting the most by using Sales & Marketing Automation?

It’s no secret: West Michigan companies need to find a deeper pool of talent. For businesses, the questions are always the same: Where do we find them? How do we attract them? Who will train them? How do we keep them?

The manufacturing industry is rapidly approaching a place where only those companies that have implemented automation and robotic equipment will survive. With recent improvements to modularity, flexibility and return-on-investment (ROI), even the most resilient manufacturers have little reason to avoid investing in the technology. 

Brandon Marquoit, owner of a commercial printing services business, had reached a breaking point.  “We were totally hamstrung and had no more space to grow or run our business,” he stated.

Selling a business and transferring ownership is essentially a financial transaction, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an emotional one as well. Whether the owner is selling a family business with history and tradition behind it or a business that he or she has built, grown, and nurtured, there’s more than money on the line.

At Gibson we believe that workplace safety is about protecting your business’ most important assets – your employees. Injuries and illnesses in the workplace not only endanger the wellbeing of your people, but they also result in lost work days, decreased productivity, and lower employee morale.

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.