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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Legislative summaries, statistical data and technical interpretations are everywhere as our new reality is defined by the cataclysmic shift COVID-19 has caused. But far too little is being said about how employee relations may be impacted as a result of the way business must now be (or not be) done.  

A significant amount of the world’s wealth is generated by family owned businesses. Some estimates provide that the total economic impact of family businesses to the global GDP is over 70%, and family businesses employ just over half of workers in the United States.  Despite these impressive statistics, family businesses often struggle to implement successful succession plans.

When it comes to manufacturing, a low-cost product does not have to be synonymous with a low-quality product. That was a main takeaway from a recent webinar hosted by the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West, MiBiz  and The Right Place. The webinar on Design for Manufacturing and Assembly — often referred to as DFMA — brought together West Michigan manufacturing executives to discuss the importance of intentional product design in manufacturing. 

Most people don’t anticipate an inheritance dispute in their family, but when it happens, it can destroy family relationships. There are common scenarios that lead to inheritance disputes. David Skidmore and Laura Morris are probate litigation attorneys with Warner Norcross + Judd, and they represent individuals and families in inheritance disputes across the state of Michigan. With this article, they share lessons learned from their past cases and ways to avoid inheritance disputes in your family.

Typically, small-business owners do not get into business to become experts at energy management. Navigating energy usage, efficiency opportunities and utility relationships can often be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what the actual impact will be to your business’ bottom line.

After more than a decade touring the country with acclaimed comedy institutions like The Second City, Joe Anderson took a close look at what was going on in his hometown of Grand Rapids and realized there was a niche to be filled. He and fellow comedian and friend Ben Wilke did extensive demographic research and decided, just like with comedy, timing WAS everything and it was time for The Comedy Project.

The Grand Rapids Chamber is thrilled to announce the 132nd Annual Meeting on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at DeVos Place. At the Chamber’s largest event of the year, over 800 attendees will celebrate what was accomplished in the community to “Create Great” in 2019, as well as the work the Chamber executed to support a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.

Moving buildings after seven decades presented a variety of challenges and opportunities for South Christian High School. First, and foremost, the school’s leadership wanted to create a space that would help it meet its mission for the next 100 years. Practically speaking, that meant developing an educational setting where students and teachers could leverage technology and learn, but also gather, worship and build community.   

While Industry 4.0 is typically thought of in terms of robotic arms, highly automated processes, and “internet of things” (IOT) devices, the next big revolution in manufacturing is also heavily steeped in another emerging technology: big data.

In an era where online courses and degrees are becoming increasingly popular and universities across the state are facing declining enrollment, brick and mortar schools are seeking new ways to improve student retention and recruitment.
While academics remain a strong selling-point, capital improvement projects have also become an attractive way for universities to market themselves. By improving academic spaces through design, universities can better foster social interaction, a shortcoming of online learning.

We create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and that number (which, yes, you read correctly!) is only increasing. Contained in that mind-boggling statistic is an equally staggering amount of information we share with others about everything in our lives. The more that we rely on the internet for so many daily activities, the more information others, often with whom we do not even interact, get to know about us. 

Addiction can take a massive toll on a person’s life and the people around them. Whether the addiction is with drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, or something else, Hope Network’s Center for Recovery provides a highly professional, boutique-style environment for a safe and confidential recovery. 

Once again, Dan Vos Construction Company Inc. took home top honors at the 10th annual Michigan Contractor of the Year (MCOY) Awards, hosted by the American Subcontractors Association of Michigan (ASAM). 

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.