ARTICLES

PROFILE: Silverback Consulting Group: Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business

Silverback Consulting Group Consultant helps clients navigate tech jungle Silverback looks to diversify health care, bank business In the jungle that is today's business world, businesses can't survive without information systems. And if they need help finding their way through all the technological underbrush, a local consulting firm wants to be the 500-pound gorilla that clears a path for them. Silverback Consulting Group was founded in 1997 to help businesses upgrade their internal computer and phone systems. Its consultants plan...
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Swancy's Auto Laundry: Car wash does work the hard way Don't look for automation at 88-year-old Swancy's

"It's sort of the last of the old-time car washes," said longtime customer Turner Woodard, an Indianapolis businessman and antique car collector. "You can just sit there, read the paper and watch your car get washed ... and dried by hand." No question, Swancy's is one-of-a-kind. It has been operating at 934 N. Senate Ave. since 1942. For 23 years before that, it was located on a long-vanished alley nearby. It has been owned by the same family for 88...
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PROFILE: Electro-Spec: Aerospace niche helped business' revenue skyrocket Decades later, Franklin electroplating firm working to diversify its customer base

Electro-Spec Aerospace niche helped business' revenue skyrocket Decades later, Franklin electroplating firm working to diversify its customer base It all started with spoons. These days, Franklin-based Electro-Spec is a $5 million a year electroplating company that produces components for the automotive, telecommunications and medicaldevice industries. That's quite a change from its origins in 1959, when the company focused on spiffing up antique silverware. "It did silver and gold plating of family heirlooms," said President Jeff Smith, who bought the company...
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Displaced older workers abandon hopes of landing similar work

A growing percentage of men and women nationwide are reaching a career crossroads at a time when most would hope to have it made. Almost a quarter of the 3.8 million Americans displaced from their jobs from 2003-2005 were 55 or older, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 21 percent in the prior three years.
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Methodist, Decatur hospitals team up at Honda site: Providers supplying on-site, off-site health care to construction workers on $500 million auto plant project

A major construction project is like a football game-no matter how careful everyone is, sooner or later someone is going to get hurt, at least a little. Indianapolis-based Methodist Occupational Health Centers Inc., which is part of Clarian Health Partners, is partnering with Decatur County Memorial Hospital to provide an answer to this problem at the Honda automobile plant construction site in Greensburg. The two institutions are providing on-site medical services and offsite treatment facilities for workers at the $550...
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Home Helpers: Aging population fuels home care business Service offers household help for elderly, infirm

Service offers household help for elderly, infirm Julie Sullivan's "a-ha" moment came when she was trying to coordinate home care for her elderly grandfather in Huntington while she was in Indianapolis. Even though, as a supervisor at Visteon, she had significant control over her schedule, Sullivan said she couldn't visit as often as she needed. "I thought, 'My word, what does the rest of the world do?'" she said. So Sullivan set out to help, starting a local franchise of...
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LGC Associates: Temps become permanent solution Local firm finds its niche in hospitality, looks to grow

Temporary staffing agencies used to be like big-box discount stores: Customers could find anything and everything under one roof. As temp workers have become an increasingly important part of corporate business models, however, a more boutique approach is taking hold. Take Carmel-based LGC Associates, which specializes in providing temporary staffing for the food service and hospitality industries-and has started providing workers to fill the accounting, financial and administrative needs of its clients. LGC was launched in May 2003 by Carmel...
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PROFILE: Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc.: Plumber survived by staying flexible Firm entered new market, shifted business priorities

Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc. Plumber survived by staying flexible Firm entered new market, shifted business priorities Those "big box" home-supply stores make the world a scary place for independent companies such as Roby's Plumbing and Heating Co. Inc. No way can businesses like Roby compete with the big boxes' prices on pipes and other plumbing materials, owner Brad Roby said, but they can offer something the others don't-service. "Home centers provide cheap products but poor service," Roby said....
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Suburban Steel of Indiana: Building a business

Agrowing demand for new homes with basements featuring wide-open recreational spaces has created niche businesses even beyond home-theater specialists-like Suburban Steel of Indiana. Suburban Steel customizes structural steel for building projects, mostly residential, at its 20,000-square-foot workshop on Indianapolis' far-southwest side. In a way, it might be considered the metalworking equivalent of a fast-food joint, where customers always "have it their way." "A builder can call at 1 p.m. and we'll have it for him the next day," said Mark...
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Williams Creek Consulting Inc.: Consultants engineer 'green' solutions After years of taking any work it could find, company specializes in stormwater issues

In development circles, the color green is often associated with money. But it has a different connotation for Indianapolis-based Williams Creek Consulting-an environmental one. Launched in 2002, the firm aims to help developers minimize disruptions to the natural features of a construction site, co-founder Neil Myers said. It specializes in strategies to manage stormwater runoff. "We improve a project by integrating the building into the natural environment," Myers said. That means doing more than digging a series of retention ponds...
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