Manufacturing & Technology

Relocation survey says: 'Go [Mid]west,' young executive: Companies are sending more of their employees to the region; overseas transfers are also on the increaseRestricted Content

September 17, 2007
Scott Olson
Midwestern cities are unlikely to top the list of vacationing hot spots, but they are a popular destination for relocating employees. That's the consensus from the latest Corporate Relocation Survey conducted annually by Evansville-based Atlas World Group, whose largest subsidiary is Atlas Van Lines, the second-largest interstate motor carrier in the United States. The study revealed that nearly a third of firms, 29 percent, are sending more employees to the Midwest than any other part of the country. Surprisingly, the...
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ExactTarget accurately predicts its fast growth

September 17, 2007
Tammy Lieber
ExactTarget Inc.'s 2005 announcement that it would be moving into 30,000 square feet on Monument Circle and hiring 100 people over seven years seemed ambitious. Indianapolis was littered with the ashes of once-high-flying technology startups that had flamed out. But ExactTarget is fast becoming one of the city's biggest technology success stories.
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New Image Fine Clothing Inc.: Clothier looking for the right fit After four years as a sideline, business becomes full-time jobRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
Tammy Lieber
Growing up in Detroit, Andrew T. Porter had an early education in men's fashion. The son of a minister, he recalls admiring the Sunday best of his father and members of the congregation. In his neighborhood, "there was a clothing store on every corner," Porter said. "I always had an eye for putting things together. It came naturally to me." Porter remained a student of fashion, even though he worked in manufacturing. When a friend who owned a Detroit clothing...
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Symons puts biz into Ch. 11, undercutting rival's court winRestricted Content

September 10, 2007
J.K. Wall
Alan G. Symons' company, Fast Tek Group LLC, lost a court fight with Fishers-based competitor Product Action International LLC in February. So Symons pushed Fast Tek into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June--a move that clears the way for a suitor to buy the assets without being saddled with the liabilities.
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PROFILE: Electro-Spec: Aerospace niche helped business' revenue skyrocket Decades later, Franklin electroplating firm working to diversify its customer baseRestricted Content

September 3, 2007
Ed Callahan
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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Ex-banker creates empire by buying, boosting sleepy businessesRestricted Content

September 3, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Riverside Manufacturing was a sleepy New Castle firm with $5 million in sales when Fred Merritt bought it to try his hand at running a company. Five years later, Riverside's sales have grown a whopping 800 percent, it dominates its industry, and Merritt, 39, is ready to work his magic on an Indianapolis company.
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: How Indiana's industrial economy looks to a newcomerRestricted Content

August 27, 2007
Mike Hicks
This week marks the start of my tenure as director of Ball State University's Bureau of Business Research. I take over from Pat Barkey, whose thoughts on the state's economy have long graced this column. His will be hard shoes to fill. I have read over many of Pat's old columns, and the one thing that stands out is how much we agree on the issues facing the state-and their solutions. Contrary to the old stereotypes, hard-headed economists usually come...
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Cummins cleans up with dieselRestricted Content

August 20, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Less than a decade ago, diesel engines were viewed as loud pollution machines punching holes in the ozone. Now their cleaner, quieter cousins are powering a resurgent Cummins Inc.
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EYE ON THE PIE: Life goes on despite property taxesRestricted Content

August 20, 2007
Morton Marcus
Miss Sugar repeated her dominance of the candy- and cakeeating contest at the Indiana State Fair. "Ya gonna write about property taxes again this week?" she asked as we rode the Ferris wheel high above the fairground lights. "I should, but I can't," I said. "My mind fades out when the topic comes up." "So whatcha gonna write about?" she asked, chewing her taffy vigorously. "Plymouth," I replied. "Da rock or da old car?" Miss Sugar asked. "The city in...
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Mother of invention: Out of necessity, new mom conceives innovative baby mobile deviceRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Della Pacheco
As a commercial and appellate litigator for Indianapolis-based law firm Baker & Daniels LLP, Kathy Osborn represents business and individual clients in state and federal court. She has faced formidable challenges, but one outside the courtroom proved especially difficult for the 42-year-old first-time mom: how to quiet her colicky son Harper when he awoke crying every night. A music lover, Osborn was certain she could find a musical mobile that would play a variety of soothing songs long enough to...
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OrthoPediatrics looks to kids to set it apart: Larger implant manufacturers focus on adultsRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
J.K. Wall
But that's changing now, as the orthopedics juggernaut in Warsaw has spawned another company. Formed a year ago, OrthoPediatrics in October will launch its first 10 orthopedic implants designed especially for kids. The startup hopes to do research at the offices and hospital of OrthoIndy, a group of orthopedic physicians in Indianapolis. OrthoPediatrics' niche is one that has been shunned by the larger orthopedic implant companies based in the northern Indiana city-Zimmer Holdings Corp., Biomet Inc. and DePuy Orthopaedics Inc....
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INVESTING: Strange time for business: Bad, good news aboundsRestricted Content

August 13, 2007
Ken Skarbeck
There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, "May you live in interesting times." The saying possesses a sort of electric connotation, with hopes that one experiences an exciting lifetime. Yet in the historical use of this proverb, the interpretation of "interesting times" hasn't always meant "good times," with some recitals implying "dangerous times." For investors, our times are certainly interesting. We have a global economy that is booming. Economic growth across the planet has never been in such harmony....
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Strides taken in life sciences, experts say: Industry panel: Thanks to ongoing efforts, Indiana has experienced serious progress as biomedical hotbed during last 5 yearsRestricted Content

July 23, 2007
Five leaders of Indiana's life sciences industry offered their perspectives at the Indiana Convention Center June 26 as part of the Indianapolis Business Journal's Power Breakfast Series. The panelists: Mike Arpey, managing director of global investment bank Credit Suisse's Asset Management Division and manager of the $73 million Indiana Future Fund for BioCrossroads, the state's life sciences economicdevelopment initiative. Ron Ellis, co-founder, president and CEO of Lafayettebased Endocyte Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the treatment of cancer through receptor-targeted...
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McBroom Industrial Services: Relationships critical to business survival Repair service keeps evolving to meet customer needRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Marc D.
When Hilton McBroom founded McBroom Electric in his parents' garage in the midst of the Depression, he couldn't have envisioned that the company would exist 75 years later-or what it would be doing. Back then, McBroom repaired anything someone would pay him to fix. Over the years, the company evolved from repairing washers, dryers and furnace motors (and selling Maytag products) to fixing electric motors in manufacturing machinery to its current concentration-repairing and remanufacturing specialty devices used by industrial customers...
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VIEWPOINT: Domestic 'insourcing' our way to job growthRestricted Content

July 16, 2007
Joe Hornett
Anchor Lou Dobbs of CNN is a pest to some folks and a hero for others. His recurring economic message laments a view of U.S. workers losing out as companies send jobs overseas. Dobbs' critics, of course, cite his convenient omission of the many interna tional companies that invest in U.S. communities through new manufacturing plants, research facilities and other initiatives. Love the debate or detest it, but consider this: Hasn't Dobbs helped stir a discussion about how the new...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Hoosiers are not getting full truthRestricted Content

July 2, 2007
Morton Marcus
Goodnews serves up economic and business reports about Indiana. Recently, I read his draft press release: "Indiana's personal income rose to $211.1 billion in the first quarter of 2007. That is an increase of $8.2 billion, more than 4 percent in the past year." "Is that it?" I asked. "Those are the latest facts from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis," he said. "Anything else would be putting a spin on the basic truth." "Goodie," I said, using his nickname,...
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HUMAN RESOURCES: If you hire in a hurry, you may feel bad for a long timeRestricted Content

June 25, 2007
Tom Phillips
Of all the components of finding and hiring the right employees, employers consider interviewing job candidates the most difficult. If not done well, interviews can lead an employer to make the wrong decision. Why? Because job candidates rehearse their answers to the traditional interview questions, telling the employers what they want to hear. However, if employers ask behavioral based questions, job candidates can't manipulate their answers as easily. Perhaps a scenario-a composite taken from typical real-life episodes-will illustrate the difference...
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Bank exec forms electric-vehicle bizRestricted Content

June 18, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Banker Steve Tolen is attempting to resuscitate the electric car. Tolen believes conditions are ripe for an upstart automaker to launch a safe battery-powered vehicle capable of rapid acceleration, highway speeds and over 100 miles of distance between charges.
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EYE ON THE PIE: Indiana's future not looking so goodRestricted Content

June 18, 2007
Morton Marcus
"Aye," Fergus affirmed. "They'll have tornado alerts and heavy-rain warnings," I said. "They'll flood us with high-water forecasts, beat upon us with hail reports, and show us maps that make us abandon all outdoor activity while we glue ourselves to the TV." "'Tis so," nodded Fergus. "Those weather people are worse than economists when it comes to urging data on us," I insisted. "Could be," Fergus said. "No doubt about it," I replied. "It wasn't in the papers or on...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Will state's job growth always trail nation's?Restricted Content

June 18, 2007
Patrick Barkey
You usually have to swallow your pride when it comes time to forecast the growth of the Indiana economy. That's because no matter what your heart says, your head tells you what the best forecast will be. That is the one that pulls up well short of growth in the rest of the country. There are a lot of talented people working hard around the state trying to change that. And if the full truth be told, most of our...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Focusing on factory jobs misses the big pictureRestricted Content

June 11, 2007
Patrick Barkey
There's been something peculiar going on in the business media in Indiana over the last few weeks. We've been beating ourselves up because the state is losing manufacturing jobs. Headlines about the decline are popping up, and state and local development officials are facing the bright light of media scrutiny. The chatter on Internet "talk-back" forums serves up plenty of people to blame-the governor, the unions, the Chinese and even our neighbors who buy imported goods. But if I could...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Despite the doomsayers, manufacturing still mattersRestricted Content

June 11, 2007
John Layden
From a manufacturing perspective, the United States in the 21st century is a curious place. In 1950s, science promised us the day when high-technology advances would perfrom a whole range of mundane work, thus releasing humanity to the pursuit of more noble intellectual and fulfilling activities. A half-century later, much of that promise-at least from the technology side-has been fulfilled. Yet, curiously, when the natural evolution of the free market affects U.S. manufacturing, all manner of handwringing and doom-saying emerge....
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Yurt biz owners think it's hip to be round: McCordsville firm counts on growing popularity for circular buildings with odd nameRestricted Content

June 11, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
It was a terrible storm. Emerging from his tattered tent at a Renaissance re-enactment camp more than 20 years ago, Ken Lawrence surveyed the decimated landscape, with only three oddlooking round structures surviving the 60-plus-mile-per-hour winds. Intrigued by what kind of structure withstood such a violent blow through this tent town, Lawrence poked his head inside the Mongolian-style yurt, a round tent-like structure with a uniquely engineered roof. "I was amazed they were still standing," Lawrence said. "Utterly amazed." Immediately,...
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Autism's rise challenges local agencies: Those with disorder face difficulties in locating meaningful employmentRestricted Content

June 4, 2007
Tracy Donhardt
Experts haven't pinpointed the exact reason, but they do know one thing-the rate at which children are being diagnosed with autism has been rising. About one child in 150 is diagnosed by the age of 8 with autism or a related autism spectrum disorder such as Asperger's syndrome, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That rate is up about 10 times from the 1980s. Experts have a variety of theories to explain the...
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Coal vendor not digging coke plant closure: Virginia firm sues Citizens Gas for breach of contractRestricted Content

May 28, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Citizens Gas & Coke Utility faces the first big fallout from a vendor involving the planned closure of its coke manufacturing plant. A breach-of-contract lawsuit by Bristol, Va.-based Central Coal Co. could make the plant even more of a money pit as Citizens seeks to cut its losses and escape the problems caused by falling coke demand and rising environmental compliance costs. Central Coal says it's out almost $831,000 because Indianapolis Coke failed to buy all the coal required under...
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