Manufacturing & Technology

EYE ON THE PIE: Uneven job growth plagues stateRestricted Content

July 14, 2008
Morton Marcus
Should the next U.S. president be concerned about uneven job growth? Or should he just let the market determine which states prosper and which struggle? There is no explicit national job policy to bring employment to slow-growing areas. Neither Sen. Barack Obama nor Sen. John McCain has ventured to discuss the issue. Job growth is left to the states, with each competing against the others in an expensive battle of subsidies. From 2002 to 2007, the number of U.S. jobs...
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Entrepreneur has high hopes for deck-chair markersRestricted Content

July 7, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
In late May, Darrell Bowman launched Lounge Hats LLC, an Indianapolis-based company that makes fabric covers that fit over beach or pool-side chaise lounges to make one thing clear: This seat is taken. Bowman withdrew $20,000 from personal savings and added another $50,000 from an investor, his friend Mike Oswalt, to start the company. He runs Lounge Hats out of his garage, hiring a Chinese company to sew the hats and contracting with a local printer to finish them off.
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Networks help practices extend their reach:Restricted Content

June 30, 2008
Scott Olson
Outside of Indiana, the local law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP has a nominal presence in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh, N.C. Yet, the midsize practice with roughly 130 lawyers in Indianapolis is handling an immigration issue for a fellow firm in India and is encouraged about prospects in Argentina, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Global gigs typically are reserved for larger rivals with an international scope. But scores of firms that want to expand their reach, without the risk...
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More manufacturing? Maybe Butler did it: University's accelerator helps plants boost businessRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
Ten years ago, Bob McAfee bought SaniServ, an 80-year-old Mooresville institution that pioneered the making of softserve ice cream machines for restaurants. Despite the manufacturer's longevity, a handful of competitors-one of them much larger and two roughly the same size-had cut into market share, causing SaniServ's annual revenue to stall at about $10 million. Determined to improve upon the figure, but unsure how to go about it, McAfee turned to the Butler Business Accelerator. The 2-year-old consultancy on the Butler...
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Powerway lays off 14 after losing software deal with ChryslerRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Cory Schouten
Locally based Powerway Inc. is scrambling to shrink its work force and remake its business plan after the firm's most lucrative customer--the ailing automaker Chrysler LLC--said it will no longer use Powerway software or mandate its use among the company's hundreds of suppliers. Powerway laid off 14 employees and slashed salaries for many who remain after it learned of Chrysler's plans on June 6.
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: There are Six Sigma options; Here's a look at six of themRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Dave Berry
While many manufacturing companies are implementing Six Sigma for continuous process improvement, it may not be the most practical solution for every company. Smaller manufacturers can benefit from applying many of the tools found in the Six Sigma methodology, but on a more manageable scale for daily process improvement. While far from a complete list, the following six practical tools may be used by smaller companies who are motivated to continually streamline production and improve productivity: Key performance indicators Most...
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Allegiant finding treasure in clients' trash: Local firm helps manufacturers set up cost-saving recycling plansRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
In 2000, gasoline cost 99 cents a gallon, you could barely give recyclable plastic away and the idea of manufacturers "going green" was a pioneering thought. Allegiant Global started that same year as Heritage Interactive Services, with one client and little market awareness of what industrial recycling and reuse initiatives meant. Heritage Interactive was started by principals of locally based Heritage Environmental Services, which was-and still is-involved in more traditional waste-disposal services. When one of Heritage Environmental's clients, Michigan-based Lear...
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Purdue joins Conexus on manufacturing, logistics effort: University, advocacy group predict evolving industryRestricted Content

June 16, 2008
Scott Olson
An advocacy group formed a year ago to boost the visibility and growth of the state's advanced manufacturing and logistics industries has received a major lift from Purdue University. Conexus Indiana and Purdue earlier this month announced the formation of a partnership in which the university will lend its academic and research talents to the organization. The key goals include linking manufacturers with new suppliers, exploring emerging markets and supporting startups launched from university or privatesector research. "Conexus is very...
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Officials turn up call for 2-year degrees: State putting emphasis on higher education optionsRestricted Content

June 9, 2008
Tracy Donhardt
State and local leaders are turning up the amp on the importance of higher education, but they're also trying to tune students into the message that being college-educated doesn't have to mean spending four years at a university. In recent weeks, both Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels have loudly proclaimed the state's need for more workers with twoyear degrees. While government officials have long said the state needs a more educated work force to attract business,...
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IPIC's BioWorksU virtual effort wins acclaim:Restricted Content

June 9, 2008
Scott Olson
A new Web site developed locally and designed to attract youngsters to careers in the life sciences sector now shares something in common with the wildly popular Club Penguin site. The Indianapolis Private Industry Council, with assistance from locally based Creative Street Media Group, created BioWorksU.com. And while more educational and likely more appealing to a larger age group than Club Penguin, the two were among recent Webby Awards finalists. Called the "Oscars of the Internet" by The New York...
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VIEWPOINT: A prayer for the housing marketRestricted Content

June 2, 2008
Jon Ford
Please, Chairman, forgive me, for I have sinned and I herewith repent. Please Chairman Bernanke, hear my prayers. Please give me only one more housing bubble and I will forever honor you with the restraint you desire. I have succumbed to the seven deadly sins of investing and I herewith vow never again to do so, so long as you let interest rates continue to fall. I have been weak in seven ways: Hubris. Yes, it is true. I believed...
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Evolving mobile phones indispensable for on-the-go technology 'addicts'Restricted Content

June 2, 2008
Louis Jones
Mitch Roob oversees a state agency with a $6.5 billion budget and thousands of employees who deliver a range of services to more than a million Hoosiers. And he'd be lost without his BlackBerry. He is just one of the many Indianapolis professionals who use enhanced mobile devices, or smartphones, to keep tabs on their work and increase their productivity away from the office.
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Move over 'Super 70'-this one is really big: Department of Transportation hoping for summer launch of study to add truck lanes to 800 miles of I-70Restricted Content

May 26, 2008
Chris O\'malley
Imagine driving the car down an interstate highway devoid of tractor trailers. It could dramatically improve traffic flow and safety, but it would sever supply chains and bring manufacturing to a halt-to say nothing of the state's logistics industry. But how about putting those trucks in their own lanes, separated from cars and light trucks? What seemed merely a fanciful concept for Interstate 70 when highway planners tossed it out about a year ago is gaining momentum. The Indiana Department...
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EDITORIAL: Pricey fuel isn't all bad: Pain at pump creates opportunityRestricted Content

May 19, 2008
Pricey fuel isn't all bad Pain at pump creates opportunity The high cost of fuel hurts everyone, from commuters to business owners to not-for-profits whose volunteer drivers deliver meals to shut-ins. Our whole economy suffers. But there's a silver lining to gas for $4 a gallon: opportunity. If the price of fuel isn't coming down, and that seems to be the prevailing wisdom, the only thing to do is adapt. It's in adapting that there's opportunity to be found and...
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EYE ON THE PIE: We need more leaders like this guyRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Morton Marcus
A friend and I were having lunch. We were talking about an old issue: the lack of leadership in the state. Both of us agreed that Mitch Daniels has been doing a good job in following through on what he promised, whether or not folks liked it. But we were hard-pressed to find other examples of civic or political leadership. I suspect our problem may have been one of age. We're guys who have been around for the past four...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Despite some perceptions, future for IT workers brightRestricted Content

May 12, 2008
Jim Jay
In mid-March, Bill Gates traveled to Washington to carry an unpopular message to Congress: Raise the limits on visas for foreignborn tech workers, or Microsoft and other high-tech companies will be forced to move more jobs overseas in search of a skilled work force. Gates' testimony to the House Committee on Science & Technology wasn't groundbreaking-the shortage of tech workers is well-documented. But it begs an obvious question: Why have computer science enrollments at U.S. colleges and universities fallen by...
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Hungry for growth, bagel maker tiptoes into healthy food segment

May 5, 2008
Sam Stall
Since its founding 17 years ago, Indianapolis-based Harlan Bakeries LLC has built its reputation, and its fortune, on making bagels. Untold millions of bagels. Considering the number of conventional treats Harlan turns out, it might be easy to overlook its newest project: producing a non-medical "diet cookie" for Boca Raton, Fla.-based Smart For Life Weight Management Centers.
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Angels invest where others fear to tread: Wealthy entrepreneurs join forces to create HALO Capital GroupRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Some high-tech companies are so risky that even venture capitalists quiver. That's when they turn to angels, who aren't afraid to fly to the rescue of cash-strapped innovators with chancy yet possibly lucrative ideas. Last year, two dozen of central Indiana's most successful business veterans decided to intercede on behalf of Hoosier entrepreneurs. They formed HALO Capital Group, a network of angel investors who seek to speculate on promising Indiana startups. Every other month, the HALO group meets at a...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: A healthy economy makes an uninteresting campaignRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Mike Hicks
In this curious primary season, Indiana finds itself the brief center of attention as Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama invest time and treasure in the crossroads of America. The strongest focus in both their campaigns is my favorite subject-the economy. Both candidates bemoan the poor Hoosier economy, its job losses and income inequality. This would be a superb campaign approach for both candidates, except that their claims are wholly, totally and embarrassingly devoid of facts. Indiana's economy is doing...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Locally based oil refiner sees boom times vanishRestricted Content

May 5, 2008
Greg Andrews
Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP, the low-profile Indianapolis-based oil refiner, has been confronting challenges lately that would fray the nerves of even the most seasoned executive. First, the business is grappling with a huge spike in crude oil prices-the main input for its three Louisiana refineries, which churn out vehicle and jet fuel, along with solvents, waxes and other specialty petroleum products. Then there's the delay-plagued expansion of its Shreveport refinery, which began in late 2006. The project was supposed...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Making green make sense in a competitive marketRestricted Content

April 28, 2008
Robert Stefanski
Day after day, the news seems filled with stories of disruptive credit markets, an economy teetering on recession, and increasing energy costs. As business professionals grapple with such issues daily, why would commercial real estate professionals consider the time and effort to "go green"? Historically, green initiatives suffered in part from stereotypical "tree-hugger" false perceptions. Such perceptions may lead people to believe that green investments simply aren't worth it. The truth? The real focus has always been the efficient use...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: There is no better time to think about going globalRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Michael Snyder
A weak dollar. Lost jobs. Liquidity challenges. These and other perceived barriers tend to unfortunately mute short-term considerations for Indiana businesses thinking about international expansion. The reality? Globalization of U.S. businesses is alive and well, and proceeding at a breakneck pace. In fact, America and the world remain embroiled in likely the greatest commercial transformation since the Industrial Revolution with the full integration of U.S. markets in an open era of innovation and productivity. How does this play out in...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Weak dollar can actually help Hoosier manufacturersRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Christine H.
As the U.S. dollar continues to weaken against foreign currencies, it actually benefits many Indiana companies that are actively pursuing sales abroad. M a n u fa c t u r e r s should pursue crossborder sales and supply-chain relationships to capitalize on the improved price points resulting from the lower dollar. However, manufacturers should be aware of the reach of U.S. patent law, which U.S. courts are regularly extending to cover activities performed outside our borders. Capitalizing on...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Can we handle Obama's truth?Restricted Content

April 21, 2008
Morton Marcus
This is not a political endorsement. It is, however, a cry of outrage that a candidate for president is attacked for speaking the truth. Barack Obama has been quoted as saying, "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And it's not surprising then [that local residents] get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy...
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IU leader's goal: global integration: CIBER director wants center's work to influence all areas of business educationRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Scott Olson
Barbara Flynn, a veteran of academia who arrived at Indiana University in 2006, is director of the IU Center for International Business Education and Research. CIBER, founded in 1981, creates business research and study opportunities for IU faculty and students, with the ultimate goal of preparing graduates to compete in today's global economy. The center mostly is funded federally and operates on a $500,000 annual budget. The 55-year-old Flynn has a degree in psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin and...
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  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

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