Manufacturing & Technology

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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EYE ON THE PIE: It's the money, not the jobs, stupidRestricted Content

April 7, 2008
Morton Marcus
"It's jobs, jobs, jobs," presidential and gubernatorial candidates shouted last week in Indiana. And the crowds responded in the affirmative, urging the candidates to promise more jobs for more Hoosiers. OK; jobs are good, but well-paying jobs are better. Since the 1980s, the state has claimed it is interested only in jobs that pay above the average for the area in which they are located. When challenged by the fact that the jobs being acclaimed do not always meet that...
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Goldberg contest counts on business: Companies find recruits, marketing opportunitiesRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Scott Olson
In terms of advertising revenue, the Final Four it ain't. But the national Rube Goldberg Machine Contest at Purdue University is attracting more corporate sponsorships than ever before. Named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, the annual event scheduled for April 5 is a testament to his drawings that lampooned government policies by using complicated contraptions to complete trivial tasks. This year's assignment is to assemble a hamburger consisting of at least one patty, two vegetables and two condiments between buns....
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Polishing the pitch: Business-plan competitions give student entrepreneurs experience, exposureRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
College entrepreneurs in Indiana are sharpening their business plans and practicing their pitches in hopes of convincing experts-the possibly funders-that they've come up with the next big idea. The venue: the increasingly highstakes competitions that universities here and elsewhere sponsor to give them practice selling themselves and their ideas. Success can come with more than bragging rights, since judges often include venture capitalists who can help transform finalists' dreams into reality. "I can't imagine a better way to train for...
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Free-lancing turns into big-time marketing: Mom-and-pop ExaroMed now growing fat with large drug and device clients from across the countryRestricted Content

March 31, 2008
J.K. Wall
Most free-lance writers eke out a living. The most fortunate live comfortable lives. But Mindy Mascaro turned her freelance writing business into a thriving company. Carmel-based ExaroMed LLC is now producing sales and marketing content for the like of Roche Diagnostics, Eli Lilly and Co. and Amgen Inc. It has also served smaller life sciences companies such as Indigo BioSciences Inc. and Cheetah Medical Inc. The company has zoomed from six employees to 20 in the last year. It's already...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC.: Label maker manufacturing growth - again Fourth expansion project set to open this summerRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Jennifer Whitson
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE MATRIX LABEL SYSTEMS INC. Label maker manufacturing growth - again Fourth expansion project set to open this summer Within a month, Plainfield-based Matrix Label Systems Inc. will break ground on a fourth addition to its central Indiana facility, adding nearly 17,000 square feet of warehouse space and potentially more workers. That's just the latest growth spurt at the 23-year-old company that started out of a garage and now has 50 employees and $15 million in annual revenue....
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: New tax break makes Indiana more attractive than everRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Cedric D\'hue
Rapid growth in the high-tech fields of biotechnology and life science has made Indiana a shining example of how promoting emerging industries can transform an agricultural and manufacturingbased economy into a national leader in innovation. It has done so by creating an environment in which knowledge-based businesses can thrive. Building on this success, Indiana continues to position itself as a leader in emerging technologies. A new tax law that took effect this year will present another major step toward this...
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Knauf plans state's first 'gold-certified' buildingRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Chris O'Malley
in an uncommon move among Indiana manufacturers typically more preoccupied with foreign competition and deteriorating margins, Knauf Insulation is rebuilding its research and development facility, destroyed in a fire last year, to make it 30 percent more energy-efficient than a conventional office building of its size.
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Hoosier Heartland Highway pumps up hope on prairie: Expressway construction starting two years earlyRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Chris O\'malley
LAFAYETTE-For years, they've driven on little more than paved-over wagon trails pioneers carved into the hills nestling the Wabash River. Motorists on State Road 25 between Logansport and Lafayette have grown desperate for a replacement: the final, 33-mile western leg of the "Hoosier Heartland Highway." Today, the Hoosier Heartland expressway ends in Logansport-the western terminus of a newly improved, four-lane U.S. 24 that runs east, to Fort Wayne. But last month Gov. Mitch Daniels surprised highway proponents with word that...
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Proposals to loosen Indiana's wine distribution system failRestricted Content

March 17, 2008
Jonathan Hiskes
At IBJ press time, the General Assembly was set to close another session without significant change to the state's complex alcohol distribution system, ensuring another year of wrangling between wineries and wholesalers. A proposal to raise the direct shipping limit to 10,000 cases failed. So did a broader deregulation bill brought by a new Indiana wine drinker's group, VinSense.
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Students finding robotics irresistible: Competitions promote interest in technologyRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Scott Olson
On the same day this month when high school boys' basketball teams compete to advance to the state finals, another event showcasing the talents of Indiana's youth should be just as climactic. Only this contest emphasizes academics over athletics. The three-day Boilermaker Regional at Purdue University that culminates March 15 will host roughly 40 high school robotics programs, including 26 schools from Indiana. Students will apply their engineering and computer programming skills to design and build task-performing machines. The winning...
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IU follows Purdue lead, overhauls business-development strategyRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
Indiana University President Michael McRobbie calls it "Innovate Indiana." His ambition is to corral all of IU's strengths under one new branded initiative to boost the Hoosier economy. Purdue University already has leveraged a similar strategy, promoted with "Go BusinessMakers!" billboards, to national acclaim.
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EYE ON THE PIE: Waiting for evidence of recessionRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Morton Marcus
Save the date: March 27. That's when the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis will release the latest data on Indiana's economy. At that time, we'll get the first estimate of personal income for the last three months of 2007, plus revisions of previous quarters. If there is a recession, that's where we will see the first clear indications. If? Yes, it is still not clear if there is a recession because the data, our photos of economic performance, are not...
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Telamon on the rebound: Diversification puts Carmel technology firm back on fast track, prevents layoffsRestricted Content

March 10, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
In 2003, Carmel-based Telamon Corp. hit rock bottom. So, founder Albert Chen returned to his roots. Taiwanese native Chen, 63, had spent two decades building his firm to serve telecommunications giants. But when the dot-com bubble burst, the telecom industry tanked along with it. Telamon-then Indiana's largest minority-owned business-saw its annual revenue plummet $300 million, down from $456 million in 2001. Most managers would have chosen to shrink Telamon to reflect its new reality. But Chen doesn't do mass layoffs....
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VIEWPOINT: Suffering a slow death by technologyRestricted Content

March 3, 2008
Jon Ford
Somebody help me! I want to go back to the '80s! This technology stuff is killing me. A rotary phone and a busy signal, that's the ticket. Ma Bell: She's my gal. Simplicity. Doesn't that sound good? I used to think the advances in electron ic technology were a good thing. The early developments were excellent and, like most people, I rushed out to buy them. The iPod, now, that was a great advance. A complete Beethoven collection in a...
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Former Thomson exec attempts to revive Proscan TVs: U.S. subsidiary sells South Korean flatscreensRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Peter Schnitzler
In the mid 1990s, Carmel's then-giant Thomson Consumer Electronics annually sold $300 million worth of high-end televisions under the name Proscan. But by the end of the decade, the company's French owners had abandoned Proscan in favor of a strategy emphasizing the betterknown RCA brand. Now a former Thomson executive based in Indianapolis is attempting to revive Proscan. Last year, Pat Deighan sold nearly $50 million worth of Proscan high-definition flatscreen LCD televisions in the United States. This year, he...
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Against odds, AlGalCo pursues 'Holy Grail' of power cellsRestricted Content

February 25, 2008
Sam Stall
A small West Lafayette technology startup has quietly unveiled a product that might, just might, change the world. At the TechAdvantage Conference and Expo in Anaheim, Calif., on Feb. 20, Kurt Koehler, CEO, co-founder (and, for the moment, sole employee) of AlGalCo LLC, showed off a pre-production hydrogen-powered emergency generator.
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Uphill battle ahead: State poses tough test for new enviro leaderRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Chris O\'malley
By the time Jesse Kharbanda earned a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford, the University of Chicago student already knew he wanted to advocate environmental policies in the developing world, someday. Eight years later, some might say Kharbanda has landed in the developing world, all right-Indiana, insofar as it's considered the backwater of environmental stewardship. One might recall the state's 49thplace ranking in a 2007 review of "greenest" states by Forbes magazine. Only West Virginia-a national leader in illiteracy-scored worse....
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Law firms making green push: Environmental teams provide marketing boostRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Scott Olson
The next generation of environmental law is coming to a firm near you. Many law firms have existing practices that counsel clients on the complexities of complying with air and water permits or cleaning up contaminated properties. But now that the corporate sector is embracing "green" initiatives quicker than Al Gore accumulates carbon credits, environmental law is becoming as sexy as, say, intellectual property. Two of the city's largest firms-Ice Miller LLP and Baker & Daniels LLP-recently unveiled so-called "green"...
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EYE ON THE PIE: Readers respond to Indiana stampRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Morton Marcus
On Jan. 14, I wrote about the new Indiana stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. I objected to the selection of a farm tractor with a cityscape in the distance as being typical of Indiana and invited readers to comment. Below are a few typical remarks: From a reader in Tennessee who grew up in Kokomo: "As I read your column, I was torn between what you were saying and my warm fuzzy memories of my childhood. ... Indiana represents...
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Technology park could boost area's biomedical efforts: First phase of Purdue project, featuring accelerator building for up to 25 startups, should be finished this yearRestricted Content

February 4, 2008
Scott Olson
The park is expected to be a major amenity for the area's growing biomedical economic development efforts. Purdue Research Foundation paid $2.5 million in June to purchase a half-interest in 78 acres at AmeriPlex industrial park. The university ultimately anticipates filling it with as many as 75 businesses and 1,500 jobs. AmeriPlex owner Holladay Properties, a South Bend developer of industrial parks, owns the other half of the site. Dubbed Purdue Accelerator Park at AmeriPlex-Indianapolis, the project is intended to...
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  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

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