Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Infrastructure is costly to improve, but costlier to ignoreRestricted Content

May 21, 2007
Don Altemeyer
A recent article in Strategy+business magazine estimated that "the world's urban infrastructure needs a $41 trillion makeover" between now and 2030. The article explained that $41 trillion is roughly equivalent to the "2006 market capitalization of all shares held in all stock markets in the world." Some experts think that "new technology" will be the answer, and it may be when nanotechnology takes over the world. For now, however, the trend usually reinforces the trend, and we do the same...
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Full Perspective Video Services Inc.: Marketing firm is one-stop shop Company stays agile thanks to logistics unitRestricted Content

May 21, 2007
Julie Young
After a stint in public accounting, Whetzel went to work for Fleming Packaging Co., a firm that duplicated and distributed videotapes. After taking some losses on a couple of projects, the owners of Fleming didn't see the potential for video duplication and distribution, so Whetzel and business partner Charlie Seldon bought the company in 1991. Doing the deal wasn't easy. "I borrowed from family, refinanced the house, and took everything out of savings," he said. "I was dead broke and...
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Ex-execs return to AdesaRestricted Content

May 21, 2007
Chris O'Malley
Less than two years after being driven out of Adesa Inc. as unceremoniously as a Buick down its auction lanes, James Hallett is back behind the wheel of the nation's No. 2 wholesale vehicle-auction company.
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Indianapolis' offer on the table:Restricted Content

May 14, 2007
Andrea Muirragui
INDIANAPOLIS HAS: Seating for up to 73,000 and a retractable roof at Lucas Oil Stadium, set to open in 2008. The press box seats 200, but event space could be converted for additional media use. PRACTICE FACILITIES NFL WANTS: Comparable practice facilities for both Super Bowl teams, including a covered field with the same turf as the stadium, locker rooms for players and coaches, meeting rooms, and laundry service. INDIANAPOLIS HAS: The Colts' 56th Street football complex. Bid organizers have...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Hoosier stocks take flight, propelled by higher profitsRestricted Content

May 14, 2007
Greg Andrews
Many Hoosier stocks are on a tear, posting year-to-date gains rivaling the numbers we saw in the frothy late 1990s, before the Internet bubble burst. But market analysts say the comparison stops there. The companies posting gains are old-line manufacturers like Cummins Inc., not dot-com startups built on hype. And the appreciation is built upon a solid foundation-rapid increases in profit. Indeed, New York-based Citigroup noted that corporate profits are up 115 percent since the last recession ended in the...
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Breaking bread, breaking down barriers: International Center pairs local hosts, visiting delegates to promote cultural understandingRestricted Content

May 14, 2007
Della Pacheco
International Center pairs local hosts, visiting delegates to promote cultural understanding When a group of Iraqi editors and writers visited Indianapolis last summer as part of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, they learned about American journalism and Hoosier hospitality. Florence May, a member of the International Center of Indianapolis' board and president of Simply Hospitality-an Indianapolis-based special-event planning company-hosted the group for dinner in her home. May grew up in a military family and has lived throughout...
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Transit junkie boards IndyGo: New VP of operations hails from Columbus, Ohio's bigger bus lineRestricted Content

May 14, 2007
Chris O\'malley
Milwaukee native Trevor Ocock figures his interest in transit dates to age 3. At least that's what his mother tells him. But the transit bug overtook him at Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio, as he was earning a degree in business administration and human resources management. Soon, he was washing buses for Ohio State University's transit line. Later, he drove an OSU bus-met lots of ladies that way-and eventually became its operations manager. "I have always liked to be around...
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O'Reilly Auto Parts puts growth in high gear: Relationship with local track big part of plan for retail, distribution expansionRestricted Content

May 7, 2007
Anthony Schoettle
Few Hoosiers had heard of O'Reilly Auto Parts before the Missouri-based company built a massive distribution center in Hendricks County and bought the naming rights to Indianapolis Raceway Park last June. Now, the company, which was founded in 1957 and went public in 1993, figures to become a major retail presence here. Already, 14 stores have cropped up here among 35 that opened statewide. That makes 1,700 stores in 25 states for the company that reported revenue of $2.3 billion...
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BEHIND THE NEWS: Private equity players may be primping firms for IPOsRestricted Content

May 7, 2007
Greg Andrews
It's an age-old strategy: A private equity firm buys a company, bolsters its performance, then pockets a tidy profit by taking it public or selling it outright. Los Angeles-based Freeman Spogli & Co., the majority owner of Hhgregg Inc. the past two years, last month revealed plans for a $170 million initial public offering for the consumer electronics retailer. You can be sure other private equity firms that have scooped up local companies in recent years have the same exit...
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Pension changes fill state's VC coffer: Indiana Investment Fund has $155 million to pour into Hoosier companiesRestricted Content

April 30, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The diversification of the state's two enormous public pension funds into private equity is transforming Indiana's venture capital sector. And their $155 million Indiana Investment Fund is the largest factor in the equation. If it's successful, the Indiana Public Employees' Retirement Fund and the Indiana State Teachers' Retirement Fund will save Hoosiers untold millions of dollars and help launch a host of new high-tech companies. If it's not, taxpayers will one day have to foot the bill. Indiana State Budget...
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ATA parent sees potential in World Air, despite its woes: Impact of deal on Indianapolis headquarters unknownRestricted Content

April 23, 2007
Chris O\'malley
The biggest acquisition in the 34-year history of ATA Airlines will steer it closer to its charter roots and further from a scheduled-service binge that led to bankruptcy three years ago. Analysts say the $315 million deal to buy Atlanta-based World Air Holdings will broaden the revenue base and bring economies of scale for ATA's newly renamed parent, Global Aero Logistics. It also hands ATA a cargo business worth $100 million in 2005. The deal should give the Manhattan vulture...
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Local companies get Taiwanese perspective: Butler University program brings 23 interns to IndyRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Scott Olson
The java stands Hubbard & Cravens Coffee Co. opened a year ago within Clarian Health Partners' three downtown hospitals are brewing a rich aroma of results. Yet executives of the locally based coffee retailer and wholesaler know sales could be sweeter. "The hospitals are so huge that we don't capture even a third of what we could," said Marcie Hubbard, director of store operations. "So the question is, how do you reach everybody in that entire hospital?" The 23 Taiwanese...
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Relax, you better get used to it-it's only globalization: VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRYRestricted Content

April 16, 2007
Roger Schmenner
Globalization, like all sweeping economic trends, provokes a widespread disquiet. Specifically, we fear that somehow, if it continues unchecked, people in the United States will lose their high-paying jobs and we will devolve into a lowwage service economy. As China gains, we lose. To borrow a phrase from Thomas Friedman, they're frightened that the flattening of the world economy will flatten us. It is true that traditional manufacturing jobs are fewer now than before. And, lots of things are made...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Jobs news is negative however you slice itRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Patrick Barkey
What's the news on Indiana employment? Odd as it might seem, that phrase is almost a contradiction in terms. For while we do receive very timely, detailed information on how many jobs are carried on Indiana employers' payrolls each month, the practical challenges in keeping close tabs on the latest zigs and zags in the 3 million-strong Hoosier labor force make the interpretation of the fresh data difficult. Only after the data have sat on the shelf for half a...
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Waiting for a sensible transportation plan: CommentaryRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Brian Williams
The Indiana Commerce Connector, those 75 miles of concrete through the Indiana countryside, was announced with great fanfare at the start of the 2007 legislative session and recently disappeared with equal aplomb. Thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Terri Austin, chairwoman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, and the other members of that committee, the citizens of Indiana had ample opportunity to express their opinions on Indiana's transportation needs. While the governor's specific proposals for the Indiana Commerce...
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Longer Indiana State Fair could add corn dogs, cash: Extra days could boost sales by $1.3 million

April 9, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
But extra helpings of your favorite fattening treats may be on their way. At its April 19 meeting, the Indiana State Fair Commission will consider whether to add up to five more days to the fair, starting in 2008. "You'd have another weekend where people can come out to partake in fair activities," said Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Kyle Hupfer. "My guess is you'd see some new folks come to the fair who wouldn't otherwise come." This year, fair...
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Management's traffic cop: Administrative assistants play numerous roles, gain more respectRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Marc D.
As a girl, Lori Drzal dreamed of becoming a spy, a policewoman-something where she'd be helping others. Her father had different ideas. "Become a secretary," he told her. "You'll always have a job." "Today," she said, "I think, 'Why did he tell me that?' But ... I've always had a job. I've always grown in my jobs, and I've always been challenged." Drzal, 48, executive assistant to Steak n Shake President and CEO Peter Dunn for the past four years,...
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Taliera switches strategy for buying underperforming brands of boozeRestricted Content

April 9, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Taliera Corp. plan to raise $60 million through an initial public offering was withdrawn March 27, but Taliera isn't going away. It's simply trying a different approach. CEO J. Smoke Wallin said he and his team of eight beverage industry veterans still believe their business plan is right.
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Task force to tackle big job: tallying infrastructure needs: Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce leads one-year studyRestricted Content

April 2, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Indianapolis hasn't attempted to systematically catalog all its infrastructure needs since 1991. Back then, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce collected a list of the most pressing local projects and presented it to Mayor Stephen Goldsmith. The price tag at that time: $1.1 billion. A lot has changed in the 16 years since the Chamber released its Getting Indianapolis Fit for Tomorrow report. Some problems it identified, such as the health risk of combined sewer overflows, have been partly addressed....
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EYE ON THE PIE: Whom will the state subsidize next?Restricted Content

April 2, 2007
Morton Marcus
Last week, I was walking on the Statehouse grounds and I saw some folks with large green pins on their lapels. "What do those stand for?" I asked. "Small businesses need Electronic Gaming Devices" one wearer told me. "That's for bars," I commented. The reply I got was not friendly. In the newspapers and on TV during the same week, there were features about horse breeders "needing" more state subsidies from slot machines at racetracks to "keep the industry alive."...
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Concrete price-fixing case might not be wrapped up: Undisclosed state investigation delaying civil lawsuitRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
The U.S. Department of Justice's highprofile, three-year investigation into price fixing in Indiana's concrete industry resulted in one of the largest antitrust fines in history: $29.2 million against Greenfield-based Irving Materials Inc. The investigation might not be over yet. The DOJ seemed to conclude its Indianapolis inquiry last month, finally closing the criminal case. But a recent filing in a pending civil suit against IMI and its four former top executives hints the probe is continuing elsewhere. This time, IMI...
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University takes advantage of new design-build law: IU finishes its first building under construction processRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Katie Maurer
What do the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal have in common? Each project was both designed and built by the same people. Basically, they were among the first design-build projects in history. What seemed like a good idea hundreds and thousands of years ago has been slower to take hold in modern times. These days, most construction projects are still completed by separate entities-one that draws up the plans and another that brings those plans...
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Mass-transit movement focuses on education: Passenger projections, search for director delay effortRestricted Content

March 26, 2007
Peter Schnitzler
Efforts to secure a mass-transit system for central Indiana are moving ahead. But not rapidly. Several mass-transit bills are pending in the General Assembly-including one requiring the Indiana Department of Transportation to study building a rail system from Indianapolis to Muncie, and another encouraging development of mass-transit systems across the state. But neither is likely to result in immediate funding for a system serving Indianapolis commuters. Local mass-transit advocates still are a long way from winning over lawmakers and others...
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Mansur lands $50M midfield airport hotelRestricted Content

March 12, 2007
Jennifer Whitson
The Indianapolis Airport Authority has tapped Mansur Real Estate Services Inc. to develop a $50 million-plus Westin hotel at the new midfield terminal. But the hotel's final design may be one submitted by a former competitor, White Lodging Corp. of South Bend.
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Mixed-use project would transform Lawrence: Final piece of Fort Ben development includes residential, retail, officesRestricted Content

March 5, 2007
Cory Schouten
The final piece of a decade-long redevelopment of Fort Benjamin Harrison would give Lawrence a new downtown with shops, offices and public plazas mixed among as many as 1,000 condos, townhouses and apartments. The Fort Harrison Reuse Authority hasn't settled on a name yet for the 88-acre project, but the quasi-governmental group's board is expected to approve zoning updates this month that pave the way for the project. Public meetings will be held in March and April, and the first...
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