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Every Monday -- News from GCP

New legislation supports Ohio's aerospace and aviation assets

In this week’s “GCP Insight” video, Marty McGann, the Greater Cleveland Partnership’s senior vice president of advocacy, discusses two pieces of legislation recently signed by Governor Kasich to support Ohio’s aerospace and aviation assets.

In an interview with Steve Luttner, vice president, Lesic and Camper, McGann provides an overview of the outcomes:

(1) the establishment of a committee with representation from the public and private sectors focused on developing a unified strategy on behalf of the state's aerospace and aviation assets and related businesses; and (2) the creation of the Federal Military Jobs Commission to develop community-specific strategies to retain and grow Ohio’s federal assets.

Click here to watch the video.

Help us learn more about Northeast Ohio’s middle market

The Greater Cleveland Partnership's Middle-Market Initiative provides resources and information to help create and sustain long-term success for Northeast Ohio's middle-market companies. To accomplish this objective, we need to know more about our region’s middle-market companies, their outlook and challenges.

The 2014 Ohio Middle-Market Survey was developed by our strategic partner, the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University. Your involvement will help us learn more about our region's middle-market businesses so we can provide them with the level of support, attention and advocacy they need.

The survey—the first-ever to gather data specifically on Ohio companies with annual revenues between $10M and $100M—will take only about 10 minutes.
Responses will only be reported in the aggregate and participants will not be identified unless they choose to be contacted for additional information.

For questions and comments, please contact Rob Recker, GCP’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and membership, at 216.592.2384 or rrecker@gcpartnership.com.

Click here to take the survey.

What mid-market companies can do to improve operations

For a middle-market company, honing effectiveness and efficiency is critical to improving business operations. All available resources are needed to hit the next stage of growth and be able to manage competition from much bigger companies.

Rather than working piecemeal at fixing sporadic problems, companies are better off using a strategy to systemically address different aspects of their operations, according to Erik Sherman, a National Center for the Middle Market contributor, author and corporate communications consultant. Here are five strategies he recommends:

  • Go lean: By enacting practices that add value and avoiding practices that don't, a company makes its operations more efficient.
  • Focus on quality: The idea is to reduce waste and rework, saving money in the process, and to improve results, making the company more effective.
  • Improve forecasting: Sophisticated tools and extensive knowledge are available to improve forecasting across your company.
  • Introduce customer-centric thinking: Focus operations and strategy to embrace customers and make them happy, and you're on the fast path toward business success.
  • Try business-process re-engineering: By truly re-engineering, companies can pinpoint the wasteful processes concerning how they do business and develop more effective procedures.

Click here to read more.

Gaining insights into margin management

Margin management—or the ability to understand where money is made and lost in a business—is critical to the success of all businesses and to middle-market firms in particular. According to research by the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) , the ability to maintain margins has been identified by mid-market executives as a somewhat-to-highly challenging issue.

A report by the NCMM and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals has found that “Middle-market firms generally acknowledge that external factors such as ability to set pricing in the marketplace and forecasting demand do hinder their ability to manage margins.

“...However, some of the more sophisticated margin management methods available to middle market firms are used only sparingly: leveraging activity-based costing, cost-to-serve, economic value added, and balanced scorecard methods."

The report recommends that middle-market firms take greater advantage of “advanced analytics tools. With broader adoption of these methods, middle-market firms stand to gain critical insight into their true costs, profits, and overall performance.”

Click here to download the report and learn more.

Events for YPs focus on networking, community engagement

Engage! Cleveland is hosting upcoming events for Greater Cleveland’s young professionals (YPs) with opportunities to connect with peers and the community through networking and volunteering.

Join fellow YPs for a new view on happy hour at Cleveland Metroparks Edgewater Live, Engage! Cleveland’s sixth annual summer mix, on Thursday, July 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $10. Please register at www.engagecleveland.com by July 8. Email info@engagecleveland.com with questions.

Learn how you can get involved in the nonprofit sector and demonstrate your leadership skills at “YP Road to Nonprofit Leadership,” a two-part program on July 16 and 23. The July 16th event, “Role of the Board Training,” will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the offices of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, 1240 Huron Road East in PlayhouseSquare. On July 23rd, the Nonprofit Organization Fair will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fifth Street Arcade, 530 Euclid Avenue.

The cost is $50 per person for both events. Capacity is limited, so please register by Thursday, July 10. To register or for more information, visit www.engagecleveland.com

What can accelerate manufacturing’s innovation capacity?

NorTech President Rebecca Bagley blogs on Forbes.com about an initiative that seeks to answer the question: How can we reinvigorate the American Dream in the 21st century?

To answer that question, the University of Virginia’s Miller Center launched the Milstein Symposium. The multi-year effort develops nonpartisan, innovative and action-oriented ideas that tackle some of the most pressing economic issues our nation faces today. Each year, three commissions focus on topics such as entrepreneurship, education and infrastructure.

Bagley participated in the initial commission that explored how to rebuild our manufacturing sector. Members included former governors, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, academics and a journalist. The group recently released a report, “Building a Nation of Makers,” which offers six clear and achievable ideas to accelerate the innovation capacity of America’s small and medium-sized manufacturers.

Click here to read the blog.

Click here to read the report.

Commuter Choice Awards to recognize use of alternative transportation

If your company or organization supports and encourages employees to use alternative modes of transportation, including public transportation, carpooling, bicycling, walking, telecommuting, and flexible work weeks, here’s your chance to be recognized for it.

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA), the region’s transportation and environmental planning agency, is sponsoring the Commuter Choice Awards to recognize employers that practice and promote environmentally friendly commute options. You’re eligible if you have facilities in Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain or Medina counties.

Organizations could receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating based on the percentage of employees who engage in environmentally friendly commuting alternatives and on the organization’s incentives, programs, policies and investments that support commute alternatives. In addition, one organization will receive top honors for being a regional leader for encouraging alternative transportation choices.

To apply for the Commuter Choice Awards, simply complete an online survey. The deadline to enter is July 31, 2014.

Awards will be presented at NOACA’s Annual Meeting on September 12, 2014. Winners also will be recognized on NOACA’s website and in other publicity materials.

For more information, visit NOACA’s website or call Amy Stacy at 216.241.2414, ext. 205, or email her at astacy@mpo.noaca.org.