Proconex understands the importance of reducing plant downtime and improving plant productivity. To reduce plant downtime and improve plant productivity, the right Valve Operating System™ (VOS) and actuator should be selected. The team of experts at Proconex can guide you in the selection process. Their actuation product brands include Bettis™, EL-O-Matic™, EIM™, and Shafer™.
Following a major expansion of their valves and controls business, Proconex, the exclusive Emerson Local Business Partner in the Mid-Atlantic region, has reinforced its valves & control devices portfolio, including a complete range of isolation valves and automated valve solutions.
Proconex offers both standard and customized solutions, regardless of the demand you have on a valve. As a single supplier, they can positively impact the timing and delivery-as well as provide an expanded range of services on-site.
A recent Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce event focused on the pros and cons of being in the middle. While those of you who are middle children may be subjected to taunts and stereotypes, middle market companies are in vogue. Why? They outperform F500’s and small companies alike, are attractive places to work, and are the lucrative targets of Private Equity firms, as well as those companies looking to grow by acquisition. It is truly a happy time for those in the middle.
Who comprises the Middle Market?
- 200,000 businesses representing 3% of all U.S. companies
- Annual revenues ranging from $10M-$1B
- 5th largest global economy—larger than the entire country of Germany
- Creator of 60% of all new jobs in the U.S.—over $1.1M jobs in 2013-2014
Q4 2017 by the numbers:
- Revenue growth = 7.6% compared with 6.9% in the S&P 500
- Employment growth = 5.2% compared with 1.4% for small businesses and 2.6% for large businesses
- High confidence = 75% in the global economy, 86% in the national economy, and 88% in the local economy
Furthermore, according to Thomas Stewart, Executive Director, National Center for the Middle Market, middle market companies are more attractive than ever. Consumer middle marketers are considered niche, and therefore more interesting and socially responsible. They are successfully chipping away at the market share of name brand products. Think craft breweries, for instance. On the other side of business, B2B industrials are doing well because of their key roles in the supply chain, as connectors, to F500 companies who depend on them for products and services critical to our economy.
Among the top challenges of those in the middle are acquiring and retaining talent, competitive pressures, and the challenges of expanding internationally. Regarding capital investments, 69% plan to expand. While some of the panelists recommended international growth, others have grown primarily by acquisition and will continue to do so. Not surprisingly, workforce engagement is high on the priority list—whether through wage increases, training, or both. Overall, the middle marketers are not an impetuous group. They are not taking on new debt, are expanding capital expenditures judiciously, and keeping inventory levels steady.
We at Markitects are proud to have served middle market companies for over twenty years. For more information, contact us.
NCCPAP President, Stephen Mankowski, recently returned from the January 2018 NPL meeting. Highlights of this month’s meeting include the Passport Revocation Program, Practitioner Priority Service Faux Pas, and Quarterly Estimate Complications. Regarding the Passport Revocation Program, the PATH Act of 2015 grants the IRS authority to request the Department of State (DOS) revoke passports from individuals with a specific tax debt; the same act authorizes the IRS to utilize outside debt collectors. This program is for those who are seriously delinquent on their taxes-in excess of $50K (plus inflation).
Our Best Tips Revealed
One of the most effective marketing tools happens to be one of the most fun and rewarding to create—that being customer stories. Don’t frown; it’s true. Having developed several hundred of these over the course of two decades, I believe I can modestly state that I have the knack for them. That’s why I’d like to share some tips and guidelines for developing effective and interesting stories about your customers, partners, and even employees—whether as material for a sales presentation, newsletter, blog, or for internal consumption.
- Selection. Choose a subject that has one or more interesting aspects about it—whether brand-related, a technical innovation, or human-interest story. Then, if you are fortunate enough to find or select the expert yourself, choose someone who is otherwise considered to be an unsung hero. You’ll get more detail and cooperation if that person has not been tapped before. While somewhat counterintuitive, I have built my reputation on finding interesting people with a good story to tell—people who have not necessarily told it before. This way, what you write is fresh, and sounds fresh.
- Journalism. Pretend you are Anderson Cooper, Jane Pauley, or even Columbo (if you’re old enough). Put on your interviewer hat; be curious and pursue a line of questioning until you are satisfied that you could explain even a difficult technical, medical, or engineering concept to a peer. If in person, ask your expert to draw a diagram of what they are talking about on a white board—you often get even more information when you engage someone in that way. I truly believe that interviewing is a skill—one that can be learned by most people, but takes a lot of practice to accomplish well. It’s important to be both rehearsed and relaxed. Don’t be afraid to go off script either, if your interviewee takes you in a good direction. On the other hand, if the interviewee can’t stay on topic, keep drawing them back.
- Questions. Do your homework! Have your questions, or at least an outline, prepared in advance. If possible do not share it with your interviewee. The idea is to have a conversation, not give them a survey. I know this is difficult because your boss, the interviewee, or client will insist on having questions ahead of time. If you must, share it, but it’s better if you give them an overall description of the interview and how the materials will be used—keep the outline to yourself.
- Composition. Start with the title and subtitle. This will force you to integrate your newfound knowledge into a short statement. Be as playful or clever as possible to gain the interest of your reader from the onset. I often rewrite a customer story 5-6 times before I’m satisfied. The point being, this is not a one-draft exercise. It often helps to imagine you are a typical reader.
- Some Essentials: Get permission to use the materials, in writing. If a blog or collateral piece, take some time to find or create a clever graphic, photo, or image to help emphasize some point of the story. And keep practicing.
At Markitects, we believe that every story can have a happy ending—or at least a lesson to be learned. If your stories are not coming together the way you’d like, contact us and we’ll help you crack the code to great content.
NCCPAP’s Executive Vice President, Neil H. Fishman, CPA, CFE, FCPA, CAMS, recently presented some highlights of the new 2018 Tax Bill to an audience of business professionals at The Greater Boynton Beach Chamber of Commerce on January 10, 2018. He began his presentation with a brief history of the bill, called H.R.1, and how quickly it became law, and then discussed some highlights that apply to corporations and individuals.
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Varco Pruden Buildings (VP) is a world leader in providing innovative pre-engineered steel building systems. Each year, VP supplies materials for approximately 6,000 buildings—ranging from 1,200 square feet to more than one million square feet. Today, VP welcomes Horst into its network of nearly 1,000 independent Authorized VP Builders across the United States and Canada, as well as throughout Central and South America, Europe, and Asia.
While Horst Construction considers themselves to be experts in constructing senior living facilities, they also participate in many discussions at the owner level, advising their clients about the best ways to attract new residents and make facilities as welcoming and useful as possible. For this article, Horst collaborated with interior designers, marketing teams, and other experts to share top senior living facility design trends for 2018.
Accounting Today recently interviewed NCCPAP President, Steve Mankowski, for the second time this year! With all of the drama surrounding tax reform, one almost forgets that tax season is upon us. Top issues covered in Steve’s interview conducted by Accounting Today editor-in-chief, Daniel Hood, include the Tax-Overhaul Bill and Cybersecurity. Steve’s most recent podcast is available via the link below.
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Horst is proud to announce the completion of two of its major religious construction projects: ValleyPoint Church in Glen Mills, PA and State College Alliance Church in State College, PA. While each project that Horst undertakes is completely unique and personal, what these two places of worship have in common is their greatly expanded capacity to meet the needs of their growing congregations.