Money Matters Archive

Bottom Line

  • Is It Time To Pull The Trigger?

    I can’t tell you how many times I have observed clients develop new products, create new policies, acquire other companies, expand to new market areas, promote certain people when they were destined to fail either dramatically over time or shortly after the new decision was made. People make a decision not feeling sure of the [...]

    Read More.

  • Loaning Money To Your Company

    Some things to consider when loaning money to or taking a loan from your own corporation. In the most rudimentary statements about United States currency, a dollar bill is a dollar bill. The dollar in your right pocket is as equal in value as the dollar in your left pocket. One hundred pennies stuffed in a [...]

    Read More.

  • Buyers Bliss

    “Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply has been a member of IWDC for 25 years. Membership gives us the collective buying power of a much larger organization, making us a 600-location company instead of a three-location company. Recently, I was trying to find an unusual rod. I just picked up the phone and called another [...]

    Read More.

  • Suppliers And Their Buying Groups

    Ashley Madray, Vice President of Gas Innovations; Gary Degenhardt, National Sales Manager for Chart Industries; and Mike Muenzer, Vice President of Field Sales at ORS NASCO explain why they participate. Why do you participate in a buying group? Mike Muenzer: Buying group affiliation allows ORS Nasco to engage customers with a preferred vendor status that helps us [...]

    Read More.

  • Show Me The Money

    Members of buying groups and cooperatives understand the buying power inherent in cooperation. In an era of escalating industry consolidation, it can be tough for an independent compressed gases and welding equipment distributor to compete. For that reason, a number of distributors look to buying groups and cooperatives to increase their purchasing power. Buying groups and cooperatives [...]

    Read More.

  • Improve Gross Margins Without Harassing Your Suppliers

    Five ways to improve gross margins without asking suppliers for lower prices. By Jason Bader

    Read More.

  • How Much More Can We Handle

    A former government economist dissects the numbers. By Joseph V. Kennedy

    Read More.

  • The Recovery…Really!

    Economist Alan Beaulieu analyzes economic trends that signal a turnaround for the gases and welding industry and encourages distributors to start spending again. By Alan Beaulieu.

    Read More.

  • The Siren Song of Inventory Reductions

    Reducing investment in inventory during an economic slowdown can be risky. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • When Will It Improve Out There?

    Economist Alan Beaulieu analyzes economic trends that signal a turnaround for the gases and welding industry. By Alan Beaulieu

    Read More.

  • Fiscal Fitness

    Gases and welding suppliers and distributors discuss innovative steps taken to survive in a difficult gases and welding economy.

    Read More.

  • Is Your Company Ripe for Embezzlement?

    Employee schemes and methods of stealing and embezzling to protect against in the gases and welding industry. By Edward J. McMillan.

    Read More.

  • Managing The Cultural Transition Of An Acquisition

    Managing The Cultural Transition Of An Acquisition. By Deborah Carter-Gordley.

    Read More.

  • Lessons Learned

    Acquisitions are common in the gases and welding industry, and understanding the process makes for a more successful acquisition. By William J. Kroll.

    Read More.

  • The Other Part Of The Economic Stimulus Act Of 2008

    Not all provisions of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 have been well-publicized, including the Section 179 Deduction and Bonus Depreciation segments. By Bart A. Basi.

    Read More.

  • Why Are Wire Rod Prices Increasing?

    Prices of steel wire rod for welding have increased dramatically due to the unstable economy and increased costs of raw materials for steel wire rod in welding wire mills. By David B. Eckert.

    Read More.

  • Avoid Creative Constipation

    Many business owners in the gases and welding industry are trained to think traditionally, but in order to survive, businesses must be innovative and creative when developing new ideas. By Eric Wahl.

    Read More.

  • The Art Of Acquisition

    Gases and welding distributors discuss the process of an acquisition and what makes for a successful acquisition in the compressed gas and welding industry.

    Read More.

  • Seller Beware

    Buyers frequently take advantage of company’s looking to sell by purchasing the stock rather than the assets and taking over operations. Steps to protect against these buyer scams. By Bart A. Basi.

    Read More.

  • The Growth Of Employee Ownership

    Employee stock ownership plans are increasing in popularity due to benefits such as increased morale and efficiency. Most ESOPs include stock options for all employees. By Corey Rosen.

    Read More.

  • Broad Demographic Trends Look Good For The Economy

    Consumer spending can be broken down by generational differences, with Baby Boomers and Generation Yers leading in consumption. By Dr. Stephen Happel.

    Read More.

  • Surcharging Into The Future

    The rising cost of fuel has a large impact on sales calls and compressed gases and welding equipment delivery, and has forced many gases and welding distributors to enforce surcharges.

    Read More.

  • The Price Of Success

    Gases and welding manufacturers discuss reasons for price increases, including rising prices of fuel and steel.

    Read More.

  • The Price Is Right?

    Rising expenses such as oil prices and delivery costs are forcing distributors of compressed gases and welding equipment to raise prices and reevaluate pricing models.

    Read More.

  • Liquid Oxygen Saves Trout Fishery

    Linweld Oxygen supplies compressed gases and industrial gases to government-owned fisheries and used an oxygen contract to save a trout fishery.

    Read More.

  • Fraud Protection

    Credit card fraud affects millions every year. Following basic guidelines can help prevent you from being a victim of credit card fraud or identity theft. By Teri Nock.

    Read More.

  • Total Upstream Process Improvement Prior To Welding

    Welding equipment distributors have an opportunity to work with customers to lower the cost of welding by improving efficiency and material flow for the welding process. By Shannon D. Fanning.

    Read More.

  • Doing Business The Customer’s Way

    Traditional sales methods in the gases and welding industry must be changed in order to compete with online sales methods and a new type of gases and welding customer. By Robert Nadeau.

    Read More.

Business Operations

  • Customers Trust Family Businesses More

    The Family-Business Trust Factor By Jeremy Miller If you have an opportunity to call your company a family business, do it. Customers trust family businesses more. Being a family business may not be the reason why your customer buys your products and services, but that kind of labeling can enhance the brand loyalty and affinity your company experiences. [...]

    Read More.

  • Changing Channels: Sales And Distribution For The Future

    “I don’t get it,” the marketing executive said. “Our prices are competitive, our products are better than ever, and our shipping and logistics are right there with the best. Why are our sales continuing to slide?” The sales manager thought for a moment. “Maybe it’s our sales approach. We haven’t really changed the way our reps [...]

    Read More.

  • GAWDA Members Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

    Members Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries Established 1893 – 120 years Corp Brothers * Established 1913 – 100 years ILMO Products Company Established 1918 – 95 years Dressel Welding Supply Koike Aronson, Inc. O.E. Meyer Co.* Schad & Pulte Welding Supply Sutton-Garten Company Read more.. Established 1923 – 90 Years Sellstrom Manufacturing Co. Established 1928 – 85 years Albright Welding Supply Company Depke Welding Supplies West [...]

    Read More.

  • What It Takes To Have A Successful Buy Or Profitable Sale

    A conversation with an expert Steve Byers grew up in a family-owned gases and welding business that was acquired in 1994 by Praxair Distribution, Inc. He stayed on and worked in several positions over the years, most recently as vice president of acquisitions responsible for business development and maintaining relationships with independent distributors. During this time, [...]

    Read More.

  • Mergers And Acquisitions Are Not Just For The Big Boys

    A guide for small companies Middle-market merger and acquisition activity involving transactions between $10M and $100M has been a big part of recent merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. In fact, in recent years, middle-market activity has accounted for roughly 45 percent of M&As. This activity is roughly 10 times the amount of activity the large mergers [...]

    Read More.

  • What You Can’t See Can Sink You

    Discovering the hidden waste in your organization is where the most significant opportunities for improvement exist. As global competition continues to drive and change the business landscape, the ability of distributors to remain profitable and sustain positive results gets harder every day. It is easy for distributors and suppliers in the gases and welding industry to [...]

    Read More.

  • Yes We Can

    How distributors are weathering the economic downturn.

    Read More.

  • Fueling Your Company

    Gases and welding distributors struggle to save money on delivery costs for welding equipment and compressed gases as fuel prices rise.

    Read More.

  • Discontinued/Isolated Product Liability Risks

    Distributors of specialty gases and welding equipment must be sure they are insured and protected for discontinued products by creating a run-off infrastructure. By John Cavanaugh.

    Read More.

  • Managing Interruptions

    Seven tips for managing minor interruptions during the work day to allow a manager to increase efficiency and maximize productivity. By Steve McClatchy.

    Read More.

  • Total Quality Management

    The Total Quality Management philosophy is to create a culture of “quality consciousness” in all aspects of a gases and welding business in order to improve methods and increase efficiency. By Lloyd Robinson.

    Read More.

  • A Tale Of Two Facilities

    Gases and welding distributors share similar experiences moving into new branch location or fill plant facilities and offer advice on what to look out for with a new gases and welding distribution facility.

    Read More.

  • Branching Out

    The pros and cons of opening a new branch location for a gases and welding distributorship, as well as some advice for opening a new branch.

    Read More.

  • Reduce Printing, Handling And Postage Costs

    Taking simple steps allows a distributor in the compressed gas and welding equipment industry to reduce overhead costs and reduce printing, handling and mailing expenses. By David Schaer.

    Read More.

  • Avoiding Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions

    Credit card fraud has increased dramatically in the welding industry. Recent credit card scams include relay calls, internet inquiries and cross-country shipments. By Teri Nock Hunter.

    Read More.

  • Change Your Corporate Culture To Enable Change

    Innovation is critical for survival in the gases and welding industry. The culture of a corporation must be receptive to change and condone new ideas and innovation. By D. Bruce Merrifield Jr.

    Read More.

  • Strength In Numbers

    Cooperatives within the gases and welding industry help a distributor to increase purchasing power and be a competitor in the gases and welding industry.

    Read More.

  • Saving Money With Used Equipment

    Buying used equipment for the storage and transport or compressed gases and other industrial gases can save a company money. By Jim Scarboro.

    Read More.

  • Give Your Company Away

    Employee stock option programs (or ESOPs) serve as an employee benefit as well as an incentive for employees to be more productive.

    Read More.

  • Forces That Create Competition

    There are a number of forces that create competition in the gases and welding industry, including supplier bargaining power, competitive rivalry and customers. By John Cioffi.

    Read More.

  • More Begets More For Large Companies

    Large gases and welding distributors enjoy the advantages of strong buying power combined with vast resources and a large customer base.

    Read More.

  • It’s The Best Of Both Worlds For MID-SIZED COMPANIES

    Mid-sized compressed gases and welding companies enjoy advantages over small and large companies, including strong buying power and involved management.

    Read More.

  • Flexibility And Speed Are SMALL BUSINESS Hallmarks

    Flexibility is the number one advantage that small gases and welding distributors have over large distributors of industrial gas and welding equipment.

    Read More.

  • Does Company Size Really Matter?

    Four distributors in the industrial gases and welding equipment industry discuss the impact of company size on change and innovation.

    Read More.

  • Do Small Companies Fare Better Than Big Companies in Tough Times?

    Small companies have an advantage over large companies in difficult economic times because of the speed of operations in implementation and proximity of key personnel. By Tom Reilly.

    Read More.

  • Three Steps For Keeping Your Employees’ E-mail From Landing Your Business In Court

    Improper use of a gases and welding company’s email system can land that company in legal troubles, facing litigation, lawsuits and heavy fines. By Patricia S. Eyres.

    Read More.

Globalization

  • All That Glitters Is Not Gold

    The case for having exposure to emerging markets in an investment portfolio has increasingly become a consensus view. However, after two years of strong returns, emerging markets (EM) stocks lurched sideways for the first half of 2011. By James Upton.

    Read More.

  • The Great Wail Of “China”

    U.S. manufacturers of welding equipment are moving operations overseas, causing many distributors of welding equipment to buy imports from China and others.

    Read More.

  • Globalization Ups Ante For Product Liability

    Globalization Ups Ante For Product Liability. Distributors must protect themselves from lawsuits involving overseas manufacturers. By Brian N. Johnson, Esq.

    Read More.

  • An American Welding Manufacturer Responds To Offshore Competition

    Imported welding equipment and other gases and welding products tend to be of lower quality than domestic products, but offer a lower price. By Paul Haneberg.

    Read More.

  • The Global Marketplace

    Offshore manufacturers of welding equipment use American technology to manufacture goods of equal quality at a lower price, leading to a more diverse global market for the gases and welding industry. By Barry Johnson.

    Read More.

Insurance

  • The State Of Workers Compensation

    Workers compensation has quickly become the most volatile line of property & casualty insurance in the marketplace today. Fewer carriers are writing the coverage, and the carriers that are writing work comp are becoming increasingly conservative. There are several reasons why the marketplace is so volatile. Medical costs per lost time claim increased by 203 percent [...]

    Read More.

  • Workplace Wellness Initiatives

    In an attempt to reduce the high costs of insurance, companies are discovering the benefits of helping employees get and stay healthy.

    Read More.

  • Risk Management

    A five-step process to manage your company’s risk Risk Management is a necessary part of every business and a disaster recovery plan is integral to any risk management program. This article outlines a five step process to assist in the evaluation of risk and help the business formalize a risk management document. Step 1: Identify Exposures [...]

    Read More.

  • Avoid Leaky Contractor Policies

    Best practices for insurance and indemnification requirements in a gas and welding distributorship. By Tony Hopkins.

    Read More.

  • How A Small Perk Can Cause Big Problems

    The pros and cons of a company car benefit for members of the gases and welding equipment supply industry. By Tony Hopkins

    Read More.

  • Insuring Success

    Members of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) confront issues pertaining to welding fume litigation and insurance coverage for welding fume litigation.

    Read More.

  • Distributor Risk Management Plans

    A successful risk management program for a gases and welding distributor includes safety, security, regulatory compliance, quality, operational integrity, insurance, and plans for preparation and recovery. By Douglas Crayton.

    Read More.

  • The Other 25% Of Compensation

    25% of an employee’s compensation is in benefits, so it is important to develop a communication system to communicate these compensation benefits to employees. By David E. Irving.

    Read More.

  • Are Your Employees Underinsured?

    Life insurance often is overshadowed by health insurance for employee insurance providers in the gases and welding industry. GAWDA employers need to ensure sufficient life insurance coverage for employees. By David E. Irving.

    Read More.

Profitability

  • Price Pressures

    If you are not losing one out of five deals because of price, your prices are too low. If price was as big of an issue that mainstream salespeople make it out to be, companies arguably would not need an outside sales force. So consider yourself lucky if your prices are high. As Jim Desaro says, [...]

    Read More.

  • Headwinds

    Trends in industrial gas production and wholesale trade of chemical and allied products are a mixed bag. There is good news for GAWDA members; we have raised our 2014 forecast US Industrial Production (our benchmark for the overall economy) by 2.2% from what we reported at last year’s conference. The favorable shift in the forecast is [...]

    Read More.

  • How Do You Define Success In Distribution?

    Start with margins, people and investment. By Brent R. Grover

    Read More.

  • The Datings Game

    Al Bates examines the issues of cash discounts and datings. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Expense Leveraging And Gross Margin Management

    Gases and welding distributors can increase profitability by focusing on leveraging expenses and gross margin management. Small changes in either of these will result in much higher profits. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Let’s Make Things Worse: Cutting Prices In A Down Market

    Cutting prices during slow economic times can be disastrous for a compressed gases and welding equipment distributor because it negatively impacts the bottom line. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • The Sales to Payroll Delta

    It is critical to companies in the compressed gases and welding equipment industry that the sales to payroll delta be kept constant to ensure profitability. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • All Sales Volume Is Not Created Equal

    The impact that a sale has on expenses determines whether it is a good sale or a bad sale, which is caused by the creation of new customers versus selling to existing ones. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • All Customers Are Not Created Equal

    Customer profitability affects their importance within a gases and welding distributorship. Unprofitable customers should be let go to increase profitability. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Hey, The Truck Is Going Right By There Anyway!

    Incremental sales volume can be a good way to earn supplemental profit by employing services like invoice loading, product line extensions and direct shipments. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Sales Force Pricing: The Stockholm Syndrome

    Gases and welding distributors are often swayed by customers to lower prices out of empathy and end up decreasing profitability. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Distributor Profitability Trends

    A report on trends in distribution and distributor profitability as measured by all distribution versus Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) members. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

  • Remembering The Mistakes Of The Past

    Following a recession, managers in the gases and welding industry often increase payroll expenses and inventory investments, allowing uncontrolled growth. By Dr. Albert D. Bates.

    Read More.

  • Making It Up With Volume

    The unique structure of expenses in the compressed gases and welding equipment industry makes price cutting very unprofitable without significant increase in sales volume for GAWDA members. By Albert D. Bates, Ph.D.

    Read More.

Taxes