March, 2013

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April 16-17, 2013 | Hilton Minneapolis

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testing
CSM Bakery Products
Technical Serv for Elect
Grant Thornton LLP
SMC Ltd
Neometrics Inc
Rimage Corporation
OSI Consulting
Le Sueur Incorporated
Ancora Imparo LLC
David Haynes
Right Connections LLC
Michael Keyes
Ron Finelli
C.A Moore & Associates
Mazzitelli Group LTD
Hasan Akhtar
Code Welding & Mfg
General Dynamics
Sifco Minneapolis
ActivStyle
Graco Inc
NWN Inc
General Label Inc
E J Ajax & Sons
Construction Results
Class C Components
Surgical Technologies
APG Cash Drawer
Aerospace Welding
DSI Inc
Trendex Inc
Minnesota Thermal Science
Illume Candle
Pallet Service Corp
Bethany Press Intl
V-TEK INC
PN Products
Windings Inc
Fey Industries
Eaton Corporation
Juno Inc
Talon Innovations
HID Global
Lexington Brainerd
Baxter-Synovis Surgical Innovations
Dalsin Industries Inc
Bose Corporation ESG
UTAS- Goodrich Corp
Visions
Robinson Rubber Products
Uponor
Minco
Navy Island Plywood
Archway
Tolomatic Inc
The Bergquist Company
ATMI Packaging Inc
Mate Precision Tooling
Lowell Inc
Colder Products Co
Clean Air Products Inc
RMS Co


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February 7th 2023 09:00 am
- The Role of the Leader Online

February 8th 2023 08:00 am
- Creating Process Maps

February 9th 2023 08:00 am
- Sustaining Lean Culture Through Leadership Changes

February 14th 2023 09:00 am
- Learning to Solve Problems Supervision Fundamentals Certification

February 15th 2023 09:00 am
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February 16th 2023 08:00 am
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February 21st 2023 08:00 am
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February 21st 2023 09:00 am
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February 22nd 2023 08:00 am
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February 22nd 2023 09:00 am
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Article Index

HR From the Outside In
Article by: John Hehre

What must a Human Resources department do well? Which of those areas have the greatest impact on business success? To answer those and other questions, the authors of this book examined a broad range of companies over time and focused on the skills and capabilities of HR departments and managers.


Sales and Use Tax Audits on the Rise!
Article by: Nick Marshall

If your business is one of the lucky ones that have never been through a state sales and use tax audit, or you have not had one in over 5 years, odds are that your luck may change soon. Given the budget shortfalls of most states – including Minnesota – and the continued hiring of new state auditors, sales and use tax audits are becoming more prevalent than ever before.


Lean Leader of the Month: David Badger
Article by: David Badger

David Badger is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Loram Maintenance of Way located in Hamel Minnesota. Founded in 1954, Loram Maintenance of Way started out as a small operation consisting of two simple machines, and a handful of employees.  Today, Loram has become one of the leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of track maintenance machinery and services in North America and the global market.


MN Economic Outlook
Article by: Dr. Ernest Goss

For a third straight month, Minnesota’s Business Conditions Index moved above growth neutral.


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HR From the Outside In

What must a Human Resources department do well? Which of those areas have the greatest impact on business success? To answer those and other questions, the authors of this book examined a broad range of companies over time and focused on the skills and capabilities of HR departments and managers.

They examined the impact HR had on the organization as a whole. They also examined how the HR function has changed over time. As a result of the research, the authors identified six specific skill sets, or competencies, that are essential for an HR department to have a positive impact on business success. The title “HR From the Outside In,” captures the notion that HR professionals need to be as aware of the external factors driving business success as the traditional administrative roles assigned in the past. The first few chapters describe the evolution of the HR department from its administrative and transactional roots to the current state where HR managers are as engaged in formulating strategies to compete in an increasingly complex global marketplace as their peers in other functions. After this context, the book presents the six competencies of successful HR professionals in detail.

First, they are strategic positioners in that they use their knowledge of the strategic direction and the context within which the firm operates in order to develop, implement and refine their policies and activities.  They are credible activists in that they contribute to change. Credibility ensures their voice will be heard and activism is needed so their ideas make an impact. HR professionals are capability builders. Their knowledge of the strategic context and the external world allows them to make sure the organization is filled with the skills and capabilities needed to compete effectively. Change champions support the business by translating change theory into practice. HR professionals must be innovators and integrators. They ensure that talented employees are attracted, recruited, integrated and retained. Innovative methods and policies are essential as the world, and demands of talent, change. These new innovative policies and practices must be integrated into existing structures and culture. Finally, the HR professionals must be technology proponents. HR technology has moved beyond automation with HR Information Systems into areas such as facilitation of global communication and collaboration, and dealing with social media issues. Within each chapter, these competencies are further broken down into specific factors that provide insight into how these competencies can be developed within an organization. The suggestions for action are practical and sensible.

The next two chapters provide clear and specific suggestions for the development of HR professionals and effective HR departments. The last chapter provides a look forward into possible future directions for the HR function.

The book is well organized, highly structured and specific. Clearly aimed at HR professionals who wants to develop both themselves and their functions into strong members of an executive team with a strong hand in the direction of an organization. The book also provides a solid outline for expectations top management should have for a high-performing HR department.

John Hehre is a senior operations executive and provides interim management and project based consulting to mid-sized private companies in need of transformative change. He can be reached at jhehre@cprocess.com.

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Sales and Use Tax Audits on the Rise!

If your business is one of the lucky ones that have never been through a state sales and use tax audit, or you have not had one in over 5 years, odds are that your luck may change soon. Given the budget shortfalls of most states – including Minnesota – and the continued hiring of new state auditors, sales and use tax audits are becoming more prevalent than ever before.

What should manufacturers do now to prepare for the possibility of a future sales and use tax audit?

If you are assessing any business obstacles in the immediate future, don't overlook the importance of sales and use tax compliance. It can affect your bottom line if not handled properly. There is also an important need to be diligent and accurate with record keeping, as such recordkeeping is key to a proper determination during a sales and use tax audit. This can be especially challenging for manufacturers due to the sheer volume of resale exemption certificates that may need to be collected from customers, kept on file, and updated regularly.

Generally, all sales of tangible personal property and some select services are taxable on the selling price in Minnesota. Use tax is the complement of sales tax and is owed when a retailer has not charged sales tax.  Most of the time, manufacturers are creating a product which is sold to customers for resale to an ultimate consumer. This would make the sale exempt from sales tax for purposes of resale, and a fully completed resale exemption certificate will need to be kept on file as proof. In instances where your business sells its product to the consumer or end-user directly, you are responsible to collect and remit sales tax, assuming the sale is not to an exempt entity.

On the purchase side of a manufacturer's business, there are certain exemptions and certain taxable items depending on the nature of how the purchase is used.  In Minnesota, there is also a refund process to follow on taxable production machinery and equipment called the Capital Equipment Refund.  

Up-front exemptions. Sales tax is not applicable to a manufacturer's purchase of materials used, stored, or consumed in the production process under the Industrial Production Exemption.  Industrial production includes, but is not limited to research, development, design or production of any tangible personal property, manufacturing, printing, mining, research, development, design, or production of computer software. Materials stored, used, or consumed in industrial production of personal property intended to be sold ultimately at retail are exempt, whether or not the items used become an ingredient or constitute part of the property. “Production" encompasses any step in the production process and includes the production, fabrication, printing, or processing of tangible personal property for consumers.

NOTE: To buy items exempt from tax, the purchaser must give a fully completed Exemption Certificate, Form ST3, to the seller.

Capital Equipment Refund. Unlike many other states, Minnesota does not have an up-front sales tax exemption on capital equipment purchased by manufacturing companies. Manufacturing companies must pay sales tax when purchasing equipment, or accrue use tax if not charged. Then, a company must file a claim to obtain a refund of the tax paid on the qualifying equipment.  Therefore, this is similar to a rebate process.

NOTE: If a company fails to file a refund claim before the statute of limitation expires, Minnesota keeps the sales or use tax.

Capital equipment is defined as machinery and equipment purchased or leased, and used in Minnesota by the purchaser or lessee primarily for manufacturing, fabricating, mining, or refining tangible personal property to be sold ultimately at retail. The equipment must be essential to the integrated production process.

Common audit adjustments.
Common errors found under audit on the sales tax side include the following:

  • Missing or incomplete exemption certificates
  • Sales of used equipment and other business assets
  • Intercompany transactions

Common errors found under audit on the purchase side (use tax) include the following:

  • Out of state and online purchases of office supplies, computers, software, equipment, etc.
  • Credit card and/or purchase card (P-card) purchases with no invoice backup
  • Delivery charges and local taxes not taxed correctly by vendors, equipment rentals
  • Property purchased for resale and then used in a taxable manner
  • Inventory withdrawn for personal use
  • Inability to produce purchase invoices showing tax paid

If an auditor finds you owe taxes, there will be interest and potential penalties applied to any errors discovered under audit. If you appeal, interest will continue to accrue during the appeals period.

Make sure you're familiar with the sales and use tax rules for your business, or hire an accountant who is. Depending on the varying state laws based on where your business operates, the laws may be more complicated than those for other, non-manufacturing businesses. 

Nick Marshall is a Tax Manager at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP specializing in state and local taxes. He can be reached at 612.876.4632 or nick.marshall@bakertilly.com

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Lean Leader of the Month: David Badger

David Badger is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Loram Maintenance of Way located in Hamel Minnesota. Founded in 1954, Loram Maintenance of Way started out as a small operation consisting of two simple machines, and a handful of employees.  Today, Loram has become one of the leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of track maintenance machinery and services in North America and the global market.

  • Where did you receive your Lean training/experience? 

Prior to Loram I worked for Caterpillar Global Paving in Brooklyn Park, MN where I was trained and certified as a 6 Sigma black belt, master black belt, lean deployment champion and served as Supply Chain Manager. Global Paving was one of the corporation’s pilot deployment facilities for the Caterpillar Production System and we were the first Caterpillar facility to deploy the corporate SAP MRP template that integrated many lean planning principles.

  • How, when, and why did you get introduced to lean and what fuels the passion for Continuous Improvement?

I have a degree in Industrial Engineering so I believe my passion for Continuous Improvement has always been a part of my DNA.  My first job out of college was with Maytag’s refrigeration division in Galesburg, IL.  During that time I practiced many of the traditional industrial engineering principles and philosophies.  It was not until I went to Caterpillar that I began to develop an understanding of lean.  Much of what I learned initially was self taught out of a desire to better understand the automotive industry.  If we did not start to think and act differently, it was my belief/concern the US heavy equipment industry, if not careful, was destined to make the same mistakes as the automotive industry.

  • What are your current Lean oriented activities?

Loram is currently working on a lean deployment strategy.  We are partnering with the Manufacturers Alliance to develop our deployment, training and CI activities.  In April we are kicking off the first in a series of Lean Practitioner courses.

  • What were the lessons learned (any hurdles you overcame) in leading or training your team on a Lean project?

There are many external forces that can de-rail lean efforts.  Therefore, it’s important to have the deployment team on the same page.  We have spent considerable time focusing the team on developing a clear understanding that lean goes beyond the common tools many people have heard about or read about.  Our leaders need to be ready to not only walk the walk but also talk the talk.  We need to be prepared to respond consistently to statements like: “We don’t make widgets so lean won’t work here.”  “We are different.”  “We’ve tried this before, remember when we implemented 5S”. 

  • What are the next steps in the Lean journey for your company? (for example: bringing Lean into the office or collaborating with customers on Lean)

We are developing our vision for the Hamel facility, our common aspirations and desired performance.  This will be the guiding light for the portfolio of projects that we will develop and execute.  Training is a key element to project executing.  Our training kicks off the first week of April.

  • How would you describe peer-to-peer education & training to your colleague?

Learning can occur in the classroom but the practicality of the experience comes to life through practicing on a project and training team members.  Therefore, peer-to-peer learning is a key component to the sustainability of any lean initiative and the success of any project.

David Badger is the Director of Continuous Improvement at Loram Maintenance of Way in Hamel, Minnesota

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MN Economic Outlook

For a third straight month, Minnesota’s Business Conditions Index moved above growth neutral.

The index from a monthly survey of supply managers in the state declined to 52.0 from 52.6 in January. Components of the index from the February survey were new orders at 44.8, production or sales at 50.5, delivery lead time at 56.2, inventories at 52.7, and employment at 51.7. “Over the past year, Minnesota’s unemployment rate has declined by approximately one-half of one percentage point. However, job growth has been sluggish over this same period of time.

Our surveys over the past several months point to a continuation of this trend with very slow job growth. Minnesota firms depending heavily on exports have been negatively affected by slowing global economic pullbacks. On the positive side, firms linked to agriculture continue to experience healthy growth,” said Goss

Dr. Ernest Goss of Creighton University, used the same methodology as The National Association of Purchasing Management to compile this information. An index number greater than 50 percent indicates an expansionary economy, and an index under 50 percent forecast a sluggish economy, for the next three to six months.

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