Seven steps to take your fabrics business to the next level

April 1, 2020

by Sigrid Tornquist Building a business takes more than a good idea and an interested customer base. It takes planning, investment, a skilled workforce—and a healthy dose of industry knowledge. Got a plan?  Rick Ludolph, founder and president of boutique specialty fabrics consulting firm Productive Solutions LLC in Marietta, Ga., has spent more than 40 …

Before selling, determine the true value of your company

February 1, 2020

By Larry Oxenham Succession planning can be a tricky matter, especially if you’re passing your business on to a family member. Sometimes keeping it in the family is viable, but not in every case. If it comes time to sell the business instead, you should be armed with some strategies for getting what it’s really …

Customer service is king

December 1, 2019

Strategic service makes your company memorable.  By Randy Westlund We live in a constantly connected culture of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now—with no delays. Between instant messaging, next-day delivery and online services available 24/7, the marketplace is catering to these demands. Some revealing statistics show how much …

Common mistakes cost more than you think

August 1, 2019

There’s a high cost to being too busy to get work done. By Randy Westlund I was consulting for the owners of a company recently. They’d worked hard last year. They did a record number of jobs. They even had to hire two installers and a welder to get it all done. But at the end …

Merger of Academy Awning and Zebra Awning announced

May 1, 2019

Academy Awning Inc., Los Angeles, Calif., and Zebra Awning, San Francisco, Calif., have merged. Michael Spear, owner of Zebra Awning, a San Francisco fixture since the mid-1980s, will continue in the role of Northern California representative for the corporation. Michael Richman and Jim Richman, owners of Academy, will serve in their same capacities for the …

IFAI announces call for board and leadership positions

April 22, 2019

The Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now seeking candidates for positions on its Board of Directors and Division Advisory Boards. The current 1st Vice Chairman Kathy Schaefer, IFM (Glawe Tent and Awning Co.) is Chairman-elect and will automatically assume the duties of the Chairman of the Board in October. …