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November 13, 2012
by EquipNet News
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Recovering from Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy was a devastating storm that affected millions of businesses. Not only have business owners struggled with the loss of electricity that led to days of work lost, but they’ve had to cope with the extensive damage done to their assets because of water and wind damage.
Businesses that have experienced losses like these are likely starting to deal with insurance companies and need the process to go as quickly and as smoothly as possible. Often, in cases like these, business owners find the services of an appraiser helpful. An appraiser can help a business owner decide if the insurance companies’ offers are reasonable.

Anyone who has dealt with filing insurance claims knows that the process can be a long and difficult one, but the more quickly you can get an asset list and appraiser documentation together, the more quickly you will receive reimbursement.

Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy can be costly. Insurance companies don’t always cover all of the costs of a business owner’s damages, and any time spent being out of operation results in money lost. If you need to get your business going quickly, there are alternative options available. For example, the Small Business Association offers low-interest disaster recovery loans that can be put toward getting the business running again, like fixing damaged equipment or purchasing new equipment if the original is beyond repair. In these cases, having an appraisal report on hand can speed up the loan process.

EquipNet wants to do everything possible to help our customers recover from the hurricane. If you need appraisal assistance while getting your business running again, contact us today.

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November 8, 2012
by EquipNet News
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Manufacturing Activity Picks Up in October According to an Institute for Supply Management Report

According to the recently released Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October for the second consecutive month following three months of slight contraction. The report released by the Institute for Supply Management also notes that the overall economy grew for the 41st consecutive month.

According to the report, while production and new orders show growth, Europe’s financial crisis and “fiscal cliff” worries are still a drag on U.S. manufacturing. It showed that the manufacturing sector edged up to 51.7%, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from September’s 51.5%. New orders rose 1.9 percentage points to 54.2%, and production registered 52.4%, an increase of 2.9 percentage points. However, the employment and prices indexes both weakened. The employment index fell 2.6 percentage points to 52.1% and the prices index was off 3 percentage points to 55%.

“The October ISM report provides some reassurance that manufacturing is growing again, albeit at a slow rate, and not slipping back into recession,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, chief economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Despite the slow growth, the report indicates that manufacturing outlook should improve.

“The European recession continues to be a drag on manufacturing output, but the nascent improvement in the U.S. housing sector is providing some support to manufacturing activity. As Europe’s recession fades and a modest recovery takes hold, the outlook for manufacturing should improve further – buoyed by both external and internal sources of demand,” noted James Marple, senior economist for TD Economics.

The six industries reporting growth in production during the month of October – listed in order – are: Furniture & Related Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Computer & Electronic Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The seven industries reporting a decrease in production in October – listed in order – are: Primary Metals; Machinery; Wood Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Transportation Equipment; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products.

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November 5, 2012
by EquipNet News
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The Journey Toward Sustainable Packaging

Packaging World published an article recently that will be interesting to any company considering a switch to sustainable packaging. The article, titled “Ten Tips for Sustainable Package Design,” has a lot of good advice in it.

The author advised companies to use some type of tool to help them see if their packaging design is becoming more sustainable as time goes on. There are plenty of software tools out there that can do this, but each one uses different types of measurements, so it is important that your company choose one and stick with it. If your chosen tool shows you moving in the right direction, you’re making sound decisions.

Consider using less packaging for each product, or look for ways to use less packaging in a shipment. Keep in mind that no matter what type of packaging your company chooses, consumption should be the ultimate goal in order to reduce wasted product, and packaging should always be recyclable.

Think outside the box. If you can change your product to reduce the amount of packaging needed, do so. Or consider making your packaging reusable so that it stays in kitchens instead of going into landfills.

Most importantly, the article stresses that getting to sustainability is a journey. Making small changes along the way and understanding that there are trade-offs in every decision is essential to getting to the type of packaging your company wants to have.

If your company is considering a change in its packaging, which could require a change in the type of equipment it uses, contact EquipNet today to discuss how we can help.

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November 1, 2012
by EquipNet News
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EquipNet’s Thoughts Are With Everyone Affected by Sandy

It’s hard to comprehend that just a few days ago we were all hunkered down, waiting to see what Hurricane Sandy had in store for us. Call it what you will — Frankenstorm, MegaStorm, Storm of the Century — none of us knew what to fully expect, and there were certainly some tense hours right around landfall.

Those of us in the Boston area rode out the storm with varying degrees of success, but what we ended up with is nothing compared to the devastation in New York, New Jersey, and other places along the eastern seaboard. New York, in particular, is still fully submerged in some neighborhoods, and the traffic is so gridlocked that food and medical supplies can’t even get into the city — not that the destinations in the city have power back anyway.

Some local businesses never reach beyond a one- or two-block radius, but EquipNet has friends and colleagues across the country and all over the globe. When something like Sandy happens, it reminds us that the world is not such a big place after all, and we’re all in this together.

We send out our heartfelt wishes for a safe and speedy recovery effort from the effects of Sandy. When you have your feet back under you, please drop us a line and let us know you’re okay.

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October 31, 2012
by Jessica Hamelburg
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The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Release the 2012 Public Perception of Manufacturing Report

The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte recently released the 2012 Public Perception of Manufacturing Report, the fourth report in an annual series that measures the American public perception of the manufacturing industry, its role in the economy, and the careers offered by the industry. According to the survey, the public feels that American leadership is off-course in improving manufacturing competitiveness and that the national economy is weak and fragile.

The results of the survey of American citizens measure their perceptions of the manufacturing industry in the United States relative to other industries and reveal that the vast majority firmly believe that a strong manufacturing industry is crucial to Americans’ standard of living and economic prosperity, as well as the national security of the United States. Approximately 90% of respondents rated it as “important” or “very important” for America’s economic prosperity and standard of living; however, most see our nation’s global competitiveness in manufacturing as stagnant or declining. Only 16% of Americans feel it is likely to improve in the next 12 months, and 23% feel it will weaken. The key findings from the report include:

  • Americans value a strong manufacturing sector.
  • Americans want stronger policies to support manufacturing.
  • Americans believe the U.S. manufacturing industry has the ability to compete globally, but are looking for better leadership from both policymakers and business leaders to support U.S. competitiveness.
  • Americans view the manufacturing sector as fragile and unstable.
  • Americans want manufacturing jobs…for someone else.
  • Americans lack confidence in their school system’s ability to provide the necessary skills and career guidance required to pursue a job in manufacturing.
  • They have strong perspectives on what needs to change to bolster manufacturing competitiveness.
  • This survey was commissioned by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, and was conducted online by an independent research company in September 2012. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,000 Americans across 50 states and has a margin of error for the entire sample of +/- three percentage points.

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