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Manufacturers: Tips to Increase Safety, Productivity During the COVID-19 Crisis

Posted by Concannon Miller on Fri, May 1, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced American businesses to adapt quickly to a radically new economic and operating landscape. If your company sells, manufactures, delivers, distributes or otherwise facilitates goods considered "essential" you may need to operate at full (or overtime) capacity.

On the other hand, manufacturers whose goods aren't deemed essential may be forced to idle their machines and close their doors indefinitely. (In many cases, state guidelines specify which businesses are essential and which ones aren't.)

Both situations are challenging. But if you're up and operating, here are four considerations to help you do so safely and productively:

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Topics: Manufacturing, 2020 Coronavirus

New Tax Breaks for Manufacturers in 2020

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Feb 27, 2020

Tax legislation signed at the end of last year as part of a federal spending package includes significant breaks for manufacturers.

Notably, the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 extends various incentives, repeals a tax specifically aimed at manufacturing companies and creates a new credit for employers in disaster areas.

Here's a brief overview of six provisions affecting manufacturers.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Lehigh Valley Manufacturers, Distributors Could Save Taxes with Foreign Trade Zone

Posted by Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. on Tue, Feb 4, 2020

The Lehigh Valley has an incentive program that allows companies to improve cash flow, increase global logistics efficiency, and reduce redundant or unnecessary logistics costs.

The incentive program – a Foreign Trade Zone, or FTZ – is a physical location within a United States custom territory where merchandise receives the same treatment as if it were outside the commerce of the United States. Therefore, by establishing an FTZ at their facility, a business can defer, reduce or altogether eliminate their customs duties and other tariffs or taxes.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Manufacturers: Consider Investment Recovery to Boost Profits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Dec 26, 2019

Manufacturers - take a look around your facility. If you've been building up piles of scrap, excess raw materials, obsolete equipment, returned inventory and spare parts, you probably need an investment recovery program.

Idle assets have value to someone and selling them off makes sense for manufacturers. As much as 70 to 90% of every dollar generated by investment recovery goes to a company's bottom line as profit, according to the Investment Recovery Association, a trade group for managers of surplus and idle assets.

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Topics: Manufacturing

5 Tips to Improve Inventory Management for Manufacturers

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Nov 26, 2019

Efficient inventory management can substantially improve your firm's performance by helping to maintain high customer service levels and reduce variable costs. But reinforcing inventory management isn't a one-time project. It's a constant concern for manufacturers.

Identifying Potential Weakspots

Naturally, different sorts of problems arise in different markets, whether its pharmaceuticals, packaged goods or some other industry. But there are common indicators. Here are several examples.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Expand Your Product Line to Boost Manufacturing Profits

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Oct 24, 2019

Even if your manufacturing company has been successful at selling its current line of goods, it's probably not smart to keep producing the same products indefinitely. Now, in fact, is an excellent time to expand your product offerings.

With global competition ramping up, the manufacturing market is only becoming more crowded and less certain. By anticipating customer needs, you can fortify your position and help ensure continued profitability.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Track Inefficiencies in Manufacturing to Control Costs

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Aug 27, 2019

If you're like most manufacturers, you don't track order-processing. Yet focusing on this performance metric can identify operational inefficiencies that are cost-cutting opportunities. And continued monitoring lets you keep those costs in check and predict future outlays.

Customer order management means different things to different people. It may be limited to account processing and the activities involved in the entry, maintenance and fulfillment of orders. Some of the tasks include pricing, managing customer credit, checking parts availability, inquiring about order status, invoicing and processing accounts receivable. In other words, customer order management includes every process from order to payment receipt.

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Topics: Manufacturing

One Year Later, Effects of Wayfair Still Unraveling

Posted by Matthew Dyment, Aftab Jamil, Eric Fader and Steve Oldroyd on Tue, Aug 6, 2019

The impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, now over a year since it was handed down, continues to reverberate throughout the business world. As the year wears on, it’s clear the decision carries implications for industries beyond retail and, indeed, for the very basic functions of any business with multi-state operations. Not understanding these implications can have significant financial consequences—failure to collect sales taxes on remote sales can result in significant tax assessments for the seller.

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Topics: Business tax planning, Manufacturing, Multi-state taxation

Industry 4.0: What Manufacturers Should Know about New Technology

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jul 25, 2019

Industry 4.0 is shorthand for all the technological innovations fundamentally altering the manufacturing sector — including smart factories, the Internet of Things, cloud and hybrid computing, and augmented reality. Mobile devices are the gateway to Industry 4.0.

Manufacturing managers still working with decade-old computers — or pencil and paper — will likely be left in the dust. Optimally, your company should enable supervisors to dock smartphones for desktop work so they can fully embrace and leverage all the technological advantages available.

Mobility allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your plant and gain enhanced, real-time visibility into many aspects of manufacturing, from supply chain logistics to enterprise asset management to customer order fulfillment. Mobile applications can help streamline operations and dramatically increase productivity by identifying and resolving problems faster and more efficiently.

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Topics: Manufacturing

Overwhelmed by Wayfair? Automation Can Help

Posted by Eric Fader, Greg Rosser, Steve Oldroyd, and Barbara Torzewski on Tue, Jun 25, 2019

On June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a momentous decision that affects remote sellers and service providers across the country and the digital economy at large.

The Court’s South Dakota v. Wayfair decision allows states lawfully to require remote sellers to collect and remit sales and use taxes if they have an economic nexus, usually defined as a certain number of transactions and/or a minimum amount of revenue, with the destination state.

After South Dakota’s law was upheld, other states enacted similar laws. Today, 42 states have economic nexus for sales and use tax, some with enforcement deadlines approaching (Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Texas have enforcement deadlines of June 1, July 1, and October 1, respectively).

If 42 separate tax rates sound like a lot, try 16,000—that’s the ballpark of state and local tax rates in effect at any time. Adding to this administrative nightmare, tax rates can change on a monthly basis, generating as many as 600 to 700 changes throughout the year.

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Topics: Manufacturing

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