Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Consolidated Freight

There was a lot news on the Bankruptcy of Consolidated Freight, which rocked the transportation industry, but what most failed to realize is that CF was founded in 1929 and this nation lost a great company.

One of their largest customers was The Boeing Company. With Consolidated Freights help we were able to move logistics around the country so we could out produce and deliver our industrial might to the Germans in WWII. Despite the immense volume of logistics CF provided for America they had an incredible safety record un paralleled in the industry and could even hold a candle to the Wal-Mart logistics teams. One of the best safety records in the nation;

Anyone in the Transportation Industry or who reads Commercial Carrier Journal or Transport topics understands that they too were leading edge on many issues, like B2B, Same day, expedited services and routing plans including trains, planes, ships and trucking and god only knows what else in the future had they still been in business? Leading the industry in high technology for logistics as well.
In business since 1929, 15,500 laid off effective immediately after their bankruptcy, a Delaware Corp. with HQ in Vancouver WA, which as of this year is the highest unemployment in the country. Think about it a company formed in 1929 after the depression made it through the war only to be caught up in this latest cycle of terror, high fuel prices and sluggish recession, this was a bad day for all of America. It is the heart of this country. But such a large company like CF has its tentacles in all sorts of other vendor operations, for instance they were the Third largest buyer of Freightliner Trucks in the World. JB Hunt recently passed them with a 1 billion dollar purchase in 1999.

The two companies have a long history. Consolidated Freightways Manufacturing Division eventually became Freightliner. This folks is the backbone of America. Freightliner eventually sold out to Daimler Chrysler. This is very serious as the region got hammered by steel, to make trucks, lumber and timber industries buying trucks, then the trucking lay offs in manufacturing sector, along with buy back leases all killing the prospects of getting out of dodge under German short term gain lookers pledged against America heart and sole and fiber. The massive consolidation of trucking manufacturers, dealers and the like were hurt. Also Pac Car Leasing was hurt with holdings connected to CF, more used trucks for sale again just a used truck prices were starting to rebound. Pac Car bought into Rush Peterbuilt who was also consolidating sales offices and now a new glut of 18,000 used trucks on the market. This is not all, which plagued the CF Companies. High Fuel Costs in summer of 2001 hurt Consolidated Freight and in August 1, 2001 they had to raise prices, meanwhile competitors such as Fed Ex Ground waited until way after 9-11. UPS followed and so did JB HUNT, Swift, Covenant and Schneider. Many independents went out of business. In 2000 CF Consolidated Freightways with $2.2 billion in annual revenues, consolidated was going strong. The Company’s 18,000 skilled professionals specialize in freight transportation. Raised prices again in May 2002.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Truth About Grants

I don't know about you, but hardly a day goes by I don't receive spam emails about grants. Spam that absolutely promises me I can buy a book and get a $30,000 grant, just for being alive on the planet. Spam that assures me there are grants available to pay my credit card bills, start any kind of business, or buy a shiny new car.
To some degree, those spam emails are why I established a website devoted to grants. Because I have been a grants consultant for thirty years, I know the truth about grants, and I want to share that truth with you.
The truth about grants is a good news/bad news proposition. Let's get the bad news out of the way first:
Nobody is going to award you a grant of $20,000 or $30,000 to spend at Saks, or pay your bills. Nobody is going to give you cash to start a network marketing business. Nobody is going to buy you a new Mercedes to drive around the neighborhood.
But really, in your heart of hearts, you already knew that - right?
Now for the good news about grants...and there is some very, very good news indeed:
Every year in the United States alone, $360 billion is available in grant funding for individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations. This is the real thing, money that is genuinely available from solid, dependable funding organizations.
There are grants for college, grants to pay for medical care and drugs, and grants to support research and study projects. There are some government grants available to certain established businesses, and a very limited number of grants to start new businesses.
There are grants for women and for minorities, grants to buy homes, grants to acquire and repair rental properties, and grants to develop new products that will help the environment. There are grants to fund a virtually unlimited number of community projects. If you have a project that offers some social value, there is probably a funder who has a grant for which you can apply.
Government agencies, foundations, and corporations all make grants. Almost universally, grants do not need to be repaid, and grants are tax-free.
Are you beginning to see the scope of this?
To help people understand just how much potential there is in grants, I often describe grants funding as a "parallel economy". There is the standard economy, where goods and services are bought and sold, and taxes paid. Then there is the parallel economy of grants, where gifts are requested and received.
Not just a few gifts. Three hundred sixty billion dollars in gifts.
So is there a trick involved in getting grants? No. But, as is true in any situation in life, there is a framework within which the successful grantseeker must operate. If you want to profit from grants, you must put forth the time and effort to learn how this parallel economy operates, and how to play by its rules.
First, grants are all about purpose. Every grant is offered and awarded in order to accomplish a specific purpose. Every funding agency has a mission it wants to carry out, and grants are given to further that mission. So if you want to start a children's orchestra in your town, you must find the funder who considers musical programs for children part of its mission. If you have invented a better trash compactor, then you are looking for a funder with an environmental mission.
Second, there are a host of resources for finding and identifying grants. You must learn about the types of grants, who is making them, and how to locate them. You must learn how to tailor your project to potential funders.
Third, there is a specific format for requesting grants, called a grant proposal. Although there are many different types of grants, the basic grant proposal format can be adapted to all of them. You must learn how to write a good proposal, and assemble all the information a funder will want to see.
This all sounds a bit more complicated than just buying a book, right? So the question becomes, is it worth the effort?
Well, I've raised millions of dollars in grant funds for my clients, and for myself. I bought an apartment complex free and clear, without a penny of my own money, with a grant. I absolutely believe it's worth the time and effort involved. Where else but in the parallel economy of grants, can you ask for what you need, and receive it as a gift?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Recognizing The Talents in Our Own Midst

According to experts in the field of hiring and training development, there is a great potential within our own companies for talented individuals.
Why are we not recognizing those already in our midst? An explanation is: when people are working at lower levels than their management abilities, we can't see what they can really do.
And in this day and age, we have a lot of people laid off from downsized companies who have to take lower level positions for survival.
We just don't recognize who's working for us or with us. We limit our people by their current titles, functions and departments.
Yet getting to know our people is not hard to do - we just need to talk to them! It's up to management to initiate such talks.
Some companies have implemented "Talent Development Programs". What we really need are "Talent Recognition Programs". Management needs to take the time to recognize whom we have amongst those employees currently working as "latent talent".
There are scores of qualified, skilled individuals who have had to take on jobs many levels below their business capabilities and experiences because of economic downturn or simply because nobody has recognized their abilities and given them a chance to prove themselves.
Dig up your employees' resumes again, from the interviewer's forgotten files, and get familiar with them. Let's not leave these highly personal information papers to die in the aftermath of the initial interview. Then let's talk to our people and ask the right questions.
Test with projects that the individual can work on for short periods of time - say a week, a month or three months and find out what they can do. All this should happen with proper delegating, empowerment and regular meetings.
Finally, let's assess ourselves and REGOGNIZE the assets that we have in our people.
/end of article.
You may print this article in your ezine or web site or pass it on to others providing nothing is changed and the bio is fully included at the end of the article.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Merchandise Delivery Time & Federal Law

The federal Mail or Telephone Order Rule spells out the ground rules for making promises about shipments, notifying consumers about unexpected delays, and refunding consumers' money.
Enforced by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Rule applies to orders placed by phone, fax or the Internet. Compliance with the Rule can have bottom line benefits for your company, because satisfied customers are repeat customers.
You must have a reasonable basis for stating that a product can be shipped within a certain time.
If your advertising doesn't clearly and prominently state the shipment period, you must have a reasonable basis for believing that you can ship within 30 days.
If you can't ship within the promised time (or within 30 days if you made no promise), you must notify the customer of the delay, provide a revised shipment date and explain his right to cancel and get a full and prompt refund.
For definite delays of up to 30 days, you may treat the customer's silence as agreeing to the delay, but for longer or indefinite delays - and second and subsequent delays - you must get the customer's written, electronic or verbal consent to the delay.
If the customer doesn't give you his okay, you must promptly refund all the money the customer paid you without being asked by the customer.
Finally, you have the right to cancel orders that you can't fill in a timely manner, but you must promptly notify the customer of your decision and make a prompt refund.
You can change your shipment promises up to the point the consumer places the order, if you reasonably believe that you can ship by the new date.
The updated information overrides previous promises and reduces your need to send delay notices.
Be sure to tell your customer the new shipment date before you take the order.
You must provide a delay option notice if you can't ship within the originally promised time.
The Rule lets you use a variety of ways to provide the notice, including e-mail, fax or phone.
It's a good idea to keep a record of what your notice states, when you provide it, and the customer's response.