Tuesday, July 03, 2001

Morning Memo

Hot tips and news to start your business day

        Today's number: 2 - Number of months the Greater Cincinnati Report on Business shows an increase in new orders — a leading economic indicator — to local businesses.

        Today's career advice: Create “profit teams” to improve your business, suggests Barry R. Schimel in the book 100 Ways to Win the Profit Game.

        The first step is to brainstorm, a procedure to mobilize groups' creative resources to solve problems and develop opportunities. When properly thought out, quantified and given deadlines, ideas will provide a solid basis for a “profit plan.”

        “Report back to the teams,” Mr. Schimel said. “The group should get feedback on results. It is essential if you plan to ask members to participate in the future.”

        Today's money tip: When employees are fully vested in their pensions or 401(k) plans, it means they have enough seniority to have access to all their employer's contributions. They have rights to all or a part of benefits purchased with the employer's contributions even if the employee doesn't work for this employer at the time of death or retirement.

        How vested you are depends on your seniority. For example, you could work for three years and be 80 percent vested (you have the right to 80 percent of your company's contribution), but at five years, you could become fully vested.

        Today's mover: Marla Weinberg has been named staff engineer in the environmental technology group at International Paper in the Cincinnati Technology Center. Ms. Weinberg joined the company in 1990 as a senior project scientist in the pulp manufacturing technology group in Mobile, Ala. She transferred to the environmental technology group in 1995. She has a bachelor's degree in textile chemistry and a master's degree in environmental science and engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.

        Today's company: Arling Lumber Inc.

        MARKING A MILESTONE: This wholesale lumber distributor celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. Founded in 1961 by the late Walter John Arling, the business passed to his sons Roger, Paul and Walter Jay Arling and is now led by grandchildren P.J. Arling and Rita Arling Jacobs.

        WOOD WORK: The company's product lines include commodity soft wood lumber and panel products, including treated lumber, engineered wood products, composite decking and hand rails. Arling serves an eight-state Midwestern area through locations in Erlanger and Ludlow as well as stores in central Kentucky, Indianapolis and Detroit. The company's headquarters is in Delhi Township.

        WRAP AROUND THE WORLD: Last year, Arling sold 150 million board feet of lumber, which equals about 28,000 miles: more than enough to encircle the globe.

        Send tips and questions to Bill Ferguson at bferguson@enquirer.com


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