Tag Archives: Economy

Manufacturing is not going away in Ohio — here’s why.

There is a lack of skilled workers over the next 3 to 10 years. According to a recent study, North-East Ohio will lose 60,000 manufacturing workers over the next 10 years.

Ohio manufacturing is responsible for more than one fourth of Ohio’s Gross State Product!

For the State of Ohio, manufacturing’s average wages are exceeded only by mining. (Ohio Bureau of Labor Market Information)

Ohio ranks third nationwide in manufacturing output.

Manufacturing leads other Ohio industries in Contribution to Gross State Product.

 

Started in 2002 with less than 20 companies, the AWT has now grown to over 95 companies all working together to create a farm system for skilled workers.

Over the past year, the AWT has focused its efforts on the college education of future employees. Working with Lakeland Community College and Auburn Career Center, an associate of applied science in manufacturing has been developed as well as an educational and career pathway. This degree is also aligned with the National Association of Manufacturers Credentialing System.

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Innovators and Genius in Ohio

Innovators and Genius in Ohio
Tom Moran
By Andrew R. Spriegel
December 30, 2010

There are many stories about the lack of innovation and the down economy in the Ohio and Cleveland Area.  Enter Tom Moran of Midwest Plastic Fabricators (MPF) in Aurora, Ohio.  Innovator and Inventor of numerous patented manufacturing processes and products, Tom is a 45 year veteran and leader in the industry.

One of the innovative products is a line of NEMA PVC Junction Boxes.  A combination of innovative materials and patented cutting edge technology combines for easy installation and reduced life cycle cost.

PVC offers less resistance than conventional metal in cutting holes for conduit entrance.  In addition, non-conductive PVC eliminates potential shock hazard.  In addition, its non-corrosive properties offer longer life and environmental integrity.

Photo Above: Light weight PC Enclosures offer Heavy Duty Performance for food process applications

Photo Above: Innovative Non Metallic PVC Enclosures feature Three-Point Latching

Photo Above: Patented PVC Elbow Crate Saves warehouse Space and is a dispenser pack.

Consider the Fulton Road Bridge,

a Cleveland engineering landmarks is a $44 million architectural attraction that spans the Cleveland Metropark Zoo


and Big Creek Valley.

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Interview with Inventor and Patent Attorney Andrew Spriegel about the Portion PadL

Interview with Inventor and Patent Attorney Andrew Spriegel about the Portion PadL

By Tara1 | Published: December 1, 2010

portion padl pizza cutter

My thanks to Inventor and Patent Attorney Andrew Spriegel for agreeing to an interview with me about his business partner Greg Getzinger’s invention the Portion PadL and how together they brought the product to market. The Portion PadL was invented to enable pizza businesses to quickly and easily slice pizzas into equal pieces. The Portion PadL is available for both commercial and home use.

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about yourself, where you are based and your career background?

Andrew Spriegen Inventor and Patent Attorney

Andrew: I worked most of my career as a Manager or a Lead Senior Electro-Mechanical Engineer for Fortune 100 companies, GE, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Invacare and others.  My experience involves a wide range of products, satellites, locomotives, off-highway vehicles, medical durable goods, surgical devices and consumer goods.  I have many US and international patents and had made a lot of money for other companies.  At 48 years old I decided to go to law school to become a patent attorney and commercialize my own products and other’s products.  I now own a patent law firm (www.Smart2Patent.com) and own several businesses commercializing products.

Tara: Is the Portion PadL the first invention you have bought to market?

Andrew: No, I had brought numerous products to market prior to the Portion PadL.

Tara: I understand that the original idea for the Portion PadL was invented by Greg Getzinger with whom you are now in business. Please could you tell me a little bit about Greg, how he came up with his invention and how the two of you connected and set up your business?

Greg Getzinger

Andrew: Prior to owning a pizza business (Pizza BOGO, www.pizzabogo.com) ), Greg was a Vice President for a large Insurance Company.  He developed the equal slice pizza cutting board (Portion PadL, www.PortionPadL.com) for his business to develop school and institutional accounts.  He heard complaints about unequal size slices of pizzas and worked on developing a solution for the problem.  Greg and I met at a networking event that his group was having at the building where my law firm is located.  It was a chili cook-off and Greg brought in a “chili pizza” on one of his prototype boards.  I saw the board and I asked him if it was patented and said that if it wasn’t it would be a great product to patent and commercialize.  We formed NuVo Grand, LLC as equal members.

Tara: Did you start with working drawings of the product or did you make a prototype?

Andrew: Greg built numerous prototypes (20+) of the equal slice pizza cutting board.  He was trying to perfect the cutting board for his business.  He did not have drawings, rather his father-in-law was making various designs based on Greg’s dimensions.  Greg tried numerous materials, sizes, grooves…

Tara: How did you go about protecting the invention?

Andrew: I have written two utility patents on the cutting board and I am working on a third utility patent.  We are building up a lot of intellectual property around the product.

Click here to see Video

Tara; Were there any mistakes, issues or problems you both experienced in the process of commercialization of the idea?

Andrew: Actually it has gone very smoothly.  Greg and I seem to compliment each other’s skill sets.  Greg is great at sales and marketing and I knew how to have the product manufactured, the manufacturers, the processes and protecting intellectual property.  I spent my career commercializing complex products very quickly and therefore I help inventors avoid the mistakes made by the typical inventors. Greg did encounter a big snow storm delivering materials to the manufacturer…a two hour trip turning into a twelve hour ordeal.

Tara: Did you consider licensing the invention or did you always plan to manufacture it yourself?

Andrew: The only products that I pursue are patentable, simple, revolutionary and either we can manufacture or have someone manufacture, preferably one at a time.  I prefer to take an order and then manufacture the product, that way you get to positive cash flow quickly.  Inventors often run out of money because they buy large quantities of product to get a good price on the product and they wind up with a garage full of product they can’t sell.

In my experience, licensing a product is a difficult thing to do.  Either you don’t get a deal, someone attempts to steal or design around the product or you get offered pennies on the dollar.

If you can manufacture and sell the product you start to “take away market share” and companies sit up and notice.  At that point if you sell or license the product you get a much better deal.

Tara: How will you go about marketing and publicizing your product? Do you intend to sell the product direct to businesses and public yourself or are you planning to wholesale it?

Andrew: Greg started marketing the product to large companies right away.  He has a real talent for sales.  Greg knows that it takes a lot of “no responses” to get a single yes.  Now our customers are Domino’s, Schwan’s, Speedway, Piccadilly Circus Pizza…and many Mom and Pop pizza shops.

I built the website www.PortionPadL.com and work with bloggers and social networking to build the brand.  If you Google “Portion PadL” we are the main listing for about the first six pages.

Tara: How long has it taken from Greg’s initial idea to where you both are now with the business?

Andrew: We have been working together less than a year.

Tara: What advice would you give to an aspiring inventor who thinks they have a good idea?

Andrew: We all love our own ideas, you have to determine if there is a market for the product.

Here are some of my key decision factors:

  • 1. Is the product Protectable? (Patent, Trademark, Copyright…)
    • a. If you have a great product and it is not protected people will copy it fairly quickly.
    • b. If you can’t protect the product I wouldn’t bother commercializing it
      • i. However, there are products that sell very well such as the Snuggies, the Amish Fireplace…but those products have been successful because of large ad campaigns
    • c.    The Portion PadL is protected by numerous Utility Patents Pending so it’s met that key decision factor
  • 2.    Is the product Revolutionary?
    • a. If it meets “a need” it is likely a commodity
      • i. People can listen to music on a large number of MP3 players
    • b.    If it meets “a want” it is likely Revolutionary
      • i. The iPod is the product that people want to listen to music on and therefore they have the largest market share.
    • c. The Portion PadL has numerous advantages over the existing products that assist people in cutting and therefore it is a “want” product.
  • 3. Can be manufactured “one at a time” until you have volume orders?
    • a. In the initial stages of commercializing the product we bought a full sheet of Richlite and when a customer ordered one we had the manufacturer make one and ship it.  That way we got to positive cash flow quickly.

Tara: What advice would you give to an inventor who has already developed and manufactured their product and are now looking at ways to publicize and market it?

Andrew: If they don’t have the expertise get help.  Many inventors have a great idea or product but they get in their own way because they have no idea how to sell it.  The product fails not because of the product but because the inventor cannot let go of controlling everything.

Tara: You have started creating a series of books for inventors chronicling the journey of inventors from invention idea to commercialization, perhaps you could tell me a little more about what you hope to achieve with the books?

Andrew: The series is called the Spilled Coffee Chronicles of Invention. I have several writers documenting inventors progress in commercializing products.  I have a high success rate in commercializing products and the books will help inventors avoid the many inventors pitfalls.  The books describe the successes and the failures along the way.  The volumes are just starting to be published but the first volume for the Portion PadL is on Kindle and Amazon at: http://tinyurl.com/2wspqrh and http://tinyurl.com/36ypa6a, respectively.  The books are also written to dispel many of the myths around inventing.  It is not a get rich quick thing, it takes hard work and persistence.  The books generate income for the inventors, the writers, myself and for reinvesting in publishing the series.

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Self Publishing is a Great Way to Promote your Business and Services

Self Publishing is a Great Way to Promote your Business and Services
by Andrew R. Spriegel
Patent Attorney
Spriegel & Associates, LLC
Patent and Trademark Attorneys
http://www.smart2Patent.com

Self publishing a book has become easier and more profitable and a great way to brand yourself.

The Spilled Coffee Chronicles is a series of volumes that document real world examples of an actual invention or business. This series (the Equal Slice Cutting Board) is made up of numerous volumes.  The Equal Slice Cutting Board (www.PortionPadL.com) series is the factual story and the actual experience of an inventor Greg Getzinger and me as we worked together to move an invention from an idea to a successful, commercialized product.  The Product is exceeding all sales expectations with Domino’s Pizza, Schwan’s Foods, Piccadilly Circus Pizza, Speedway and many others.

The Spilled Coffee Chronicles of Invention™ is a series of volumes about any invention, created and owned by Andrew R. Spriegel.  Each series of volumes documents the actual ideas, creation, production and marketing of a single invention.  The SCCI documents both the
successes and failures along the path.  Inventing the Pizza Cutting Board (the Portion PadL™) examines one invention with multiple volumes that concentrate on one or more aspects of the process. Volume One, The Inventors, takes a look at what it takes to be
an inventor and helps you to commercialize your idea or product if you move forward.

Books available in both electronic and paperback versions:

Paperback book on Amazon $14.99

 

Electronic book on Kindle $4.95

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Tips for survival…by Architect Mark Stephens

Great Article by ‘Mark Stephens RIBA MRIAI at http://MarkStephensArchitects.com

Following my Tweet ‘I refuse to participate in any recession’ I thought I’d give a few tips that may help other architects and designery types claw their way out of the ‘black hole of doom’:

Doing the best you possibly can do and forget about the money

The first thing you need to do is to provide the best service you possibly can – if you don’t your client will go elsewhere.

Bend over backwards to help your client – if you don’t somebody else will.

Don’t constantly think about money. It’s a bit like girlfriends (and boyfriends); you’ll never get one when you’re desperate, relax, don’t think about the money and the jobs will come in – nobody wants someone desperate and constantly looking for money.

Now think about the money !

Batten down the hatches

Work is going to be harder to get – but it is out there! The trick is not spending thousands on trying to get the smaller number of projects that are available. The three expenditures that will cripple your business are:

a. Staff

Pare down and don’t be afraid of letting staff go. I realise that it’s very difficult emotionally to let people go but the alternative is for the business to fail and nobody has got a job. Always remember that you can always rehire when things have picked up.

b. Overheads

The biggest fixed overhead will be your premises. See if you can rent somewhere cheaper or try to renegotiate your rent, or do as I did (even before the recession kicked in) work from home. I bet you’d be surprised how many businesses could effectively work from a home office; you could even set up a showroom in one of the rooms !

You also need to cut back your expenditure on the nice items you once bought pre-recession; do you really need that new laptop (or iPad Mark!), what about that new camera you promised yourself ? Or how about that new car you used to get every year. Things are tough and cut backs will need to be made.; think first about whether the expense is essential, make do with what you have and wait a little longer ?

c. Marketing

In a recession, everybody wants a bit of your money with the promise that it’s essential for your business if you want to survive. FALSE – you need to think very smart about how you spend the money you have. There are a million different ways of spending money on marketing and PR and an equal number of ways of throwing that money away. I’m not saying that you should hide your head in the sand; just be smart about how you spend your money; the days of throwing it away are over.

A bit more on marketing:

You now need to think like a Guerilla when it comes to marketing your business. Think about the money you have and the imaginative, clever and cost-effective ways of getting your name out there without a big-spend. There are million ways of doing this, you just need to think smart and put your marketing hat on.

I’m sorry if all of this financial stuff is getting a bit boring but nows the time to apply your creativity in finding the work that’s out there.

Another boring bit:

In order to survive therefore you need to have a good track on finances. I am lucky to be married to an accountant and each week we have financial meetings to discuss where the business is going, new and old clients, how much money is being spent, where is the money going etc.. (who says romance is dead !). But in order to survive you need to know EXACTLY what you are spending and where it’s going.

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Invent and Grow Rich – Here are a few examples of Self-Made Millionares

33 percent of Self Made Millionaires are Entrepreneurs – Many based on simple or accidental Ideas

 

FitDeck – http://www.fitdeck.com

Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disastrous idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported 2005 sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what the military pays.

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Designer Diaper Bags – http://www.diapeesandwipees.com/ 

Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.

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Got Junkhttp://www.1800gotjunk.com

This junk removal service was established in Vancouver, Canada in 1989 by founder and current CEO Brian Scudamore. He purchased a used pickup truck for $700 and came up with the slogan “We’ll stash your trash in a flash.” In 1993, months before his graduation, Scudamore quit university to concentrate on his business full time. Naturally his father, who was a Doctor by occupation, wasn’t too excited about his son’s professional plans but had to give in seeing his son’s enthusiasm. All you’ve got to do is call the company up, tell them you have a bunch of junk stashed up, and they will come and hurl it away! The company has established more than 220 franchises throughout the United States, Canada and Australia, and is worth more than $100 million

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http://www.pickydomains.com

Setting up a website today is a piece of cake. But finding the domain name that you want and which already is not taken is quite the opposite. So one man exploited this opportunity and came up with a unique idea that made him considerably rich; he simply suggested domain names for websites. Mind you it does take a certain degree of creativity! So here is how it works: after depositing 50 dollars, clients start receiving a list of available domain names via e-mail for a 30 day period. If they see a domain they like, they register it and notify the service about domain acquired. If no domain is registered, the money is refunded in full. The firm is now worth at least $5 million, courtesy this ridiculously simple idea.

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Toll House Cookies

When she ran out of baker’s chocolate in 1930, Ruth Wakefield of Whitman, Mass., baked the first chocolate-chip cookie by adding semisweet chocolate bits to the recipe. Incorrectly, she had assumed the end result would be plain chocolate cookies. She named the accidental result after the inn in which she baked, the Toll House.

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Inspirational Inventor and Entrepreneur Unveils Latest Evolution of Sleep Comfort and Support

www.neezeez.com

www.neezeez.com

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