April/May 2008

April/May 2008

Triumph Over Tragedy


April/May 2008 Articles

Triumph Over Tragedy

April 28, 2008 | Special Report |

"I'll see you back at the office."

We've all heard or uttered this phrase, when departing on a business trip. For Dan Shefland, vice president operations/engineering for McC Inc., it holds a distinctly different meaning. Those were the last words he ever spoke with McC Inc. project manager Dave Kammerer.

"They were sitting on the runway waiting to depart and we had just talked about our missing laptop and we decided to deal with it later when we were all back in the office," says Shefland....

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New Solutions to Old Problems

April 28, 2008 | Departments |

In business we must take the good with the bad, and rarely does something truly good come along without a hitch. Ethanol producers found this to be true when they discovered that wet distillers grains (WDG) is not only difficult to handle, but also has a shorter shelf life, resulting in a lower valued product.

Since the ethanol boom began, around the late 1990s, producers have found a market for the co-product. WDG, or wet cake, is more palatable and nutritious for dairy cows and cattle...

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Nothing Succeeds Like Success(ion)

April 28, 2008 | Editors Note |

Visting with the leadership team at McC Inc. while getting background for this issue's cover story (see Pg. 8) opened my eyes to just how valuable a good succession plan can be for any sized company.

Nobody should have to experience the fast-track implementation of a plan like McC Inc. did after losing two top executives in a plane crash last June, but accidents do occur. As do retirements, changing jobs, buy-out packages, company sell-offs; well, you get the picture.

If you're unsure...

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Do You Make the Grade? A Report Card for Your Feed and Grain Business, Part Two

April 28, 2008 | Departments |

AUTHOR'S NOTE: In our last column we presented Part One of a Grade Card for the feed and grain business. This month we give you Part Two of the Grade Card — additional criteria you can use to evaluate your firm in some key strategic management areas. Our grade card can be thought of as a method to assess where your business is — a subjective measuring tool relative to your own perceptions, and perhaps relative to other firms in your industry.

As with our last column, we start with the...

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The story of ‘Clownie,’ or ‘How I Learned to Let Go and Move On’

April 28, 2008 | Departments |

As a little girl I had a small cloth clown that I carried everywhere. He was soft and familiar and infinitely comforting during the numerous trials of my childhood. But Clownie became grubby and beat up, and lost much of his stuffing despite my mother's secret attempts to patch him for me. I still loved him, but one day I recognized that it was time to keep my old friend in my room and carry something else with me.

Managing merchandising risks this year reminds me of my beloved clown. The...

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