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Industrial

North Carolina Initiative Targets Manufacturing Skills Gap

In a recent nationwide survey, over 80 percent of manufacturers said that the shortage of skilled workers impairs their business. To help close this “skills gap”, the North Carolina Chamber Foundation has become the certifying organization for the NC Works Certified Work Ready Communities initiative. The program seeks to align education and workforce at county levels, which will support the state’s manufacturing sector find workers with the skills necessary to help their companies thrive. Currently, there are 30 North Carolina counties either certified or working toward certification. Counties looking to apply for local certification are encouraged to download and complete. Read More.

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What a Great Idea! Innovative Ideas Generated by the Public

Companies source innovative ideas from many different relationships and connections; however, sometimes it is the general public that can foster new ideas and help grow a business. This can be a cumbersome approach if not properly developed and organized, but can open up the innovation mix to the most unique ideas resulting in powerful innovations. In part five of the Forbes magazine series on types of innovation models, public innovation is highlighted as the last innovation option, mainly due to the complexity that comes with the scale and quantity of that type of source. According to the latest installment, “With public innovation. Read More.

When Competitors Become Sources of Innovation

As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Well, this could be very true when it comes to innovation. In today’s business environment, competitor alliances seem to be in vogue and are a way for companies to lessen their risk and reduce costs. In part four of the Forbes magazine series on types of innovation models, competitor innovation is considered “coopetition” and should be considered a component in the innovation process. Several examples are mentioned to highlight the value these strategic alliances have brought to fierce competitors such as Ford and General Motors, and Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Without. Read More.

Collaborate to Innovate

Creating strong relationships with partners and suppliers is an important part of what makes a company successful in its innovation efforts. The key to keeping those strong relationships is when information flows freely, trust is established and loyalty remains intact. Part three of the Forbes magazine series on types of innovation models, partner/supplier innovation , is thought of as a necessity to be successful in today’s environment. Not only is it just a partnership, but the sharing of data information is key to the success. The article highlights partnership examples such as Walmart sharing inventory data and store level sales with P&G. Read More.

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Venture Capital Investments on the Rise in Georgia and Nationally

According to the National Venture Capital Association, venture capital investments in the state of Georgia were the highest in a decade. Per data from Thompson Reuters, almost $500 million was invested in Georgia companies among the 59 deals reported. This is a 22 percent increase of investment capital over the prior year. The number of deals had also increased in 2014; there were 59 deals on record, compared to 41 in 2013. Nationally, there were a record number of 47 “megadeals” that involved $100 million, plus venture capital investments. These were fueled by increased exit activity and rising valuations. In. Read More.

Cherry Bekaert Hosts International Business Seminar

Attended by representatives from Baker Tilly International member firms in China, India, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, and over 70 U.S. companies, along with C-Suite executives from various industry sectors, Cherry Bekaert recently hosted the international business seminar, “Insiders Advice to Doing Business in Asia Pacific.” Held on October 30th in Atlanta, Georgia, the seminar presented participants’ inside knowledge of strategies that have either worked or led to failure when competing in this challenging but lucrative market. Some of the topics covered included: How successful U.S. companies encourage innovation while protecting intellectual property; Important considerations regarding cash management; Exchange rate. Read More.