Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: Features

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System Design and Arc Flash Labeling - The Importance of Protecting Against Worker Injuries

The incident energy from an arc flash event can cause severe worker injuries, shut down a facility, and cripple a business. Since the electrical industry is focused on safety and reliability, it is no surprise that everyone, from engineers and system designers to facility managers and electricians, is focused on minimizing the risk of arc flash incidents.

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The Real Cost of Counterfeit Products From the Eyes of a Contractor

Manufacturers and trade associations have devoted much attention to counterfeit electrical products and their effects on consumers. The U.S. Customs' Consumer Safety and Critical Technology seizures of counterfeit electrical products are second only to pharmaceuticals. According to the Department of Homeland Security, over 3,400 seizures of Consumer Safety and Critical Technology products accounted for more than $146 million in 2012.

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Simple Tips to Help Prevent Loss from Overdue and Delinquent Accounts

There is a new economic reality emerging, bankruptcies are at an all time high and there are an unprecedented number of uncollected default judgments. Now more than ever it is important to have an understanding of who you are doing business with and how to limit your company's exposure to loss. There are some simple things that you can do to protect your company from being overburdened with overdue and delinquent accounts.

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Sound Investment Practices for Contractors

Although the economy is improving and electrical contractors are experiencing more work, be it residential, commercial, and industrial projects, the recent economic downturn has provided good lessons for owners and management to better plan investments for expansion and equipment purchases.

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Implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

An August 8, 2012, Mercer press release, based on a survey of over 1,200 employers on the potential implications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on their businesses, reported that 60 percent of employers expect some increase in cost, with one third expecting an increase of five percent or more. One reason is the requirement to provide coverage to a larger percentage of employees than many employers had provided before.

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Cash Flow Management: How Invoice Factoring Can Strengthen Your Business for Growth

The economic challenges of recent years have left a hangover of debt for many firms. Even in today's slow growth economy, the cards are still stacked against many small firms. With an impaired balance sheet as a result of your equity being eaten away by tighter operating margins, rising cost of materials and labor, and the ability to pass on the additional costs means that bank financing is almost impossible to get.

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The High Cost of an Untrained Workforce

Zero Defects is a common business practice which aims to reduce and minimize the number of defects and errors in a process and to do things right the first time. The ultimate aim will be to reduce the level of defects to zero. However, this may not be possible in practice and what it means is that everything possible will be done to eliminate the likelihood of errors or defects occurring, and to fix any issues that are discovered.

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The Scalable Workforce

Growth during a recession isn't usually a top priority for contractors - it is survival. When the recession abated in 2009, contractors were eager to invest in their business through organic growth or by expansion into new geographies, but they were cautious about adding employees to their payroll. Enterprising contractors used specialty staffing firms to allow for low-risk expansion as a way to deal with the peaks and valleys in construction cycles.

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A Good Employment Policy Requires More Than Just Hiring

Business owners frequently ask, "What can I do to avoid a wrongful termination charge by an employee?" The easy answer: "Don't hire the wrong person for the job." The reality is, every business owner will face the unpleasant task of having to terminate an employee for one reason or another.

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Personnel Files: Are They a Legal Time Bomb?

An employee's personnel file should give an accurate and complete history of his/her employment with your organization. In case of a lawsuit, a judge and jury will expect documentation to back up your actions. Some documentation is required by law and could have very costly consequences in both time and money if they are not followed. For other records, you have a lot of leeway on exactly what you should file and how long you should keep it. This article will provide a basic guideline for personnel files. Always check that your state follows these basic federal guidelines.

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