MKS&H Articles

How Managing Profit Margins can Decrease your Company's Risk Levels

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 25, 2016 1:23:31 PM / by Megan Baker posted in Manufacturing and Distribution, Manufacturing

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As a company owner, you probably spend a lot of time managing the various risks within your company. You do it by looking at price levels, reviewing fixed costs, and understanding current market changes. But, by focusing on the methods you’ve always followed, you might not get a true picture of your current level of risk and how you need to adjust it to stay competitive.

Have you ever considered managing risk by managing your margins?

The world of manufacturing accounting is full of volatility. Margin management is one way to manage that uncertainty, by looking at costs and revenues together, instead of seeing them in independent silos.

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Are you Ready to have “That” Work Conversation? Handling Conflict Effectively.

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 18, 2016 12:50:31 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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On a world-wide scale, unresolved conflicts exist all around us, from the current US election to the struggles between nations and the disagreements between large, public companies. Conflicts also show themselves to us on smaller, more personal scales, and those may be more important because they tend to affect us personally. These can range from the disagreements we have with our spouses and children, to the difficulties that arise between us and clients, co-workers, supervisors and employees.

Although the larger conflicts do affect us to some degree, it’s the more personal conflicts that, if not resolved completely and in a timely manner, impact us at a much more intimate level. That said, conflict isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Bringing it into the open can allow for innovation and improvement, in addition to airing grievances, resolving problems and improving relationships. That is, if those involved take the time to have those conversations on the deep level at which they need to occur.

How do you handle those tough conversations in the workplace? Do you think you do a good job?

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Shifting your Company to "True Accountability"

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 12, 2016 1:17:31 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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“Accountability.” It’s everywhere we turn, in all aspects of our lives. Kids are accountable to their teachers for getting their homework done, and we’re all accountable to our doctors (and our families) to get and stay healthy. In our work lives, we’re accountable to our bosses and co-workers to do our jobs in a way that makes the company money and helps it meet its goals.

At the same time we’re being held accountable, it’s as necessary for our teachers, doctors, co-workers and bosses to be accountable to us. To give us the structure, skills and support we need to complete these tasks successfully.

So what exactly does it mean to be truly accountable, for all involved? We’ve pulled together a quick primer. Here, you’ll learn what it really means and get a chance to think about how/if your leadership is accountable to your employees and vice-versa. We’ll also give you a few ideas for turning things around, if your company isn’t quite there yet.

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What you Need to Know about Preneed Trusts:  A Primer

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 5, 2016 5:47:40 PM / by Jessica Sipple posted in Death Care Industry

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Individuals can purchase, in advance, some or all of their funeral and cemetery merchandise and services through what’s called a preneed contract. Some people choose to only pre-arrange and pre-purchase their cemetery property (interment rights), such as a plot, crypt, mausoleum or niche, while others choose their burial services and merchandise.

A preneed contract allows the consumer to purchase future services and merchandise at current prices. Services available for purchase on a preneed contract include grave openings and closings, marker and vault installations, and other services sold in advance of need. Merchandise available for purchase on a preneed contract include, but are not limited, to items such as caskets, burial vaults, granite bases, markers, benches, vaults, vases, and urns.

When someone enters into a preneed contract with a funeral home or cemetery, they agree to pay for the funeral and cemetery goods and services in advance of their need. This leaves many wondering how they can be sure that the money will be there upon their death to cover these expenses. This is where preneed trusts come into play.


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Performance Review Anxiety? Maybe the Process Needs an Overhaul.

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 27, 2016 5:54:48 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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Performance reviews (also called performance appraisals) are an essential part of career advancement and pay increases for most organizations. They’re normally conducted once a year, and occasionally they include a mid-year touch base. At the end of the review cycle, employees and their managers assess how well the employee has met the goals they set the year before. Managers then use this information to determine how much of a raise the employee will receive. It’s often also used to determine whether they should be promoted.

It’s a good premise, but rarely do these programs perform as intended.

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Attracting Millennials to Meet the Needs of Maryland’s Manufacturing Sector

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 21, 2016 11:26:30 AM / by Kathy Davis posted in Manufacturing and Distribution, Manufacturing

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Manufacturing Day was established six years ago, in part to help manufacturers showcase their organizations as economic drivers of the future to a new generation of workers – millennials!


This year, Manufacturing Day will be celebrated across the country on or around October 7th. It was initially founded by four organizations – Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International, National Association of Manufacturers, Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Manufacturing Institute –and has grown to 1,047 events across the country.


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What Red Flags Keep you from Getting a Surety Bond?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 14, 2016 2:50:09 PM / by Jeff Rubin posted in Construction Industry

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A surety bond is a guarantee of a contractor’s performance. If a contractor fails to perform under a construction contract, the surety pays the owner for the damages (or provides some other remedy). In turn, the contractor is obligated to reimburse the surety company for these payments. It is because of this relationship that a surety bond functions like a credit guarantee.

Since the surety assumes significant financial responsibility if the contractor fails to perform, it scrutinizes the financial statements, along with the experience and the character, of the contractor. The surety, in most cases, will not provide bonding for a contractor that that they believe will not have the ability to repay.

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Is Next-Shoring your best move for Manufacturing Location?

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 7, 2016 4:07:06 PM / by Stephanie Soares posted in Manufacturing

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Is Next-Shoring Your Next Move?

The one constant in life is change, and the manufacturing industry is changing like never before. One of the most important decisions a manufacturer has to make is where to produce their product. Cost is usually the driving factor when determining which location is best for a company. However, with the ongoing changes in the industry, there are other factors to consider when deciding the best place to manufacture, including:

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How well-trained are your Middle Managers?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by admin posted in Advisory

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When it comes to leadership development, many middle managers get left behind. Companies invest in training their new employees to be good employees and they train their executives to be better leaders, but they don’t spend much effort or dollars developing the group that needs it the most.

Often, middle management training is like getting the keys to a stick shift car after driving an automatic for 10 years; they’re left to figure it out on their own. "Here’s the group (or here’s the program) we want you to manage. Now go manage.

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Do you have a true picture of your construction company’s financial position?

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 24, 2016 12:00:00 PM / by Brian Finley posted in Construction Industry

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As the owner of a construction company, it can sometimes be difficult for you to get an accurate understanding of the financial position of your company; at the same time, it is so important because it is the key to operating a successful business.

One issue accountants see with construction companies is that the actual net income the company derives for each project does not always comply with accounting standards. We provide the assurance that the financials are in line with the standards, bringing the revenue amount to where it should be. But, the solution is not always what the company wants to hear, because often the income is decreased as a result, and the company is less profitable than expected.

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