Page 1

SEPTEMBER 2018 September 10th

September 21st!

Sales Roundtable

Inside This Issue:




Networking matters

At AT&T, we know that making connections is critical to success. In Wisconsin and across the nation, we link businesses with their customers and the world through our wireless network with access to the nation’s largest Wi-fi network. It’s just another way we help our customers stay connected. AT&T is proud to support the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin.

© 2014 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.

IBAW thanks AT&T for it’s continued sponsorship.

MEDIA LINK IBAW Flies High Over Foxconn In our IBAW Business VLOG #2, Director Steve Kohlmann takes a drone up over the Foxconn construction site to give you a bird’s eye view of the how construction is progressing. You’ll be surprised at how massive the site really is.

Executive Director Steve Kohlmann President Dan Hansen Secretary Charles Fry Baird Treasurer Tony Palmen Sikich Directors Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Ann Barry Hanneman Von Briesen Law Office John Weber Hypneumat Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries

Click here to watch.

Robert Gross Gross Automation Scott Seroka Seroka Brand Development Tom Parks Annex Wealth Management Jake Hansen Jacsten Holding Scott Hirschfeld CTaccess

IBAW Mission: To advance business prosperity through insightful programming, executive networking and member-driven public policy and advocacy.


Save The Date: Friday, September 21st 7:00 am - 9:30 am

Wisconsin: Taking the Lead in Manufacturing

Gov. Scott Walker

Rich Simonson, President of Manufacturing, Carmex

John Mellowes, President & CEO, Charter Manufacturing

Amy Maurer Chief Financial Officer TG3 Electronics

Wisconsin’s Business Future is Bright!

Special Panel Discussion • High Level Networking • Plated Breakfast

Register at Sponsored by:

The Search for Greener Grass Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director

It’s a early Sunday morning and I’m sitting in my screen room. It’s very quiet outside and the sun is just starting to come up. A few birds have started discussing what their scheduled activities will be for the day. My cup of coffee is on the table with its steam slowly rising in the sunlight and I have my laptop opened up to the CARS / TRUCKS for sale section of Craig’s List. All is right with the world because, my friends, I’m a Craig’s List classified ad junkie. There’s nothing I enjoy more than starting or ending the day perusing the classified section of that website. This is especially true when it comes to the cars and motorcycles section. With Craig’s List you never know what circumstance will force a great deal and when that might happen. As such, one must be ever vigilant. Some of my best motorcycle acquisitions have come in the middle of winter. Life changes are usually the cause of great deals; divorce, new baby, or a job change that forces one’s hand and the beloved vehicle isn’t included in the plan. Once, I even saw an ad (I swear this is true) by a guy who admitted he was going to prison so he was selling his car because, you know, you can’t take it with you. I passed on that one. Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with the car and motorcycle I have now - both found on Craig’s List by the way. They are perfect for my needs - at the moment. Nevertheless I’m always on the prowl for something better - that next great deal to push me over the edge and raid the bank account. It’s a classic case of “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” A ‘grass is greener on the other side of the fence’ attitude is a good thing to have when it comes to business or entrepreneurship. It keeps you optimistic and searching for new and better ways to improve your position . It certainly beats the mentality of ‘status quo’ and that everything is just fine so there’s no need to change. I think it’s fair to say that a number of business acquisitions have taken place because those initiating the deal firmly believe that doing so will improve their business standing. Of course having this attitude isn’t enough to carry you through to Shangri-La. One has to do their due diligence and make certain the move you’re about to make is the right one. We have all experienced the feeling of buyers (or sellers) remorse and in business life where hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars are at stake, a wrong move to perceived greener grass can be catastrophic. Career changes can also offer a search for greener grass. I once took what I would consider a dream job many years ago which seemed right up my alley. Pairing my love of motorcycles with this new venture seemed perfect. Yet shortly after starting I realized I had made a huge error. I had to travel more than originally was told, the product almost always disappointed the client and - most importantly - my boss was a hot-headed jerk. All the warning signs were there before I took the job but I thought I could work around them so I totally ignored the signs of pending doom. Fortunately I recognized it within a few months and implemented “The Do Over” principal. An article for another time. So what’s to be learned here? - Always be on the lookout for greener grass. - Do your research and fully understand any hazards or obstacles. - Be cautious. Greener grass could be just an illusion.

And finally, stay away from guys selling cars who are going to prison.

If I Only Had More Time Jerry Jendusa, Co-Founder, Stuck, LLC Business owners have many challenges that they face daily. Some of the challenges include finding new customers, supporting the sales staff on that next killer presentation and proposal, helping to land that next big order or handling a major customer complaint. Next, they could be trying to keep up with regulatory requirements, company audits, tax laws, or international trade practices. How can one prioritize when everything seems to be a priority? Owning and running a business is extremely complicated and from the outside looking in it may seem like maximum freedom and flexibility. After all, you are your own boss. In many ways being your own boss is great, rewarding, challenging and draining all at the same time. You feel committed to just about everything within your business. However, outside the business you may have a family or other interests that you really enjoy. So, I won’t ask if your job affects your work-life balance, but I’ll ask how it does. When I ran an aerospace company, called EMTEQ, there were times when I felt like quitting and times when I felt like just selling the business and getting out. I once said that perhaps I should fire myself. After a lot of soul searching, I needed to figure out if I was really the right guy for my role. I also needed to know if I put my leadership team in the right roles. Did I provide them with the right authority and give them the right tools? The business really needed to work on the right things, at the right times, and with the right people. For the sake of my own sanity and the health of the organization, I made this my quest. This became the genesis of a process that got everyone to focus on the right things. After talking to other business owners, I realized they were having the same struggles that I was. There was not enough time in the day, even if I worked myself to pure exhaustion to please everyone and to get everything done. Thankfully I was selfaware enough to seek coaching because, boy, I sure needed it. There was never enough time. How Can I Have More Time in the Day? We eventually hired a lean champion and we started to talk about my frustrations with the business planning and execution process. He got me thinking about many things relating to continuous improvement. Not continuous improvement as a production tool but continuous improvement for a business plan’s creation and execution process. Continuous improvement as a way to save time. With it being so hard to prioritize work when everything needs to be “tomorrow”, we started to think of a solution to help guide prioritization. This guide turned out to be the Single-Page Plan. This had the purpose of managing our time while improving financials, customer reach, innovation, and productivity. Instead of just the leadership team and myself knowing about it, we made to be executed through our people. We needed to make it possible to align all of our actions to it. One way we did this was by including our vision and mission within the plan to help staff understand EMTEQ’s purpose. The execution part of the plan would focus on accountability, to ensure that everything that was agreed to get done, got done. With these fundamentals in place, we needed to incorporate this plan in what I consider the 5 pillars of business: financial growth, customer delight, product development, continuous improvement (or productivity gains), and people (with a higher level purpose as it’s termed “Great Place to Work”). This ended up being what reduced the time I spent working in my business. With the work being distributed amongst my staff from all areas, less was put on my shoulders and I could focus on the high-level issues of the business while having time for me. If you want to manage your time, make sure you have a solution that is aligned with your people and a strategy. Distribute your work and hold everyone accountable. When that happens, you feel that you have some time back and your desk is clear. Then you can say that you are truly working on your business instead of in it.

Marketing Automation for Manufacturers Rick Fessenbecker, Managing Director, Northwoods Software

Marketing automation allows you to create workflows that are triggered based on defined actions such as a user submitting a contact form, downloading a product spec sheet, or simply opening an email. Each trigger enters a user into a workflow which is a series of follow up messages usually sent a few days apart. These messages should contain relevant content based off the original trigger or predefined action. Below is an example of a marketing automation workflow.

This automation is meant to target individuals who haven’t been engaged with the company’s website or emails. A simple follow up message is sent to these individuals asking them if they would like to keep receiving emails or opt out of your list. This is a great way to clean up your lists and remove any individuals who are not interested in learning more or working with your company. It is also a great way to re-engage the individuals who are still interested in your company. Take it a step further by asking each user what content they are most interested in receiving from you. Moving forward, you can make sure to only send them content they care about. How can manufacturers use marketing automation? Manufacturers can use marketing automation in many different ways. A good place to start is by defining what you are hoping to accomplish through marketing automation by setting a clear goal. We usually hear people say, “Our goal is to increase sales!”, which isn’t exactly news. Instead, determine how you want to increase sales. Identify current deficits within your business that you could improve on. Here are some sample goals to help get you thinking: 1 2 3 4 5

Expand on cross-selling opportunities Focus on upselling Improve customer retention Increase distributor signup Qualify leads better earlier in the process

Now that you have a goal set, you can get started. Below are a few different ways manufacturers can benefit from marketing automation. 1


Stay in touch with existing customers by reminding them when their product is due for maintenance or replacement. After a client purchases a product, they would be entered into a date-based automation. If the product they purchased needs maintenance every 6 months, the automation would send the client a friendly reminder that maintenance is required at that time. Or instead of alerting the client, a sales representative could be notified. This would allow the sales representative to reach out directly to the client to add a more personal touch.


Ask for reviews or send a follow up satisfaction survey. Having reviews is great for SEO and asking if your customers enjoyed working with your company shows that you care about their experience. It will also provide insights on any areas of improvement so you can increase you client retention rate and get more repeat business.


Manufacturers love their tradeshows. Make sure to import any contact information received from a trade shows or industry event. Add these users to specific workflows based on what interests they expressed during the event. This eliminates sending that one generic “nice to meet you” email. Instead, you are providing prospects with useful information right away.

Can manufacturers who use distributors also benefit from marketing automation? A lot of manufacturers rely on distributors to sell their product. Marketing automation can arm distributors with all the proper information and tools they need to easily sell products to the end user. For example, let’s say one of your distributors visits your website. Your company manufacture cups, bowls and spatulas. The distributor expresses specific interest in your spatulas by visiting the spatula pages. Once they leave your website, you follow up with an email a few days later that asks if they would like brochures or marketing materials around your different spatula offerings. *Please note, you might have their email because they previously submitted a form on your website, they have a distributor login, or the connection has been pre-established some other way. Just because a user visits your website doesn’t mean you automatically have access to their email address. Since the distributor expressed interested in your spatulas, they might have a customer in mind that could benefit from additional information. If they indicate they are interested in your print collateral, an internal team member will be notified to send them the information, or the distributors could be provided with a link to download the information directly from the website. However, you want to make sure you represent your brand in the best possible way. By providing already printed marketing collateral – you have more control over how your product is being represented. Then an automation is set to wait a certain period of time (2-3 days) before sending another email. This email could ask if they would like some samples or alert them to a discount around the product. A free sample might work for a single spatula, but maybe a free installation works better for your product.

Wait – what if the distributor never requested additional information? If the distributor did not opt to receive additional print collateral about your spatulas follow up with another email talking about the different applications your spatulas serve. Maybe the distributor didn’t have a client in mind when they visited your website but were just interested in what products or services you have to offer. Sending them the different applications your spatulas are used for might make them think of a current client or prospect in their territory who would benefit from your product or service. For example, the spatulas come in large sizes and are perfect for pizzerias because they have longer handles with wider tips. They can also withstand higher temperatures. Not only does the distributor now have a client in mind that might benefit from this service – but they are also armed with a solution to potential problems they weren’t aware their clients were facing. Providing your sales team with helpful information will make selling your products easier. The end user will also put more trust in your distributors expertise since they came prepared with information. Don’t go too far. However, if the distributor doesn’t open the second email, you could try to send a third email – but at one point or another, you will need to stop wasting your efforts. The point of marketing automation is get the right content in front of the right users at the right time. Don’t keep trying to engage with users who aren’t expressing interest. They aren’t ready for additional information at that time but could come back later. Getting started with marketing automation. If you are unclear where to start, leverage your sales team. Take time to learn about the sales process and develop marketing collateral and workflows that improve the buyer’s journey. Sales and marketing goals need to align For example, the sales team is trying to sell a new product, but they keep running into the same problem. Their prospects currently use a competitor’s product and has been for a long time – making them less inclined to switch over to you. The marketing team needs to know two things: 1 That the sales force is focusing on pushing this new product 2 And what hurdles the sales team is facing along the way Knowing this information will help the marketing team ensure that they are developing the appropriate content that answers these questions or concerns. In this case, they will make sure that their marketing efforts include competitive information that mentions cost difference or benefits of switching to the new product. Maybe the material is better and more durable. Or maybe the new product is more efficient than what is currently being used. It is important to know what the end user needs to know in order to make an informed purchasing decision. The sales teams know what questions users are asking and when the questions are being asked during the sales process. If sales and marketing work together they can create a fluid marketing automation process that addresses all of the end users concerns during the buyer’s journey.

‘Required To Join’: Job Ads Appear To Run Afoul of Right To Work Matt Kittle, MacIver News

MADISON – Wisconsin’s right-to-work law put an end to so-called “union security agreements” that had long forced employees to be in a union as a condition of employment. It appears some Wisconsin companies and labor groups haven’t gotten the memo.  More than three years after Wisconsin’s right-to-work law went into effect, some employers continue to post job ads with union membership requirements, according to information obtained by MacIver News Service.  Total Residential, a division of Pewaukee-based Total Mechanical, earlier this month posted multiple online ads seeking a residential HVAC service technician/installer. Applicants, the ads note, must have a sheet metal journeyman’s card, be clean in appearance and have good communications skills.  And there is one more thing applicants must possess.  “TOTAL Residential is a union shop; if not already a member of Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 18, individual will be required to join,” the ad declares.  That requirement is illegal under Wisconsin law.  Section 111.04 spells out the rights of employees in the right-to-work Badger State. No employer may require, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, an employee “(b)ecome or remain a member of a labor organization.” An employee also cannot be compelled to, “Pay dues, fees, assessments, or other charges or expenses of any kind or amount, or provide anything of value to a labor organization.”  MacIver News Service reached out to Total Mechanical last week. A company official did not return requests for comment.  Wisconsin’s right-to-work law also prohibits employers from restricting union membership as a condition of employment. As the name of the law clearly declares, employees have a right to work a job unencumbered by policies that either deny union membership or compel it.  Global industrial manufacturer Ingersoll Rand, maker of Trane air-conditioners, recently posted an online ad seeking an HVAC field technician at the company’s Appleton Trane facility. Qualifications include a high school diploma or equivalent, two to five years of experience in HVAC, and a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.  The position also “requires you to join or be a member of the local union.” Representatives from Ingersoll Rand could not be reached for comment.  James Daley, chairman of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, said he could not speak to individual cases but confirmed that the agency has received two right-to-work law complaints in recent days.  “To the best of my knowledge there have been no complaints filed prior to these involving limiting hiring to union membership as a condition of employment,” Daley said. 

Asked about the penalties for violating the right-to-work law, Daley said that if there is a “bad actor” WERC would have to look at the actions and “attempt to find a remedy in equity for that violation.” In another online employment ad, J.F. Ahern Co., a fire protection contractor based in Fond du Lac, is seeking an experienced sprinkler fitter. The hire would be a member and work through national Sprinkler Fitters Local 669, according to the ad. Reached for comment Friday, a company official offered a general statement about the firm’s hiring practices.  “J.F. Ahern strives to comply with all applicable rules and regulations,” general counsel Krista Ebbens said, adding that she would not comment on any specifics.  The ad does note that the sprinkler fitter would be working on projects in the La Crosse, Eau Claire and Rochester, Minn. areas. Minnesota is not a right-to-work state. It is among 23 states that compel workers to pay union dues, whether they want to be in a union or not. While the new employee would have be in a union or make so-called “fair share” payments in Minnesota, the employee could not be forced to do so in Wisconsin.  State Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville), who made right-to-work legislation the centerpiece of his 2014 Senate campaign, said state law is very clear: no worker in Wisconsin can be forced to join a union in order to get a job or keep it.  “Workers who face these sorts of demands should reach out to their local district attorneys,” the senator said.  Stroebel said labor unions have been trying to get around worker freedom laws since their implementation.  “Wisconsin has been a leader in labor reforms and status quo labor bosses don’t like that. They want to go back to a time when they had unfettered power to dictate how, when and where people could earn a living,” he said. “What’s happening in this instance isn’t even an attempt to skirt the law, it is a blatant disregard for the law, it is an intentional violation of the law, and it is absolutely unacceptable. Union bosses are not above the law.”

Removing obstacles is the key to any sale - but it's also the biggest roadblock to every sale. Bring your top 3 objections and we'll brainstorm as a group different ways to overcome those hurdles to sales. This meeting will require a short role-play (request for volunteering as a prospect will be made.)

Monday, September 10th, 2018 | Time: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.  Location: CTaccess, 740 Pilgrim Parkway, Elm Grove

Sales Roundtable is a free event open to IBAW members only.

Register at

Coach’s Corner: Public Speaking Steve Bobowski, Dale Carnegie Training Coach

Dear Carnegie Coach Bobowski, I have recently been asked to give a speech on behalf of my Company at a Trade Association Seminar, but I have very little experience speaking in front of large groups. People assume I can handle this because I am confident at our meetings, but that is because I am comfortable around my team.  How do I write a speech that people will be interested in and how do I calm my nerves and look professional while giving my speech?   Greg from Milwaukee   Dear Greg:   The thought of giving a speech can seem daunting, but I assure you it will not be if you are prepared.   People do not expect you to be perfect, but they want a speech to be honest, easy to comprehend, and delivered clearly and concisely. Here are:   “The Actions I Want You to Take”   • Be simple. It is best to use a simple outline.  You will want an introduction, main points with supporting details and a conclusion.  Avoid complex language and try to keep it as simple as possible.   • Add details.  By having a simple structure, you can bring in details to make your speech interesting.  Use variety when compiling information (e.g. personal anecdotes, newspaper, media quotes, statistical studies, examples, fun definitions).  If you want to add style, try repetition, word play or rhetorical questions.   • Know your audience. Why are these people coming to hear you speak? What do they want or need from this speech?  Put yourself in their shoes.  Are they learning about this subject for the first time or peers who already understand the basics of the subject?  Think about these things and then write your speech accordingly.   • Beating nervousness.  First of all, it is imperative that you know your audience. This will wipe out any fear of not knowing what to say. If you are over-prepared you will automatically be less nervous. Also, know what your opening line is to help take away the anxiety of getting started.  Lastly, practice, practice, practice!  If you have already given your speech several times, it will not feel like the first time.   • Body language. Be sure to stand tall, smile, and avoid lots of body movements. Too much motion can distract the audience.  Keep your hands and arms in an open position because you will look more confident. Finally, talk slowly and remember to breathe!   “The Benefits to You”   • You will deliver a clear, concise, and memorable presentation!     Steve


As the CEO, President, or Owner you are asked to produce more results with fewer resources, meet and exceed competition, innovate and motivate. This creates very difficult teams and leadership challenges. Leaders must encourage teamwork, bottom-up idea generation, alignment, loyalty and above all commitment. Rather than direct and dictate, leaders must inspire and motivate!

The Presidents Circle: The IBAW and Dale Carnegie Training have developed an exclusive Leadership program for IBAW members only. The Presidents Circle combines peer group engagement and highly targeted executive Dale Carnegie Training among peers to help you achieve significant results. These results will be achieved by providing insights, peer challenges, and developing leadership skills which are aligned with your organization and which will help drive agendas. By combining corporate mission, vision and values with our unique methodology employees will begin supporting a world they helped create.Ultimately, the only sustainable competitive advantage is the innovation, motivation, and creativity of the employees of an organization. Establishing a strong leadership culture provides the environment where innovation and creativity can flourish.

Program Specifics: • • • •

Meetings with other IBAW CEOs/Presidents/Business Owners 10 monthly meetings Dale Carnegie Executive Leadership Training workshop each session. Round Table Issues Discussed and Resolved

• • •

Guided Yearly planning Accountability among peers. Business Results

The President’s Circle will help you achieve results by: • • •

Providing training among peers Creating and sustaining change initiatives Ensure continuous improvement and bottom-line impact

• • • • •

Align the organization behind a common vision Develop a habit of fact-based decision making at every level. Strengthen and implement strategic planning Create a value based culture to ensure loyalty Build energy and trust up and down the organization to insure customer loyalty.

Program Leader: Steve Bobowski

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” -Dale Carnegie

Commitments: • Attend meetings • No cost for meetings, a benefit of IBAW membership •

Referrals or 3 enrollments

New program starts Friday, September 7th!

This program is now forming and is limited in the number which can attend. For more information, contact Program Leader Steve Bobowski by clicking here.

Brand Perception: Is Your Customer Survey Data Accurate? Scott Seroka, Seroka Branding

Customer and employee surveys are one of the best ways to obtain critical feedback and measure performance in key areas. However, the way survey questions are written and presented can have a measurable impact on the quality and accuracy of responses. Formulating questions has become both a science and an art based on need, desired outcomes and extracting vital bits of information. In law enforcement, detectives and interrogators are trained on the what, when, and how of asking questions. Executive meeting facilitators are savvy in asking question upon question to drill deep into certain areas so they may emerge with golden nuggets of actionable information to help companies achieve key objectives. And, in the courtroom, attorneys are astute in knowing what questions to ask and how to frame them to help win a case. Some believe these practices to be manipulative while others believe them to be intelligent. When drafting surveys, the purest form of feedback (free of any influence) can only be acquired when such tactics are not used to gather intelligence. However, without even knowing it, some survey authors employ a manipulative tactic referred to as a positive bias form of questioning. As the term implies, this form of questioning subconsciously influences survey respondents to lean toward the positive when answering certain questions, consequently producing skewed, inaccurate results. Consider the case of a manufacturer of commercial dehumidifiers wishing to learn from contractors if its dehumidification units are easy to install. A seemingly obvious question to ask on a survey to contractors would be, “Are our dehumidification units easy to install and service?” with an option to select “yes” or “no” as a response. In this example, the positive bias comes into play by only using the word “easy” in the question. When thinking through how to answer the question, the contractor is ‘presuaded’ to think of the different ways the installation was easy to perform. In so doing, s/he will be more apt to select “yes” as his or her answer. Conversely, if the survey question read, “Are our dehumidification units difficult to install and service?” we could apply the same logic and predict with a high level of confidence that the contractor would be directed to think of what problems s/he may have experienced during installation and select “yes” as an answer. However, most survey creators would never frame questions in this manner simply because the negative bias and pessimistic nature of the question is noticeable! (Of course, with your next survey, you could run a test between the two types of questions to validate these claims, but I would advise against it as you wouldn’t want to plant a seed of negative thoughts with any of your customers.) For a balanced and unbiased survey, your best strategy is to frame qualitative questions on a scale. Continuing with the manufacturer’s objective of wanting to know if his company’s dehumidifiers are easy to install, the question would ideally read, “On a scale of 1-6, (1=very easy, 6=very difficult), please rate your experience with installing our dehumidification units.” Take twenty or thirty minutes to review the last few surveys you completed and pay particular attention to how the questions were framed. If you notice any with a positive bias, chances are that answers are skewed toward the positive, which, as you now know are misleading to some degree. Next time you prepare a survey, hopefully you’ll be more cognizant of this common mistake and structure questions that will eliminate a positive or negative bias

GDP Revised Up Slightly Thanks to Business Investment Ray Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its second estimate of second quarter GDP on August 29th. The topline revision of real GDP growth was minor, but in a positive direction, with the second quarter growth rate estimate moving from 4.1 percent to 4.2 percent. That’s the fastest growth since the third quarter of 2014. Stronger Business Investment The key component of this upward revision is worth noting. While growth in personal consumption expenditures moved down from an original estimate of 4.0 percent real growth to 3.8 percent, growth in private real nonresidential fixed investment (i.e., business investment) was revised up from 7.3 percent to 8.5 percent in the second quarter. Growth in equipment investment went from an original estimate of 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent, and investment in intellectual property products moved from 8.2 percent to 11.0 percent. More robust investment, of course, fuels economic growth now and in the future – boosting innovation, productivity, and income growth. Trade Concerns The only note of real concern in the revisions came on the trade front. Strong export growth was revised down slightly (from 9.3 percent to 9.1 percent) for the second quarter, while a tiny move up in imports (+0.5 percent) in the first estimate of second quarter GDP was revised down to -0.4 percent. There’s nothing positive about imports declining. To the extent that it signals rising costs for consumers and small businesses due to higher tariffs, it’s another tangible consequence of restrictive trade policies that will only serve to undermine the overall positive direction of the economy. Indeed, looking at future GDP growth, trade serves as the biggest concern and uncertainty. _______ Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP: The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.

Get out of that business bunker and join us at the next meeting!

: S E L A S

2nd Monday of the Month SALES ROUNDTABLE 7:30 am - 9:00 am Free & open to IBAW members only Register at

Sales can be a tough road of ups, downs, potholes and a few bumps. But it can also be fast paced, exhilarating and rewarding. If you’re in sales, you know there are things only other sales people understand; the thrill of scoring the big account, the uncertainty of “let me think about that.”, the frustration of phone calls or emails that don’t get returned. IBAW’s Sales Roundtable is a support and knowledge resource for sales professionals, business owners, marketing and branding experts who are charged with driving sales. Join us to discuss the strategy, tactics, inspiration, and motivation to increase sales. It’s a FREE benefit of your membership! Who should attend: • Sales professionals of any level. • Business owners • Sales Managers • Marketing & P.R. Professionals

“For many years I ran sales meetings for as few as 3 and as many as 22 sales rep’s now I can go as a participant once a month to IBAW’s Sales Roundtable.

BONUS! Join the IBAW Sales Roundtable and get a compact disc with the BEST in Sales Survival Music. Play it to pump you up before that big meeting or to console you if you hit a sales slump. Guaranteed to make life better.

It’s a focused meeting and everyone wants the same thing – to be more effective at selling.” - Jerry Wick, CEO, Custom Data Too Mail

IBAW Public Policy Committee Hosts Legislative Roundtable in Brookfield

On the afternoon of Thursday, January 25th, the IBAW Public Policy Committee hosted a Legislative Roundtable featuring Senator Lena Taylor, Senator Chris Kapenga, Representative Rob Hutton and Representative Dale Kooyenga, held at the offices of Sikich in Brookfield. Welfare reform, excessive business regulations and the ever increasing shortage of a competent workforce were the main concerns of business owners. Additionally, the topic of the present state of the city of Milwaukee - crime, unemployment and the state of Milwaukee Public Schools, became quite heated at times. Look for more Roundtables discussions by the Public Policy Committee in the future.

IBAW is on an upward trend of growth and we are actively recruiting businesses just like yours to join! When you join IBAW your entire company is a member - anyone from your team can attend our fine educational and networking events. Help yourself, your business AND your Team Members. Come on in...we’re open for business!

nline! Join o


2018 Membership Committee

Jake Hansen Jacsten Holdings

Charles Fry Robert W. Baird

Mike Poludniak Merrill Lynch

Dan Hansen

Tom Parks Annex Wealth Mgt.

Legislative Fix Moving Ahead for Wisconsin’s New Manufacturing & Agricultural Credit Jim Brandenburg, CPA, MST - Sikich LLP

In IBAW meetings and publications in recent years we have introduced you to Wisconsin’s new tax incentive - the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit (referred to as the “MAC”). The MAC came about in 2011 to provide an incentive for Wisconsin manufacturers and agricultural companies to remain and grow here, and also perhaps to have out-of-state companies move here.  It was scheduled to begin in 2013, and when fully phased-in by 2016 it would essentially exempt any Wisconsin manufacturing and agricultural income from Wisconsin income tax.  The MAC was championed by Representative Dale Kooyenga and Senator Glenn Grothman in the legislature. 

Magazine Content Needed Consider Submitting an Article!

The MAC, however, had some problems for individual taxpayers when it was drafted and this glitch was recently identified. Here is the issue in a nutshell: the MAC would reduce a taxpayer’s Wisconsin individual income tax, but then would trigger a Wisconsin minimum tax for nearly the same amount.  Thus, there may be little, if any, net savings for the MAC in 2013 (a “MAC Attack?”).  The legislature is trying to remedy this situation now so that taxpayers can realize the proper tax savings with the MAC on their 2013 Wisconsin individual tax returns. 

The IBAW magazine is in need of content, we rely on our members and sponsors to supply us informative articles. The digital magazine is sent out to over 650 contacts statewide and the magazine is parked on the web where, on average, it gets over 1100 views.

Legislative Update: It seems that all key legislative leaders are now on board to correct this issue.  It was approved by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week.  The Senate and Assembly will be in session in March and voting on final passage for several bills, one of which is this tax bill with the MAC correction.  It looks like the legislative timetable will have the bill passed near the middle of the March, before going to the Governor.  Thus, a best guess now is that the bill would be enacted into law somewhere in the latter half of March, 2014.    MAC Attack Options:  For any of our individual taxpayers taking advantage of the MAC, this may present some filings logistics.  Here are the possibilities:

1. Best case scenario - in some cases the taxpayer’s share of the MAC for 2013 will be used and not result in a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. A taxpayer in this situation could go ahead and claim the MAC and file their 2013 Wisconsin individual return.  There would be no need to wait for the legislation to pass.  

Consider writing an article on a timely business related topic to your particular field of business. This is an outstanding opportunity for you and your company to gain exposure and increase your brand awareness to a statewide audience. There is no cost to submitting an article.

2. Next, a taxpayer has generated a MAC for 2013, but it will trigger a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. The taxpayer in this case could wait until the law is changed (and then wait a little for the WDR to update its computer processing systems) and then file their Wisconsin tax return and claim the MAC, and not incur the Wisconsin Minimum Tax.  This could present a tight timeline for the April 15 deadline, and you may need to file for an extension.

3. Similar case as #2, but this taxpayer could file their Wisconsin individual return with the MAC, but also incur and pay a Wisconsin Minimum Tax for 2013. Then, once the corrective law is enacted go back and file an amended 2013 Wisconsin tax return to obtain the proper tax benefit of the MAC.  You would not need extend, but you would need to amend. We’ll keep you posted as this legislation moves forward.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Brandenburg or Brian Kelley at Sikich, LLP in Brookfield (262)754-9400.  

Contact Steve Kohlmann for details.

Articles submitted by our members & sponsors.

Welcome New IBAW Members!

Meeting Recaps 2014 Wisconsin Manufacturing Knowledge Summit

Power Test

On June 20, 2014 the IBAW partnered with the Tool, Die & Machining Association of Wisconsin (TDMAW) to offer Wisconsin manufacturers and their suppliers a unique look at trends within the industry and to also report on some of the challenges the industry faces in the next 5 years.

Power Test, Inc. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and implementation of dynamometers and control systems.

Special thanks to the event sponsor, First Business Bank for their efforts in helping organize this event.

For more than 37 years, Power Test has provided specialized test equipment to manufacturers, rebuilding facilities and distributors globally. Our products can be found in use at these facilities in nearly 100 countries on six continents.

Chris Halaska

2 3


Our headquarters and manufacturing operations are located in Sussex, WI with sales representatives worldwide. Our unparalleled customer service is well known throughout the industry. Power Test employs a dedicated staff of talented machinists, fabricators, electronic technicians, assemblers, designers, engineers, software developers, and administrative and customer service personnel. Our exceptional product life and excellent customer service is well known throughout the industry and has made us one of the industryleading dynamometer manufacturers. Our dedication to the customer and to the advances in powertrain component testing keep us there.

Power Test N60 W22700 Silver Spring Drive Sussex, WI 53089 Phone: 262-252-4301

4 Advanced Waste Services Advanced Waste Services is an environmental services company that provides wastewater recycling and other waste and risk elimination services to manufacturers in all industries.  Each day, AWS helps hundreds of businesses, both large and small, meet their community and environmental obligations.   Annually, we collect, treat and recycle more than 50 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into clean, reusable water and other valuable resources like fuel, steam and electricity.     AWS is constantly helping our clients manage, reinvent and improve their sustainability successes.   For example, we recently partnered with Forest County Advanced Waste Services Potawatomi Community to help Wisconsin food and beverage manufacturers convert 1126 South 76th Street food waste into clean, green renewable energy. Suite N408B   West Allis, WI 53214 Founded in 1993, AWS employs 55 people in the Milwaukee area and a total of 150   people companywide in 5 states.    414-847-7100

Photo Key 1: A full house in the main ballroom of the Wisconsin Club as IBAW & TDMAW members prepare to hear about the state of manufacturing and the challenges the industry faces in the workforce.


2: David Vetta of First Business Bank delivers opening remarks and highlights the importance of a strong relationship between banking and manufacturing working together for success. 3: New IBAW President, John Weber of Hypneumat addresses the change in IBAW Bylaws and calls for voting in new board officers. 4: Kent Lorenz of Acieta gives the main presentation on “Manufacturing Matters” pointing out the trends on manufacturing now and what to expect in the future. 5: Outgoing IBAW President, Steve Van Lieshout receives his award for his efforts as 2013 - 2014.

6 Photos courtesy of Tim Townsend.

6: IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann (Left) presents David Drumel with an award for his service on the IBAW board.

Spotlight on new members

Get Connected. Get Inspired. Get Informed.


Click on their name to visit their website.

AT&T ITU AbsorbTech Park Bank HNI Risk Advisors Advantage + Ixonia Bank Johnson Financial Group Sikich Lauber Trusted Business Partners RW Baird von Briesen Vrakas Boerke Co. Rickert Industries

BSI - Design, Build, Furnish Annex Wealth Management BMO Harris Powertest Red Elephant Chocolate Wisconsin Lutheran College Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren, S.C. Hypneumat Mfg Sta Electric Lemberg Electric Olgletree Deakins Sponsor support helps IBAW continue to bring insightful programming to small business owners. Help keep Wisconsin business strong! Ask about becoming a sponsor today!

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors who make your IBAW programing possible. Click on their logo to visit their website. Senior Sponsors Media Sponsor


Benefactor Sponsors















As an advocate for small business, the IBAW offers intimate meetings on relevant topics such as Leadership, HR, Sales, and Political Issues. Business Leaders...Leading Business

Join us.

“ I almost always come away from an IBAW meeting with useable material that helps me with my business. Many times, a speaker will give me something that applies to ITU AbsorbTech. Other times, it is a conversation over breakfast that gives me value.” Jim Leef, President & CEO, ITU AbsorbTech

“Being involved with a business organization like the IBAW is critical for small business owners in Wisconsin for growth and to have a voice with government.” Rich Meeusen, CEO, Badger Meter.

Education • Networking • Political Advocacy BUSINESS LEADERS...LEADING BUSINESS / 262-844-0333 /


960 Timber Pass Brookfield, WI 53045 Office: 262-844-0333

Membership Application

Name______________________________________________Company_________________________________________ Address____________________________________________City, State, Zip_____________________________________ Phone______________________Email Address_____________________________Website______________________________


IBAW membership is based on the number of full time employees in your company.

Number of employee in your company


1 - 15 Employees ...............$300.00 16 - 25 Employees ...............$400.00 26 - 49 Employees.................$500.00 50 or more Employees...........$600.00 SPECIAL OPTION: Prepay breakfasts meetings. Get 12 for the price of 10!


Amount Enclosed

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS apply to your entire team. • Monthly Sales Roundtable - free with membership • Monthly 5 Star Breakfast Program • C Level Peer to Peer Networking • Monthly Digital Statewide Magazine - free with membership • Informative workshops • Business Behind the Scenes Tour • Legislative Updates & Representation from Madison & Washington, D.C. ...AND MORE!

Paying By Check? Please make check payable to IBAW. Want to pay credit card? If you would like to pay by Visa, MasterCard or American Express, you can pay online at or by calling the IBAW office at 262-844-0333.

IBAW September 2018  

A publication for the Wisconsin business community filled with insightful articles.

IBAW September 2018  

A publication for the Wisconsin business community filled with insightful articles.