Category Archives: Business

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Automotive Industry Forum Preview: As the Auto Industry Transforms, It Grapples with Issues of Cybersecurity, IP & Connectivity

Automotive
By guest author Gregg Wirth of the Legal Executive Institute. The American automotive industry in no longer making your father’s Oldsmobile — not by a long shot. Today, pushed by evolving consumer behaviors, transformative technologies, and global market pressures, the automobile industry has entered a new industrial revolution where ingenuity and opportunity coalesce, and the tools of … Continue reading this entry

Force Majeure Best Practices – Hurricane Florence Edition

Hurricane
The threat presented by Hurricane Florence has forced government officials to order South Carolina residents to evacuate hurricane zones. Safety should always be the No. 1 priority for the millions of individuals and families affected by the storm. The mandatory evacuation and closure of many businesses and schools in the area has shut down a … Continue reading this entry

The Skills Gap in the Manufacturing Industry and What We Can Do About It

Workforce
There is a serious skills gap crisis in the U.S. manufacturing industry, an industry which makes up nine percent of the U.S. workforce, making it one of the largest workforces in the country.  The manufacturing industry, like many other industries in our quickly-shifting, modern economy, requires skilled workers to fill critical positions, such as machine/equipment … Continue reading this entry

Increasing Prominence for a Previously Overlooked Permit

Plant
A Plant-wide Applicability Limit (PAL) is an annual emission limitation that allows facilities to be modified, changed or altered without first obtaining a New Source Review permit. A PAL permit eliminates the need for companies to create separate emissions caps and permitting processes for each piece of equipment or components within a plant. They are … Continue reading this entry

Forecasting the North American Sales and Production Footprint in Uncertain Times

sales
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s annual Management Briefing Seminars are being held this week in Traverse City, Michigan.  Tuesday’s sessions included an annual highlight of the conference: a detailed update and outlook on “Forecasting the North American Sales and Production Footprint in Uncertain Times,” presented by a panel of leading automotive forecasters, analysts and … Continue reading this entry

Is my Advisor a “Finder” or a “Broker”? Avoiding the Pitfalls of Raising Capital Using Unlicensed Broker-Dealers

advisor
Companies seeking to expand operations often face numerous challenges.  One such challenge is raising the capital necessary to make such an expansion possible.  When a company sees an expansion opportunity but does not have the financial resources on hand or readily available (cash, available bank debt, etc.) to make it happen, other avenues of financing … Continue reading this entry

Equity Compensation and the Rise of Restricted Stock Units

RSUs
In recent years, equity compensation programs have increasingly been using restricted stock units (RSUs).  A manufacturing company recently made news when it granted RSUs worth millions of dollars to thousands of its employees in connection with its IPO.  Statistics show the trend toward RSUs is widespread.  In a recent survey of 325 companies, 72% reported … Continue reading this entry

Your Webpage Is About to Violate the Law -- And Other Changes to Prop 65 Warning Requirements

Prop 65
Big changes are coming to a regulation that, while well meaning, cost businesses selling products in California more than $50M in 2017 and similar amounts in prior years.  California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”), is getting a makeover – new warnings, shifting burdens … Continue reading this entry

New Product Safety Requirements and Recall Procedures Adopted in Mexico:  Time for Manufacturers to Update their Compliance Programs in Mexico

factory
The commercial and legal environment on product safety in vehicles, auto parts and other products has substantially changed in Mexico in 2018. Manufacturers carrying out business activities in Mexico should now be implementing increased efforts to comply with and properly react to new legislation, policies, recall procedures and safety standards that are now applicable in … Continue reading this entry

Shhh ... Don't Tell Anyone: Tips on NDAs

NDA
The Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) is a document that is very often prone to misuse in commercial practice. Often, when business teams from two companies get together, the first thing they do, almost as a box-checking measure, is toss over one company’s standard two-way NDA, without much thought as to whether the NDA should, in fact, … Continue reading this entry

Fit for What Purpose? Understanding the Warranty of Fitness for Particular Purpose

agreement
For manufacturing companies, some of the most important terms in any contract for the purchase or sale of goods are the warranties that apply to those goods.  This article will address one particular kind of warranty – the warranty of fitness for particular purpose.… Continue reading this entry

Tips for Planning a Carve-Out Divestiture

carve-out
As a company grows and expands (whether by acquisition or organically), it can encounter issues which may prompt a divestiture.  For example, a once high-performing business unit declines or becomes stagnant and drags down the performance of the overall company, or business units within the company create negative synergies, such as where a major customer … Continue reading this entry

Mitigating the Risks Involved With Ending a Business Relationship

agreement
All good things must come to an end.  So it is in life, and so it is in business.  Eventually all business relationships, including manufacturing relationships, will come to an end. Some relationships end with nary more than a whimper, as both parties are content to move on and deploy their resources elsewhere.  More often, … Continue reading this entry

Tax Act Sweetens the Pot for Corporate Divestitures

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 contains some of the most significant changes in tax laws in more than a generation.  While the full implications of the Tax Act are still coming into focus, the magnitude of these changes should cause us to reevaluate past decisions in light of changed circumstances.  Current tax … Continue reading this entry

Consequential Damage Disclaimers in Supply Agreements

agreement
What is a consequential damage? This is the million (sometimes multimillion) dollar question.  According to Black’s Law Dictionary, consequential damages are “losses that do not flow directly and immediately from an injurious act but that result indirectly from the act.”[1]… Continue reading this entry

Service Contracts and Extended Warranties: Building Customer Loyalty and Profits

warranties
Purchasers of consumer goods are more discerning than ever before, and thanks to the internet, have access to more choices and more information every day.  Manufacturers that are perceived as producing high-quality products have an advantage in the markets of the future.  One way manufacturers have long signaled their quality is through providing product warranties … Continue reading this entry

Important Considerations in Selecting the Right Mediator

mediation
One of the fundamental components of a mediation is, of course, the mediator.  Continuing the Manufacturing Industry Advisor’s series on mediation, we discuss how to select the right mediator for resolution of your dispute.  Selecting the right mediator may well mean the difference between a great settlement or facing continued, expensive litigation.… Continue reading this entry

Sales Commission Agreements Can Limit Potential Liability

agreement
A manufacturing company’s sales employee successfully convinces a new customer to purchase a commercial cooler. Under the employee’s sales commission plan, she receives a commission of 2% of the price of the cooler and any repair parts purchased.  The employee also receives a 2% commission on the annual service plan the customer purchases to maintain … Continue reading this entry

Automotive Supplier Industry Experts Convene in Detroit and Share 2018 Outlook

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) held its 19th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme:  “The Industry’s New Landscape.”  And while much of the day was devoted to autonomous vehicle developments and the potential negative impacts on the industry’s North American competitiveness that would result from substantial changes to NAFTA, the … Continue reading this entry

Ready to Release a New Pharmaceutical? What to Think About When Selecting Your Drug Name

Pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical name clearance in the United States can be complicated.   This post aims to provide insight into the regulatory safety review process and the trademark registration process for candidate drug names.  This information will allow drug manufacturers to make more informed decisions during the pharmaceutical name selection process so that they can arrive at a … Continue reading this entry

Self-Driving Cars Spurred by Convergence of Traditional Manufacturers and Tech Companies, Foley Survey Finds

self-driving cars
The race to self-driving cars has created new challenges and opportunities for companies, particularly automotive original equipment manufacturers that are facing competition from non-traditional sources in the technology industry.… Continue reading this entry

When to Mediate and Why

mediate
If a company or person becomes involved in litigation, the parties eventually will either agree to, or be ordered to, participate in mediation. Mediation deserves deliberate and thorough consideration to make the most of an opportunity to resolve the dispute favorably and efficiently.  Here, we kick off a Manufacturing Industry Advisor series that examines what … Continue reading this entry

Is Outdated Information on Your Website Putting Your Company At Risk?

Cybersecurity
With all of the attention given to upgrading cybersecurity, it can be easy to forget that outdated content on a company’s website also can be a source of risk. Nearly all company websites include information regarding the company and its products. These are representations that the company is making to the world and, in some … Continue reading this entry

#FTCcrackdown: What Brands Need to Know about Using Influencers to Advertise their Products

influencers
Social media influencers have become one of the most effective channels for companies to reach and engage with their target market online. So far in 2017, marketers have spent over $1 billion to have influencers post Instagram photos marketing their products. Last year, marketers spent $576 million. Because of the increased popularity with this new … Continue reading this entry