[Image above] CBLS attendees learn tips for better managing their businesses at a past CBLS workshop. Credit: ACerS

When was the last time you attended a conference or workshop that helped you focus specifically on improving your business?

The 7th Ceramic Business and Leadership Summit (CBLS) takes place Wednesday, October 17, in Columbus, Ohio, concurrent with MS&T18. With a theme of “Succeeding in Today’s Manufacturing Marketplace,” CBLS promises to provide business leaders with a wealth of information, tools, and best practices to become successful in business.

Conveniently scheduled to coincide with MS&T18, also in Columbus, you can take a break from technical sessions for this business-based program. Or, come just for CBLS and pop over to MS&T to hear the Frontiers of Science and Society—Rustum Roy Lecture on October 16, by Corning Inc.’s EVP David L. Morse, Imagination and innovation in the land of machines, included with your registration.

I had the opportunity to talk to two of the speakers to get a sneak peek at what they plan to talk about in their sessions.

Daniel J. Gisser, business advisor/owner, AdviCoach

Business owners wear many hats, and they need to focus on what matters most. In his session, The profit equation: Five key numbers to better manage your business, Gisser says that one mistake business owners make is in retaining customers. “Sometimes they just haven’t talked to them in a while,” he says, using the ceramics industry as an example. “Are you talking to past customers and asking for orders? You should be!

“Or maybe a customer purchased one type of thing from you and didn’t realize you sell other things,” he adds, referring to how businesses get pigeonholed by customers.

Gisser will walk attendees through the five key numbers to better manage their businesses— lead generation, conversion rate, revenue/customer, gross margin, and fixed costs—and provide tools to measure and track each one.

His biggest takeaway for attendees: “Focus on small incremental improvements in these five key numbers, and one at a time,” he says. “And you’ll eventually make big progress over time.”

Jono Starr, professional recruiter/president, Starrtrax

Recruiting candidates is a lot more involved than sending clients a mass of resumes for them to sort through, which is one misconception business owners have about professional recruiters, Starr explains. “They think we are a resume warehouse.”

In the session Innovative and modern ways to hire and retain talent, Starr will share his expertise in hiring and retaining qualified candidates. “We first learn what the company wants and then actively recruit, rather than plug people into jobs,” he says. “’Salesy’ types of recruiters who try to connect with everyone in the world can turn candidates off,” he adds.

Starr will focus on defining the market and show attendees where to look to hire talent. He says most business owners are reactive, rather than proactive with their recruiting and that the recruitment process should be an ongoing endeavor.

His biggest takeaway for attendees: “Change your culture from reactive to proactive,” he explains. “Engaging with schools, participating in job fairs, and similar strategies are more effective in the long run.”

Speakers share tips and best practices to help manufacturers succeed in their businesses at CBLS. Credit: ACerS

Check out the rest of the topics and speakers rounding out the rest of CBLS 2018:

Federal funding and legislation outlook for advanced ceramics

Speaker Glen Mandigo of the U.S. Advanced Ceramics Association will discuss the 2019 federal budget affecting advanced ceramics and share related pending legislation and policies.

Emerging and evolving technologies that will impact manufacturing and their economic predictions

Speaker Jon Riley of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences reviews the many changes in the manufacturing industry and shares examples of companies that are collaborating with each other to stay competitive.

Case study—Digital transformation in the ceramics industry: Using simulation to optimize sintering processes

Speaker Marc-Antoine Thermitus of NETZSCH Instruments of North America will talk about the engineering challenges of designing a firing process for ceramic components and how Kinetics Neo software can analyze temperature-dependent processes to predict a chemical system’s behavior before firing.

Your CBLS registration fee includes a networking happy hour plus access to the previously mentioned Frontiers of Science and Society—Rustum Roy Lecture on October 16, where you can hear Corning Inc.’s EVP David L. Morse discuss Imagination and innovation in the land of machines.

Register for CBLS at this link before September 16 and save up to $150!

Are you a Diamond or Sapphire Corporate Partner? Contact Dee Haignere to use your included registration benefit.

Contact Kevin Thompson to learn about attending CBLS as a Corporate Partner benefit!

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