Tips for navigating social media madness

September 28, 2017

“Post with a purpose,” says Sam Armijos of Fabric Architect LLC. “Understand that you’ll be wasting someone else’s time if you don’t have a purpose for posting.” Armijos presented a campfire session on “Social Media Madness” during IFAI Expo 2017 in New Orleans, La. Armijos shared some tips and tricks to help navigate social media …

Understanding ITAR and export controls

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference in New Orleans began Tuesday in New Orleans with presentations organized into four tracks: Medical, Military, Testing and Smart Fabrics. The Military track covered a range of topics from protective materials to the DoD budget. It also addressed a critical topic for any company that exports beyond U.S. borders, or is …

This year’s Show Stopper winners

All the best from New Orleans: Thursday morning at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The sixth annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services and …

2017 International Achievement Award winners announced at IFAI Expo

This year’s winners in IFAI’s global International Achievement Awards (IAA) competition, recognizing design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, were announced on Sept. 28 at the organization’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2017 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. For more than 70 years, IAA has acknowledged innovation and excellence in design …

Keeping employees engaged

According to Barry Adams, President of Peach Tree Awnings in Norcross, Ga., “The reason people separate from their company is because they feel their contribution is not valued and they feel what they do isn’t making a difference.” Adams’ session, “How to Keep Talented Employees Engaged,” presented at IFAI Expo 2017, focused on ways to …

Expo panel discusses diversification

September 27, 2017

A panel of three successful company leaders illuminated the keynote luncheon September 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. The theme of the panel was “Path of Diversification,” featuring Meredith Boyd, Unifi Manufacturing Inc.; Ben Cooper, IoClothes; and John Neely, Berry Global. The panelists shared ideas on how their companies leverage regionalization in the U.S. Cooper mentioned …

Business success across markets

September 26, 2017

Whether you’re a fabricator for the marine, automobile, commercial or residential markets, Steven Wayne, owner of Southern Stitch Canvas and Upholstery LLC in Gulfport, Mississippi, says many of the same rules apply. According to Wayne, business success comes down to four basic things: skills mastery, excellent communication, judicious customization and customer education. Wayne’s shop works …

Sophisticated, simple succession strategies protect your business

Larry Oxenham, senior advisor with the American Society for Asset Protection, says small business owners should ask themselves one question: If something were to happen to me today, what would happen to my company? “Every small business will pass on eventually,” says Oxenham, “either voluntarily or involuntarily.” He says that most successful businesses are built …

Government contracts offer great opportunities for textile companies

Business owners who want to pursue government contracts shouldn’t be discouraged, says Mary Linn Langraf, senior international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce/OTEXA. Langraf presented a detailed discussion Sept. 26 at IFAI Expo 2017, emphasizing that the textile industry is a robust area of interest for government procurements. The first step in securing …

Shade sails add usability to outdoor spaces

“Shade Sails 2.0” was one of the opening presentations Sept. 26 at IFAI Expo 2017. The presentation featured Tim Koehler, Lawrence Fabric and Metal Structures Inc., and Tim Akes, MPanel Software Solutions, who discussed two projects that could handle wind and snow loads. The first project at Southwest Illinois Community College was an outside study …