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RSM: The case for a U.S.—U.K. free trade agreement

RSM: The case for a U.S.—U.K. free trade agreement

Strategic Partner of CEO Connection, RSM US LLP, released The Real Economy: Volume 43 this week.

The business cycle is clearly closer to its end than its beginning. Increasing uncertainty about the policy direction of the United Kingdom (U.K.) as it approaches a March 29, 2019, deadline to negotiate an exit from the European Union (EU) hangs heavy over the British economy. Unresolved questions over whether the U.K. will remain within the EU orbit or operate outside as “Global Britain” contribute to a weak environment for business investment and consumption. While moves toward a U.S.- U.K. free trade agreement may seem counterintuitive, given the lack of answers to those questions and rising protectionism from the Trump administration, now is the time to begin laying the groundwork for a new trade partnership with a longstanding U.S. ally.

The Real Economy also examines technology spending habits of middle market companies, and how U.S. builders have adapted to rising Canadian lumber prices. Download the full issue.

Our Angel Network: Streamline Your Investments

Our Angel Network: Streamline Your Investments

Join the CEO Connection® Angel Network, designed to give mid-market CEOs and companies exclusive access to investment opportunities in early-stage ventures and connections with innovative entrepreneurs.

The CEO Connection Angel Network offers these membership benefits:

  • An opportunity to collaborate and network with like-minded investors.
  • A private angel investing platform.
  • Effective due diligence resulting from the broad and varied member expertise and the coordination efforts of our staff.
  • More favorable deal terms due to the collective size of a CEO Connection Angel Network investment.
  • The right to make an individual investment decision on every deal.
  • Access to regular educational opportunities through meetings, seminars and conferences.

Prescreened entrepreneurs looking for investors will present at the upcoming Business Plan Showcase at the 2018 CEO Connection Mid-Market Convention in Philadelphia, Sept. 23-25.


Participation is limited to only 15 CEO Connection Angel Network members.

Register for the Mid-Market Convention to Participate.


If you are interested in becoming a member of the CEO Connection Angel Network, please email angelnetwork@ceoconnection.com.

To participate in the Business Plan Showcase, go here for convention information and registration.

A Proven Way to Cost-Control Your Print Expenses

A Proven Way to Cost-Control Your Print Expenses

It is not news to say that companies are always seeking ways to reduce operating costs. But one commonly overlooked area for expense reduction is outsourced printing, including mailings and promotional items. Printing expense holds great opportunity for cost reduction and enhanced purchasing efficiency for three primary reasons.

  1. Printing is rarely shown as one consolidated P&L expense figure. Instead, print materials are typically listed in multiple budget items, such as:
  • Letterheads, envelopes,and business card costs are usually reflected in “Administrative Expense.”
  • Flyers and promotional items often appear under “Sales Expense.”
  • Image brochures, annual reports, and direct mail appear asa“Marketing Expense.”
  • Checks, forms, and window envelopes can usually be found under “Accounting Expense.”

If all these costs appeared as a single line item in financial reporting, printing expense would draw much more attention than it currently does.

  1. Print buyers often fear that by switching print vendors for lower pricing they risk a reduction in thequality and service they rely on. If you know how to evaluate your current suppliers, however, this is not the case.
  2. Persons employed to purchase printing typically lack the specific market knowledge necessary to obtain best results. Print, more than many other categories, depends heavily on two important criteria beyond price—quality and service. No matter how low the price, if the print job does not arrive when needed or is sloppily printed, the low price is worthless.

Many print buyers feel that if they get three quotes for every job, they will get the “right price,” but this is often not the case. A printer with the proper equipment for the job at hand is the most important factor in obtaining best pricing; yet, most print buyers lack the understanding of what job should be run on what type of press.

Lower print costs, quality work, and excellent service should not be the only determinants of vendor selection. There are a whole group of items called “soft costs.” These include, but are not limited to, consolidation of vendors, stock holding programs, inventory control reports, cost allocation reporting, monthly billing plans,and user-friendly online ordering systems. If these soft cost savings are available without added cost from one’s printer, they can go a long way toward streamlining print purchasing procedures and reducing internal manpower costs.

Print Audit Bureau Inc.company president Len Ganz says that companies often have no idea what they are spending on print, or what savings are possible.

“A New York City Investment Banking firm with 150 employees has varied print, mail,and promotional needs,” Len responded. “When queried, the company thought they spent $100,000 or so annually on their materials. The print audit they authorized with us revealed their true spending to be almost $350,000. By comparing the print costs they had been paying with costs available from others in the marketplace—for the same items and quantities ordered—we were able to save them 32.6% annually. Expressed another way, our audit revealed that they were paying their current vendor 48.4% more than they should have been.In the end, they were able to save more money annually than they thought they spent in aggregate before the process began.

If any of the following characterize your organization, Print Audit Bureau (PAB)is the entity to contact:

  • You spend between $100,000 and $10,000,000 on outsourced print and related items (direct mail, promotional products, etc.).
  • You want to compare the cost of your internal print purchasing procedures to the cost of outsourcing the print purchasing function to PAB.
  • You have an in-house print shop and want to evaluate its cost relative to outsourcing.

Once their services are engaged, PAB guarantees that if they cannot suggest vendors whose pricing will save your organization money without any compromise in service or quality, there will be no charge for their 12-month Audit Report and Letter of Recommendation issued at the end of their engagement—and you will have the comfort of knowing you are being treated fairly by your vendors. Moreover, there are no out-of-pocket costs. PAB fees, if earned, are always a portion of the savings their work creates.

Through the Member-to-Member Discount Program, CEO Connection members can receive a free1-month preliminary assessment. Additionally, PAB’s fee is usually paid for a 24-month period, but with this exclusive CEOC offer, PAB will waive fees for the second 12-month period. This constitutes a 35% discount off their standard rate.

To signup for a free assessment, get discount offer details,and contact information go here.

See Who Leads the Mid-Market in 2018

See Who Leads the Mid-Market in 2018

CEO Connection has just released the Mid-Market 500 ® , a researched ranking of the top 500 companies at the mid-market level based on gross revenue. The list includes a compilation of vital information about each of the top 500 players in the marketplace, including number of employees, profits, and C-suite contact information.

The CEOs, CFOs, CIOs and others on the list have made themselves available with one key goal in mind: They’re looking for connections and broader access to the mid-market community. Contact them to ask, answer, share insights, and gain information that can drive mutual success.

Reach out by accessing the list here.


The Idea Exchange: Connect Instantly with 17,000 Peers

The Idea Exchange: Connect Instantly with 17,000 Peers

The CEO Connection community is vast and growing. Over 17,000 CEOs and companies contribute to our network, drawing benefits from the experience of others and contributing insights to help peers tackle leadership challenges.

We now offer a tool that facilitates these interactions: the CEO Connection Idea Exchange.

Join the Exchange to find answers and share useful information. Here are a few examples of recent posts:  

  1.  Former CEO of $250MM building materials company seeks board post.
  2. Available: Executive with experience in turning around underperforming businesses, primarily in the cement industry. Wide geographical range with large network in US, Europe, Asia-Pac, Latin-America, and Africa.
  3. CEO of $1.3B company in the healthcare industry is looking for a board seat. Extensive focus in home health, home infusion, pharmacy and hospital administration
  4. CEO Connection member with strong background in finance and insurance is looking for a board seat with a mid-market public company in the audit committee.

CEO Connection Members who would like to post a question, find a contact, accept or offer a board seat, or resolve an issue can instantly reach peers with relevant information and invaluable experience.   

Through the Idea Exchange, CEO Connection provides an easy, efficient way to connect with mid-market peers and make the most of all the community has to offer.

To join the exchange, send a message today:

Premium Members: pcc@ceoconnection.com

Basic Members: membership@ceoconnection.com


Mid-Market Company of The Year Award Winner

Mid-Market Company of The Year Award Winner

CEO Connection® is proud to recognize Restaurant Technologies, led by CEO Jeffrey R. Kiesel, as the winner of the 2018 Mid-Market Company of the Year Award.

This annual award is given to the company that embodies the highest standards of leadership in both business and society.

Restaurant Technologies represents the very best of the mid-market and showcases the most collaborative, strategic, and insightful teams working at the mid-level between industry icons and scrappy newcomers.  

Led by CEO Jeffrey R. Kiesel, a seasoned executive with 25 years of leadership experience, Restaurant Technologies has earned its position as an uncontested mid-market leader in food service safety and management solutions.

Protecting workers from injury and owners from financial loss can be a challenging job, but Kiesel and his team are up to the task, and have the 20-year track record to prove it. Oil delivery, containment, transport, and disposal present high-risk challenges in chaotic restaurant environments with limited space and access. Under Kiesel’s leadership, Restaurant Technologies offers beginning-to-end systems for oil transportation, full-service fryer filtration monitoring, and cleaning systems for hoods, flues, and fans.

“We are so pleased to be recognized with the Company of the Year award, especially given the caliber of its past recipients,” said Kiesel. “This acknowledgment is a testament to our team’s passion for making the restaurant workplace safer, smarter and more efficient with our game-changing solutions.”

Company of the Year Award candidates are nominated by the community at large, then are referred to the selection committee that reviews and identifies a short list of finalists. A second committee, comprised of prior award recipients, makes the final award selection. Previous Mid-Market Company of the Year Award Recipients include Key Safety Systems (2017), LinkedIn (2016), and Zulily (2015).

About Jeffrey R. Kiesel

Before joining Restaurant Technologies, Kiesel earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Williams College and an MBA from Purdue University. He then held multiple senior level positions for a variety of companies large and small. Kiesel has left his unique leadership imprint on the C-suites of GE and GE Capital, G&K Services, and VIZTA3D Inc. He now serves on multiple advisory boards, hoping to lead by example and promote company values that put customers and the community first.

Candidates for the Company of the Year Award are nominated by the community at large before being referred to the selection committee that identifies a short list of finalists. A second committee, comprised of prior award recipients, makes the final award selection. Previous Mid-Market Company of the Year Award Recipients include Key Safety Systems (2017), LinkedIn (2016), and Zulily (2015).

Restaurant Technologies will be honored at the 2018 Mid-Market Convention Awards Dinner on September 25, 2018, at the Wharton School. Other recipients—CEO of the Year, Young Leader, and Social Impact Award—will be celebrated at that time. The dinner will be attended by members, sponsors, and guests of CEO Connection.

We proudly lend our support and heartfelt congratulations to Restaurant Technologies, a company that meets the needs of clients and stakeholders by providing custom solutions for keeping restaurant workers safe.

For more information about the awards, go here.

Go here for Awards Dinner details and registration.