May 2016

From this Issue

When it’s time to make doughnuts — or loaves of bread, or sheets of rolls — it could well be a Belshaw Adamatic piece of equipment that’s turning out the baked goods. From a 120,000-square-foot plant in Auburn, Belshaw Adamatic produces the ovens, fryers, conveyors and specialty equipment like jelly injectors used by wholesale and retail bakeries.

At least one brand of fitness equipment for the commercial and home markets carries a “made in Washington” label. Precor’s keeping manufacturing local has helped grow employment from 544 to 573, but neither happened without a commitment to lean principles and efficient production.

The middle of a recession wouldn’t at first glance seem to be a good time to start a new pleasure-boat company. But Fluid Motion, parent of Ranger Tugs, founded in 1958 and still owned and operated by the Livingston family, decided to launch Cutwater Boats, a line of fuel-efficient, trailerable, feature-packed vessels — think bow and stern thrusters — in 2011.

Research doesn’t work without the right tools, and in the case of biomedical research, critical tools are the preservation media used to store stem cells, bone marrow, cellular therapies and tissue samples.

The next generation of manufacturing leadership can be found in companies like electronics contract manufacturer Out of the Box and its owners, Chad and Allison Budvarson.

Western Integrated Technologies started in 1969 as Hydraulics Components Company, a small distributor of hydraulic-system components. Bill Hill and a partner bought it in 1986.

In the seafood industry, sustainability doesn’t only cover what or how much you catch. It also means what you do with what you’ve caught, and how.Trident has been making a big push to reduce waste and get more from the seafood it processes.

Lots of companies may claim a place among the foundational firms of America. Mutual Materials actually makes the bricks, concrete blocks, masonry, pavers and walls that keep those businesses standing.

Precision is critical in advanced manufacturing, whether the material being machined is metal or, as is increasingly the case in Washington, a composite material.

There’s a lot of stuff in the world to keep track of. The latest technology for figuring out what’s where is radio-frequency identification (RFID), and it’s a growing business for ID Integration, which not only offers the equipment but helps businesses and the military put it together into productive systems.

Corrosion poses huge expense exposure and risk for everyone. Components wear away until they fail, sometimes catastrophically. Modumetal has a potential solution: nanolayered materials designed to be stronger, lighter, more durable and more corrosion resistant than conventional metals.

Provail began in 1942 to provide services to people with cerebral palsy and adopted its current name in 1999 to reflect service to a wider range of clients and a more entrepreneurial approach.

Manufacturers are well versed in dealing with forces and trends far beyond their control or ability to influence, but in 2016, that talent is being tested to a degree not seen in years. Between weak economies — both at home and in major export markets — and issues like health care costs and workforce availability, there is no shortage of challenges.

After years of hype about virtual reality, it stands ready to move from The Matrix and Avatar into real life, with applications ranging from gaming to e-sales, from collaborative product design to remote surgery. What’s more, many companies in the Seattle region will reap the benefits.

As your business grows and you begin selling your products or services outside the state of Washington, you need to consider the tax implications. Other state and local governments are, of course, excited to have you selling to their residents and businesses.

OfferUp cofounders Nick Huzar, left, and Arean Van Veelen.

We all know the mother of invention. Nick Huzar’s necessity was finding a way to clear out a room for his soon-to-arrive baby girl. “My wife and I were at a spot where we wanted to have kids and when she said she was expecting, I kind of went into dad mode,” Huzar explains. “I remember standing in the doorway of this room, which was about to be my daughter’s room. It was just full of stuff and I’m thinking, ‘There’s got to be a better way to sell this stuff.’ It would take forever to sell it through existing channels.”

Here’s a thought: While Alaska Air Group spends $2.6 billion swallowing up Virgin America, it should wield some of its new clout — Alaska will soon be the nation’s fifth-largest air carrier — on becoming the college athlete’s best friend.

If the body is driven more by information than by chemistry, why not treat disease with information? This question led Matthew Scholz to biology, and, ultimately, to Immusoft Corporation, a Seattle company he founded in 2009.

We live in a digital world, do we? Ha! Try driving your digital car from your home constructed of ones and zeroes to a grocery store made of the same stuff to buy food consisting of bits and bytes.

Eight years on, it seems we’re still trying to make sense of the financial meltdown, with films like Margin Call, The Big Short and Money Monster grappling with the facts, fixations and fury of that upheaval.

Our state’s ever-changing regulatory environment makes it hard to stay on the right side of the law. Here are some simple steps to help keep your business in compliance.

David Rolf expanded the number of home-care and nursing-home workers in his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) chapter twentyfold — to 44,000 — in the past decade. He was a leader in Seattle’s push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and has received national attention by calling for labor unions to innovate.

As a resident of Seatac and one who works just south of Harbor Island, I share a much less enthusiastic view of the Port of Seattle. Little in your March issue addressed the negative impacts. And I question if Lance Lyttle, a man used to the wide-open spaces of Houston and Atlanta, can address the fact Sea-Tac Airport has no physical room to grow.

When it comes to exports, most people think first of China. After all, with a population of 1.4 billion, it is the world’s largest economy. But while a handful of corporate giants like Starbucks are minting money there, China’s unfriendly regulators and rampant intellectual property theft are giving many American companies pause.

After shuttering the much-loved Madison Park Conservatory in 2014, co-owner Bryan Jarr took off on a food-research expedition through Spain and Portugal. Jarr, who is co-author of In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys, went to study traditional seafood preservation at several Spanish and Portuguese canneries.

Darragh Kennan and Andrew McGinn return as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively, this month in Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem. Seattle stage favorite R. Hamilton Wright answered five questions about writing the play.

People have been talking about the importance of change as a critical management practice for decades. No matter how many approaches we recycle, one timeless truth returns to us again and again: Change is profoundly difficult and we’d prefer not to do it.