AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC) has announced the launch of Link Manager, a new software tool designed to boost the efficiency of body shop operations. A&AC Link Manager enables data flow between CCC ONE Repair Workflow and AkzoNobel A&AC’s MixitPro and QuickMix color management systems.
Link Manager is a standalone software product that can be installed on a PC that hosts the color management software. Customers can then schedule periodic connections to the body shop management system, or connect manually at their convenience. Once Link Manager has been configured to use the customized interface for CCC ONE Repair Workflow, body shop operators will always have the latest vehicle information. Also, there is a generic interface that can be enabled for customers using other estimating or body shop management system packages.
“We see A&AC Link Manager as another tool to improve efficiency and boost productivity in body shop operations, very much in line with our entire process-driven body shop approach,” said Mike Sillay, business development services manager. “With the automatic update capabilities built into Link Manager, it can save the front office and the painter valuable time and improve accuracy with paint costing and tracking.”
Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes has announced that the Assured Performance Network has become the newest contributor program to its A-Plus Network. This partnership will offer member shops in the A-Plus program access to the Assured Performance rebate rewards program from carmakers including General Motors, Nissan, Chrysler and other OEMs.
The 100% Write Rebate Rewards Program provides a rebate to body shops when they repair a vehicle using 100 percent OEM collision repair parts as defined by the program. According to Assured Performance, the program is designed to provide an incentive for the shop “to provide the highest level of fit, finish, durability, safety and the owner’s sustained vehicle value by using new OEM parts.” Read the rest of this entry »
Nate is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
An interesting report came out recently. It was by the Hudson Institute Obesity Solutions Initiative, and it dealt with how restaurants can bring lower-calorie meals to their customers. Interesting reading if you’re into that sort of thing.
But the most interesting part of the report concerns the study on how restaurants do better when they begin offering healthier, lower calorie meals on their menus. The research – which surprised me – shows that when restaurants offer healthier items they actual see better sales and traffic. Again, color me surprised. If you’ve been following along you’ll know that I’ve managed to lose more than 100 pounds in the last year or so, and I largely got that way by eating fast food and other low-health food choices.
I’m cheered that the research shows that, by offering more healthier choices, chain restaurants can do better for their customers and themselves. It’s counter to the oft-made portrayal of American’s and lazy couch potatoes slathering gravy all over everything. Read the rest of this entry »
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—The artificial leaf promised to revolutionize the world by bringing reliable modern energy to those mired in poverty. But the company founded to commercialize the research—Sun Catalytix—has found that it needs to concentrate its efforts on something likely to make money in the nearer term, namely the kind of flow batteries that might provide large amounts of energy storage on the U.S. electric grid.
The alternative energy landscape is in tumult, judging by the recent fourth annual summit of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA–E. A glut of cheap natural gas threatens to sweep all other energy sources before it. The so-called “shale gale,” as Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski put it at the recent ARPA-E energy summit, is forcing a rethink of energy strategy. “Before this so-called shale gale came upon us, groupthink had most of us focusing on energy scarcity,” Murkowski noted. “The consensus now is that we have abundant energy. We can’t fall into the trap of groupthink again.” Read the rest of this entry »
Did you know that if you operate or own commercial buildings in certain parts of the country you are now or may be soon required to track your building’s energy performance through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program? In an effort to drive down energy consumption and promote sustainability, many cities, counties and states have passed legislation that requires buildings of a certain size and ownership type to report utility consumption via ENERGY STAR’s web based reporting tool, Portfolio Manager. Some municipalities will even charge a fine if a company fails to report energy performance.
What Is ENERGY STAR?
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 18% of all the energy produced in the United States is employed to cool, heat, light, or accomplish other functions within commercial buildings. ENERGY STAR for buildings uses a tool called Portfolio Manager to capture cost and consumption information from a building’s utility bills. Using this information, ENERGY STAR then measures the performance of a building against the national average for similar building types. Depending on the main function of a building, ENERGY STAR uses the appropriate algorithm to apply a rating from zero to one hundred. Read the rest of this entry »
The US Department of Energy Technical Assistance Program (TAP) has published a resource with tools and tips for public sector organizations to use in developing a benchmarking plan.
Benchmarking — comparing a metered building’s current energy performance with its energy baseline — can help building managers compare performance over time or between similar types of building, or document savings from conservation measures. Whether benchmarking as a part of an energy management plan or to meet requirements of a policy or program, having a benchmarking plan helps organizations implement their efforts.
Johnson & Johnson has set up a fund for greenhouse gas reduction projects like chiller optimization and solar PV installations — just one example of how companies are allocating capital for long-term environmental performance, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.
Aligning Profit and Environmental Sustainability: Stories from Industry looks at what’s needed to bridge barriers between existing corporate behavior and environmentally sound business practices. WRI interviewed sustainability managers from AkzoNobel, Alcoa, Citi, Greif, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Natura, Siemens and others about how companies scale up strategies that are good for business and the planet.
Companies usually have separate capital expense and operating expense budgets, the report says, and this practice can make it difficult to increase one budget to benefit the other. In Johnson & Johnson’s case, the special fund for GHG-reduction projects increases its capital budget, and the operating budget is then adjusted to account for expected savings. This allows the company to invest in projects that cost more upfront, but have lower operating costs. Read the rest of this entry »
Waste and energy use reduction are the top facility-related improvements retailers are undertaking to improve their sustainability performance, according to a report released today by the Retail Industry Leaders Association.
The second annual Retail Sustainability Report, which aims to provide a detailed view of the industry’s adoption of sustainability programs, was based on a survey of 35 RILA member retailers, representing more than 65,000 locations and $1 trillion in global revenue, as well as interviews with 10 members companies.
Nearly all surveyed companies have initiatives to reduce waste and increase recycling, the report said. Companies reported recycling at stores not only reduces costs, it engages the store employees — some of the sector’s biggest advocates.
Over the next two years, companies will increasingly focus on green building practices, management of greenhouse gas emissions and water use, the report said. Read the rest of this entry »
Baltimore – Making vehicle fuel from landfill gas is not just for the big boys anymore.
Disposal sites no longer have to generate thousands, or even several hundred, cubic feet of landfill gas each minute to make a vehicle fueling system economical to operate, attendees at the recent Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference and Project Expo in Baltimore learned.