Tag Archives: Avondale (Central Az)

CBRE Sells Kohl’s in Avondale for $10.6M

CBRE has completed the sale of a single tenant net leased Kohl’s department store located at 1611 N. Dysart Rd. in Avondale, Ariz. The 88,402-square-foot retail property commanded a sale price of $10.6 million.

Joseph Compagno Vice President with CBRE’s Phoenix office represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. The seller was La Jolla, Calif.-based Collins Family Trust, Stanford Decedents Trust and Sarn Family Trust. The buyer was Investors Associated LLP of Oconomowoc, Wis.

It was very important to the seller to close this transaction in December. We accomplished that goal for the seller. The seller was looking for the broadest marketing exposure available to buyers of single tenant credit retail. We had a relationship with a 1031 exchange buyer out of the Midwest, who just sold a Walgreens portfolio and was looking for another triple net acquisition,” said CBRE’s Compagno. “The buyer was looking for a safe and stable income stream and they accomplished that with the acquisition of this Kohl’s. Kohl’s is one of the top rated retail tenants in the United States with a “BBB+” investment grade credit rating.”

Located at the northeast corner of Dysart and McDowell Roads, just north of the I-10 Freeway, the property is situated within the Alameda Crossing shopping center on 8.89 acres. Retailers adjacent to Kohl’s include Sprouts Farmers Market, Jo-Ann Fabric, Anna’s Linens, Big 5 among others. The property also benefits from excellent population density and demographics, with more than 226,000 people in a five-mile radius and an average household income of $68,490 within a one-mile radius.

Kohl’s is a specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products. Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s operates 1,158 stores in 49 states with 30,000 employees.

Joseph Compagno specializes in the sale of net leased retail investments across the United States. His retail team works on the behalf of both private and institutional owners.

Kohls-Avondale, CBRE

CBRE Sells Kohl's in Avondale for $10.6M

CBRE has completed the sale of a single tenant net leased Kohl’s department store located at 1611 N. Dysart Rd. in Avondale, Ariz. The 88,402-square-foot retail property commanded a sale price of $10.6 million.

Joseph Compagno Vice President with CBRE’s Phoenix office represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction. The seller was La Jolla, Calif.-based Collins Family Trust, Stanford Decedents Trust and Sarn Family Trust. The buyer was Investors Associated LLP of Oconomowoc, Wis.

It was very important to the seller to close this transaction in December. We accomplished that goal for the seller. The seller was looking for the broadest marketing exposure available to buyers of single tenant credit retail. We had a relationship with a 1031 exchange buyer out of the Midwest, who just sold a Walgreens portfolio and was looking for another triple net acquisition,” said CBRE’s Compagno. “The buyer was looking for a safe and stable income stream and they accomplished that with the acquisition of this Kohl’s. Kohl’s is one of the top rated retail tenants in the United States with a “BBB+” investment grade credit rating.”

Located at the northeast corner of Dysart and McDowell Roads, just north of the I-10 Freeway, the property is situated within the Alameda Crossing shopping center on 8.89 acres. Retailers adjacent to Kohl’s include Sprouts Farmers Market, Jo-Ann Fabric, Anna’s Linens, Big 5 among others. The property also benefits from excellent population density and demographics, with more than 226,000 people in a five-mile radius and an average household income of $68,490 within a one-mile radius.

Kohl’s is a specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products. Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s operates 1,158 stores in 49 states with 30,000 employees.

Joseph Compagno specializes in the sale of net leased retail investments across the United States. His retail team works on the behalf of both private and institutional owners.

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Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner Adds Two Offices

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. announced that David A. McCarville has joined the firm as a partner.  McCarville is expected to lead the firm’s growth and expansion in the Probate, Trust and Estates practice areas.

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. also announced that McCarville’s current offices in Casa Grande and Avondale will be renamed and maintained, marking a physical expansion for Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. from its Scottsdale offices into Pinal County and the West Valley.

“David’s addition to our firm is a triple crown winner for us,” said Randy Nussbaum, Managing Partner of Nussbaum, Gillis & Dinner, P.C.  “In addition to being a great lawyer, David allows the firm to expand its practice areas to include Estate Planning and Probate, plus allows us to physically expand our presence beyond our Scottsdale facility into Pinal County and the West Valley.”

When not working, McCarville spends his free time with his wife Judy and their 4 young girls ages 11, 10, 6, and 2.

skd258400sdc

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner Adds Two Offices

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. announced that David A. McCarville has joined the firm as a partner.  McCarville is expected to lead the firm’s growth and expansion in the Probate, Trust and Estates practice areas.

Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. also announced that McCarville’s current offices in Casa Grande and Avondale will be renamed and maintained, marking a physical expansion for Nussbaum Gillis & Dinner, P.C. from its Scottsdale offices into Pinal County and the West Valley.

“David’s addition to our firm is a triple crown winner for us,” said Randy Nussbaum, Managing Partner of Nussbaum, Gillis & Dinner, P.C.  “In addition to being a great lawyer, David allows the firm to expand its practice areas to include Estate Planning and Probate, plus allows us to physically expand our presence beyond our Scottsdale facility into Pinal County and the West Valley.”

When not working, McCarville spends his free time with his wife Judy and their 4 young girls ages 11, 10, 6, and 2.

volunteer

SRP Donates $94,500 to Nonprofit Agencies

Salt River Project employees are turning their volunteer hours into much-needed funds for the nonprofit organizations they assist through the SRP Dollars for Doers program.

The program contributes funds, ranging from $250 to $1,000, directly to community nonprofits based upon the number of volunteer hours donated during the 2012 calendar year by SRP employees. The grant program is designed to provide funding to nonprofit agencies that are also supported by the volunteer efforts of SRP employees.

“SRP has a distinct heritage built upon responding to the needs of our customers and the communities in which they live, and we recognize the value of providing support to organizations whose programs are improving the lives of our community,” said Jen Martyn who manages the SRP Volunteer Program.

SRP donated $94,500 to 106 nonprofit agencies in which 141 SRP employees donated more than 29,000 hours of their time and experience in cities throughout the Valley, including Avondale, Camp Verde, Casa Grande, Chandler, Douglas, El Mirage, Gilbert, Glendale, Higley, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Page, Peoria, Phoenix, Pine Top, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Scottsdale, St. Johns, Tempe and Tolleson and Tucson.

Employees contributed to their community in a number of ways, including:

· coaching youth football, baseball, soccer and swimming,
· providing children with special needs horse therapy rides,
· ushering during arts and cultural events,
· preparing meals for those in need,
· mentoring and providing leadership to youth and
· assisting schools through parent-teacher organizations and booster clubs.

LHM Nissan Mesa

Larry H. Miller Dealerships Announce Acquisitions

Larry H. Miller Dealerships Announces

Avondale Store Acquisitions

Three additions further solidify group’s commitment

to Valley community.

PHOENIX (April 1, 2013)- Larry H. Miller Dealerships has announced the acquisition of three Avondale stores: Avondale Chrysler, Jeep; Avondale Dodge, Ram; and Avondale Fiat, bringing the group’s commitment to providing increased options to customers in the Greater Phoenix Area to nine locations. The acquisition is by far the largest in the company’s history, further affirming the group’s dedication to the Arizona market and its communities.

“Larry H. Miller Dealerships has been an active member of this community for more than 30 years,” said Dean Fitzpatrick, president. “In addition to providing our guests with options to suit various price points and style, we are also committed to giving back to the community by assisting local nonprofit organizations. The addition of these dealership locations will expand our footprint in the Avondale area and allow us to provide even more support.”

The dealerships were purchased from two partners; John Grant and Doug Moreland.

Larry H. Miller Dealerships opened its first Valley location, Larry H. Miller Toyota Peoria, in 1980. The automotive group added a Dodge dealership to the site in 1995 and Hyundai in 2000. Larry H. Miller Volkswagen was opened in 2004 in Avondale, and its Nissan dealership was opened in Scottsdale in 2006, and then moved to Mesa in 2008. As well, the group opened a brand new Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership in Surprise in late 2012.

Larry H. Miller Dealerships will retain the existing employees of the three newly-acquired dealerships bringing the total number of Arizona-based personnel to more than 1,000. These employees are located throughout the state with nine stores in the Valley and an additional four that were also acquired from Moreland and Grant in Tucson.

“An important part of the purchase value of these dealerships is the employees,” stated Fitzpatrick. “We are impressed with the corporate culture at these stores and the high-caliber, experienced people who work there. We feel that they will be a great fit for our organization.”

John Grant added, “It is always a difficult decision to make when selling our dealerships to a new group.  It is important to both me and Doug that we select a company that values its customers and employees. Our decision was made easier knowing how Larry H. Miller Dealerships conducts business and the benefits they offer their workers.”

Outside of the latest acquisition, Larry H. Miller Dealerships currently operates six stores in the Phoenix market; three of which are part of a $30 million West Valley reconstruction project. The Larry H. Miller Toyota, Hyundai and Dodge Ram stores on Bell Road in Peoria are anticipated for completion in summer 2013.

Larry H. Miller Dealerships has a strong legacy of giving back to communities where they do business. Through its charitable foundation, Larry H. Miller Charities, approximately $500,000 has been donated to nearly 150 qualified nonprofit organizations throughout the greater Phoenix area. Beneficiaries include the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, The Maricopa Pediatric Foundation, Special Olympics Arizona, the Peoria School District Foundation and Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona.

With these new acquisitions, Larry H. Miller Dealerships will remain 10th on the Automotive News list of top 125 dealership groups in the country, now operating 19 different automotive brands at 55 locations in seven Western states.  The company is privately owned by the Larry H. and Gail Miller family.

For more information about Larry H. Miller dealerships, visit www.lhmauto.com.

Traffic Congestion, Ways to Reduce in Phoenix, AZ

Public Identifies Transit Priorities for Southwest Valley

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), in partnership with West Valley cities and through extensive input from residents, has completed a transit system study that identifies a local transit plan for the Southwest Valley.

MAG has worked in partnership over the past year with the cities of Phoenix, Avondale, Goodyear, Tolleson, Litchfield Park, the town of Buckeye, Maricopa County, and Valley Metro in developing the plan, which is based on the transportation needs and priorities identified by more than 2,000 Southwest Valley residents. Residents prioritized a local transit system that is accessible, affordable, convenient, and connects to regional transit services.

The short-, mid- and long-term strategies in the plan for local transit services will guide communities in implementing new services as additional revenues become available.

A drop-in open house will be held this week to enable residents to see the plan maps and talk to the project team:

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Centerra Mirage Elementary School
15151 W. Centerra Dr. South
Goodyear, AZ

The executive summary of the plan will be posted to the project website March 13th at http://www.azmag.gov/Projects/Project.asp?CMSID=4173. The full plan will be posted shortly thereafter. For more information, please contact Jorge Luna, MAG transit planner, atjluna@azmag.gov or by calling (602) 254-6300.

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GPEC analyzes impact of potential defense cuts

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council today released findings and recommendations from its Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Program, a two-phase initiative that took an in-depth look at the region’s aerospace and defense companies to determine their strengths, weaknesses and readiness for the sequestration, federally-mandated automatic spending cuts scheduled to take place on March 1 unless Congress intervenes.

As a result of the sequestration, the Department of Defense (DoD) must cut $1 trillion from its budget. Arizona has the sixth largest share of DoD contracts, and stands to lose as much as $2.3 billion in annual revenue on account of sequestration-based cuts.  Until it happens, however, the size or effects of the cuts in Arizona remain ambiguous.

In anticipation of these massive cuts, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) – along with its Economic Development Directors Team and the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce – last year undertook a major market intelligence initiative to determine the existing strengths and weaknesses of Arizona’s aerospace and defense companies. Based on this data snapshot, the analysis also sought to understand the potential impact of sequestration on our local companies, communities, workforce and innovation base.

“As part of GPEC’s program, I personally sat down with several aerospace and defense companies located in Phoenix. The message I heard from them was resoundingly clear – the uncertainty over the timing and severity of these cuts has many of them paralyzed, and they want guidance,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “With 49,000 Arizona aerospace and defense jobs at stake, it’s critical that our federal leaders work together to avert this crisis or at least provide a strategic direction for where we go on March 2 and beyond.”

“Sequestration is a bad way to budget. Local companies and individuals get caught up in a political game that does little to solve our nation’s long-term financial challenges,” Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said. “Washington should follow the example of cities and make smart cuts to fix the budget rather than making arbitrary cuts that do more harm than good.”

The program consisted of two main components. The first developed an in-depth profile and analysis of 114 local companies identified by GPEC using data from the Office of Management and Budget. The second was an extensive door-to-door outreach effort to these companies, conducted by mayors, local chambers of commerce, GPEC Ambassadors (volunteers from GEC’s member companies) and municipal economic development directors and their teams.

“As a top-ranked defense state, Arizona has much to lose with the budget cuts associated with the 2011 Budget Control Act. The West Valley, proud home to Luke Air Force Base, has worked tirelessly to protect the mission of the base and to secure the F-35 aircraft,” Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers said. “Sequestration and the drastic budget cuts to defense and aerospace will undermine the efforts of the communities in the West Valley and negatively impact our local economy, which is tied closely to Luke Air Force Base and the defense-related industry.”

It’s also important to note that nearly 75 percent of the state’s research and development expenditures are housed within Arizona’s corporate infrastructure – companies like Intel, Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell. As such, drastic reductions in their DoD contracts could result in losses in some of the state’s most significant research programs, which affect Arizona’s science position, its universities, and opportunities for increased investments and exports.

“These looming cuts represent a crossroads for our region,” GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome said. “The region’s corporate, science, civic and government partners must convene to not only mitigate job loss but also to support and protect the region’s physical assets, workforce talent and innovation from being moved out of the market.”

The findings represent a snapshot of the Greater Phoenix region’s aerospace and defense industry for a specific period of time, from May through December 2012 when the data was collected. During this time period, sequestration was considered more of a threat and less of a reality.

Top-line analysis revealed that 76 percent of the companies reported to be either stable (52 percent) or expanding (24 percent). Twenty-six percent reported that their businesses were contracting – primarily companies and operations where DoD contracts represent the largest share of their revenue base. Those that were expanding focused on diversification, including commercial and international markets, or DoD growth areas like intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, cyber technology, space technology and counterterrorism.

Because 2,000 companies throughout Arizona were awarded $13 billion in defense contacts in 2012 – and the industry represents 43,000 direct jobs – even a 25 percent contraction could be detrimental to one of the state’s major employment bases. For larger, Tier 1 companies, the short-term outlook is more stable as many have expanded products and services in anticipation of the cuts. However, Tier 2 companies that generally represent the industry’s supply chain are less likely to withstand the cuts due to their reliance on Tier 1 companies for contracts and subcontracts. Some of these companies have neither the access to capital or the working capital to wait it out – meaning they could be forced to lay off workers or cease operations.

Based on the program’s findings, GPEC’s five recommendations include:

1. A federal-level strategy from Arizona’s congressional leadership to either fully reverse sequestration or provide a “go forward” strategy to ensure Arizona’s aerospace and defense assets – including R&D and skilled workforce – are retained and redeployed.
2. Public and bilateral support for Governor Brewer and the Arizona Commerce Authority in their efforts to secure an FAA-designated test site.
3. A major commitment to science and technology to ensure the aerospace and defense industry’s existing knowledge and technology assets are leveraged to generate new and higher-value economic growth opportunities for our existing workforce talent while also attracting new, skill ed workers to Greater Phoenix.
4. Increased support for regional export opportunities from state and regional leaders.
5. An ongoing commitment to business retention and expansion, particularly with regards to sequestration.

To view the Aerospace and Defense Market Intelligence Report in its entirety, as well as all five recommendations, please visit http://www.gpec.org/aerospace.

boeing-phantom-ray

It takes fuel to win tech race

Many of us can relate to thinking of Arizona’s economy as an automobile race. To win, you need a smooth race course, a fast car, a winning driver and high-powered fuel.
Carrying that analogy into Arizona’s technology sector, it’s clear that a lot of resources have been invested and progress has been made in building a world-class race course.  We’ve made tremendous strides in creating a business climate and technology environment for facilitating both private and public sector support to address the needs of Arizona’s technology businesses.

The Arizona Technology Council has worked collaboratively with many different technology champions to build this course. Technology issues are supported by the Governor’s office, the state’s legislature, the Arizona Commerce Authority, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and more.

Technology incubators and shared space facilities such as Gangplank in Chandler, Avondale and Tucson; Hackspace and Venture Catalyst at ASU’s SkySong in Scottsdale; BioInspire in Peoria; Innovation Incubator in Chandler; AzCI in Tucson; and AZ Disruptors in Scottsdale are making sure that today’s innovators are being given the right support, tools and environment to create the next big thing.

Collectively, our wins have included the passage of a tax credit for qualified research and development that is the best in the nation, the creation of the first statewide Arizona SciTech Festival and the birth of the Arizona Innovation Institute, to name a few.
Arizona’s technology industry also has great race cars. These are the technologies and intellectual property that create wealth and jobs driven by both Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs.  Companies such as Intel, Microchip Technologies, Freescale, ON Semiconductor and Avnet can all be found here.  Nearly all of the largest aerospace and defense prime contractors in the nation are located in Arizona, including Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

The state’s entrepreneurial spirit is reflected in companies such as WebPT, Infusionsoft, Axosoft, iLinc and Go Daddy that were founded in Arizona along with the many innovators that are coming to the table every day with new ideas rich in technology.

These companies large and small are driven by some of the greatest race car drivers the nation has produced.

But when it comes to fuel, Arizona’s economy has always been running close to empty. We lack the vital capital needed to win the race. Having access to angel investors, venture capital and private equity as well as debt instruments is critical to Arizona’s success.
The situation has not been improving on the equity side of the fuel equation. To offer some relief, the Arizona Technology Council is proposing legislation that would create a system of contingent tax credits to incentivize both in-state and out-of-state investors to capitalize Arizona companies.  This program, called the Arizona Fund of Funds, would allow the state to offer $100 million in tax incentives to minimize the risk for those seeking to invest in high-growth companies.  The state government’s role would be to serve as a guarantor through these contingent tax credits in case the investments don’t yield the projected results.  Expect more information on this important piece of legislation as it advances.

On the debt side of the fuel equation, there are encouraging signs that the worst of the credit crunch may be over. Early-stage companies need access to debt instruments, or loans. Capital is needed for equipment and expansion. A line of credit can help early-stage companies through ongoing cash-flow issues. But loan activity is still modest in Arizona for small companies. It remains heavily weighted toward the strongest corporate and consumer borrowers.

Capital goes hand in hand with innovation, high-paying jobs and cutting-edge technology, products and services. Before Arizona’s economy can win the race, we will need to become more self-sufficient at providing the fuel necessary to be a winner.

Steven G. Zylstra is president and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council.

Mayor Rogers-web

Avondale mayor named NLC president

The mayor of Avondale has been named as the leader of the National League of Cities.

The NLC made the announcement Saturday that Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers would be the organization’s president for 2013.

Rogers says she is deeply honored to be elected to the one-year position.

The vote on a new president came at the end of the NLC’s annual Congress of Cities and Exposition in Boston.

The Arizona native grew up picking cotton alongside her parents, who were migrant farm workers. She was a social worker and city councilwoman before being elected mayor in 2006.

Officers in the NLC are charged with directing the organization’s advocacy and membership activities for the coming year.

Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone Opens Up Business Possibilities In The West Valley

At a time when the West Valley could use an economic boost, officials have put the finishing touches on the proposed Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone. Under the administration of WESTMARC, an acronym for Western Maricopa Coalition, this new Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) is seen as a welcome economic development tool that will spawn jobs and millions of dollars in new investment.

Participating cities are Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Goodyear, Peoria and Surprise. Initially, four sites in three of the cities have applied for FTZ status: two in Goodyear at Interstate 10 and Loop 303, one in Surprise near Bell Road, and one west of Buckeye in an unincorporated area. The Greater Maricopa Foreign Trade Zone is actually a series of trade zones, with each city acting independently but represented by WESTMARC.

Federal approval of WESTMARC’s application of the overall trade zone by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security is expected before the end of the year. Launched in 1934, the federal Foreign Trade Zone program provides for reduced or eliminated federal taxes and fees in connection with imports and exports. For customs purposes, an FTZ is considered outside the United States.

Consultant Curtis Spencer, president of Houston-based IMS Worldwide, says there has been quite a bit of interest in West Valley sites from brokers looking for build-to-suit opportunities, particularly for solar and other manufacturers.

Spencer says developers generally pay the initial fee of about $50,000 to be in the FTZ depending on proposed use. Companies locating in an FTZ also pay an annual fee, but Spencer estimates the savings to a company can range from $300,000 to $1 million a year.

A typical business in an FTZ pays wages 7 percent to 8 percent more than a similar company not involved in exporting and importing, and employs 10 percent to 20 percent more workers, Spencer says.

“Foreign Trade Zone activities now exceed the statistical equivalent of imports and exports carried by truck into and out of Canada and Mexico,” Spencer says. “It’s a significant portion of our economy.”

A company in the West Valley area that decides to seek FTZ status puts in an application that will go through WESTMARC, which holds the federal permit, and on to the federal Foreign Trade Zone board. Zones are not limited to the four that have been selected. Likely candidate businesses for an FTZ range from high-tech manufacturers to distributors.

“It should give a major boost in investment and job creation,” Spencer says. “In the next 10 years we should have added hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of new investment.”

Basically, FTZs speed up the supply chain, reduce importing costs and provide better security, Spencer says.

“It’s faster, cheaper and better,” he adds.

Regarding security, companies that have been certified for FTZ status by federal authorities undergo extreme scrutiny, and therefore are not likely to be dealing with unfriendly countries or terrorist organizations. Concern over the importation of contraband has heightened since the attacks of 9/11.

Harry Paxton, economic development director for the city of Goodyear, says participating cities can use the FTZ as a marketing tool.

“It says that these communities are ready to accept businesses involved in international commerce,” he says.

Goodyear, which was among the first to express an interest in establishing an FTZ three years ago, hopes to fill some existing buildings by offering significant property tax breaks. Personal and real property taxes in an Arizona FTZ are cut by 75 percent.

But the perception that such tax reductions will have a negative impact on a city is incorrect, Paxton says. The assessed valuation of an activated FTZ reduces to 5 percent from 20 percent, but still generates additional revenue when compared to agricultural-use sites that collect $300 per 10 acres. What’s more, Paxton says, the FTZ becomes a catalyst for other development not requiring FTZ tax benefits, resulting in a full tax rate on those businesses.

“It’s a win-win,” he says. “It helps us become more competitive.”

Mitch Rosen, director of office and industrial development for SunCor Development Company, says his company owns 250 acres that will be part of the FTZ.

“The reason we’re interested is that we believe it to be an exceptional tool to stimulate the economic development of the West Valley,” he says. “It’s a good way to stimulate quality employment and it creates a competitive advantage for Arizona and the West Valley. It encourages businesses throughout the country to elect to locate in the West Valley.”

Jack Lunsford, president and CEO of WESTMARC, expects FTZs to spring up throughout the sprawling West Valley as cities become more aware of the benefits.

“We are thrilled,” he says, “to help bring this economic development tool to our West Valley communities that will assist them, especially at a time like this.”

www.imsw.com | www.suncoraz.com | www.ci.goodyear.az.us

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Workflow

Work Flow Software Can Maximize Your Company’s Efficiency

About a year ago, Kevin Hinderleider, IT director for the city of Avondale, needed to solve a particular problem. He had more than 20 projects going on at any one time and was looking for a portfolio-management solution to ensure none fell through the cracks.

His research led him to Daptiv, a Seattle-based company that provides on-demand collaborative business software solutions. Hinderleider decided Daptiv was not only the most comprehensive program for his needs, but also was easy to use and reasonably priced. After signing up for the hosted software, he discovered an unexpected bonus.

“What we got out of it was an enhanced kind of workflow that we weren’t really anticipating,” Hinderleider says. “We’ve come to find out that it has the ability for routing of approvals for documents, routing of approvals for projects so someone can initiate a project request and it gets approved based upon the level of complexity of tracking the project, the resources available, staff, money — all that kind of standard stuff.

“We didn’t have a specific need for workflow upfront. What I did have upfront was the necessity to be able to make sure we kept the documents and all the tasks about a project together. What was a benefit in the end was it had that workflow.”

Workflow management is exactly what the term suggests. It’s a process by which work flows through an organization. It’s also something that has caught the attention of major software companies such as IBM, Xerox and Microsoft, as well as a plethora of smaller firms that offer everything from Web-based solutions to industry-specific programs.

Workflow has become an essential part of business software suites, along with document management, project management and other key applications.

Matthew Bather is the Synergy product marketing manager for Exact Software North America, which is headquartered in Andover, Mass., and counts several Arizona companies among its clients. They include Boon Inc. in Chandler, American Beverage Systems in Phoenix and Regenesis Biomedical Inc. in Scottsdale. Bather uses the example of an expense claim to demonstrate how an automated workflow tool simplifies a basic process.

In the past, an employee might have to fill out an expense form, package it with receipts, send it to the accounting department and wait for reimbursement.

“Now the delivery of that mechanism is entirely possible through the application, such as Synergy, where that business process of an expense claim has a certain workflow behind it,” Bather says. “You submit that expense claim and you can see where it is down the stream as it flows through the business process.”

One common misconception is that the more micro-based workflow management and business process management, or BPM, are one and the same.

“Business process management is more holistic in nature,” Bather says. “It strives to improve the performance and efficiency of the organization as it relates to the entire process. … But there is a lot of gray area. Some organizations say workflow when they mean BPM and vice versa.”

Both capabilities are typically included in business suites, as is the case with the Web-based Synergy program.

Dirk Karsten Beth, president of Mission3 in Phoenix, has a life sciences industry-specific suite that helps companies manage their entire product development process. Although workflow is part of Mission3, Beth warns that it can be problematic.

“I’ve implemented all the major workflow systems out there in the past and that was one area where I found that there were a lot of areas for failure if it wasn’t implemented right,” he says. “Which means it’s great for really rigid processes, but once there’s a diversion from that rigid process it can fall apart.

“So if you try to add workflow to every area of your business, it’s going to be really challenging. But if you use it judiciously, especially in areas where it’s required and you have to document everything you’re doing, then it works really well and can add real significant value.”

He’s a proponent of service-based online software solutions because they allow users to work with it, grow with it or transition out of it if it doesn’t meet a company’s needs.

With so many options available, deciding what will work best for your situation can be overwhelming. Pat Sullivan, CEO of Flypaper Studio Inc. in Phoenix, has an impressive track record in business software, starting as the driving force behind such programs as ACT! and SalesLogix. Today, he sits on the boards of three emerging software companies. He offers sound advice for anyone considering a software purchase.

“It’s generally fairly easy to find unbiased reviews from customers who are actually using the product,” he says. “On various forums, on even the vendor’s Web site or related Web sites, you generally are able to read what real people have really said. That is what I look for.”

He also suggests getting demonstrations and visiting businesses that are using the product in question to seek feedback from those actually working with the software. “That’s probably better information than you’re ever going to get from the (software) company’s Web site or the company’s salespeople,” Sullivan says.

For more information about Workflow software visit, exactamerica.com, mission3.com, daptiv.com, or flypaper.com.

AZ Business Magazine September 2008