New Y2K Question: Key Business Relationships

Manufacturing Year 2K

Technology Dialogue

Biotech’s Year

Prospect’s Networks

Reporting on Bias

IEEE Sarnoff

Buttoning Down

Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

(These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on December 2,

1998. All rights reserved.)

Dreams of Bonuses More Meaningful Than Money

During the holiday season, it’s easy to see the value

of gift giving, but for Bill Dorf of Special Recognition the

trick is to get clients to give gifts all year long. That’s because

the Whitehouse Station-based firm specializes in putting together

motivational and incentive programs of all types for employees and

business clients.

Dorf will conduct a seminar on non-monetary incentives at the

Middlesex

Chamber of Commerce Business Over Breakfast series Wednesday, December

9, at 8 a.m. at the Brunswick Hilton in East Brunswick. Cost: $30.

Call 732-821-1700.

Special Recognition is a distributor of incentives from major

electronics

companies, gift ware companies and sporting goods companies. Service

and "lifestyle" based incentives such as trips, maid services,

sauna/spa, and landscaping services are also part of the non-monetary

mix.

Dorf contends that a non-monetary item won by an employee recipient

as part of a corporate incentive program has more lasting value than

cash for both the company and the recipient. "Money is spent once

and then forgotten," says Dorf, "but a gift like a television

will be enjoyed not only by the recipient, but by his or her family

as well. Every time they turn the set on, they’re going to remember

where it came from."

Dorf cites four reasons why cash as an incentive does not work as

well as a long term non-monetary reward program:

Cash is considered part of income.

Cash has no trophy value. "When was the last time

you showed someone your paycheck," says Dorf.

Cash has a poor perceived value. "People will spend

cash like it’s nothing. They’ll go out and buy lottery tickets.")

Cash programs generally lack specific goals.

"Incentive

programs create a situation where the participant `goes for the gold.’

Each time another hurdle is crossed there is always that next level

of incentive items to go for."

Incentives are useful for encouraging what Dorf calls

"optional

behavior," which he defines as "creating a situation where

people will do something that they ordinarily won’t." Take the

example of the dairy company that had a real problem with plastic

milk crates not being picked up by their dairy truck drivers. Each

carton was worth $38. An incentive program was developed that rewarded

the drivers the equivalent of about $1 per crate for bringing in a

set number of crates. The program worked so well, "that they

started

bringing back competitors’ crates." The company, "went from

a $70,000 loss to an actual gain over a six-month period," says

Dorf.

Dorf, 53, was one of the original founders of Rickel Home Centers

and also started a warehouse home center in Florida, which eventually

became Home Depot. He got involved in the incentive business through

a friend. "I saw a definite need in corporate America to motivate

employees, salespeople and customers," says Dorf.

He has worked with corporate giants J.C. Penney and Supermarket

General

and has been at Special Recognition since 1985. He majored in

political

science and business administration at C.W. Post and has an MBA from

the University of Michigan. He is married with two grown daughters.

The journey towards building a quality incentive program begins by

sitting down with the client to see what the problems are at a

particular

company. Many questions are asked of clients and prospective clients

as to industry status, competitive information, and client strong

and weak points. "Everything is customized for each client,"

says Dorf. "Every single company has its own situation due to

the industry, employee base, the working environment." The package

the firm puts together for real estate offices to motivate real estate

agents to work longer hours to increase listings and sales will be

very different from the program it develops for a large pharmaceutical

manufacturer that is concerned about safety in its packaging area.

Small business owners sometimes feel that planned incentive programs

are something only large corporations can afford to do. But Dorf feels

that is not the case at all. "Motivating employees is motivating

employees is motivating employees, it doesn’t matter how large or

small you are.

— Jeff Lippincott

Top Of Page
New Y2K Question: Key Business Relationships

In dealing with the Year 2K problem, a business must

carefully examine all key business relationships and then

"consider

how the Y2K problem could disrupt those relationships," says

Calvin

A. Jones, an attorney with Reed Smith Shaw & McClay at Forrestal

Village.

Jones co-hosts a workshop presented at the Hyatt on Thursday, December

3, at 8 a.m. Geared for health care and insurance firms, it is part

of a series sponsored by Technology New Jersey. Call 609-419-4444.

Jones is experienced in representing health care providers in dispute

resolution, reimbursement and regulatory matters. He will be

discussing

methods for limiting liability and how critical business relationships

may be soured or destroyed by the Y2K problem.

Jones will be joined by Stephen L. Grimes, a biomedical engineer

who has assisted in the development of clinical engineering shared

services for hospitals and established risk management systems for

medical technology in 150 hospitals, will speak on the implication

of the Year 2000 problem as it relates to the use of medical devices

in hospitals and other health care organizations.

It is not enough to simply determine how the systems in one’s own

company will be affected, Jones says, it’s important to consider how

the systems of key business partners will be affected. "The issue

for most companies isn’t so much who is going to sue us or even who

can we sue, but a more practical problem is will this Year 2K problem

cause a commercial divorce to occur for me," says Jones.

Jones contends that it is a firm’s legal duty to conduct internal

investigations to determine what could go wrong for them and external

investigations of the companies they do business with. "Among

the things a firm should be doing, and they should consult an attorney

on this, is determine whether business partners can get out of their

contract if there is a Y2K problem," says Jones. "If there’s

a big enough problem, people are going to look at their contracts

and say `hey can I get out of this thing.’ People are going to get

mad at each other and the question is will they be able to get out

of their contract."

Another factor to consider: Y2K could be a convenient scapegoat for

any number of other business difficulties from which a company might

want to extricate itself. "There may be strains in existing

business

relationships, maybe market conditions have changed so that somebody

is not getting the kind of deal they thought they were getting, and

they’re looking for a way to get out of a deal," said Jones.

Getting to know your customers and suppliers and keeping them happy

are vital considerations in successfully meeting Year 2000 challenges.

Companies who really investigate their key business relationships

from the perspective of identifying potential Y2K snafus early on

will be able to ideally solve the problem and at the very least be

able to say, "I didn’t ignore this problem, I did everything I

could and look at what I did."

Jones, 37, has been with Reed Smith for a year and a half. Before

that he practiced law with a North Jersey firm, Sills Cummis, and

with Stroock Stroock and Lavan on Wall Street. A New Hampshire native,

he majored in accounting at Northeastern University and has a law

degree from Boston College.

For hospitals, Jones says, "the key relationship is the

relationship

between the hospital and the physicians who practice there."

Without

the referrals from physicians, the financial health of the institution

could be threatened. With a few exceptions, doctors in New Jersey

hospitals are not employees of a hospital and are free to refer

patients

to any of a number of hospitals. "If the physicians have a serious

(Y2K) problem with a particular hospital, they could very well refer

their patients to another hospital, and that would have serious

business

consequences for the hospital," says Jones.

Because of the importance of this business relationship, hospitals

are looking for ways to develop relationships with physicians. One

way hospitals accomplish this is through the formation of separate

legal entities for medical billing purposes called physician hospital

organizations (PHO). If there is a serious Y2K problem at the PHO

that delays doctor reimbursement, the doctors could blame the

hospital.

"The PHO has to be sensitive to those issues," says Jones.

Physicians need to be concerned with the management service

organizations

(MSO) that many of them subscribe to. MSOs typically provide

administrative

functions for a physicians group. Jones feels that doctors need to

be cognizant of how the MSO will deal with the Y2K issue. Conversely,

MSOs need to be concerned for the same reasons. "If the physicians

don’t get paid or if there is some other problem that causes concern

to the physicians, the physicians may say, you know what, can we get

out of this contract," said Jones, "or maybe the physicians

think they can get a better deal someplace else and along comes the

Y2K problem and gives them an excuse."

— Jeff Lippincott

Top Of Page
Manufacturing Year 2K

Manufacturers: You may find yourself unprotected from

assaults on your business-critical site processes if you concentrated

your Year 2000 efforts on code remediation and spent little effort

on business-risk analysis. John C. O’Connor, Year 2000 project

manager for Philips Lighting Company in Somerset, will give this

warning

at a Technology New Jersey seminar on Tuesday, December 8, at 8 a.m.

at the Hyatt. Cost: $30. Call 609-419-4444.

O’Connor will talk about risk identification and analysis and show

how a business continuance plan can be created. The seminar is

co-sponsored

by the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program Inc. and

Manufacturing

Marketplace.

Steven E.C. Sroczynski, director of channel, sales, and

marketing

at Visionet Systems Inc., will discuss how Time Dimensional Analysis

can be used to make sure an application is Year 2000 compliant. In

his presentation "Testing Across the Millennium." Sroczynski

will explore date fields within an application, critical dates, and

why testing a system is so important.

Learn about the Y2K Self-help Tool, a computer-based process developed

by the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help manufacturers in

Y2K efforts, from Mitchell Darer, director of the Center for

Information Age Technology at NJIT. In his presentation "Y2K and

the Manufacturer," Darer will discuss the best approaches to

dealing

with Y2K such as inventory, mission-critical systems assessment,

contingency

plans development, and remediation project planning and management.

Top Of Page
Technology Dialogue

What works for Video Valley can also work for biotech

and medical research, as three electronics firms (Siemens, Sarnoff,

and NEC) have demonstrated (U.S. 1, November 18). But more needs to

be done, says Dan Tripodi of the Sage Group, to link

telecommunications

firms with biotech researchers.

"AT&T has so much technology that is applicable to biotech, and

it is untapped," says Tripodi. "That is true with many of

the companies throughout New Jersey." Tripodi is a founding

partner

of the Bridgewater-based Sage Group, which provides biotechnology

consulting services for early stage companies.

A football player at the University of Delaware, Class of 1960,

Tripodi

has a PhD in immunochemistry from Temple and spent 20 years with J&J,

most recently as vice president of R&D for Therakos. He co-founded

the six-partner Sage Group in 1995. His current venture is a company

hoping to use data on brain function to more effectively diagnose

central nervous system diseases and choose which drug to prescribe.

"My recommendation would be to come up with some ways to force

the dialogue. The dialogue is not occurring," says Tripodi.

"New

York State, Delaware, and Utah have done a pretty good job, even

California.

There is no mechanism in New Jersey to do that."

Here’s how Tripodi says his plan would work: Quarterly or semi-annual

meetings would be held for an invited group of R&D directors,

different

groups each time, with an agenda tailor-made for the particular group.

"You limit it to 10 or 12 people and pick six or seven people

on each side. I found out that by locking these guys up together,

and really going through five or six key issues, they come away with

a hell of a lot more understanding of what each other is doing, and

perhaps how they could cooperate."

"Biotechnology Council of New Jersey would love to be involved

with something like that," says Debbie Hart, BCNJ’s

executive

director.

Individual companies can’t do it on their own, Tripodi says. Sarnoff

is doing some of this video-to-biotech transfer, he admits, but

Sarnoff

limits itself to its own in-house technology. R&D directors are

usually

too busy to think about networking. "If I were running the

division

for Bell Labs, I would be busy putting out fires. The same thing is

true for a guy with a biotech company who is not aware of the

technology

to be tapped."

Top Of Page
Biotech’s Year

Biotech is almost impossible to define, says Donald

Drakeman, CEO of Medarex and president of the Biotechnology Council

of New Jersey (BCNJ). Drakeman compares it to the definition of

pornography

produced by the supreme court judge. The judge ended up not being

able to define pornography, though he "knew it when he saw

it."

"The strictest definition is the use of biological sciences

derived

from living cells (such as recombinant DNA or monoclonal antibodies)

for the development of products in any field," says Drakeman.

"But that would exclude a lot of people. Anyone who wants to

pursue

the kind of goals we are pursuing is more than welcome," says

Drakeman.

At BCNJ’s annual meeting on Thursday, December 3, at 5:15 p.m. at

the Nassau Inn. Robert S. Esposito and Gordon V. Ramseier

will present their annual biotech industry report. Esposito is the

Lenox Drive-based national director of biotechnology and life sciences

at KPMG Peat Marwick. Ramseier is executive director of the

Bridgewater-based

Sage Group. Their report will cover the stock market downturn, Celgene

bringing a product to market, and the multi-million dollar deal that

Medarex made with Novartis. An "Industry Executive of the

Year"

will be named. Cost: $85. Call 609-890-3185.

Drakeman will talk about how BCNJ has worked to provide new

opportunities

to access capital for the biotech industry. BCNJ helped engineer an

unusual way for young companies to sell tax credits to larger, older

companies. It goes into effect next year. "A couple of years ago

we worked so that the state pension funds could invest in biotech.

And now we’ve got this. This is really pathbreaking," says

Drakeman.

"Other states are looking to model it."

Cash flow is even more important for biotech companies than for most

other technology-based firms, in part because biotech products take

an inordinate length of time to develop. Wall Street has been

relatively

uninterested in biotech for the last couple of years, says Drakeman.

"Especially for companies with market values of less than $500

million, there have been no IPO opportunities to speak of, and scant

few secondary opportunities." Yes, he admits, the market in

general

is unkind to IPOs, but the biotech segment has been lower for longer

than most.

Says Drakeman: "The way the industry has tended to define itself

— if you are in the drug development business and are losing

money,

you are doing biotech."

Top Of Page
Prospect’s Networks

Prospect House, the former residence of Woodrow Wilson

when he was president of Princeton University, serves as the faculty

club for Princeton University and, as such, it is closed to the

general

public. But at least twice during December the general public can

gain admission — with appropriate payment of course — to see

Prospect House decked out in all its holiday glory.

The Mercer Chapter of the New Jersey Association of Women Business

Owners will host its holiday celebration at Princeton University Art

Museum and the historic Prospect House on Tuesday, December 15, at

4 p.m., starting with at tour of the museum and continuing with

cocktails

and dinner at Prospect. Cost: $37. Mail checks by December 6 to NJAWBO

Holiday Party, Box 2384, Princeton 08543. Include your address, and

tickets will be mailed to you. Call 609-924-7975 for information.

The second opportunity is less cut-and-dried. You may have to ante

up a nice contribution, but it would be to a worthy cause. Vivian

Shapiro is on the board of Isles Inc., which will kick off its

$3.5 capital campaign on Thursday, December 3, 4:30 to 6 p.m. at

Prospect

House. She will speak at the event, and so will her husband Harold

Shapiro the university’s president. Other honorary co-chairs of

the event are Paul Volcker, Federal Reserve chairman, and

Bill

Bradley, former U.S. Senator. Actual co-chairs are Thomas

Bracken

of First Union Bank, Barbara Coe, and Sam Hamill. Lots

of heavy hitters are helping this 17-year-old charity.

Call Debby D’Arcangelo, Isles’ campaign director, at

609-393-5656,

extension 14, to find out how to get on the heavy hitters list and

get an invitation to this event. Money raised will create an endowment

plus establish an urban Environmental Education Center in Trenton’s

Cadwalader Park.

For the third chance to see Prospect House you need to be able to

get something out of a lecture entitled "Design and Development

of an Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist: a Case Study in Drug

Discovery,"

by John Primeau of Wyeth-Ayerst Research. The Princeton chapter

of the American Chemical Society starts its meeting on Thursday,

December

10, at 6 p.m., with a $20 dinner at Prospect House, then moves to

Frick 324 for the lecture. Call 609-258-3922 for reservations.

Top Of Page
Reporting on Bias

The New York Times did indeed discriminate against its

women reporters, as Nan Robertson documented in her 1992 book

"The Girls in the Balcony: Women, Men, and the New York

Times."

Robertson appears on a panel with two women who sued the Paper of

Record, Betsy Wade (Boylan) and Grace Glueck. "Twenty

Years Later: Women’s Progress in Journalism since Boylan v. The New

York Times," will be presented on Wednesday, December 9, with

a reception at 5 p.m. and the panel at 5:30 p.m., at Rutgers Center

for Women and Work, Crockett Building, 162 Ryders Lane, Douglass

Campus.

It is free to those who register. Call 732-932-1463.

Boylan v. the New York Times was a class-action discrimination suit

filed by women journalists at the New York Times. The suit was settled

out of court 20 years ago; it led to wage equity and increased

promotion

and hiring of women at the Times, while heightening public awareness

of women’s roles in journalism. Boylan was the Times chief copy editor

on the foreign desk at the time of the suit and is now its travel

columnist; Glueck retired as a Times’ art critic in 1991.

The panel is co-sponsored by Rutgers School of Communication,

Information

and Library Studies, and the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Boylan

and Glueck will be joined by Robertson, a Pulitzer Prize winner who

teaches journalism at the University of Maryland, and Kathy Barrett

Carter, a Star-Ledger reporter who covers education issues and

the appellate court. Journalism professor Linda Steiner will

moderate.

Top Of Page
IEEE Sarnoff

The latest in wired and wireless communications will

be on display at the 14th annual IEEE Sarnoff Symposium, scheduled

for the College of New Jersey on Wednesday, March 17. Area college

students are invited to submit poster presentations. Topics include

Systems on a Chip, Digital TV, Cable Systems, Small Office/Home Office

Technology, and Antennas. A cash prize will be awarded for the best

student poster presented.

The symposium will be co-chaired by John Riganati, technical

director of communications systems and networking, and Stewart

Perlow, head of wireless components, both of Sarnoff Corporation.

Over 50 exhibitors from top communications companies will display

their technologies.

The event is co-sponsored by IEEE Princeton Section, the College of

New Jersey Engineering Department, the College of New Jersey IEEE

Student Branch, and the Sarnoff Corporation. For more information

on the student paper competition call Desiree McDermott at

609-734-2430.

E-mail: dmcdermott@sarnoff.com

Top Of Page
Buttoning Down

Parties

Both hosts and guests need to prepare for holiday

parties,

say the spin doctors and the underwriters. Hosts need to keep from

serving too much alcohol, so that their guests not get involved in

an accident. Guests, in addition to going slow on the booze, should

remember to think of the party as a business opportunity.

Prepare for a holiday party like you would get ready for a business

meeting, says Peter Giulano of Executive Communications Group,

based in Engleside. He has these tips on how to make an impact on

your cohorts and your bosses. These strategies are also useful at

purely social occasions.

Know who your audience will be and their point of view.

Show others that you are more than the person they see in the office

— know what’s going on in the world and have a variety of

conversational

topics in your head. Plan to discuss more than just "shop

talk,"

office gossip, and gripes. Have an appropriate toast, anecdote, or

funny story to entertain your audience if called upon.

Rehearse. People pay attention to those who speak crisply,

complete their sentences and have a logical flow in what they say.

If you want to make an impression, say "memorable" things

in a memorable fashion. You can do this by rehearsing — say it

aloud, tape it, and listen how you sound.

Avoid taboo subjects like religion, politics, or sensitive

business issues such as rumors of downsizing.

Let your ears work harder than your mouth. When you simply

listen, you can be perceived as a brilliant communicator. You’ll

strengthen

and deepen your relationships by communicating through the way you

listen. Also, asking well thought out, open-ended questions shows

sincerity and interest.

Have a positive attitude. People do not want to interact

with someone who spends time at a party crying in their beer about

a bad work situation at work, home, or in every day life, especially

around the holidays. Besides, having a positive attitude has

advantages

for life and business, and brings an upbeat tone to the party.

Present yourself positively. Keep your posture erect but

not too stiff. Limit yourself to one drink. Remember you are there

to see and be seen.

"Hosts have a double duty now more than ever," says

Andrew C. Harris, President of Professional Insurance Agents

of New Jersey (PINJ), based at 28 West State Street in Trenton.

"Hosts

must be courteous and entertaining, but they most also be responsible

and conscientious about the alcohol they serve."

He has these tips for hosts:

Serve alcoholic drinks only upon request.

Entertain with music, games, and dancing. Avoid making

alcohol the main focus of the social event.

Always serve food when serving alcohol.

Be careful about minors. Limit access to bar if minors

are on the guest list.

Call the last call early. Switch to nonalcoholic beverages

and dessert one or two hours before the end of the party.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

<B>IBM Corporation announced the donation of 12 IBM

Pentium desktop computers and one IBM Think Pad to support various

agencies throughout the greater Mercer County area. The donation is

part of a nationwide contribution being distributed through Gifts

In Kind International, the leading charity in the field of product

philanthropy (U.S. 1, September 2).

Nationwide, IBM’s donation will provide over 2,700 Pentium desktop

computers and 250 ThinkPads valued at $5 million to support more than

1,000 charities nationwide. The computers were distributed to

charities

that provide youth education, adult training, literacy programs, and

support for the disabled/disadvantaged.

Comcast donated a total of $9,000 raised through its Third

Annual

Charity Sports Tournament to six chapters of Literacy Volunteers of

America/New Jersey Affiliates.

"We are extremely gratified to be able to help Literacy Volunteers

of America in New Jersey, as the financial contributions will funnel

towards those adults most in need of strengthening their reading,

writing, and speaking skills," says Joseph J. Fischer, area

vice president, Comcast, who presented the donations to the executive

directors of the chapters.


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