Come to think of it

June 16, 2009

Has the recent turndown in the economy had an effect on your business?

What steps have you taken to tighten the belt?

Did you reduce the workforce? 

Did you reduce or drop employee benefits? 

In difficult times you may find you have to think outside the box. Reducing the workforce and employee benefits are obvious choices. 

There are diamonds in the rough out there! 

Where you ask? If you only knew!

 Most companies budget for expenses and never really drill down to see if there are opportunities for savings.

 Deregulated Energy: Natural Gas and Electric

 Is your company paying more than $5000 a month on natural gas or electric for your building! 

The deregulated Gas and electric market is the lowest it has been in the last 3 to 4 years. 

Our clients are saving from 15% to 30% on natural gas. 

 

Just in the last week, we saved a client over $45,000 by locking in their Natural gas for the next 12 months.

 

Our electric clients are saving from 6% to 15%

 

Just last week, a client saved over $94,000 by locking in their electric for the next 12 months.

 

How much do you think your company may qualify to save?

The local provider buys gas and electric in the wholesale marker and sells it to you retail.

We put our clients in the wholesale position.

 The savings is yours and falls to the bottom line!

 Voice and Data:

Here is the real sleeper. Many companies feel they wear a safety blanket for they have Verizon or ATT as their provider.

You are paying a premium for that blanket!

Deregulation allows third party providers to use the Verizon / ATT platform and deliver voice to their clients at a discount.

 Our clients are saving from 15% to 40% on their monthly Voice and Data Billing. 

What is 25% of your bill?

 Come to think of it, we haven’t looked at these costs recently?

 Call Hutchinson Business Solutions 856-857-1230. There is no fee for our services!

 Or you can email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Let the savings begin!!!!!

WASHINGTON — Federal policy makers have concluded that the turmoil plaguing the housing and financial markets is likely to spill deep into 2009, becoming one of the most significant domestic problems to confront the next president when he steps into the White House in January.

 

Ben S Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, publicly indicated on Tuesday that he believes the problems will persist into next year when he outlined a series of steps the Fed is considering in the coming months.  

 

One such step would extend low-interest lending programs to Wall Street’s largest investment banks into next year. The programs, one of which was set to expire in September, can continue only if the Fed issues a finding that there are “unusual and exigent circumstances” that justify them.

 

Mr. Bernanke also recommended that Congress grant the Fed broader authority to monitor and supervise the financial markets to assure greater stability in the future. But with time running out on this session, lawmakers are unlikely to adopt such legislation before next year.

 

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said in a speech last week in London that the problems of the housing and financial markets might last longer than originally expected.

He followed up in another speech on Tuesday by saying that the Bush administration was working to prevent as many home foreclosures as possible, but that “many of today’s unusually high number of foreclosures are not preventable.” Mr. Paulson said 1.5 million home foreclosures were started in 2007 and that an estimated 2.5 million more would take place this year.

 

Still, the markets seemed reassured that Washington officials were redoubling their efforts to resuscitate the weak housing sector, despite the downbeat comments. The Dow Jones industrial average, which has fallen sharply in recent weeks, closed up 1.4 percent, or 152 points.

 

Mr. Bernanke said that the Fed would issue next week long-awaited rules to restrict new exotic mortgages and high-cost loans for people with weak credit. Such mortgages have been a central cause of the current market problems.

 

The Federal Housing Administration will also begin an expanded effort next week to help a larger group of troubled homeowners refinance their adjustable mortgages. Under the plan, homeowners would be eligible to refinance even if they have missed up to three monthly mortgage payments over the previous 12 months.

 

Homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments because of job loss, declining wages and family illness would also be eligible, even if their rates have not increased. Homeowners are now eligible only if they were current on their mortgages before their interest rate was adjusted upward.

 

For its part, Congress is close to completing legislation on a $300 billion foreclosure-rescue plan that would help troubled borrowers refinance into more affordable loans insured by the federal government. The Senate is expected to approve a measure by next week.

 

The Fed created the lending programs to Wall Street in March as part of a broader effort to prevent financial institutions from collapsing, as Bear Stearns nearly did before it was sold under heavy pressure from the Fed and the Bush administration to JPMorgan Chase.

The lending programs to the investment banks, a broad expansion of the Fed’s historic practice of providing loans only to commercial banks that the Fed supervises, are intended to provide confidence to financial institutions that they will have enough cash to meet their daily needs. And by permitting investment banks to post collateral for Fed loans, including hard-to-sell financial instruments backed by mortgages, the programs have helped prop up the enormous and troubled market in securities sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the all-important mortgage-finance companies.

 

The two buyers of mortgages, which together held more than $1.4 trillion of mortgage-backed bonds as of the end of last year, have struggled in recent months through the wave of foreclosures and declining housing markets. On Tuesday, Fannie Mae closed up nearly 12 percent, and Freddie Mac rose 13 percent, after their regulator said he would probably not force them to raise more capital because of an accounting rule change. The shares of both government-chartered companies had tumbled on Monday amid concerns over the accounting rule and worries that the worst of the mortgage crisis was yet to come.

 

Officials said that the Federal Reserve remained concerned that the declining housing market would not reach its bottom and financial markets would not become more stable before some time next year, and that the economy would continue to suffer as a result of declining consumer confidence, a sluggish global economy and the widespread effects of the rapid jump in oil prices.

 

“The financial turmoil is ongoing, and our efforts today are concentrated on helping the financial system return to more normal functioning,” Mr. Bernanke said at a forum in Virginia on lending for low- and moderate-income households. He did not provide a forecast of how soon he expected markets would begin to turn.

 

“Although short-term funding markets remain strained, they have improved somewhat since March,” Mr. Bernanke said, reflecting both the intervention of the Fed in offering loans to Wall Street and “ongoing efforts of financial firms to repair their balance sheets and increase their liquidity.”

 

 

Officials said that the Fed privately reached the view some time ago that weakness in the housing and financial sectors would likely continue well into next year. Mr. Bernanke’s comments Tuesday were not intended to signal any change in interest-rate policy.

 

 

In his speech in London, Mr. Paulson emphasized that the financial markets have yet to adapt to the changing climate. “Working through the current turmoil will take additional time, as markets and financial institutions continue to reassess risk, and re-price securities across a number of asset classes and sectors,” Mr. Paulson said.

 

The Federal Housing Administration’s expanded program to help more troubled homeowners refinance, called F.H.A. Secure, was announced in April at a time when fewer than 2,000 homeowners at risk of foreclosure had been helped by it. Housing Secretary Steven C. Preston said the expanded program would help an additional 100,000 borrowers in crisis by the end of the year. So far, more than 260,000 homeowners have refinanced through the program, the vast majority of them people who have paid their bills on time. Mr. Preston predicted that 500,000 families would be helped by year’s end.

 

Mr. Preston warned, however, that F.H.A.’s efforts could be derailed if Congress passed housing legislation that failed to safeguard the agency’s financial stability. He said he was concerned about efforts to eliminate the agency’s plans to use risk-based pricing, which would allow F.H.A. for the first time to charge higher mortgage insurance premiums to borrowers viewed as presenting a higher credit risk.

 

He said he was also concerned about efforts by some lawmakers to maintain an agency program in which the seller finances the down payment on a mortgage. The program has suffered high delinquency and foreclosure rates in recent years, and the F.H.A. hopes to eliminate it.

 

If the Senate, as expected, adopts housing legislation by next week, differences need to be ironed out in the House, which approved a similar measure in May. Though the White House has expressed some willingness to negotiate, the administration has not rescinded a veto threat.

 

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, urged Republican lawmakers to speed up the bill, which has been slowed by a procedural fight despite broad support among lawmakers in both parties. “Since the last stall on the housing bill, 85,000 more Americans have received foreclosure notices — 8,500 a day,” Mr. Reid said. “Tomorrow it will be over 90,000. Every day they squander the Senate’s precious time, the American people lose.”
Let us know your thoughts?  You can email george@hbsadvantage.com
What steps are you taking to prepare for the tough times?
Hutchinson Business Solutions
Smart Solutions for Smart Businesses
Ben S. Bernanke

 

As reported in AP

 

Wholesale prices post biggest gain in 6 months, propelled by energy and food costs

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices bolted ahead in May at the fastest pace in six months as energy and food costs marched higher.

 

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that its Producer Price Index, which measures the costs of goods before they reach store shelves, shot up 1.4 percent in May. That was up from a modest 0.2 percent rise in April and marked the biggest increase since November.

 

However, stripping out energy and food prices, which can swing widely from month to month, the “core” rate of inflation rose 0.2 percent in May, an improvement from the prior month’s 0.4 percent increase. That suggested that other prices were fairly well behaved.

 

The overall inflation rate of 1.4 percent was higher than the 1 percent rise many economists were forecasting. But the increase in core prices matched their expectations.

 

 

Our perspective:

 

Food and energy are becoming the basic necessities nowadays. Throw in medical and other insurances and that seems to be all we are working for. To cover the basics.

 

We have to take a long hard look.

 

It seems that the last 20 – 30 years our economy has skyrocketed and at the same time it is becoming unaffordable. This would tell you that we are not addressing the issues properly.

 

We must be willing to look outside the box to define and create real solutions that work and benefit all, just not a few.

 

We do this in business everyday.

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions prides itself on “ Thinking out of the box,” creating opportunities to provide savings and increase efficiencies.

 

Whether it is Business Taxes, Energy, Communications or Insurance; we are addressing these topics with an eye towards the future. 

 

We would like to know your thoughts? You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions     …….     Your CFO on the Go

 

Creating Opportunities Today…..Providing Savings for Tomorrow

 

Visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com

 

 

 

Summer is almost here and I think we had our first Heat Wave.

Lucky for us, the air conditioner went out and our office was 88 degrees for the last 2 days!

Maybe the heat got to me?

We have been working with several potential clients lately and they are with Verizon and / or ATT. When I asked them if they are happy with their service, they normally laugh and say:

 ” What service! Verizon / ATT is so difficult to deal with. You never speak to the same person twice and it takes tooooo long to just get a person.”

So why do Verizon and ATT have so many clients?

Name recognition!

When you want to order a new service, you pick up the telephone book and say, ” I guess we should just call Verizon. ”

Bigger is not always better!

Hutchinson Business Solutions have strategic partnerships with providers who do a great job servicing Verizon and ATT accounts. And the best news … they also cost less.

Our clients are saving from 15% uto 40%

As part of deregulation and to encourage competition, Verizon and ATT were told to open the door and that they could no longer be the sole providers. They were told to make their network available to other providers.

Thanks to deregulation, your telephone service will remain on the Verizon / ATT platform and your new provider will do the billing.

This amounts to a billing change that will provides savings!

Personal service is only a phone call away!

Competition is good.

Think about the normal cost for calling long distance 10 years ago. $.30 to $.50 cents a minute was not uncommon.

What are you currently paying for long distance?

If you are paying more than $.05 cents per minute, you are paying too much!

Did you know that Verizon charges local calling in message units? They assume each local call will last 5 minutes so they charge $.08 for each message unit.

Make a 6 minute local call, now you are paying 2 message units or $.16.

Suppose you were calling home and said, ” I’m on my way. ”

That cost you $.08.

Our providers charge local calling @ $.015 cents per minute. Now, doesn’t that make more sense?

Summer Special for all Verizon and ATT clients

Any current Verizon or ATT client, who contacts us as a result of reading this blog and agrees to change their telecom provider prior to 8/31/08, will recieve a 10% rebate of their 1st monthly bill with our new provider from Hutchinson Business Solutions.

Now there is no excuse!

You can increase the quality of your telecom service and we will rebate 10% of your 1st monthly bill.

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com to review and discuss your current telecom cost and receive a free proposal that will provide savings.

Yu may also visit us on the web www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com to learn more about opportunities to lower cost and increase profitability for your company.

 

Caught by the tale!

April 30, 2008

 

As reported today in Bloomberg.com

The Federal Reserve lowered the benchmark U.S. interest rate by a quarter point to 2 percent and indicated it’s ready to pause after seven cuts since September.

“The substantial easing of monetary policy to date, combined with ongoing measures to foster market liquidity, should help to promote moderate growth over time,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement after meeting today in Washington. The central bank also warned that “some indicators of inflation expectations have risen in recent months.”

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues dropped a reference to “downside risks” to the economy, while acknowledging the damage that the housing slump has wrought on the six-year expansion. Stocks surrendered gains on speculation the most aggressive monetary-policy easing in two decades is approaching an end.

“We do not expect to see a rate cut at the next few meetings without a substantial contraction of the economy,” said Christopher Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York. “We are not yet to Memorial Day weekend, but the Fed effectively told us today to take the summer off.”

Inflation Outlook

Oil prices reached another record high of $119.93 a barrel on April 28. The Fed said indicators of inflation expectations have risen.

“The committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, reflecting the projected leveling-out of energy and other commodity prices and an easing of pressures on resource utilization,” the Fed added. “It will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully,” the Fed said.

At the same time, the economy is faltering. Hours before the Fed decision, the Commerce Department reported that gross domestic product increased at an annual pace of 0.6 percent last quarter. Spending by households, the biggest part of the economy, grew at the slowest pace since 2001, when the U.S. economy was in a recession.

Our Perspective:

Where is the reality check for middle America?

Now the Fed is worrying about inflation. Food and gas prices have risen sharply! This is making it very difficult for families to keep up.

Where will we find relief?

It is getting more difficult to meet monthly expenses, let alone trying to add to our savings account.

Small and medium size businesses are caught in the crunch.

Should you find yourself dealing with these tighter dollar issues, give us a call. We are working with companies creating opportunities to lower cost. There are still many opportunities to find savings.

Don’t be complaisant! Be Proactive!

We are here to serve. Contact george@hbsadvantage.com

Visit our website www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com to learn about opportunities available to reduce cost and provide savings for your company.

 

 

As reported in Bloomberg.com

 

April 14 (Bloomberg) — Americans spent less on furniture, clothing and appliances in March as the economy faltered and more of their money went to pay for gasoline and food.

 

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, is waning as households struggle with an 11 percent jump in gas prices this year to $3.37 a gallon, a rising jobless rate and a slump in home values. Investors anticipate that the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark interest rate at least a quarter point this month to alleviate the economic downturn.

 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Monday that he believes the country is in a recession, adding “these are very, very tough times in America.”

 

“Americans are hurting today,” McCain said at an Associated Press forum in Washington, D.C. “They’re hurting in the towns and cities across America.

Our Perspective:

At least we find that we are now leaving the state of denial. Politicians have been reluctant to say the R word. They were constantly talking about taking certain preventive steps.

Probably Too little …Too late!

What can we do?

If you own a business it would be prudent to look at the cost of your operation. I recently met with the Executive Director of a local non-profit. They have been hit hard with budget cuts that compound the problem of meeting rising cost.

There are opportunities to provide savings but there is no silver bullet. Companies are looking at a wide range of cost: Employee Benefits, Business Insurance, Energy and Telecom to name a few.

Our clients are being proactive and reviewing their cost.

To pay less does not equate to getting less.

Many times we find our clients are just paying too much!

It’s your call?

Do you have a question?

 

Let us know your thoughts?

 

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.

 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

 

 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

As reported in Bloomberg

April 11 (Bloomberg) — Confidence among U.S. consumers sank to a 26-year low in April as the labor market continued to deteriorate and gasoline prices rose.

The Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment decreased to 63.2 from 69.5 in March. The reading was below the lowest forecast in a Bloomberg News survey and the weakest since March 1982.

Americans are confronting the loss of 232,000 jobs so far this year, along with higher food and energy costs and overall weakening in the economy. Consumer spending in the first half will advance at the slowest rate in 17 years, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

“The consumer’s feeling increasingly hemmed in,” said Brian Bethune, director of financial economics at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts. “They’ve got higher energy bills, higher gasoline bills, higher food bills and obviously the employment markets are nowhere near as strong as they were. The economy is in a recession.”

Our Perspective:

The R word keeps popping up. Seems like more people are using it with greater frequency these days.

Allen Greenspan also used it the other day.

Seems like this has become a cyclical thing. That is what happens when we keep pushing the rock forward and not addressing the issues that confront us. We grow complacent.

So many issues are contributing to us being in this predicament. The sad part is that if you look back, we have been talking about the same issues for the last 40+ years.

What or you doing to address this issue in your own back yard?

Are you being proactive?

Are you looking to reduce cost?

Are you making your company more competitive?

So many people have worked hard and put a lot of sweat equity into building their American Dream. Don’t let it slip away.

We are working with our clients, reducing cost and strengthening their bottom line.

The time to act is now!

Do you have a question?

 

Let us know your thoughts?

 

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.

 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

 

As reported in Bloomberg:

April 9 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard W. Fisher said the housing market hasn’t hit bottom, and acknowledged that recent interest-rate cuts haven’t lowered borrowing costs for households and companies.

“The housing crisis may not yet have run its course, and further danger could lie ahead,” Fisher said in the text of a speech today in San Antonio, Texas. “The U.S. economy will continue to suffer from a bout of anemia while the housing and financial markets settle down.”

The comments echo the assessment of Fed policy makers at their meeting last month, when they concluded that signs of stabilization in the housing slump had yet to emerge. Central bankers anticipate the economy may contract in the first half, with a recovery in growth later this year.

Our Perspective:

 

Uncertainty reins in financial markets.

 

Crude oil jumped to $112 a barrel. Again, I heard that $4.00 gas could be in our near future.

 

The Fed has taken the steps to reduce rates for the banks, however the banks are still holding back and are not lending money.

 

You can get whiplash watching the stock market.

 

The Iraq hearings are being held in Washington and Gen Petraeus has offered no hope of an early exit. Meanwhile the bills keep mounting.

 

What steps can we take?

 

What are you doing to insure your company’s viability in these turbulent time?

 

Are you being proactive or is it business as usual?

 

Our clients are looking at their cost of operations.

 

Clients are savings from 15% to 40% looking at their telecom and data cost.

 

Clients are receiving refunds for overpayments of payroll taxes and sales taxes.

Several have been in the 6-figure range.

 

Would that help your bottom line?

 

Clients with larger fleets are looking at our GPS fleet management solution.

They are finding their ROI is less than 6 months.

 

Do you have a question?

 

Let us know your thoughts?

 

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 

Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go.

 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

 

 

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

March 28 (Bloomberg) — The dollar fell against the euro, headed for its biggest weekly decline since January 2006, as traders increased bets that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates again to avert a recession.

 Is this too little to late? 

Ask Gov. Corzine, he said the R word this morning on Morning Joe. He was asked by Joe Scarborough, “ Do you think we are in a recession.” His answer…”Yes.”

He went on to say that many of the things that the government is now doing is correct but they were too slow to pull the trigger. The Government should have taken these steps months ago.

Now what do we do? 

Ask John McCain, He doesn’t think the government should do anything.

Both Obama and Clinton are saying they will take steps to address these issues but that could be another year from now.

In the meantime, the economy is on a roller coaster.

The Feds keep cutting rates but the banks are not lending money. The housing market continues to suffer for people cannot get a mortgage.

Those stuck with high mortgage rates, try to take the high road and continue to pay high monthly payments with no relief in site. Some are even opting to walk away from their investment. That only will cause more problems down the road.

 What about the small business owner? 

Sales are down and costs continue to increase.

We are working with many small and medium size clients, reviewing costs, creating opportunities that will help them weather the current crisis.

Many hours have been vested to help build their American Dream.

This is not the time to be complacent!

There may not be a silver bullet cure-all but there are steps that can be taken to help reduce cost.

This is the time to be pro-active. 

Let us know your thoughts?

You may email george@hbsadvantage.com

 Hutchinson Business Solutions ……Your CFO on the Go. 

Creating Opportunities Today,…Defining Savings for Tomorrow.

Visit http://www.hutchinsonbusinesssolutions.com/ to learn more about saving opportunities available for your company.

Spread the good news….. share this information with a friend.

It’s still happening

February 11, 2008

Recently we were referred into an account to review their local and long distance telecom bill. After speaking with the owner for several minutes they got up, went to the filing cabinet and pulled out their Verizon and ATT folders.

Opening the ATT file I found a single page summary bill showing a total monthly balance due of $1167.00.

Upon seeing this, I asked the client if there was any detail that went with the bill. As far as I know, that’s all we get.

We asked for a letter of authorization and told them we would contact ATT to request a breakout of the bill.

Returning to our office, we proceeded to call ATT.  Speaking to the billing department they told us that ATT does not send a paper bill for this account for they are trying to keep the cost low.

We asked if we could get a detail bill mailed or faxed to us. They said certainly; that would cost $100.00.

One Hundred dollars to get a detail breakout; can you imagine that! 

How about if we just take a few minutes to review the cost that make up the bill.

           

            What’s this $50.00 group charge?  That is a fee for ATT long distance

            There is a $90.00 toll fee?              There are 3 toll free #’s @ $30.00 each

            How much does it cost to make a long distance calls?…. $.1353 per minute

                       

                                     2158.8 minutes @ $.1353 = $292.09 

            How much does it cost to make a toll call?………………$.1348 per minute

                                     4926  minutes @ $.1348 = $664.02 

We took this information and put together a proposal.

            No Long distance Group charge………save $50.00 per month

            3 toll free numbers @ $10.00 each……save $60.00 per month

           

Long Distance 2158.8 minutes @ $.039 per min = $84.19 …save $207.90 per month

Toll Free  4926  minutes @ $.039 per min            $192.11 ….save $471.91 per month

Total Long distance savings $789.80 per month or $9477.60 per year

Have you taken the time to look at what you are paying for your local and long distance calling?

This client will be saving over 70% on their long distance charges. 

Most of our clients who were with Verizon and ATT find they are saving from 20% to 40%. 

Are you still paying Verizon or ATT for your local or long distance services?

How’s their response if you ever have a service issue?

Our clients are happy with they have switched from Verizon or ATT.

They are finding they can:

Keep their existing phone numbers!

Their services are exactly the same!

Their bills are easier to read!

They have someone to speak with should they ever have an issue or a question.

They are enjoying the savings!

Ask for our no cost evaluation.

george@hbsadvantage.com

You may be surprised at how much you will save!