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January 08 1 Editor’sletter EDITORIAL Editor In Chief Martin Ashcroft DESIGN Production/Creative Director Zachary Smith PUBLISHERS Business Directors Andy Kerr Andy Turner BUSINESS Director of Editorial Research Scott Mason Sales Managers Sean Brett Jim Coughlin Administration & Operations Kathy Toomey Subscriptions Infinity Media LLC 100 Cummings Center Suite 243C Beverly, MA 01915 Tel: 978 232 9284 Fax: 978 560 0999 Businessexcellence ACHIEVING If you’re entertaining guests in the holidays, and you want to give them the best, you might buy something that says ‘natural’ on the label. Unlike the term ‘organic’, however, there is no legal definition of ‘natural’ food. Yet consumers are seduced by the term to such an extent that the market for so-called natural foods is growing faster than that of the overall grocery sector, because we think (not unnaturally), there is something inherently safe, healthy, or moral, about it. But it seems that natural is anything the marketer says it means these days. Take supermarket chickens, pumped up with saltwater. Nothing is more natural than saltwater, I grant you, but you don’t find chickens like that in the farmyard. How natural is it, to inject it into our food? I have some sympathy with manufacturers (but not much), as in the absence of a definition we have merely guidelines, so it’s no surprise that these are interpreted to their limits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Agriculture Department (USDA) allow natural to appear on meat and poultry labels if the product contains no artificial ingredient or added color and is only ‘minimally processed’, which they define as processing that does not fundamentally alter the raw product. No percentages here, you notice, and that’s the nub of the problem. As long as terms like minimal and fundamental remain in the guidelines, we have a recipe for misunderstanding. Take soda, sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. I’m no scientist but I have it on good authority that high-fructose corn syrup isn’t something you can cook up in your kitchen from a bushel of corn, unless you happen to be equipped with sophisticated laboratory equipment and a panful of enzymes. In other words, it isn’t ‘minimally processed.’ It’s all too subjective. If the term is to have any value (and some might argue it’s a useless term to begin with) we must have a clear, consumerfriendly definition to eliminate misleading practices. Onlynatural

2 Businessexcellence January 08 Interview 4 East to reach Stephen Wetmore, President and CEO of Canadian telecommunications provider Bell Aliant. Strategic management 8 The proven path The final article of six about integrated business management deals with the management business review. Supply chain 12 Electronic kanban Advice on technology selection from a supply chain director with first-hand experience. Green business 16 Top of the green wave With gold LEED certification for its own headquarters, Tri- North Builders is ahead of the green building trend. Rodgers Builders 18 Growth by reputation A family-owned business focused on building long-term relationships Adanac Molybdenum 23 Golly, Miss moly The first molybdenum mine to be built in the western world in the last thirty years. Thermafiber 28 A niche strategy A small manufacturer of mineral wool insulation, attracting attention on the global stage. Jacques Whitford 32 Good business Fittingly, this scientific and environmental consultancy believes that sustainability is good business. American Residential Services Same model, bigger opportunity An entrepreneurial philosophy and experience in managing a distributed workforce. United Construction Company No nonsense A design-build firm with a reputation for delivering solid work on time and on budget. Cementation Canada 44 Target zero For the company with the best safety record in the industry, zero is the most important number. Ironhorse Oil & Gas 48 Well endowed Being a smaller company in a petroleum field full of larger ones has its advantages. KSR International 53 Take a brake Adjustable pedals and brake-by-wire are the latest innovations in brake technology. Coach USA Top coach Growing profitability through focusing on core services and delivering customer satisfaction. W.G. Mills Managing the risk Using the model of construction management at risk avoids adversarial relationships. Specialty Catalog Corporation Bringing back value Quality, customer service, innovation, and a change of focus from discounting toward value. Features 57 4 12 61 57 37 64 40