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Welcome to the Team, Caleb

Caleb Schaafsma Gilmore Jasion MahlerWe’re welcoming some new staff to GJM this fall, which gives us the chance to introduce our newest team members. They include Caleb Schaafsma, who joined GJM in early September as an audit associate. We hope you enjoy this Q&A. Welcome to the team and to the GJM family, Caleb!   

Q: When did you start with GJM? September 8th, 2020

Q: Why did you choose the accounting industry? I enjoyed the accounting courses I was required to take at BGSU and decided to switch my major to accounting.

Q: What do you like best about accounting? The balance that most of the work has, which assists me in finding errors. Most accounting themes just “click” for me.

Q: Are you from the Toledo area originally? If not, where are you from? I have lived in the Toledo area for over 12 years, but I am originally from Grand Rapids, MI before that period.

Q: What do you like about living in Northwest Ohio? Friends, family, and the culture.

Q: Where did you go to school? BGSU

Q: Anything you’d like to share about past work history? I’ve been a member of the Ohio Air National Guard for over 7 years, currently at the rank of Staff Sergeant. During this time, I’ve been deployed 2 times, once to Guam and once to Estonia. I have another deployment this fall.

Q: Do you have any pets, hobbies, family? One pet, Maximus Decimus Rolfes-Schaafsma or Max.

Hobbies are: spending time with my wife, video games, watching movies and tv shows, airsoft, Pokemon Go, scuba diving when I can, shooting guns, playing board games with friends, volunteering, and trying new things that seem interesting.

Family: My wife, Britteny, who is a teacher, my parents, and one brother who manages a roofing supply store in Indiana.

Q: How do you like to spend your free time?  With my wife and playing games with my friends.

Q: Favorite book? Favorite movie? Favorite book is World War Z and movie is possibly Thor: Ragnarok or Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile or Black Hawk Down, but I love so many movies that it is very difficult to choose, if you can’t tell.

Q: Are you involved in any community organizations, do any volunteer work? Not yet, but now that I’m out of college, I plan to get involved in some. I’d really like to get involved with the USO somehow and Flag City Honor Flight.

Q: What is something people may be surprised to find out about you? I’m a Green Bay Packers fan, due to my dad being born in Wisconsin.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities

4 Challenges Your Manufacturing Business May Face in 2021

Manufacturing Gilmore Jasion MahlerThe manufacturing industry has historically reflected the whims of both the global economy and the ever-changing tide of world events—and 2020 has been no different. The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused upheaval in manufacturing practices worldwide, not least, the small manufacturers we value so much here in our region. Of course, the U.S. presidential election creates another element of uncertainty, as the economy responds to the election results in the months ahead.

With the current situation & uncertainty in mind, we are looking ahead to 2021 and identifying some potential challenges and trends that could shape the manufacturing industry in the upcoming year. How will these trends affect your manufacturing business?

Challenge #1—Lingering Effects of COVID-19

Currently, as COVID-19 hotspots crop up, wane, and shift from place to place, every area is affected differently. At times, the U.S. has been the primary hub for the manufacturing, shipping, warehousing, and more, as the pandemic impacted other parts of the world. At other times, local small manufacturers have experienced serious impact due to staffing issues, shutdowns, supply shortages, and more. A recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers shows, while serious challenges remain, manufacturers are feeling more optimistic about the months ahead.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler (GJM) partner Wes Beham, CPA leads the firm’s Manufacturing Specialist Team. Wes and other GJM professionals have guided many manufacturing businesses through the initial COVID-19 shutdown, the Paycheck Protection Program loan process and many other pandemic-related uncertainties.

“While there’s still a good deal of uncertainty in the market, I do believe that many of our manufacturing clients feel more optimistic now, compared to early on in the pandemic,” says Beham. “Changes have come so quickly during COVID, whether weekly, or sometimes even daily. Its so critical to have a go-to advisor you truly trust to guide you through. It’s very rewarding to be there for our clients in this critical role when they need us the most.”

As 2021 begins, some industry watchers anticipate the beginning of a return to normal, but only time will tell how those events take shape.

Challenge #2—Widening Skilled Labor Gap

Manufacturers stand to lose as much as 4.6 million of the workforce as the skilled population ages. Unfortunately, experts predict that 2.6 million of those jobs will remain unfilled by 2025 as the younger portion of the workforce focuses on building technological prowess and other skills. Adding insult to injury, what was already a difficult situation has now been made worse by the pandemic.

Kip Winzeler, Chief Operating Officer at Altenloh, Brinck & Co US Inc., knows all too well about the workforce challenge in manufacturing. His company, located in Bryan, Ohio is a founding member of the newly formed Northwest Ohio Manufacturing Alliance (NOMA). NOMA’s goal is to bring manufacturers together to lead efforts to solve the skilled labor shortage in the region.

“The pandemic has certainly put further strain on an already difficult situation,” says Winzeler. “Across manufacturing, due to COVID-19, we’ve seen some earlier than expected retirements. That has added more open positions to those that were already unfilled. In my mind, COVID has further proven why it’s so important to have an organization like NOMA for manufacturers to work together to solve this.”

Another consideration: small manufacturers that wish to remain productive well into the 2020s will need to approach 2021 with a focus on training existing workers, becoming more attractive to potential hires, and adapting technology to focus on valuable skill sets. You can read more on the skilled labor shortage, and Ohio impact here.

Challenge #3—Lack of Data Regarding Machine Intelligence

As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, even the smallest manufacturers see the value in the enhanced internet connectivity available for smart machinery and other smart devices. While the communications and data provided by these devices streamline the production process and provide much valuable data, industry watchers say relatively few manufacturers can analyze the data produced. In 2021 and beyond, it is expected that small competitive manufacturers will need to begin managing these analytics to truly reap the predictive benefits of IoT devices and machinery.

Challenge #4—Shifting Consumer & Industry Demands

In this day and age, some consumers want a more connected, personalized experience with the manufacturers charged with producing their products. Small manufacturers stand to benefit from this industry-wide shift from mass production to smaller, more niche-focused systems. In 2021, it appears the trend toward solutions like additive manufacturing will continue, allowing smaller manufacturers to adapt to consumer needs.  

Manufacturers who don’t sell direct to the consumer are part of a bigger picture, of course, as they often rely on materials from another manufacturer to produce their product and then perhaps ship it on to yet another manufacturer for final assembly. Many automotive suppliers, and other manufacturing businesses in Northwest Ohio and Southeastern Michigan are part of this supply chain, their success effectively linked to their fellow suppliers.  

Your organization is unique and will undoubtedly adapt to these challenges in the way that best suits your business. If you have any questions or concerns regarding how these challenges could affect you, reach out to your GJM advisor for assistance.

Mark your calendar:

GJM Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable

Kip Winzeler presents on NOMA apprenticeship grants available to area manufacturers at an upcoming GJM Manufacturing Financial Executive Roundtable. The virtual roundtable is Thursday, November 19 from 10-11 am EST. RSM Deputy Chief Economist Kevin Depew also presents. He will examine presidential election results and the potential impact on manufacturing and the U.S. economy in general. Manufacturing financial executives can register for the virtual roundtable here.  

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities. Learn more at GJMLTD.com, on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

How an Orthodontic Practice Changed Ownership Despite Tragedy and COVID-19

Ever since she can remember, Dr. Sheila Phelan says her dream has been to own her own dental practice. This year that dream became a reality in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and some other unforeseen and tragic events that would unfold and change the timeline of her professional plans.

Dr. Phelan, an orthodontist at J. Bunkers and S. Phelan Orthodontics, says she’d discussed with her mentor, colleague and friend Dr. Jeffrey Bunkers, the plan that someday she would take over ownership of his orthodontic practice. In fact, she says, they had a timeline in place for that transition. Then, this spring, Dr. Bunkers became ill and suddenly passed away. It was a shock for family, friends, patients and staff.

Dr. Phelan found herself in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, mourning the loss of her dear friend and business partner, while knowing she had to somehow move forward with their original plans that she would one day own the orthodontic practice.

GJM Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore, who has advised Dr. Bunkers, his family and his orthodontic practice for many years, was able to be there as a liaison between the Bunkers and Dr. Phelan at such a difficult and emotional time.

“I’ve handled Jeff’s work for many years and saw him build his practice into the success it is today,” says Gilmore. “I considered Jeff not only a client, but a good friend. I’m glad I was able to be there for him when he needed my help with the sale of the business to Sheila. And I have no doubt she will have great success as she moves forward. She had a great teacher.”

“Kevin is a great person,” Sheila says. “I truly don’t think that I would be owning this practice right now if he hadn’t been that mediator and friend between me and Jeff.”

Dr. Phelan says she studied hard for 12 years, working toward her goal of one day owning a practice. A Michigan native, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. From there she attended dental school at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and did her residency at the University of Iowa.

“But there was a bigger dream than becoming a practice owner,” she says. “It was more about a place to call your own and a place to call the shots, especially as a female. I’m the first kid in my family to be a doctor. There were a lot of hurdles to jump through.”

For example, she recalls the times that patients would see a young woman enter the room and ask when “the real doctor” would be there. She says transition of ownership of a dental practice typically takes years. This transition happened in 2 months-time. At 31-years-old she found herself sole owner and was ready to put her own stamp on the practice.

“One thing I knew I wanted to do was automate the office. There seemed to be many opportunities to run things a bit more efficiently from a managerial standpoint. I want to be involved. Judy has been really good at teaching me some of the basics, like how to automate and streamline systems.“

Judy is Judy Anderson, a GJM partner and member of the GJM Healthcare Specialist Team. She also leads GJM’s Outsourced Accounting service line, working with clients who prefer to have a team of experts handle accounts payable, bookkeeping and many of the other financial management tasks involved with running a busy business or healthcare practice. She’s worked closely with Sheila to implement some changes at J. Bunkers & S. Phelan Orthodontics. They’ve transitioned accounts payable and automated some other accounting services. The COVID-19 pandemic has further reinforced the importance of automation in managing a healthcare practice, as the virtual practice has become a reality. Software applications allow Sheila access 24/7 to all the numbers, so there’s continuity, flexibility and transparency. The GJM team also helped to secure a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, assisted with tax planning and has taken over administering the retirement plan.

“Outsourced Accounting isn’t the right fit for every business, but we have found that it works extremely well in certain industries, including professional services, the nonprofit world and healthcare practices, to name a few,” says Anderson. It also removes the need to hire someone internally to handle practice finances. “With our team in place, the owners can turn their focus to other priorities. In Sheila’s case, caring for her patients and developing her staff.”   

“My staff are phenomenal,” says Phelan. “When I hired each one, I saw something in them that matched the mission of the practice. That means a lot to me. The practice and owning it is a material thing. It works because of the people. I just want to keep making people happy. My goal in life has always been as a manager to create a setting where everyone likes entering. I try to make that happen every day.”

Dr. Phelan says she’s grateful for the opportunities Dr. Bunkers provided to her and has written a tribute to him housed on the practice website. The final line of the online tribute seems to capture her outlook:

“When I walk the halls of our office, I hope he is walking with me and I hope I can make him proud.”

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.