Monday, November 25, 2002

Morning Memo

Hot tips and news to start your business day

Today's Number: 2,200 - Garbage trucks in the United States expected to be powered by natural gas by 2010, up from 693 today, according to plans by waste management companies and city authorities, New York-based Inform Inc., a nonprofit research group, said.

Today's Career Talk: J. Paul Getty had a buddy who was an extremely successful businessman, and his friend attributed it to regular performance reviews. "He has been rating himself every six months for the past 20 years," Mr. Getty says in Julie M. Fenster's book In the Words of Great Business Leaders. "His method is simple. He uses a standard personnel evaluation sheet and grades himself in the same manner as he would a subordinate employee. This private system of self-evaluation has enabled him to recognize and thus try to correct his deficiencies."

Today's Money Tip: High-yield bond is another name for junk bond. They provide higher interest income, but with added risk. The term covers bonds from companies that have lower credit ratings and thus are higher credit risks. Because the companies have a higher chance of defaulting, they must pay a higher interest rate.

Today's Company: Watzman Associates

SIMPLIFYING SYSTEMS: Since its inception in 1987, this Cherry Grove firm designs custom software for businesses, non-profit organizations and school systems, using FileMaker Pro. Watzman Associates' products help people work more efficiently, streamlining such tasks as tracking school attendance, analyzing and charting plant safety and registering workshops.

SCHEDULE SOFTWARE: Watzman's newest product is RoomDex, a program that enables users to schedule and keep track of use of conference rooms, laboratories and other gathering spaces. It can also help organizers coordinate multiple-site events. Originally designed for schools, it has been adapted to help businesses avoid space conflicts as well.

SHORTER CLOSINGS: Watzman designed loan origination software for Franklin Savings that prepares all required forms for a loan closing. Franklin officials estimate the system enables the bank to save about 30 minutes for each loan it originates.

HIGHER CANDIDATE PROFILES: Norwood City Schools requested a Web-based application process for teaching candidates. Watzman produced a program that lets candidates complete an online basic application and attach a resume. The candidate's application is available district-wide using a FileMaker database.

Send your tips and questions to Bill Ferguson, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati 45202; fax 564-6991; e-mail

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