Blog Talk Radio Executive Profiles: Outside Ventures Discussion with Mike Berman

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Small Business Cash Flow Creativity

Do you have access to all the working capital you need?

Michael Berman talks with Jim Blasingame about how to gain access to an alternative source of capital through the credit card clearing process from daily customer purchases.

With Jim Blasingame, The Small Business Advocate


Merisel, Inc.

Wins Business Turnaround of the Year at the 2011 American Business Awards

Merisel,Inc., operating under its principal brand Coloredge New York – Los Angeles, a leading provider of visual communications and brand imaging solutions, was awarded “Business Turnaround of the Year” last night at the 9th Annual American Business Awards Ceremony, in recognition of its agility to adapt, grow, and maintain its commitment to delivering solid results, despite prevailing economic turbulence.

The American Business Awards, part of The Stevie Awards program, honors the achievements and contributions of US-based businesses and their employees. Awards were presented in over 40 categories and more than 2,800 entries were received from organizations of all sizes in virtually every industry. Merisel itself was a finalist for ten awards in seven categories, including “Best Overall Company of the Year,” “Business Innovation of the Year,” and “Turnaround Executive of the Year.”

PR Newswire


Viewpoint: Manage the Customer, Then the Relationship

I start my day by going to a local gym, swiping my membership card at around 6:30

a.m. I typically mumble a good morning to the young lady who sits behind the reception desk; she acknowledges me in roughly the same fashion. On my way out we typically exchange similarly unenthusiastic have-a-nice-day greetings to one another. To this individual I’m little more than the guy who comes in with a bandana on his head and leaves wearing a suit. On the morning of this past November 12 I followed my typical routine, and instantly after swiping my membership card the receptionist smiled, and with great animation chirped, “Harry Birthday, Mike!” Unexpected, pleasant, and an initial reminder of the basic things CRM can do to personalize a customer experience. But as I went through the rigor of my morning workout my thoughts wandered and I reversed my initial reaction. For 364 days a year I’m still an easily ignored guy with a bandana, and just as unmemorable as a guy leaving in a suit at 8:30. On November 12 I’m Mike, the special birthday boy.

Destination CRM

Career Success Stories: Airborne Secures #3 Spot in Express Delivery Service

When Michael Berman joined Airborne Express as a sales rep in 1981, Airborne was so insignificant that it did not even register on the business radar. At the time, they had only one truck to cover Mike’s extremely large sales territory that included Monmouth, Middlesex, and Somerset counties in New Jersey. The driver for Mike’s area would leave Newark airport, follow highway 287, go west for drop-offs and then east and west for pick-ups, and return to the airport.

Mike was struck by the fact that his sales area had large populations of businesses, most noticeably an AT&T office or location on nearly every corner, yet their pick-ups and drops were scattered and few. As was the industry standard practice, the only discount that Airborne provided customers was a “multiple package discount” which consisted of a scale offering reduced pricing for three or more packages picked up at a single location. Noticing that the majority of the shipments picked up from AT&T locations were bound for other AT&T locations across the country, Mike approached his manager with an idea for a “corporate discount” that would reduce the shipping rate for all pick-ups and deliveries for the same corporate customer.

Career Success Stories: Norrell Services Turns Freefall into $10M Growth

In 1998, Norrell Services was a staffing company with less than $1.5 billion in revenues and a declining market share. When Guy Milner, who founded the company in the 1960s and built it to nearly $2 billion, moved out of the daily management to the role of Chairman Emeritus, the company began a freefall. The corporate management knew they had to do something with the company: salvage it or sell it. Therefore, they brought in several senior management people to help identify a course of action. Among those recruited was the experienced sales and operations executive, Michael A. Berman.

Mike joined Norrell Services as the VP of Customer Development. His first step was to interview the employees by asking, “What makes Norrell Services special?” The response he received was consistently, “We are the quality shop. We test people that we place and we only place the very best.”

Career Success Stories:

Turning a Failure into an eB2B SuccessSuccess is often achieved as a result of a failure. Successful entrepreneurs experience failure as a normal part of growing a business; it is an essential part of the development process. In 2000, Michael A. Berman joined the public Internet-based supply chain management company, eB2B, as Vice President of Sales and Client Services and quickly moved up to the position of Executive Vice President, COO and General Manager. Within one year, he repositioned the Internet start-up company from its original aspiration as a provider of sporting equipment and supplies to an Internet outlet for regional retail pharmacies.

Mike Berman had already led several successful company transformations, but none had involved Internet business. When he joined eB2B, they had $40 million in investment money and a business plan certified by McKenzie Corporation. Their business plan looked good on paper and was structured to provide an Internet-based platform for selling sporting goods.

Huffington Post Business: 5 Tips to Avoiding the Pitfalls of Politics in Business

It has now been one week since Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) mixed it up during a Senate Judiciary Committee debate over Second Amendment rights and proposed gun control legislation and over 100 days since the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Congress appears no closer to voting on an assault weapons ban, stiffer background checks, or any further firearms legislation since Senators Cruz and Feinstein’s heated exchange, yet there has been a great deal of attention paid to their verbal food fight.

Consider Senator Feinstein’s emphasis in her now widely known immediate response to Senator Cruz where she used her personal experiences as in when she was the first one to find San Francisco Mayor George Moscone after he was shot. Rather than keeping the discussion focused on the matter at hand and her desired result, Senator Feinstein chose to validate herself, her credentials and her deep personal experience dealing with Moscone’s death.

Huffington Post Business Five Turnaround Tips for Ron Johnson, JC Penney and Others

Ron Johnson’s cheering section must be working overtime these days to now credit him for reinventing the definition of corporate performance.

When the Dow has been setting new records on a daily basis, JC Penney stock limps along. Major shareholder Vornado Realty Trust dumped their shares below market value, and former chief executive Allen Questrom publicly called for Penney’s board to remove Johnson.

Media Bistro: Fishbowl New York

he spring power lunch season has officially begun at Michael’s with plenty of famous faces and talking heads (Charles Grodin, Star Jones, Lawrence O’Donnell) mixed in with the usual suspects today. None other than Meg Ryan turned up with Judith Regan and slipped in practically unnoticed. Ah, but it’s my job to tell you these things.

I was joined today by Stu Zakim, public relations vet and “transformational executive” (How’s that for a title?) Mike Berman.


Interview with Diane Clehane

Huffington Post Business: 6 Baseball Managers Executives Should Watch and Learn From

Major League Baseball opened the 2013 season this weekend with no fewer than six teams heading into the season with new managers. Much like business, winning in baseball requires a sustained effort over the long-haul characterized by overcoming inevitable setbacks, slumps and challenges beyond a given organization’s control. Business leaders, especially recently promoted or newly appointed executives, would be wise to pay attention to how the season unfolds for Terry Francona in Cleveland, John Farrell in Boston, Mike Redmond in Miami, Bo Porter in Houston, Walt Weiss in Colorado and John Gibbons in Toronto because all have the specter of Alexander Pope’s “Hope springs eternal in the human breast” hanging over them.

Redmond, Porter and Weiss have never managed in the major leagues and each takes over really bad teams projected to finish in last place. Although these managers didn’t draft, trade for or sign any of the players on their roster to free agent contracts their job security will be determined by their team’s record. Each of these managers must set and work to a plan with exacting metrics and be active honest communicators with all key stakeholders to ensure proper alignment.


Huffington Post Business

Huffington Post Business: Family Owned Businesses Share Universal Issues

North Korea’s unpredictable 28-year-old Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is the third generation in the family business. I’ll let military, intelligence and State Department experts analyze Kim’s mounting heated rhetoric and provocations, but I find his actions closely resemble behaviors commonly found in business executives in over their heads.

I worked with a publicly traded company that had declining revenues and significant losses for eight consecutive years yet the CEO held his position


Huffington Post

Access to Capital: Smart Money for Smart Businesses

If you run a business looking for capital you will find investors are more active and willing, as they have more money to put to work than had been the case in the past few years. While deals are getting done, it is a more deliberative process than the vigorous late 1990s market was.

Although every (investment) firm might specialize in a particular domain all share common traits for companies they will invest in. Though money is abundantly available, it clearly is an investor’s market.


Access to Capital

Huffington Post Business: Lessons Learned By Media Coverage of Boston Marathon Bombing

They say the first casualty in the heat of a moment is truth. The recent media coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing offers invaluable material and lessons for any business executive to apply in any industry to validate that saying.

Clearly, all media outlets extended the best of their resources to provide detailed and insightful real-time coverage since mid-afternoon Monday April 15th.


Huffington Post

Huffington Post Business: How the NFL Is America’s Business

If Corporate America was covered like sports, then annual budget sessions would get the same kind of around the clock coverage this weekend’s NFL Draft did. Congratulations to Roger Goodell and the NFL for turning its annual player draft into a mini-version of the Super Bowl as a significant revenue generator and attracting enormous fan interest in the offseason.

Here’s some interesting statistics: Of the 254 players drafted this weekend, not even 10 percent will have 10 year NFL careers.


Huffington Post Let-Go Lessons: Learning From Fired CEOs

People always say you should learn from your mistakes, and they’re right; you should. The only problem with that is before you can reflect on the moral, you have to deal with the fallout. And when you’re the CEO of a major company and you make a major mistake, the fallout can be of nuclear meltdown proportions. Instead of learning from your own foul-ups, why not make it your goal just to learn from others’ mistakes?

Here’s some interesting statistics: Of the 254 players drafted this weekend, not even 10 percent will have 10 year NFL careers.


The Luxury Marketing Council’s Gregory Furman: Discussions with Leaders in Luxury

Furman sits down with Mike Berman, April 29, 2015.