Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chefs warehouse sale Saturday

What’s cooking at chefs (formerly Chef’s Catalog) besides a new name without a capital C?

For one thing, there’s a warehouse sale from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at chefs, 5070 Centennial Blvd. Great deals are promised on Apilco dinnerware, Culinary Institute of America pots and pans, and scratch and dent items.

Chefs, meanwhile, has engaged ForeSee Results to gauge customer satisfaction with its Web site, ForeSee Results, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., touts itself as the market leader in online customer satisfaction management.

“We have a robust and successful catalog channel, but this is the first time we’ve been able to get a handle on how well our Web site is handling customers,” said Tim Littleton, senior vice president of marketing for chefs.

Chefs recently established an office in San Francisco for its design and production departments, but the company says the main operation will remain in Colorado Springs.

New daylighting showroom opens Sept. 15

Solar Design of Colorado, a Solatube dealer for El Paso, Pueblo and Teller counties, will open a daylighting showroom at 4655 Town Center Drive, unit #20, on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Customers can enter a drawing to win a free do-it-yourself kit.

The company sells various interior lighting systems that bring natural light inside a home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mistrust factor restricts telecommuting

A new telecommuting survey by intranet software developer Intranet Dashboard, shows that 70 percent of 390 respondents were restricted from teleworking, with the main reason cited as lack of trust in employees by upper management.

But management did acknowledge significant savings in infrastructure costs and absenteeism and gains in productivity when telecommuting was available to employees. Eighty-three percent of companies listed telecommuting as a company incentive or perk. And 95 percent of telecommuters have access to the company's intranet.

Telecommuting is expected to reach 100 million corporate employees working from home at least one day a month by 2008, according to Gartner and Deloitte.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

South Academy not yet a candidate for urban renewal

South Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs has caught the attention of city officials, who say it's one of five older areas in need of redevelopment. But the stretch of Academy -- roughly between Drennan Road on the south and Constitution Avenue on the north -- isn't close to becoming an urban renewal area, despite rumblings within the real estate industry. Hendricks & Partners, a national real estate company that specializes in apartments, recently issued a second quarter report for the Rocky Mountain region. In giving an overview of the Springs' economy and real estate landscape, Hendricks declared city officials were planning to designate South Academy as an urban renewal site. Not true, says Chuck Miller, a retired city planning official and now a consultant to the Colorado Springs Urban Renewal Authority. Yes, Mayor Lionel Rivera and City Council members identified South Academy as a problem area. But the Urban Renewal Authority isn't considering a South Academy redevelopment project, Miller said. "Is it a possibility that it could be an urban renewal area?" Miller said. "I suppose it could, but we haven't been approached by the city and we're not working on it."

Monday, September 10, 2007

USA.Net merges with Connecticut firm

USA.Net Inc., founded 16 years ago as an early computer bulletin board, has merged with a Connecticut-based security software firm.
Colorado Springs-based USA.Net merged Aug. 10 with Perimeter eSecurity Inc. two weeks after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. invested $50 million in Perimeter. Stripes Group LLC and Bessemer Venture Partners, both of New York, joined Goldman Sachs in financing the merger.
USA.Net directors began studying alternatives to finance the company’s growth about a year ago and hired Denver-based St. Charles Capital LLC in January to “explore strategic alternatives,” said David Ramon, USA.Net’s president and chief executive.
USA.Net employs 30 in the Springs and 45 in Denver to provide hosted e-mail and related services to about 2,000 businesses, including United Airlines, Farmers Insurance and Adecco Group. JPMorgan Partners owned two-thirds of the company, while Ramon and chairman Ken Pigott owned 20 percent.
USA.Net will operate as a Perimeter subsidary and will remain in its current locations with its staff and management intact, Ramon said.
The company was founded in 1991 as Community News Service, an early computer bulletin board, became an Internet access provider called Internet Express and later changed its name to USA.Net and moved 11 years ago into hosting e-mail and other services for businesses.
Perimeter, which employs about 200 and has nearly 4,000 customers, is looking to acquire other companies that provide complimentary hosted software services, Ramon said.