The Top 100 Manufacturers of 2010

Continued struggles and signs of optimism evident in this year’s rankings of North America’s largest residential window and door manufacturers
John G. Swanson
March 25, 2010
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Times were still tough in 2009, but signs of life emerged within the industry last year. A look through Window & Door’s 2010 Top 100 Manufacturers provides ample evidence that companies continue to struggle in this economic environment. This year’s rankings, however, also feature some nuggets of good news that reinforce the view of many that the worst may be over.

Armaclad Windows based in Chicago enters the Top 100 for the first time this year.

Our annual rankings present North America’s 100 largest manufacturers of residential windows, doors and/or skylights, based on sales volumes. Although we provide specific sales data when it’s available, private companies, often sensitive about releasing sales figures, dominate the industry. As a result, manufacturers are listed alphabetically within 10 sales range categories.

Continued Struggles
In years past, the rankings provided a scorecard to the latest mergers and acquisitions and other expansion activity. Since the housing downturn began and morphed into a global financial crisis, they have evolved to a review of recent plant closings and even the complete shutdown of some companies. Our special Top 100 report, available for sale, reviews details from our print edition, going beyond the numbers, highlighting recent activities of movers and shakers. 

Looking at some of the largest manufacturers on the list, Andersen, Jeld-Wen, Masonite, Ply Gem and Weather Shield all closed facilities in 2009. The Top 100 also lost some long-time listees. Philips Products, A&H Windows and Owens Door were all shut down in 2009.

Restructuring was a new strategy among Top 100 companies in 2009. Within the past year, Masonite, Stock Building Supply, International Aluminum and Atrium all filed for bankruptcy, with plans to emerge shortly thereafter with reduced debt and optimism for the future.

Stimulus Impact
Signs of optimism were also evident in a number of acquisitions this year. Attracting the most headlines was Serious Materials. The company, which appears in the Top 100 for the first time this year, acquired two closed window plants—the one-time Kensington Windows facility in Pennsylvania and the more infamous Republic Windows facility in Chicago. While industry skeptics questioned whether Serious Materials will succeed in its mission to sell ultra-high performance products, the company enjoyed the attention of the Obama Administration which pointed to the company as the poster-child for the opportunities offered by improving America’s energy efficiency and creating green jobs.

While the stimulus package passed in the beginning of 2009 had its detractors, its impact was definitely felt by the window and door industry, with numerous companies reporting growing sales of replacement products meeting the criteria for new federal tax credits. Top 100 manufacturers Simonton Windows and Gorell Windows & Doors were among the companies reporting they brought back laid off workers in 2009. Ohio-based Vinylmax reports it added more than 100 new jobs in 2009 and plans to add approximately 150 more in 2010.

Unlike last year, where numerous manufacturers slipped down in the sales range category they were included in for the Top 100, this year’s edition sees companies moving up again. Sunrise Windows in Michigan, Vista Window in Ohio and Thompson Creek Window in Maryland are all replacement window manufacturers ranking higher this year than last.

Plastpro, part of the Taiwan-based Formosa Group, manufacturers doors at this plant in Ohio.

International companies
Last year also saw VKR Holdings, the Danish parent of the Velux Group, expand its presence in North America. In addition to the Velux skylight operations based in the U.S., VKR acquired the Gienow Group companies in Western Canada. That addition helped spur a change in how we list international companies in the Top 100 this year. Previously, North American operations such as Velux USA and Plastpro were ranked in the Top 100 based on the sales of those units. For the 2010 rankings, those companies are now ranked based on the global sales of their parent companies.

The change was made to provide a better yardstick for comparison between these international companies and those such as Jeld-Wen and Masonite, which are based in North America, but have always been ranked based on their total revenues, including international sales. In addition, ranking such companies as the Japanese giant YKK based on international sales better reflects the company’s overall resources and potential, even while its current residential window and door presence in the North America may still be limited.

The Top 100 still focuses on the North American industry, however. While the Formosa Group, VKR and YKK are now ranked based on their global sales, they are part of the Top 100 because they have residential window, door or skylight manufacturing operations in North America. Window & Door is not planning to rank other global window and door manufacturers that do not have operations here.

Putting It Together
Such decisions are always part of the process of putting together the annual Window & Door Top 100. No list is perfect, and we don’t make any definitive claims about these annual rankings. The numbers presented here are certainly not comparable on an apples-to-apples basis. For some companies, sales volume figures include products other than windows and doors. In other cases, sales volumes consist not only of manufacturing operations, but distribution, retail and even installation operations. Still, we believe the end result reflects the leading manufacturers in the residential marketplace, at least from a sales perspective.

In putting this feature together, we start with last year’s list, contacting individual companies to obtain information and confirmation. We also gather input from a number of industry experts as to what other companies should possibly be on the list and reach out to other potential listees. In addition to contacting the companies themselves, we also use independent sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet, and information published elsewhere to determine which companies may belong in the rankings.

A few companies always ask that we not include them and/or refuse to provide any information. We understand the sensitivity of releasing sales figures, and we attempt to respect that by presenting our Top 100 Manufacturers in sales range categories. That being said, we do not omit any manufacturer simply because it asks. When we don’t get an official answer, we gather estimates from industry insiders and look to other sources, and include those companies noting that their sales information has not been confirmed.

Our primary mission is to provide the most accurate information to our readers. While we admit the Top 100 Manufacturers rankings will never be perfect, we do the best we can with the information available. We always look to make the Top 100 better, so by all means, if your company belongs on the list, let us know so we can recognize you properly. And if your company is on this list, but our estimates are wrong, please let us know. It is only with the cooperation of individual manufacturers that Window & Door’s Top 100 rankings can be as accurate as possible. Questions or comments about this year’s rankings and requests to be included next year can be sent to jchase@glass.org.

One final caution we always add is that inclusion in the Top 100 is strictly based on annual sales. Better quality measurements, product performance levels, higher customer satisfaction ratings and even bigger profit margins may all make better yardsticks in comparing one company against another. Inclusion in these rankings doesn’t necessarily make any manufacturer’s window or door better than a competitor’s offering.  We do believe our Top 100 reflects this industry’s leaders from one perspective, however. And particularly at a time when so many companies are struggling, and some have even closed down for good, it’s worth congratulating those companies on this year’s list, recognizing their efforts to survive, and even grow and thrive in 2009 and beyond.

The Rankings

Window & Door ranks the Top 100 manufacturers alphabetically within 10 sales range categories. Follow these links to see companies in the other categories:

More than $1 Billion$500 Million
to $1 Billion
$300 Million to $500 Million$200 Million to $300 Million$100 Million to $200 Million
     
$75 Million to $100 Million$50 Million to
$75 Million
$40 Million to
$50 Million
$30 Million to
$40 Million
$15 Million to
$30 Million

  

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