Is "Made in the USA" Important to Customers?
This week, Marvin Windows is highlighting the fact that it offers windows meeting passive building standards that are "made in the USA," offering customers faster turnaround and design flexibility, it states. The Earthwise Group of vinyl window manufacturers was also honored as the "Made in the USA Certified " company of the year. And, "Made in the USA" was an important theme for many exhibitors at the recent National Hardware Show, according to a report in Home Channel News.
Of course, there are also many window and door companies that tout the "luxury of European craftsmanship." There are others, no doubt, that point to the affordability of imported products or components sourced from Asia.
So this week, I thought I would ask if "Made in the U.S.A." is becoming a more important factor in the window and door marketplace. That's our poll question of the week. And, of course, we'd like to hear from you. Is "Made in the U.S.A." a deciding factor for your customers? Or your customers' customers? In today's global marketplace, is it still a priority at all? Email me or post a comment to share your thoughts.
Survey Results as of 05/20/2013 :
Is "Made in the U.S.A." Becoming More Important with Customers?
The vast majority of respondents see product origin moving up on buyers' priority lists. They are not alone. Apple said recently it planned to bring production of its next generation Mac to the U.S. Wal-Mart recently launched an initiative to source more products in the U.S.
Patriotism might play a role in these decisions, but companies in general are finding that manufacturing in the U.S. is becoming much more competitive. And being close to your market also has benefits.
Will the "Made in the USA" sentiment become more important in the window and door industry, in particular? Personally, I don't expect much change. Windows are largely a domestic product already, with the bulk of international trade coming from Canada–not faraway China. Doors–usually produced in standard sizes–have been coming from overseas for years, but even in this arena, much production still takes place in the U.S.
Low-cost imports of finished windows and doors have never had the dramatic impact on the U.S. industry that imports have had in the electronics and textile industries, for example. Low-cost hardware, extrusions, door slabs, doorlites, and extrusions have been more successful, and will continue to find demand, as will higher-end imports of both finished products and components.