Is "Made in the USA" Important to Customers?

John G. Swanson
May 9, 2013
THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

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?

Yes

  

 

72%

 

No

  

 

28%

 

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.   

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The law of unintended consequences….
Indeed most “imported”(into the US) products are produced in Canada.
The importation of Non- North American produced fenestration products are negligible.
However fenestration “import” from the USA to Canada is significant.
Think: JELD-WEN-Hurd-Marvin-Milgard-Atrium-Anderson, Ply-Gem etc. etc.
The “made in America” policy should be very helpful to us, your Canadian competitors.
Our well informed (by us) Canadian customers may well be sufficiently parochial also and consider Canadian produced products first !
Westeck Windows- Chilliwack BC- Canada

When I relocated from Canada to the US, it was with one thing in mind: to promote the local industries.

Consequently, for the past 12 years or so, I am working for US manufacturers, making windows / doors locally using american made material.

Along the way, I try to educate our dealers about the benefits of "pushing for the local guy". When I ask one of our dealer in Palm Beach County if he would like Dade County installers (that are notoriously "more affordable") to compete with him they hear me loud and clear.

Do I see a trend ? Definitely, even if a timid one. But, hey ! A trend is a trend and I will take that one any time!

Yves Saint-Pierre
Vice-President / Sales and Product Development
GALAXY WINDOWS AND DOORS
Pompano Beach FL