Latest Articles in All

  • Used properly, a hammer can build shelter for people in need. Used improperly, the same hammer can be a blunt instrument of destruction. It is given that our world involves more and more standards. This requires more and more controls against misuse. We are getting the standards; I am concerned we are not getting the controls. Let’s agree that industry standards help the fenestration... more »
  • fea_ged2.jpg
    Continued advances in software mean window manufacturers are still finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies
    In today’s market, driving down cost is the number one priority for many window manufacturers. The key is to simplify and streamline process areas without hurting precious competitive advantages—quality, delivery time and product differentiation. Although computer technology is not new in most plants, many manufacturers are winning the battle through the use of increasingly... more »
  • As the market corrects, industry players take the time to focus on innovation, differentiation
    The window and door industry (and the residential building market in general) is catching its breath. Mainstream media outlets are telling scary ghost stories to the country and its arguably shaky consumers, with a message that house prices are tumbling, existing home inventories have spiked and new home construction in some areas has come to a screeching halt. Most economists, on the other hand... more »
  • NAHB’s massive trade show to take Orlando by storm in February
    Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger, the International Builders’ Show has another growth spurt. You’ll need your comfortable shoes to make the rounds, with the 450 new exhibitors the National Association of Home Builders has added to the show floor roster—bringing the grand total to 1,800 suppliers spanning 300 categories of residential and light... more »
  • How long does it take for one to stop being an “outsider” in this industry? Three years? Five? A kindly marketing guy for an equipment supplier warned me when I started this job that if I stuck around for five years, I’d probably be a lifer. Well, the months and years are flying by and I can think of far worse places to be than the residential window and door industry. So maybe... more »
  • Seven siblings team up to grow Brothers Home Improvement
    The replacement window business is a family affair for the Cavannas. They’re a big family and, together, they have built a big business. Brothers Home Improvement had a wobbly start in 1995 when second-eldest of nine siblings Gene Cavanna teamed up with the baby of the family, Ralph Cavanna, to start a northern California window installation business. The two, with 11 years separating their... more »
  • Two major goals drive most new product development—the desire to reduce hassles (for manufacturers, installers and end users) and the desire to reduce costs, and they do not have to be mutually exclusive.  In the last column I talked about getting out into the field and watching your customer’s customers install and use their fenestration products. This process is also known as... more »
  • There’s no doubt 2006 was a tough year for many in the window and door industry. The impact of the downturn in new housing was made clear by announcements of layoffs at year-end.  Of course, it wasn’t bad for everyone. Some regions—those less driven by speculative home buying—didn’t see the huge drops. Look to Western Canada and you’ll see markets in some... more »
  • Use of product tracking technology expands with RFID looming for the future
    Radio frequency barcode scanning at window, door, and millwork distribution companies is one of the most significant technology growth trends of the last 5 to 10 years. To some extent, almost every segment of the supply chain has embraced the use of RF scanning. The great gain in operational efficiencies from the use of RF scanning provides a tremendous return on investment for those companies... more »
  • Targeting the replacement market, California company has developed unique processes and strategy
    Plenty of companies specialize in replacement windows. Few, however, specialize in replacing interior doors—a fact that suggested a big opportunity to the founders of Interior Door Replacement Co. “Homeowners have had to hire general contractors or a large home improvement store, which generally make a mess of a home, are in the customer’s home for days, sometimes weeks, and... more »