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  • fea_eqdemand_retool_wd0608.jpg
    Eventual market recovery, demand for triple glazing and continued efforts to reduce labor will spur more investments, suppliers predict
    Back in 2005 and 2006, window and door manufacturers were investing in new equipment and plants to expand capacity as the housing market boomed. With the housing bust of 2007 and 2008, things changed. Suppliers report that investments in new equipment are now down dramatically, but they also point out that spending has not come to a halt. Manufacturers continue to replace machines and upgrade... more »
  • Residential product demand should see some recovery in 2009, but growth will be slow
    With both new home construction and residential remodeling expenditures down, window sales will fall another 11.8 percent this year, according to a new report from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. Although cautious regarding the high inventory of unsold homes, the study sees the residential market beginning to regain some... more »
  • When a job opening is created, broaden your usual approach. In addition to seeking a full-time replacement, consider offering exciting employees, ex-employees and job applicants a nontraditional arrangement that meets immediate company and candidate needs. Here are a few ideas: Part-time hours (even one day a week) Job sharing On a per project basis Telecommuting from home with regular... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door The International Builders’ Show Web site this year featured a little guy walking around and talking at the bottom of the screen. It was the first time I’d seen that feature, but I just visited Window City's site last week that also had two “hosts”... more »
  • Newsletters (and e-newsletters) are an excellent way to stay in touch with your customers. They can help you promote ongoing service, lead to repeat business and are a great way to get referrals. But when developing content, ask yourself the question your customers ask: “What’s in it for me?” “WIIFM,” as it’s known in marketing circles, is crucial to the... more »
  • Christina Lewellen, senior editor of Window & Door I can’t imagine most of us spent our childhoods dreaming of growing up to work in the window and door industry. I love hearing “how I stumbled into the industry and never left” stories at meetings and trade shows because we all have our own journey into the fenestration realm. The... more »
  • In difficult job markets there is more temptation than ever to bend the truth a little to get the job. This can leave the company with employees who can't do the job they were hired for. Identifying "red flags" will help you ensure that you can identify candidates with a depth of experience and expertise. Here are a few pointers: Before sorting through your pile of resumes, have a... more »
  • I visited with Four Seasons Sunrooms last week. The company reported recent success in picking up new dealers because of its “more complete” product line. Their new dealers like that they can buy from one source, and get more support as a result, yet satisfy more customers with different needs and different budgets. I can see why that would be appealing to many dealers. But I also... more »
  • John Swanson, editor/ associate publisher of Window & Door I visited with Four Seasons Sunrooms last week. The company reported recent success in picking up new dealers because of its “more complete” product line. Their new dealers like that they can buy from one source, and get more support as a result, yet satisfy more customers with... more »
  • It seems counterintuitive, but great companies expand during slowdowns; they don't pull back. Remember, all competitors within an industry are dealing with the same challenges. As a result, the weakest of these organizations will be going out of business, losing critical funding and cutting operations, and/or letting go of critical but expensive assets and people. "All of these things open... more »