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  • Hiring the right employee comes down to three things: screening, screening, and screening. These tips will help you select the right applicant for the job. Write a realistic job description. Solicit referrals. Read résumés with a critical eye. Check references. Perform background checks. Conduct personality testing. Screen over the phone prior to investing in an in person... more »
  • Another update from DOE provides a little more insight into potential changes to the Energy Star window, door and skylight criteria. The government is still waiting to see what ICC might do as far as tightening energy codes first, but some possible numbers are being shared. So I thought I’d use this week’s poll to get your feedback—and, since I just came from the Northeast... more »
  • The only way to find out if candidates will be a good fit for your company is to ask a lot of questions to discover whether: they possess a positive attitude they have high energy they are trustworthy and possess good character they feel good about themselves and life they take responsibility without making excuses they desire to keep learning and hunger for growth they are willing to follow... more »
  • Although I fear this reveals how remarkably unexciting my life is, I was recently reading a study commissioned by the Small Business Administration regarding the connection between educational levels and the likelihood that a person would go into business for him or herself. For the most part, the correlation stands—the more book smarts you have, the more likely you’d want to be your... more »
  • A leaner window and door industry may emerge thanks to this year’s tight market.
    Window and door executives across the country are adopting the following mantra for 2008: What doesn’t kill us will make us stronger. It goes without saying that we’re in for another tough year, but many industry representatives believe the survival-of-the-fittest phase that will mark this year will result in a leaner, meaner fenestration industry on the other side of the downturn.... more »
  • Ahhh, there’s nothing like an eye-popping news story to get me all charged up at column-writing time, and I know it’s a good one when I’m still baffled after the third or fourth read. The folks at Milgard are in the courts attempting to iron out an unfortunate situation. The former executive assistant to President James Sweeney Jr. allegedly embezzled $1.6 million from the... more »
  • Direct marketing expenditures continue to grow. The Direct Marketing Association estimates direct marketing spending increased 4.4 percent in 2007 to $173 billion, despite negative developments in the housing and automobile markets and rising energy costs. As direct marketing spending grows, it is also evolving. Traditional print efforts are seen giving way to multiple forms of interactive... more »
  • Many of us in the building materials business have read this book before. Housing starts and permits plummet, sales drop and it is time to start the belt tightening. When it comes to cutbacks, they usually come in the following order: * Training* Market research* Marketing programs (dealer, consumer, builder and remodeler)* Sales support and/or customer service* Sales... more »
  • The first priority in the wake of the devastating 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons along the U.S. Gulf and Atlantic Coasts has been to upgrade construction requirements to prevent damage from excessive winds and wind-borne debris. Stronger code requirements for impact-resistant windows have since been adopted in many jurisdictions, ranging from those that reference current International Code... more »
  • In the current market, it’s time to get started
    You may be busy. You may be understaffed. You may even be in denial. But the time for action is now. In today’s market, window and door manufacturers need to cut costs, and they have to do it by getting manufacturing processes in order and under control.Relax...it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. There’s no need to spend $100,000 for the advice of an outside consultant; no... more »