Latest Articles in All

  • December is a key time to make business-related purchases in order to gain credit for them on your 2007 tax return. You can buy office supplies for January, renew business publication subscriptions for 2007, purchase advance postage and pre-pay rent for January to receive savings now. Another end-of-year item to consider is making a donation. Whether you donate cash or products to one of your... more »
  • Often overlooked, yet consistently successful, are mentoring systems that give new employees a sense of history and community when they enter a new company environment. By introducing new employees to the office culture immediately, mentors make them feel important and necessary to the company's success. This system also doubles as a way to create strong allegiances within your organization as... more »
  • Well, it seems I’m not the only one who wanted to have a little fun and inaugurate the first-ever window and door industry presidential poll. Last week’s WDweekly poll drew an unprecedented response—with more than 700 votes cast. Okay, they weren’t actually all votes—just over half the responses came from those of you who said you’d vote in this week’s... more »
  • A little over a month from now, the first official votes will be cast in the 2008 presidential campaign. So, not to let CNN, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, the New York Times, etc., etc., have all the fun, I’ve decided it's time for WDweekly to do the first ever window and door industry presidential poll. I can’t promise it will be as meaningful as the other polls—heck, we’... more »
  • Know the skills and personality traits that will make a person successful in a given job, so you can develop job descriptions when you’re hiring. This helps in framing interviews with potential applicants, who in turn learn in advance more about the skills needed for the position. Initially, a job description facilitates the selection of the right employee. But a good job description... more »
  • Seriously—is it already Thanksgiving? The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by. Magazine cycles are even worse—I just spent the last two weeks collecting insights from folks in all areas of our industry in preparation for our January 2008 forecast issue. On a personal level, it's tough to talk about next year before I've even enjoyed my Thanksgiving Day turkey-and-pie... more »
  • Don't hire the first person you like. Commit to meeting a number of people—even though you won't be interested in most of them. You owe it to yourself to interview a group of talented professionals for whatever position you are trying to fill. The worst-case scenario is that if you don't think a person is a good fit for your company, you can use the interview to learn more about your... more »
  • Current market conditions may slow M&A activity, but financial buyers are still looking at residential building products segment
    Many different factors are currently affecting merger and acquisition activity involving window and door companies. The rise in defaults of sub-prime mortgages has decreased lenders’ willingness to extend new loans to customers that don’t qualify for standard mortgages, affecting the outlook on the residential housing market. The losses suffered by major lenders in this space has... more »
  • fea_historic3.jpg
    Manufacturers find success in strict, custom niche
    There’s a spectrum of what constitutes a “historic” window. Depending on guidelines outlined by historical trusts and preservation societies and decision makers involved with the project, historic renovation solutions can range from refinishing and reglazing the original sash and frames to recreating a specific look with a brand new window made to incorporate historic features.... more »
  • Greg Brooks, a consultant to the lumber and building materials field, suggested at the recent AMD convention and exhibition that things are looking up for “independents.” Economies of scale have not added up for big companies to an advantage, he says, pointing to, among other things, the fact that in most markets, locals are effectively competing with Home Depot on price. Brooks also... more »