Latest Articles in Talking to Dealers

  • 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 »
  • In case you came to work today with nothing better to do, let’s chat about ripping off your customers. Not that I’m implying any of my dear readers would do such a thing, but let’s say your evil twin decided to put his toe to the edge of the slippery slope and flirt with some unethical, immoral and perhaps even illegal business practices. The question is this: Even if you put... more »
  • There. I did it. I’ve been meaning to do it for a year or more but I finally got around to clicking my way through a series of reservations and itineraries. I’d like to think that my inspiration is more goodwill than sheer curiosity, but regardless of the motive—I’m going to tour New Orleans. I want to know how business is going and how the rebuilding effort is progressing... more »
  •   I may have a new favorite pastime. It’s window shopping—but not the girlie kind where one would drool over an obscenely expensive pair of shoes or purse from the wrong side of a piece of security glass. I’m talking about shopping for actual fill-a-hole-in-your-house windows. And my dealer of choice for this obsession, which is likely to last as long as a New Year... more »
  • Settling into a relaxing evening at home with my family recently, I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking glass from another room. I rushed to the den to find the oldest of my three children (also known as my husband), standing next to a window, with a sheepish grin on his face. He had tossed a ball, it hit my favorite cast-iron candlesticks sitting on the sill, and you can finish the rest... more »
  • Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” makes the point that it’s easy enough to identify what separates a good organization or company from a bad one. We can see examples of good vs. bad companies in all tiers of our industry—manufacturers who don’t deliver on time versus ones that do, dealers who don’t return customers’ calls versus those who do. But... 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 »