Latest Articles in Management

  • Be interesting, make people happy, earn trust and respect, and finally, and make it easy for customers to talk about your company. Those are the four key factors in successful word-of-mouth marketing program, according to Brian Bunt of EmptyBin.com, who spoke at the recent Window & Door Dealers Forum. They're not easy tasks. I certainly don't want to downplay the importance of keeping company... more »
  • How do we accomplish everything we need to do to keep our businesses on track and running smoothly? That’s a pretty big topic you could write volumes on. We use a number of strategies to keep our pipeline filled. Networking: There are lots of ways to network. The most important thing is to actually get out there and do it. We are members of a local Business Networking International, which... more »
  • When the economy is this precarious, every penny spent must be justified. Cost efficiency and a lean operating model becomes the Holy Grail for survival. The cost of joining and participating in a trade association must be weighed against other discretionary spending. But focusing on the cost is only half of the cost-benefit equation—never a good business practice. To fill in the rest of... more »
  • As in Samuel Beckett’s famous two-act play, “Waiting for Godot,” a lot of us must feel much like we’re waiting vainly for the arrival of some mysterious character to bring back happier days. True to the plot, while cruising through the statistics can dig up some positive areas to confirm a reasonable optimism, the overall economic picture remains largely inscrutable: Job... more »
  • This week, Starbucks announced an initiative aimed to increase U.S.-based manufacturing—and thus, add more jobs to our economy. In a nutshell, the coffee company launched a line of merchandise for its stores—mugs, coffee, things like that—made exclusively by U.S. workers. The Reuters report points out that Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz is calling on all executives to step up... more »
  • The Energy Star program, as jointly managed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, is a long-time benefactor of incentives and tax breaks. It is a success story hailed as reportedly saving American $28 billion in 2008 alone. With Energy Star’s subsidized popularity and resulting influence in the market, window manufacturers have had little choice but to... more »
  • In preparing for my moderator role at this week’s Fenestration Manufacturers Conference—taking place right now in Pensacola Beach, Fla.—I participated in several conference calls with organizers to polish up our agenda. One of the topics of discussion we explored was raw material price increases and whether or not the market can sustain increases rippling through the supply... more »
  • With Earth Day coming, I thought I would turn my attention to green. In surfing the internet on the subject, I came across a a small business report on American Express's Open Forum that suggests that consumers are opting for green products less due to the weak economy, but companies continue to move in a greener direction.  The reason companies are embracing green, it suggests, is that... more »
  • Many of us as window and door dealers have managed to sustain our business in some of the worst economic times in history. Some dealerships in our markets did not and closed. My company has locations in three markets–Tampa; Cleveland and Milwaukee–so I have some idea what is happening on more than one dealer location front. I do not claim expertise, but hopefully I can offer a little... more »
  • It has long been an aspect of the law that when a seller says something about its product to induce sale, it needs to be a fair representation or liability can result. This type of claim can be frustrating for the seller. The consumer keeps the product, which appears to be working fine, but he or she sues for economic damage claiming to have been misled. The potential for such situations grows... more »