Latest Articles in Management

  • The last couple years have seen staggering decreases in building starts. It seems a generally benign “downturn” has progressed through a much-debated “recession,” with some fearful prospects of a “Depression” now on the minds of our pessimistic colleagues. While many economists doubt the potential for the economic downturn to stumble into a depression, the... more »
  • We start out this year on challenging economic footing and, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably about sick of hearing about it. But just when I reach for the mouse or the remote to avoid yet another report on the state of our economy, I take pause to remind myself that pilots check a lot of gauges before they decide to land a plane. Making business decisions without reliable... more »
  • Few people in the window and door industry are sorry to say goodbye to 2008. We reported more than enough stories this year on plant closings, lay-offs, restructurings, and even complete shutdowns of companies. I just wish I could say I was starting the new year brimming with optimism. Current forecasts for the economy in general, and the new construction and home improvement markets, don’t... more »
  • So I'll admit I'm probably not the best person from which you should solicit an opinion regarding the Big Three auto makers and the current bailout banter. The Ford I've owned for one year dropped a transmission last week so I'm a little bitter at the moment. We'll save that story for another Talk... Should President Bush issue a bailout to U.S. auto makers? Yes No... more »
  • The Republic factory sit-in is “the start of a movement,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, told the Associated Press, adding "This story has resonated around the world." Even President-elect Obama weighed in on the situation. In covering the window and door business for 25 years, I’ve never seen an industry-related story attract so much national media... more »
  • Right now, there’s much talk about the need to bail out U.S. automakers. Those in favor say actions are necessary to save the economy from falling into depression and put the U.S. in a leadership role in next generation energy efficient cars. A stimulus program for replacement windows and doors... ...is needed and the industry should lobby for it. ...might be... more »
  • New 502-08 and 511-08 documents are good step toward the fair use of product tests in a forensic investigation
    For most companies the evaluation and processing of claims is one of those areas which can stand improvement; sometimes a lot of improvement. I assure you it is not uncommon to be good at window and door design, manufacture, sales and service; but be bad at handling claims. Even those that are fairly adept at handling those projects that have problems have been subjected to potential liability... more »
  • Last week, the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P issued its annual U.S. Litigation Trends survey, which found that 75% of manufacturing companies faced at least one new lawsuit in the past year, and 53% reported facing six or more new suits. That's actually good news, according to the firm, which suggests that 2007 and 2008 saw the number of cases and dollar amounts involved trending... more »
  • A manufacturer contacted me not too long ago to see if I had heard any news about one its local competitors. The reason he inquired is that he was seeing an influx of people from this competitor looking for jobs at his operation. While I hadn’t heard any news in this particular case, and I wasn’t much help, it reminded me of something said to me not too long ago. “If you can... more »
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    Baltimore—While many remodelers and replacement dealers are struggling in the current economic environment, some are growing. In conjunction with last week’s Remodeling Show here, Ply Gem Windows brought together a panel of Great Lakes window dealers that continue to see their sales increasing to share some of their keys to success. “We decided we were not going to participate... more »