Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • Quanex Building Products has begun an initiative to better inform our customers of changes in programs and legislation in Washington that may impact the fenestration industry. We are investing in lobbying and dedicating resources to actively develop our influence with key members of Congress and departments, such as the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. We have... more »
  • In recent weeks, I’ve been chatting with a few people in the industry about operations challenges they’ve tackled in the last year or so. Sure—money is tight all around. But some companies are carving out the budgetary space to explore efficiencies and add capabilities. From sales and marketing to scheduling to installation and service, window and door companies are still... more »
  • We’re looking at social media use among window and door dealers and manufacturers in our August issue.  Do you have a success story to share on how you’re connecting to customers using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other such tools?   I'll try to kickstart the conversation with this week's poll question. And whether you're a supplier, manufacturer, dealer or consultant, I'... 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 »
  • Window & Door recently reached out to a number of people in the industry for an upcoming article looking at the impact of recent steps taken by the Federal Trade Commission designed to end the use of "exaggerated and unsupported claims" related to the energy-savings potential of windows. Gary Delman of Sunrise Windows in Michigan shared the following insights.  We thought... 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 »
  • It a little less than a week, the 2012 deadline for filing your income taxes will be upon us. Always a fun day to look forward to, isn’t it? I read an article that says more than half of Americans plan to use this year’s refund to pay bills. Some people will take vacations, participate in leisure activities or buy gifts with their refunds, the survey says, but a majority of... more »
  • This week's news announcement from James Hardie and Teel Plastics doesn't say too much about windows and doors, but the story suggests we could have huge new player in the window and door industry.  A $1.25 billion building products company like James Hardie could have an especially big impact on the fiberglass segment of the industry. Fiberglass accounted for about 3.5 percent of the 2011... more »
  • I came across an article recently from a Delaware newspaper that points out that smaller builders are making a comeback with the housing market as it begins to show signs of life. While we still have a long path to travel in terms of the housing market’s recovery, the article notes that smaller builders are getting busier and reporting that business has picked up quite a bit this spring.... more »
  • Greetings from Germany, where Fensterbau, the world's biggest window and door trade fair, kicks off a four-day run today.  A leading topic of conversation here–judging by labels on windows and signs in booths–is the Passivhaus Institut.  The organization has a whole-house standard, designed to bring energy consumption down to neglible levels, and apparently windows and... more »