Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • It’s nice to see positive numbers for a change. That was my reaction when I saw the Freedonia Group predicting an average annual growth rate of 2.8% for window and door demand in its latest market study. Predictions for an annual average 2.8% growth rate through 2012... Sound reasonable Sound too optimistic Sound too pessimistic If poll form doesn't work... more »
  • Ladies and gentlemen, this is my favorite holiday of the year. And no, I'm not talking turkey and football and pies. I'm talking shopping—it's almost Black Friday! Hey, I'm as thankful as the next person, but my female family members and I have made an even better holiday tradition than calorie consumption out of getting up at wickedly early hours and rushing off to stand in line at some... 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 »
  • I love this article. It’s a crash course in small business survival in tough markets. But unlike the slew of articles online that do a whole lotta “this economic environment is not good” and not a whole lotta “so what are you going to do about it?” this article provides some blunt advice about how you should be approaching inventories, cash flow policies and what you... more »
  • I know there are a lot of readers out there less than thrilled with Barack Obama’s victory in yesterday’s election. Past polls we ran showed a pretty clear preference within our industry for McCain. Still I’m sure even some McCain supporters are happy this much-too-long campaign is over. With Obama's election, how do you feel about the next four years? More... 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 »
  • It’s pretty apparent at this point that our economy is not going to bounce back quickly. It’ll take time to get everything straightened out to reasonable levels and, in the meantime, companies in our industry (and many others) are pedaling fast to get lean and stay nimble in this tricky environment. In a general sense, I would classify my products as appropriate for... more »
  • Most window and door manufacturers are interested in components that will give their products a higher end look, but most have to balance cost concerns as well. That's still true but hardware and extrusion suppliers at GlassBuild last week indicated more manufacturers are showing a real interest in adding components or developing complete new lines that offer an enhanced appearance... more »
  • The economic outlook, along with the outlook for window and door sales, isn't too bright. We've all seen the news. While I'm not kidding myself, I found some hope and encouragement, however, in the number of window and door manufacturers I saw walking the floor of GlassBuild America this week. So, when do you think we'll see growth in the window and door market? First half... more »
  • So who can tell me how to say “wish me luck” in Chinese? This weekend I leave for my very first trip to China. I’ll be visiting Suzhou and Shanghai, as I mentioned in my column this month, and while I’m dreading the plane ride, I’m really excited about the trip itself. The purpose of my visit is to learn about doing business in China; I’ll be meeting with many... more »