Latest Articles in THE TALK...

  • We have a link in The Outside View... this week to a report from a Gary, Ind., newspaper, about a door manufacturer that won’t do installations in the city because the permit process is too time consuming. It’s not the first such story I’ve heard. More than one window and door person has said to me, “we avoid that city like the plague” when I’ve told them I... more »
  • RFID tags—the labels that automate product tracking, helping Wal-Mart and other big retailers keep costs low—have dropped in cost from about $1 each to close to a dime, according to a label supplier who spoke at the recent Fenetech Users Conference. Related scanning equipment costs have come down too. As a result, this technology could start playing a larger role in the window and... more »
  • During my college years (and even afterwards, while looking for my first editorial job) I worked in an electronics factory. I started in the machine shop, but they quickly realized I was better handling all the paperwork in the stock room than working a drill press. The job helped me pay for school, of course, but was also a valuable introduction into the business world. Now, my kids aren’... more »
  • Relationships of any kind fascinate me, but lately I’m stuck on the whole vendor-buyer thing. First, I raised a big ruckus by asking your opinion about the Masonite and Home Depot “break up”. Now I’ve just run across a story about an Atlanta-area homebuilder filing for bankruptcy, owing among many debts $1.3 million to pro dealer Stock Building Supply. Yikes. And I was... more »
  • According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 WDweekly recipients, 98 percent rate our coverage as “good” or better. In fact, 56 percent say we’re “very good” and another 15 percent score us as “excellent.” That was pretty great feedback to receive, but we’re not resting on our laurels. This week, we’re proud to introduce a new streamlined... more »
  • Coming to you from Charlotte, NC, this week, I’m beginning the second day of Profiles 2007, a conference looking at new technologies in plastic and composite building materials. We’ll report on the event next week, but much of the discussion is focusing on new developments and options for color in (or on top of) vinyl. There are already numerous options out on the market, of course,... more »
  • It certainly isn’t getting any cheaper to make windows and doors, but is the market just too tight right now to even consider increasing your prices? Reading Masonite’s quarterly report, we learned the sweeping implications of the company’s 2006 price hike. The door manufacturer’s biggest customer, Home Depot, dropped it for a competitor, leaving Masonite to deal with... more »
  • Air conditioners started humming last week in my neck of the woods, so it seemed like a good time to share a pet peeve of mind—window air conditioner units. My neck of the woods—New York City—has some stately old brownstones, adorned frequently with beautiful old windows. These windows obviously don’t get the respect they deserve in many cases, because the homeowner is... more »