Latest Articles in Management

  • Visiting Cape Cod this past weekend, I got a first-hand look at a hurricane and also saw the effects of the storm. They were not catastrophic around me by any means, but trees went down and there were widespread power outages. This week's Talk comes from a friend's house as a result of power being down at my own. Anyway, the storm is on my mind, and I was curious how window and door... more »
  • The home improvement industry has come under close scrutiny for what some regulatory bodies are calling deceptive and misleading sales and employment practices. Unfortunately, many companies have already faced massive fines, penalties and legal fees. This column is designed to build awareness of some of the possible legal problems that dealers can encounter, as well as offer some cautions and... more »
  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision not to expand its lead paint rules in July was welcome news for the industry. The added costs of compliance to the existing Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting rules were already having a negative impact on remodeling activity, and additional clearance testing requirements would have inflated those costs further. The costs and their impact on... more »
  • Window and door dealers are probably throwing parties as a result of EPA’s decision last week not to add lead clearance testing to LRRP rules. I don’t blame them—it’s been well documented that adding post-project clearance testing for lead dust would have added significant cost and burden to remodeling projects in pre-1978 homes. No doubt, the decision announced this week... more »
  • If your company is in the business of buying and reselling building products, including doors and windows or components, manufactured by an offshore entity, what happens if a lawsuit is brought relating to those products? As a “seller,” your company is a serious target. “But, we did not make it, we just resold it” is not an adequate defense. Companies need to understand... more »
  • About six weeks ago, I asked whether window and door retailers were getting in the habit of “channel blurring,” a concept whereby former product specialists or niche-targeted retailers start branching out to carry seemingly unrelated products for the convenience of their customers. Like the Home Depot carrying laundry detergent or a window specialist carrying fencing or something... more »
  • Despite all the objections I’ve heard about the Environmental Protection Renovation, Repair and Paint rules, most in the industry argue that if the laws are on the books, they need to be enforced. Otherwise, the companies that play by the rules—investing in training and following lead safe procedures—will be undercut in the market by those that don’t. Enforcement started... more »
  • Manufacturers and dealers gearing up to take advantage of rapid developments in tablets and mobile technologies
    About a week after Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, Geoff Roise at Lindsay Windows in Minnesota bought one for one of the company’s production supervisors to try out. “It’s impact immediately became apparent,” he states. “I would send him an email with a question and I would get an instant response.”     Line leaders at Lindsay Windows now... more »
  • In January, President Obama announced support of a new Better Buildings Initiative—targeted at commercial projects—and expressed his support once again for Home Star, the program that would provide homeowners with government rebates for energy efficient home upgrades. Given the change in Congress, I honestly don’t know how much potential there is for such programs. I certainly... more »
  • The up-and-coming workforce is digitally native, thinks globally, is easily bored, craves attention, acts socially and is work-ethic challenged. That's  according to Eric Chester, a consultant focused on helping companies understand and getting the most out of "Generation Why" employees and keynote speaker at this week's AAMA conference. Hiring new workers and developing new talent... more »