Latest Articles in FEATURE ARTICLE

  • Focus group suggests quality, reliability and simplicity are highest priorities
    Quality, reliability, “nothing that will lead to callbacks.” That’s what replacement dealers want from a window supplier, according to a recent focus group sponsored by Window & Door and Mikron Industries. While energy efficiency is important, “it’s sort of a given,” noted one participant. “If it doesn’t have an Energy Star label, nobody’s... more »
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    Overcoming the barrier of consumer awareness to sell
    Fiberglass entry doors have been on the market since the early ’80s. Particularly in recent years, the category has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to dealers, builders and remodelers who promote the performance benefits of fiberglass to their customers. But while the presence of fiberglass continues to grow faster than traditional materials, consumer awareness of fiberglass remains... more »
  • Manufacturer takes dealer-centric approach to ease ordering of an increasingly complex product line
     Window and door manufacturers are facing some growing pains. The list of products and options offered by most companies is expanding, and customers are becoming more demanding. One manufacturer facing these challenges is Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., now nearing the end of a multi-year rollout of a new ordering and quoting software package. The 60-year-old company’s made-to-order... more »
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    Focusing on new construction products, Tennessee manufacturer sees itself as small fish in a big pond with plenty of opportunities as a result
    MGM Industries does its own thing—in more ways than one. It’s most obvious “thing” is its product line. Unlike most vinyl window manufacturers, the company makes a mechanically assembled window to better mimic the look of wood windows. A tour through the company’s plant in Hendersonville, TN, reveals many other differences too. Unlike most manufacturers its size, it... more »
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    Continued advances in software mean window manufacturers are still finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies
    In today’s market, driving down cost is the number one priority for many window manufacturers. The key is to simplify and streamline process areas without hurting precious competitive advantages—quality, delivery time and product differentiation. Although computer technology is not new in most plants, many manufacturers are winning the battle through the use of increasingly... more »
  • As the market corrects, industry players take the time to focus on innovation, differentiation
    The window and door industry (and the residential building market in general) is catching its breath. Mainstream media outlets are telling scary ghost stories to the country and its arguably shaky consumers, with a message that house prices are tumbling, existing home inventories have spiked and new home construction in some areas has come to a screeching halt. Most economists, on the other hand... more »
  • NAHB’s massive trade show to take Orlando by storm in February
    Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger, the International Builders’ Show has another growth spurt. You’ll need your comfortable shoes to make the rounds, with the 450 new exhibitors the National Association of Home Builders has added to the show floor roster—bringing the grand total to 1,800 suppliers spanning 300 categories of residential and light... more »
  • Seven siblings team up to grow Brothers Home Improvement
    The replacement window business is a family affair for the Cavannas. They’re a big family and, together, they have built a big business. Brothers Home Improvement had a wobbly start in 1995 when second-eldest of nine siblings Gene Cavanna teamed up with the baby of the family, Ralph Cavanna, to start a northern California window installation business. The two, with 11 years separating their... more »
  • Use of product tracking technology expands with RFID looming for the future
    Radio frequency barcode scanning at window, door, and millwork distribution companies is one of the most significant technology growth trends of the last 5 to 10 years. To some extent, almost every segment of the supply chain has embraced the use of RF scanning. The great gain in operational efficiencies from the use of RF scanning provides a tremendous return on investment for those companies... more »
  • Targeting the replacement market, California company has developed unique processes and strategy
    Plenty of companies specialize in replacement windows. Few, however, specialize in replacing interior doors—a fact that suggested a big opportunity to the founders of Interior Door Replacement Co. “Homeowners have had to hire general contractors or a large home improvement store, which generally make a mess of a home, are in the customer’s home for days, sometimes weeks, and... more »