Latest Articles in Operations

  • Quanex Building Products, IG Systems Cambridge, Ohio
    The new R&D center at the Cambridge, Ohio, Quanex plant The Challenge: To redesign the Cambridge, Ohio, facility so it would support the Quanex branding, while maintaining the quality and efficient production of the company’s solaredge tape technologies. Quanex also wanted to be able to use the facility as a pilot plant to test and refine new technologies. And, the company... more »
  • Window and door manufacturer Soft-Lite shares lessons learned
    In February 2012, Gorell Windows & Doors in Indiana, Pa., went into receivership. In March, Soft-Lite, the window and door manufacturer located in Streetsboro, Ohio, purchased several of its machines and product lines, including the Armor Max Plus and Armor Impact Plus hurricane windows. By Memorial Day, “only three months after we’d met with the receiver, we’d moved the... more »
  • When reviewing the news for the upcoming August issue of Window & Door, I was struck by the number of acquisitions that have taken place in our industry over the past 60 days. By my count, there have been at least 11 deals made since late May, among manufacturers and distributors alike. On a national level, there was Sierra Pacific Industries’ purchase of Hurd Windows and Doors. At the... more »
  • For consumers, choosing a frame material is crucial to the window selection process. There are, after all, a lot of options available. It’s the job of the salesperson to find the best fit for the client and application.   Consumers typically choose a frame material based on the benefits it offers. But there is another factor to consider, and that is how the frame material can ease, or... more »
  • Editor’s note: This article is the second in a two-part series. Part one appeared in the March/April 2014 issue on Page 26.   In the March/April issue, I emphasized the importance of using websites to provide information to consumers regarding your company’s products as a means to help protect itself against potential legal action. While there is no promise that an individual... more »
  • Recently I spoke with several successful dealers to glean some sales conversion strategies. I spent a long time talking with Brian Elias, owner of Hansons, which does nearly $60 million in window, door, roofing and siding sales—“in one of the worst markets in the country,” he says: “Detroit.” One of the things that Elias attributes to his success—99... more »
  • I recently read “How to Promote Your Blog Content: 40+ Experts Share Marketing Tips.” A common theme among respondents regarding the success of a blog is the importance of relationship building. As social media expert Carol Lynne Rivera puts it, “[You] need to be involved in getting to know people–other bloggers and business people, commenters, subscribers, Twitter and... more »
  • Like many Americans this year, I am about to take on a home renovation project. And I am both excited and terrified at the prospect.    To ease myself into the remodeling process, I recently attended a local home & garden show, where I was greeted by seemingly thousands of companies: from window dealers to full-scale remodelers to specialty businesses. First on my list: three new... more »
  • At Woodland Windows & Doors in Roselle, Ill., affirmation is king. It started in 1969 when founder and patriarch, John Mariotti, said, "Yes, I can sell that," when asked to be the specialty dealer for a national window brand. And it has carried through—literally—to the present day on the side of the company’s 10 trucks. Like a dealer’s showroom, the... more »
  • In Window & Door’s 2014 Industry Pulse, dealers and manufacturers agreed that changes in materials pricing would present the biggest challenge this year in terms of external factors. What about internal business challenges? In my experience as a senior editor of Remodeling magazine―where for nearly a decade prior to joining Window & Door I covered everything from legal issues and... more »