Latest Articles in Operations

  • If you’re a typical dealer of windows and doors, you need a $1.5 million line of credit for every $10 million in business. Accordingly, if your revenues are $5 million, a $750,000 LOC is what’s required. This level of funding assures you’re not chronically cash hungry and have funds for early-pay discounts, inventory, strategic investments or even a recession. Finding a bank is... more »
  • In order to stay relevant, it seems companies have to be willing to go digital, especially given the younger generations roaming around with Apple products in hand, expecting accessible information at the swipe of a finger. But, the window and door industry seems to be lagging behind in some areas. For one, there are still many steps within the selling process that rely heavily on handwritten... more »
  • Three tips to stop hackers
    Website hacking isn’t something that only happens to big companies. Every week, my office receives at least half a dozen calls from local small business owners that need help fixing a hacked website and the volume of these calls appears to be increasing. Despite common perception, hackers don’t only want to hack large e-commerce sites to access financial data. Many small business... more »
  • Getting to the root problems of installation and how manufacturers can address them
    The bold red color of the door helps distract attention from the issue, but the issue of the “frowning door” still needs to be addressed. (All images courtesy of the author.) Working with exterior doors is a tricky business. Manufacturers spend hours designing and assembling high-performing exterior doors that then endure many different factors that can lead to performance... more »
  • What Professional Services Automation software can help accomplish
    Our industry is excited about automation, and for good reason—it’s enabling businesses to work smarter and faster. A recent post on noted how manufacturers are embracing automated products at ever-faster rates. But automation is as much, if not more effective for processes as it is for products.   In particular, Professional Services Automation... more »
  • Tips on how to successfully integrate new equipment
    Prior planning is the most important aspect of adding new machinery to an existing production line, and it begins before the new equipment makes the first part, or is even delivered. The planning stage involves correctly identifying the need by evaluating the entire line. To accurately determine what part of the process needs to improve some of the questions you'll need to ask are: Are all the... more »
  • New classifications could spell liability for window and door companies
    This summer, the National Labor Relations Board significantly expanded risk for companies that subcontract employees to be considered a “joint employer” of its contractors. The risk involves liability for injuries, taxes, contract breaches and other third-party claims. This can affect residential construction constituents who market “installed sales” to the extent that any... more »
  • Have you ever taken on a fenestration replacement project outside of your comfort zone? Were you glad you did? Or, did you wish you hadn’t? Either way, you likely gained some valuable experience from it and it influenced your project undertakings in the future. When I converse with my many dealer connections in different regions via phone, social media or in person. One dealer friend of... more »
  • Cash is your company’s lifeblood. Without it, the business cannot function and grow properly. While sales are important, cash is still king. Failure to have a system to effectuate collections is a plan for eventual failure. The first step is to put some past-due prevention measures in place. Some proven strategies are to develop a credit approval process for new clients, collect a 50... more »
  • Every significant business has a multi-layered intersection with the risk inherent in the American legal system—product manufacturers and resellers especially. From the product perspective, lawyers who manage the risk at these layers require a knowledgeable connection between established legal issues and the nuances of the fenestration business. To be sure, there are a few areas you might want to... more »