Latest Articles in Operations

  • Reaching a crossroads, the dealer took a different path
    Out-of-the Box Excellence in Innovative Thinking Associated Building Supply Oxnard, Calif.     The leadership at Associated Building Supply made business decisions proactively to position itself for future growth and come out ahead of the crowd crippled by the downturn. Whether they wanted it or not, the economic downturn has given many window and door dealers extra... more »
  • A large portion of our discussions about the industry in the recent past have had an economic component to them, as the recession has made budgets tighter and staffs thinner. Belt-tightening has caused a big slowdown in home starts and in construction projects which has lowered the demand for building products. This downturn has been difficult for manufacturers, but at the same time been good... more »
  • Despite unified industry pleas to delay implementation based on training bottlenecks and the poor timing of adding yet another speed bump to an ailing industry’s road to recovery, the Environmental Protection Agency decided to go live with its new Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule on April 22, 2010. The new measure (40 CFR § 745.85) requires renovation work that disturbs more... more »
  • Good deals can be found at auctions, but some homework and on-site inspection are key
    Is it more economical to refurbish an existing piece of equipment, buy something used or purchase a new machine with the specific features needed? That question comes up frequently these days—often spurred by an upcoming auction. Unfortunately, equipment auctions have been all too common with the closing of many window and door operations over the past few years. On the surface, low-... more »
  • Seaway Manufacturing, an Erie, Pa., based window manufacturer, reports it offered the EPA lead paint  training classes to 36 installers from its dealer network in January, with 24 currently signed up for a February session.  Other manufacturers, no doubt, have offered similar training programs. Many window and door dealers have pursued the soon-to-be-required training through other... more »
  • Because we didn't have enough to keep us on our toes next year, the window and door industry has yet another challenge on its hands. A challenge, I'm expecting, that may catch more than a few companies off guard. I'm talking about the lead paint handling rules slated to go into effect in April 2010 that would apply to all companies doing replacement projects in homes built before 1978. We report... more »
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    Training and certification on lead-safe practices will be required for work on pre-1978 homes
    In April 2010, new Environmental Protection Agency rules go into effect requiring that contractors "take the proper precautions to work lead-safe, including minimizing the dust, containing the work area, and conducting a thorough cleanup to reduce the potential exposure associated with disturbing lead-based paint." The rules will affect companies doing window and door replacements, and... more »
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    Dealer finds customer satisfaction stems from setting homeowners' expectations
    Plumb, Level & Square Excellence in Installation  Custom Exteriors Pleasantville, Calif. Custom Exteriors has always used the best processes and materials for its installation, but the dealer has found that setting homeowners' expectations is an important part of the sale. A good installation comes with good products, a well-trained team of installers and a management... more »
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    Window & Door Honors Excellence in the Middle
    Window & Door, the leading magazine serving the window and door industry, has announced its 2009 Dealers of the Year award winners. This year’s program honored two companies as the top Overall Excellence winners. In addition, it recognized six Focused Excellence category winners—window and door retailers and distributors that stand out in the areas of marketing, installation... more »
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    ERP system alone is not enough to ensure "customer delight"
    Going the Extra Mile Excellence in Customer Service Feldco Factory Direct Des Plaines, Ill.    With additional locations, Feldco has invested in a customized ERP system to help manage the details, but the management team knows that true customer satisfaction comes from employees dedicated to promoting "customer delight." Feldco has figured out that the best... more »