Latest Articles in Operations

  • 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 »
  • handheld.jpg
    Point-of-sale measuring and order-entry system aims to eliminate errors, reduce time, increase upsells
    Some replacement window dealers may soon hang up their tape measures, pads of paper and calculators for electronic devices that automatically measure openings, configure window options and generate printed quotes for their customers. Taking the human element out of these traditional sales steps means reducing mistakes—a word that equals lost revenue to a dealer. “We’re a company... more »
  • Making the work environment safer also makes employees work smarter and be more productive
    For Therma-Tru Corp., being a preferred brand of entry doors and producing high-quality, beautiful products doesn’t fully define success. Being a true leader also means being a preferred place of employment and delivering operational excellence in all of our facilities. One hallmark of operational excellence is a safe workplace, where smart manufacturing processes and proactive... more »
  • More window and door manufacturers talk about kaizen events and changing the corporate culture. How widespread is this type of change?
    Ask nearly any window and door manufacturer, and they’ll tell you they’re “lean.” Competitive pressures, reflected in demands in pricing, lead times and quality, make “being lean” almost essential. But it’s clear that more manufacturers look to take this concept to a higher level. Although the trend may not be across the board, most window and door... more »
  • pella.jpg
    A continuous-improvement program implemented by the window and door manufacturer in 1993 laid the groundwork for expansion in recent years
    According to some observers, Pella Corp. was on the verge of being sidelined in its industry a decade ago. Instead, the shared vision of three men and the trust of an entire workforce remade the 65-year-old company into a lean pioneer. Mel Haught, Herb Lienenbrugger and Gene De Boef didn’t know this when they put on jeans and flannel shirts and went to the shop floor to conduct their first... more »
  • plantb.gif
    A little analysis can often yield significant improvements without adding significant capital or labor costs
        In looking at how to improve manufacturing efficiencies, there are a number of questions you need to ask yourself. Do you have control of the manufacturing process? Is your labor cost at what it should be or is it too high? Is your manufacturing running at peak efficiency? Is your manufacturing process running at peak capacity? Do you need to add manufacturing equipment?Often,... more »
  • Implementation is still limited, but Web-based systems for business-to-business transactions are projected to be the norm within two years
    Approaching the holidays, on-line shopping appeared to be the major story of the evening news every night. Amazon.com’s founder was named Time’s Man of the Year. The Super Bowl was renamed the Dot Com Bowl by many as Web-based businesses appeared to dominate this annual advertising showcase. E-commerce is the undeniable buzzword of the business world as we enter the new century and... more »
  • Materials Aluminum Extruders Council Web site features extensive information on aluminum production, processing and recyclability. Forest Certification Resource Center Created by Metafore, an organization focused on enabling businesses to make better environmental choices, this site provides an overview of forestry certification and links to a variety of programs around the world... more »