Latest Articles in Operations

  • This week, a documentary about American manufacturing premieres nationwide. Directors Vincent Vittorio and Nathan McGill of  “American Made Movie” highlight what they believe to be the underpinnings of long-term growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector, noting very clearly that domestic manufacturing “isn’t dead yet.” In a Marketwatch.com column ... more »
  • Here are a few of my personal gems: Ordering a 24-inch width when I meant to order a 2/4 width Ordering a one-over-one double-hung when I should have ordered a full view picture window Ordering equal sash when I should have ordered cottage sash Ordering the default hardware color when it should have been a color option. How can mistakes like these occur when I aim to be meticulous with the... more »
  • For most people, the summer season is synonymous with sunny days, a packed social calendar and vacation time. It’s overwhelmingly recognized as the most popular time of year for relaxation, much to the chagrin of business owners everywhere come June 21st. As the temperature rises, and the days get longer, it’s easy for even the most motivated employees to lose enthusiasm, and... more »
  • Suppliers report demand for equipment and software is on the rise as the window and door market continues to improve
    Spurred by an increase in window and door sales, manufacturers are showing increased willingness to invest in production operations. Orders for new equipment and systems are up, and suppliers expect greater demand going forward. “There is pent-up demand in nearly every area of the country and most every segment of the market,” says Morgan Donohue of Erdman Automation Corp., the... more »
  • Job site efficiency results in faster, higher quality―and ultimately more profitable―installations. However, achieving high levels of efficiency is by no means automatic. It takes a dedicated effort to assess and develop productive work habits. Perfect efficiency is unattainable, but continuous improvement offers great returns. Workflow is a key component to job site efficiency. Specifically,... more »
  • It seems as though cloud-based computing is picking up steam in the manufacturing sector. "The best manufacturers I’ve visited this year all share a common attribute," writes Louis Columbus, a Forbes contributor in a recent column. "They are obsessed with making themselves as easy as possible to work with from a supply chain, distribution and services standpoint.... more »
  • The housing market continues to recover, but not at the rate many of us would like to see. Economists attribute sluggish growth levels to rising material costs and a lack of skilled labor, among other reasons. Builders around the country are pointing to such problems, particularly in some of the hotter new home markets. It's been a long time, however, since I heard such complaints in the window... more »
  • More window and door companies continue to embrace social media, but mobile technologies might take longer to establish themselves among manufacturers, distributors and dealers than some expected. These findings are the result of a series of questions included as part of Window & Door's 2013 Industry Pulse study, asking about the electronic tools and media companies use to... more »
  • Successful projects result from careful communication between the salesperson, client and installer. This communication is necessary because, initially, all three have different perspectives. Of course, there is a common goal: a quality product, properly installed, in a reasonable timeframe, at a fair price for all. To reach that goal, all perspectives should be considered, including the... more »
  • Just last month, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released a promising outlook for the home remodeling industry, predicting it would continue to improve through the end of the year and into the first half of 2013.  If that prediction holds true, the next few months might be a good time to evaluate your current hiring strategies to ensure your firm is prepared for what will... more »