Latest Articles in Operations

  • More manufacturers and pre-hangers are turning to 3PLs to get product to the jobsite
    The word “outsourcing” strikes an emotional cord whenever it is mentioned. There is typically quite a bit of debate in the media about the pros and cons of outsourcing, which usually carries the connotation of American jobs being shipped overseas. That process is, in fact, more accurately referred to as “off shoring.”     More window and door... more »
  • Asymmetric triple-pane construction and advanced gas filling techniques provide new alternatives to improve performance numbers
    Conventional wisdom says R-5 windows are too costly to manufacture. This assumption is largely based on experience employing older technologies for fabricating high-performing triple IG units. Several recent developments challenge the assumption that R-5 cannot be reached affordably. One is the addition of 4th surface low-E glass coatings in dual lite units. Another is the introduction of... more »
  • Last week, I received press releases from Milgard and Windsor, each announcing the availability of building information modeling (BIM) files for certain window and door lines offered by the manufacturers.  These weren't the first of such announcements I've received by any means, but the fact that I recieved two in one week made me wonder about the role of BIM in the... more »
  • According to the National Weather Service, conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean will make for a fairly normal 2012 hurricane season, meaning it will likely be a less active season than we’ve experienced in recent years. That’s welcome news for everyone, especially homeowners in coastal towns who struggled with destruction caused by Hurricane Irene last summer. However, the... more »
  • Microsoft's launch of the Surface this week provides yet more evidence that the world is moving to tablets. More and more of us are walking around with iPads and other tablets. We're checking email, playing games and using them to read books and magazines. We're definitely seeing it. Window & Door's Digital Edition is now averaging 3,000 unique visits and more than 90,000 page views per... more »
  • This week, Starbucks announced an initiative aimed to increase U.S.-based manufacturing—and thus, add more jobs to our economy. In a nutshell, the coffee company launched a line of merchandise for its stores—mugs, coffee, things like that—made exclusively by U.S. workers. The Reuters report points out that Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz is calling on all executives to step up... more »
  • Window and door specialty retailers look to invest in efficiencies
    The degree to which window and door companies were impacted by the economic downturn may vary significantly, but it’s a safe bet to assume that every single one was affected in some way, shape or form. Today—looking to brighter days ahead—many companies are still trying to do more with less, fighting the necessity to pass price increases on to their customers and trying to take... more »
  • Manufacturers may be ready to invest in new equipment again
    Window and door manufacturers are retooling, with equipment suppliers reporting more activity of late. New machinery purchases are still limited by the wide availability of used equipment—and many companies remain cautious about the market outlook—but investment in production operations appear to be on the rise. Opinions are definitely mixed on how big that increase may be. “We... more »
  • This article accompanies our main equipment market overview in the June/July issue.   Last year, GED Integrated Systems introduced the Automated Tri-Lite Assembly System, an automated line for producing triple-glazed units at a competitive cost. Featuring unique capabilities such as “touchless” handling of the center lite of the triple-lite IG, the line has received positive... more »
  • In recent weeks, I’ve been chatting with a few people in the industry about operations challenges they’ve tackled in the last year or so. Sure—money is tight all around. But some companies are carving out the budgetary space to explore efficiencies and add capabilities. From sales and marketing to scheduling to installation and service, window and door companies are still... more »