Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Three keys to successfully adding new equipment
    In order to successfully integrate equipment, it’s critical to think through every piece of the process. It starts even before specifying equipment and soliciting quotes. The first step is to identify the problem the equipment will solve. Improved ergonomics, enhanced craftsmanship and/or increased production output are all good examples of issues machinery can solve. Make sure you have a... more »
  • Key factors to creating an ideal retail space
    This fall, fenestration dealers will gather at Window & Door Dealer Days to see new products, network with peers and participate in educational sessions designed to improve their profitability. The focal point of the new event will be the Dream Showroom, a 4,400-square-foot pavilion on the GlassBuild America tradeshow floor featuring residential windows and doors from the industry’s... more »
  • There are a few specific areas that have a large impact on the integration of new equipment into the production cycle. Rob Macaulay and Mitchell Heckbert, Urban Machinery, have the following tips for each of the critical areas. Machine Acceptance Often referred to as “factory run off,” once the machine build is complete, schedule one to two days to visit your supplier’s... more »
  • As a window and door dealer, do you ever find yourself wondering any of the following: Could some processes be easier? Why do certain issues continue to be a problem? Am I the only one facing them? What adjustments could make my business more profitable? If any of these questions are familiar, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a place you can go for answers. Window & Door... more »
  • In my visits to member businesses, I ask a lot of “why?” questions as I observe the setup. In factories, I notice the workflow, tidiness, safety precautions, machinery in use, inventory capacity, and whether or not the owner or manager taking me on the tour greets workers by name. I ask why they chose this or that and I ask myself, would I want to work here if I weren’t so... more »
  • What gets measured gets done. It’s a familiar aphorism, certainly, but that doesn’t make it any less fitting. It’s true with almost anything you do, whether professionally or personally. For example, when you’re on a diet, tracking your weight, measurements, food and exercises lets you know how effective your techniques are. It’s just the same in business. If you... more »
  • With the move toward the minimalist, less-is-more trend in the U.S., and in the era of Amazon making everything you can possibly dream of easily accessible, it’s a wonder how it could still be so difficult to find parking at the mall on the weekends. But it is. Despite the progression toward convenience shopping, Americans are still very much in the habit of store hopping. It’s not... more »
  • It is better to understand the business you are in by recognizing the business you are not in. This premise will be helpful as we look at how to avoid claims based upon product selection. Such claims include allegations of unsuitability for site conditions, deviation from project specifications and failure to meet code requirements. Today’s windows, skylights and sliding glass doors... more »
  • The road to implementing Energy Star v6.0 was bumpy, ever changing and lengthy. We discussed energy performance criteria, feasibility for manufacturers, implementation dates, payback period, and installation requirement, just to name a few. There was a lot to write about and we did just that. These were all issues that would affect our industry’s future and thus justified extensive... more »
  • People make their buying decisions based on emotion, especially when it comes to purchases for the home. One of the most effective ways to close a sale and ensure a happy customer is to find out what is most important to those doing the buying and sell to that need in a way that makes it a pleasurable experience. Want to be thought of as “a joy” to do business with? Here are three... more »