Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  •   Getting the Word Out EXCELLENCE IN MARKETING   Somerville Aluminum Branchburg, N.J. Several years back, Somerville Aluminum stood at a crossroads. It had 60 years’ worth of brand equity in its name, but its name reflected its business model of decades prior. The third-generation, New Jersey-based business had expanded far beyond its aluminum storm window roots and... more »
  •       Outside the Box EXCELLENCE IN INNOVATIVE THINKING   Window Factory Larkspur, Calif. Three years ago when Window Factory owner Leon Blum died suddenly, his two daughters—Jaclyn Blum Guelfi and Rachel Blum—had some big decisions to make. Barely into their early 30s, the sisters found themselves the heirs to a struggling company... more »
  • Most businesses today emphasize the need to rally employees behind a philanthropic mission in the local community as a way to ‘pay it forward’ while bringing colleagues closer together as a team, but figuring out where to start is usually the hardest part of getting involved in a cause. The key to choosing a charitable endeavor is to be sure it is in line with your company’s... more »
  • Last week, we reported the launch of Porch.com, a new internet service designed to connect homeowners with contractors. The field also includes Angie's List, Home Advisor (previously Service Magic) and others. Looking at various window and door dealer and manufacturer websites, it's clear many companies in our industry have at least tried these services for lead generation, and in some cases... more »
  • A dealer must begin with a clear brand message and an understanding of these customers
    The high-end segment has experienced a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the past several years, with changes in customer profiles and behavior leaving many window and door companies revamping past marketing approaches. Having managed and consulted for a wide range of window and door brands and retailers, I’m speaking from extensive experience when I say that the industry’s execution... more »
  • 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 »
  • GlassCraft Door Co. shows how artisanship and R&D work together
                More than 1,000 Speakeasy door features have been sold to date.    Had Glasscraft Door Co. offered its stylish Speakeasy door during Prohibition, more bootleg joints would have had their covers blown; it would have been tough to keep the locations secret with such an attractive and useful entrance feature. The Houston,... 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 »
  • The lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer are still with us, but in this issue, Window & Door looks ahead to the fall and GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, September 10-12 in Atlanta. It's the first of several fall events where window and door industry executives will gather and get down to business, either finalizing plans for 2014 or preparing for what's next. For... more »
  • Trade data suggests more U.S. windows and doors are being exported
    Although the United States is a major worldwide player in the importing and exporting of doors and windows, the actual percentage of product involved in international trade is quite small compared to overall production. A look at trade data shows that of the value of total production, only about 2 percent of doors and windows produced are exported, and about 4 percent of those consumed are... more »