Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

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    Big investments are few, but companies are adapting to stringent performance criteria in the market, and thinking about even stronger requirements on the horizon
    Following a period of little investment in new plants and production lines, window and door manufacturers are beginning to look again. Some see signs that sales are creeping up, but the primary driver is the need to upgrade window and door lines to meet new, more stringent performance criteria, including the new 30/30 minimums set for new tax credits, revised Energy Star criteria set to go in... more »
  • In 1985, a young window salesman was sent to Columbus, Ohio, to negotiate a contract of $275,000. His supervisor had commanded that young salesman to come back with the order and allowed, if necessary, that the salesman had the latitude to adjust the price by as much as $25,000. The very inexperienced young salesman walked into the office and met an intimidating purchaser who quickly exerted... more »
  • Move to JIT manufacturing can shift costs elsewhere without an integrated strategy
    Today, many window and door manufacturers find themselves in survival mode. To combat a decrease in demand, some are frantically trying to increase their sales, while others are searching for ways to augment profitability. The most successful companies are not looking to boost sales alone, they are also investing in proven cost cutting methods. Reducing overhead is an obvious path toward... more »
  • Nothing feels better to me than the beginning of summer. And from an industry perspective, it’s great to see things warming up a bit. With the spring came news that workers were returning to window and door plants, and I suspect many distributors and dealers brought back employees as business picked up in the office and in the field. Whether you attribute the increase in activity to normal... more »
  • As consumer product companies embrace the reality of empowered consumers and the Internet-enabled world, many have been moving to an “open innovation” product development model, report Pat Conroy and Art Ash of Deloitte LLP. This model is based on the idea that information can now be gathered on a mass scale by using both external (end users, suppliers, academia, etc.) and internal (... more »
  • Given the worldwide concern over the environment, pollution levels and global warning–and the increasing political and government involvement in these areas–it's no surprise that consumers have an increasing interest in "green" building. However, caution and care should be implemented by all involved, given the increasing frequency of claims and litigation arising from... more »
  • House Majority Leader John Boehner visited Deceuninck North America this week. His district includes Monroe, Ohio, where the vinyl extruder is one of the largest employers, so he has good reasons to visit the company, learn more about its operations, and hear its concerns. This is the latest example of what appears to be a trend–our industry speaking up more to Washington officials. Viwinco... more »
  • Businesses play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society. Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. To assist employers, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a checklist of steps to take to prepare. It identifies important, specific activities... more »
  • Presentation and display strategy should reflect products' quality and attributes
    Rolling travel bags and sleek cases can give salespeople a professional, pulled-together look when they walk into a home. Sales and Marketing are two words that are often connected in company structures, position titles or department names, but too often it seems like the marketing department and sales staff are from different worlds. What happens between a great marketing plan and the... more »
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    Boosting marketing and PR efforts during recession makes good companies great
    There is no news like good news–especially right now. You can’t open a newspaper or magazine without becoming depressed about the state of the economy. At times like this, is there really no good news to share or is it just overshadowed by a dark cloud of recession? Take note that many great companies were born from recession, including well-known empires, such as Proctor &... more »