Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

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    Photography that will help sell your products requires more than a good camera
    In the world of selling windows and doors, one rule should always apply–make your product the hero. Whether you’re designing a brochure, revamping a Web site, or promoting a new product line in an advertisement, the product must always be the focal point. In putting together printed or Web materials, too often manufacturers lose sight of the importance of a good promotional photograph... more »
  • Several times in the past year or two I've come across quite a bit of fodder on the generations in this country. The Baby Boomers are welcoming Generation X and Y, and even the Millennial generation (those born from the late 1970s to the early 1990s) into the workplace and the homebuyer market. And homeownership among immigrants has been increasingly rising ever since I started covering this... more »
  • Fleet Feet, a premier outfitter for runners, prominently posts a sign which admonishes buyers, "You don't buy a running shoe by color." If that isn't a great sales opening, then I don't know what is. The client is immediately forced into a mindset that says Fleet Feet is serious about running shoes and provides a product that gets the job done! At Fleet Feet, they will tell you how... more »
  • With the recent passage of SB 2499 (“Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2009”), all businesses with exposure to tort claims–including personal injury claims–need to be keenly aware of Medicare’s reimbursement rights. Medicare’s reimbursement rules are changing, and businesses should consider modifying their liability and settlement strategies.... more »
  • For better or worse, the headlines in today's WDweekly present a real snapshot of the today's economic landscape. Read just about any forecast or outlook today, and it will likely include a mix of optimistic signals that the worst is over, but also cautionary notes that the struggles will continue for some time before the economy can truly be considered healthy. Among this week's stories, I was... more »
  • Serious_thumb.jpg
    Looking to push the envelope on performance, a committed CEO has emerged as the new face of the industry
     Two years ago, not many people in the industry had even heard the name Serious Materials. Today, everybody’s talking about the company. Even President Barack Obama. Kevin Surace, CEO of Serious Materials, doesn't view his company as competing on the window and door demand curve—he sees it moving with the green building curve. Earlier this year, workers at the former... more »
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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 »