Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • On March 19, David Yancey of Homewood, CA, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that he was misled with respect to the performance and insulating qualities of the gas-filled Andersen windows purchased for installation in his home. He challenges representations as to both initial gas fill and gas retention and claims that NFRC ratings of his windows were inaccurate and... more »
  • With new manufacturing plant in Tennessee, 140-year-old door maker continues family tradition of continued, steady growth
    The landscape of the interior door business has changed dramatically over the last 20 years or so. With its 140-year history, Steves & Sons has clearly learned to adapt and thrive with change. Dating back to the pioneer days of Texas, the San Antonio-based company has evolved from a frontier lumberyard to one of the largest interior door manufacturers in the United States. And while... more »
  • There are pitfalls in business combinations, but when executed properly, integration can add substantially to the bottom line
    Economic and industry-specific issues continue to weigh heavy on building materials companies, and many builders are asking for price reductions. To maintain prices and generate profits during a prolonged market slow-down, anxious suppliers, manufacturers and distributors are considering business integration. Integration, as a business strategy, is nothing new. Many antitrust laws,... more »
  • New machines reduce labor costs and increase output and quality
    Today many window and door fabricators manufacture their own screens, while others prefer to buy them from an outside source. Larger, more vertically integrated companies typically make their own screens, with many taking advantage of new automated screen manufacturing equipment. Recent advances in these low cost, flexible screen machines are also attracting the attention of those manufacturers... more »
  • Focus group suggests quality, reliability and simplicity are highest priorities
    Quality, reliability, “nothing that will lead to callbacks.” That’s what replacement dealers want from a window supplier, according to a recent focus group sponsored by Window & Door and Mikron Industries. While energy efficiency is important, “it’s sort of a given,” noted one participant. “If it doesn’t have an Energy Star label, nobody’s... more »
  • Settling into a relaxing evening at home with my family recently, I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking glass from another room. I rushed to the den to find the oldest of my three children (also known as my husband), standing next to a window, with a sheepish grin on his face. He had tossed a ball, it hit my favorite cast-iron candlesticks sitting on the sill, and you can finish the rest... more »
  • Another International Builders’ Show has come and gone. It’s by no means some new trend, but what struck me particularly this year was that the lists of new features and options rattled off to me as I talked to window and door manufacturers in Orlando all seemed very long. Of course, my take on the show is different from the average attendee’s. When I walk into a display, I... more »
  • Manufacturer takes dealer-centric approach to ease ordering of an increasingly complex product line
     Window and door manufacturers are facing some growing pains. The list of products and options offered by most companies is expanding, and customers are becoming more demanding. One manufacturer facing these challenges is Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., now nearing the end of a multi-year rollout of a new ordering and quoting software package. The 60-year-old company’s made-to-order... more »
  • Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” makes the point that it’s easy enough to identify what separates a good organization or company from a bad one. We can see examples of good vs. bad companies in all tiers of our industry—manufacturers who don’t deliver on time versus ones that do, dealers who don’t return customers’ calls versus those who do. But... more »
  • Software provide offers manufacturers advice at NWDA Winter Meeting
    Atlantic City, NJ—Technology, in addition to products and services, is becoming a decisive factor when dealers and distributors select a manufacturer, said Lynn Hartl, president of WTS Paradigm, speaking at the Northeast Window & Door Association winter meeting yesterday. The event, which drew about 120 industry executives, also featured presentations on new decorative finish processes... more »