Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Company opened to serve victims while putting its own pieces back together
    Amazing Windows & Doors isn’t just helping victims of Hurricane Katrina—it is itself a victim of the storm and its devastating aftermath. The roof of the Metairie, La., building flew off during the storm, leaving the company’s entire inventory exposed to pounding winds and rainwater. Standing water rose above filing cabinets and computers, wiping out years of records and a... more »
  • Post-Katrina, window dealership takes on doctor’s office feel to serve those in need
    Walking into Interstate Windows & Doors is a lot like walking into the waiting room at a doctor’s office. A vanilla reception area has one window, behind which an obviously organized receptionist is stationed, a play table for children is tucked into one corner and a couple of chairs book-end a small table. Rather than health and parenting magazines, the table displays a few window... more »
  • Charlie Cusimano, Perry Poche and John Roberts are men who sell windows like thousands of other people who sell windows. But these men are different. They are survivors of Hurricane Katrina and have spent the last two years rebuilding their businesses, their lives and their customers’ lives. I invite you to experience New Orleans as I did—not as a tourist, not as a volunteer, and not... more »
  • Industry companies attracting and retaining key industry players with more than just salary, recruiters say
    Some of the biggest window and door manufacturers have had a rough year. The downturn in the residential housing market has led to layoffs, pushes to streamline operations and slicing of employees’ work hours. But this is not why the headhunters who specialize in the residential fenestration industry are busier this year than ever. Recruiters are not scrambling to find work for displaced... more »
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    The decrease in window and door sales means new investment priorities among manufacturers
    Strong demand for windows and doors spurred significant investment in new machinery and production systems by manufacturers looking to expand capacity over the past several years. “With the downturn in the window and door industry, the equipment market has followed suit,” reports Stürtz Machinery’s Mike Biffl. Like most suppliers, however, he says spending has not come to... more »
  • Assessing what's best for the company's future, and your own, should be as tactful as running the business itself
    This article is the second in a three-part series about business transition planning and options. Effective planning prepares owners, heirs, employees and customers for future change. It sets the foundation for strategic and operational decision-making and aligns owners’ long-term needs with the goals and objectives of the company and its management. It also improves the opportunity for... more »
  • Being proactive provides more options and helps align the long-term interests of the owner with the long-term direction of the company
    Too often, business owners spend their time working in the business rather than on the business. When the time comes to transition—whether that means turn the company over to the next generation, seeking new investors or selling altogether—they’re shocked at the amount of work involved. Moreover, these business owners generally leave themselves too few options and don’t... more »
  • Over the years, I’ve heard many people say, “We offer the complete package…,” talking about their companies’ products and services. No matter what they’re offering, whether they were a manufacturer, distributor or dealer, that could have been true, and could still be true, depending on the market or customers they serve. Still for many window and door... more »
  • 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 »