Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • After witnessing success at Marshall Vinyl Windows first-hand, the company has rolled out Accentrim nationwide
    When CertainTeed Corp.’s Windows Group acquired Marshall Vinyl Windows in 2002, it got more than a new window manufacturing operation in southern California. It got first-hand experience in the production and marketing of a new option in decorative glass. CertainTeed liked what it saw and is now rolling out Prism Grid at all of its window manufacturing operations. Prism Grid incorporates... more »
  • Progressive distribution companies are finding new ways to add value and reduce costs
    The demise and even death of independent distributors has been predicted by experts for years. Even today the jury is still out. A recent IBM report on distribution said: “Depending on to whom you listen, the distribution industry will be disintermediated into extinction by a direct channel between manufacturer and consumer or it will emerge as the ubiquitous connective tissue holding the... more »
  • Iowa manufacturer teams with Cardinal Glass to provide builders with protective product designed to reduce clean-up times and address a variety of other issues
    A construction site can be tough on windows and doors. One persistent problem is paint, plaster, stucco or any number of other materials spattered onto the glass. Removal can be time-consuming and lead to scratched glass, a result that more than likely means a callback for the builder or contractor. Two companies are now teaming up to address this issue. First, Cardinal Glass Industries began... more »
  • Andersen marks its 100th anniversary with a determination to "raise the whole category" of windows and doors
    Andersen Windows Inc. is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with its eye on the future. Although several projects to commemorate the event are in the works, one of them has been underway for the past several years. Project Odyssey, a unique research-and-development effort, goes beyond the window and door industry's typical efforts to create new products. Andersen describes it as "an... more »
  • The Florida window and door market has been transformed in the 10-plus years since Hurricane Andrew, and while PGT Industries has adapted successfully, it points to basic issues of delivery and service as keys to growth.
    Hurricane Andrew brought devastation to many areas in south Florida in 1992. It also changed the landscape of Florida’s construction industry, as the past decade has seen the implementation of new building codes by the state and many local jurisdictions in the storm’s wake. For window and door manufacturers, these changes have presented many challenges. One company that has thrived in... more »
  • Making the work environment safer also makes employees work smarter and be more productive
    For Therma-Tru Corp., being a preferred brand of entry doors and producing high-quality, beautiful products doesn’t fully define success. Being a true leader also means being a preferred place of employment and delivering operational excellence in all of our facilities. One hallmark of operational excellence is a safe workplace, where smart manufacturing processes and proactive... more »
  • More window and door manufacturers talk about kaizen events and changing the corporate culture. How widespread is this type of change?
    Ask nearly any window and door manufacturer, and they’ll tell you they’re “lean.” Competitive pressures, reflected in demands in pricing, lead times and quality, make “being lean” almost essential. But it’s clear that more manufacturers look to take this concept to a higher level. Although the trend may not be across the board, most window and door... more »
  • pella.jpg
    A continuous-improvement program implemented by the window and door manufacturer in 1993 laid the groundwork for expansion in recent years
    According to some observers, Pella Corp. was on the verge of being sidelined in its industry a decade ago. Instead, the shared vision of three men and the trust of an entire workforce remade the 65-year-old company into a lean pioneer. Mel Haught, Herb Lienenbrugger and Gene De Boef didn’t know this when they put on jeans and flannel shirts and went to the shop floor to conduct their first... more »
  • Leading suppliers have teamed up to promote “insulated sash” system designed to offer high performance and lower unit cost
    Production has started at Survivor Technologies Inc. of a vinyl window incorporating a “brand new process.” Developed and licensed by Sashlite LLC, the process eliminates traditional insulating-glass production and, instead, incorporates an “insulated sash.” Executives at Sashlite and its supplier partners predict the insulated sash could “revolutionize” vinyl-... more »
  • The latest marriage of these two materials is seen providing a means for traditional vinyl window manufacturers to compete head on in the clad wood segment of the market
    A couple of years ago, Dave Gerhardt of Atria Building Products, Inc., was sitting in his office, looking at one of his company’s vinyl windows. He thought to himself, like many manufacturers before him, “I wish I could put wood on the inside of that.” He knew the challenges of doing that. The different expansion and contraction rates of vinyl and wood that make the design and... more »