Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Be interesting, make people happy, earn trust and respect, and finally, and make it easy for customers to talk about your company. Those are the four key factors in successful word-of-mouth marketing program, according to Brian Bunt of EmptyBin.com, who spoke at the recent Window & Door Dealers Forum. They're not easy tasks. I certainly don't want to downplay the importance of keeping company... more »
  • Tablet technology expected to accelerate usage
    Door and window makers and their dealer customers are increasingly embracing the philosophy that showing is better than telling. Visualization tools, including online systems that show various options on standard homes and more sophisticated software that enables product photos to be shown on photos of individual customer homes, are gaining momentum. Entry door makers, with their many style,... more »
  • At the International Builders' Show in Orlando last February, I found myself querying numerous manufacturers on their biggest challenge. It was unanimously improper installations. This is not news, but verification of an age-old problem that continues to occur. It’s not out of control, but when a complaint arises, improper installations are usually the culprit. Why is this? If steps are... more »
  • Window and door companies at all levels are harnessing social networking tools
    Love it or hate it, believe in it or not, social media sites have changed the way we communicate, maintain relationships and conduct business. What might have once been viewed as a passing fad or an interest only among the younger generations is now solidly a part of the collective lifestyle of users of all ages and backgrounds, leaving company leaders to figure out how to harness the power of... more »
  • How do we accomplish everything we need to do to keep our businesses on track and running smoothly? That’s a pretty big topic you could write volumes on. We use a number of strategies to keep our pipeline filled. Networking: There are lots of ways to network. The most important thing is to actually get out there and do it. We are members of a local Business Networking International, which... more »
  • When the economy is this precarious, every penny spent must be justified. Cost efficiency and a lean operating model becomes the Holy Grail for survival. The cost of joining and participating in a trade association must be weighed against other discretionary spending. But focusing on the cost is only half of the cost-benefit equation—never a good business practice. To fill in the rest of... more »
  • More manufacturers and pre-hangers are turning to 3PLs to get product to the jobsite
    The word “outsourcing” strikes an emotional cord whenever it is mentioned. There is typically quite a bit of debate in the media about the pros and cons of outsourcing, which usually carries the connotation of American jobs being shipped overseas. That process is, in fact, more accurately referred to as “off shoring.”     More window and door... more »
  • Asymmetric triple-pane construction and advanced gas filling techniques provide new alternatives to improve performance numbers
    Conventional wisdom says R-5 windows are too costly to manufacture. This assumption is largely based on experience employing older technologies for fabricating high-performing triple IG units. Several recent developments challenge the assumption that R-5 cannot be reached affordably. One is the addition of 4th surface low-E glass coatings in dual lite units. Another is the introduction of... more »
  • Last week, I received press releases from Milgard and Windsor, each announcing the availability of building information modeling (BIM) files for certain window and door lines offered by the manufacturers.  These weren't the first of such announcements I've received by any means, but the fact that I recieved two in one week made me wonder about the role of BIM in the... more »
  • Fiberglass is only part of the story at Therma-Tru
    Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Therma-Tru Corp. is probably known first and foremost for pioneering the fiberglass door. Fiberglass is only part of the story, however, according to Dave Randich. “Right from the start, Therma-Tru was blessed with creative thinkers who were not afraid to develop and invest in new products,” says the current president of the Maumee, Ohio-... more »