Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • An overview of Lean Manufacturing practices
    Image courtesy of PGT. Lean Manufacturing is a systematic method of eliminating waste within a manufacturing system. While it’s most commonly used in manufacturing, it can be applied to any process to reduce the cycle time between order entry and receipt of payment. The “high value add” concepts and tools of Lean are fairly easy to understand but can be challenging to... more »
  • What you need to know to prepare and tips to get through it
    In common parlance, a deposition is a sworn pretrial statement normally taken by an opposing party in litigation. The transcript of questions and answers can be used to cross-examine witnesses at a later trial or as independent trial evidence, under the right circumstances. As depositions have become an all-too-common feature of the American business world, we are going to cover a few basics... more »
  • How UX is changing how we think about everything
    The UX Honeycomb by Semantic Studios helps formalize the characteristics of a valuable user experience. See more at semanticstudios.com. User Experience—understanding user needs to help create products and services that provide meaningful experiences to customers—has become a big deal to many of today’s leading brands. With the internet as such a powerful means of how... more »
  • Eleven Must-Know Installation Tips From the Field
    Quality window installation involves more than following a series of steps. It also requires using the proper installation method for the application with the proper supplemental products and in the proper sequence. This may or may not be specifically spelled out. For either case, here are some tips from the field that will help installation go smoothly. Be familiar with the Standard... more »
  • Tracking the competition could help boost your local rankings
    Former U.S. President Herbert Hoover called competition "the incentive to progress." It might seem like a little less incentive would be handy when you're dealing with heavy local competition, but understanding your competitors is actually incredibly valuable. Competitive research is critical to success, particularly when it comes to search engine optimization.   Organic local... more »
  • If you read any trade newsletters or magazines, you’ve seen the positive news and forecasts for industry growth over the next couple of years. You’ve probably seen equal coverage on the need for skilled labor to support this growth, with dealers and manufacturers focusing on experience, education and certifications of potential new hires.  However, finding individuals with... more »
  • What the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay of the Clean Power Plan means for the fenestration industry
    On Oct. 23, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of the “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electrical Generation Units” 80 Fed. Reg. 64,662, also known as the “Clean Power Plan.” The CPP’s unwieldy official title only hints at the complexity of this 303-page regulation. It consists not only of... more »
  • Three tips to stop hackers
    Website hacking isn’t something that only happens to big companies. Every week, my office receives at least half a dozen calls from local small business owners that need help fixing a hacked website and the volume of these calls appears to be increasing. Despite common perception, hackers don’t only want to hack large e-commerce sites to access financial data. Many small business... more »
  • Getting to the root problems of installation and how manufacturers can address them
    The bold red color of the door helps distract attention from the issue, but the issue of the “frowning door” still needs to be addressed. (All images courtesy of the author.) Working with exterior doors is a tricky business. Manufacturers spend hours designing and assembling high-performing exterior doors that then endure many different factors that can lead to performance... more »
  • What Professional Services Automation software can help accomplish
    Our industry is excited about automation, and for good reason—it’s enabling businesses to work smarter and faster. A recent post on WindowandDoor.com noted how manufacturers are embracing automated products at ever-faster rates. But automation is as much, if not more effective for processes as it is for products.   In particular, Professional Services Automation... more »