Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • In my visits to member businesses, I ask a lot of “why?” questions as I observe the setup. In factories, I notice the workflow, tidiness, safety precautions, machinery in use, inventory capacity, and whether or not the owner or manager taking me on the tour greets workers by name. I ask why they chose this or that and I ask myself, would I want to work here if I weren’t so... more »
  • What gets measured gets done. It’s a familiar aphorism, certainly, but that doesn’t make it any less fitting. It’s true with almost anything you do, whether professionally or personally. For example, when you’re on a diet, tracking your weight, measurements, food and exercises lets you know how effective your techniques are. It’s just the same in business. If you... more »
  • With the move toward the minimalist, less-is-more trend in the U.S., and in the era of Amazon making everything you can possibly dream of easily accessible, it’s a wonder how it could still be so difficult to find parking at the mall on the weekends. But it is. Despite the progression toward convenience shopping, Americans are still very much in the habit of store hopping. It’s not... more »
  • It is better to understand the business you are in by recognizing the business you are not in. This premise will be helpful as we look at how to avoid claims based upon product selection. Such claims include allegations of unsuitability for site conditions, deviation from project specifications and failure to meet code requirements. Today’s windows, skylights and sliding glass doors... more »
  • The road to implementing Energy Star v6.0 was bumpy, ever changing and lengthy. We discussed energy performance criteria, feasibility for manufacturers, implementation dates, payback period, and installation requirement, just to name a few. There was a lot to write about and we did just that. These were all issues that would affect our industry’s future and thus justified extensive... more »
  • People make their buying decisions based on emotion, especially when it comes to purchases for the home. One of the most effective ways to close a sale and ensure a happy customer is to find out what is most important to those doing the buying and sell to that need in a way that makes it a pleasurable experience. Want to be thought of as “a joy” to do business with? Here are three... more »
  • The first word that comes to mind regarding impact windows and doors is "hurricane." Yes, impact glass windows and doors are mostly used in hurricane-prone states where, in certain places, it is a state law to install hurricane shutters or upgrade to hurricane glass.  However, impact glass is beneficial in many applications beyond category three hurricanes and winds. Once window... more »
  •  The construction industry as a whole largely contracts and subcontracts, especially where many trades are required to deliver a project. But what about dealers: is it best to contract or employ installers?  On smaller scale projects, such as window replacement, and when the primary job skill is the same, employing your installers can become a practical option. In either circumstance,... more »
  • 10 pre-purchase considerations when buying new equipment
    New equipment has the ability to transform a business. Modernizing or investing in essential technology can increase capacity and open doors to new markets. But, adding machinery can also strain workflow and cause other issues if it isn’t successfully integrated into operations. To have a successful integration, it’s important to have a vision for what the equipment will mean for your company as... more »
  • Many businesses expend a tremendous amount of effort to develop the “perfect” sales strategy, but few make a concerted commitment to study how people make buying decisions. Author and noted speaker Jeffrey Gitomer often reminds sales professionals and managers of his trademarked mantra—“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy!” In my opinion, that should be any sales organization’s... more »