Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • In the current market, it’s time to get started
    You may be busy. You may be understaffed. You may even be in denial. But the time for action is now. In today’s market, window and door manufacturers need to cut costs, and they have to do it by getting manufacturing processes in order and under control.Relax...it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. There’s no need to spend $100,000 for the advice of an outside consultant; no... more »
  • News in the industry hasn’t been very good as of late. While I generally start new years with renewed optimism, I’m realistic about 2008. So Therma-Tru Doors’ David Haddix struck a chord for me when he noted for our industry forecast (page 51), “The future is bright. I just wish we could fast forward.” I share his optimism for the future and that eagerness to move on... more »
  • I have recently been perusing dozens of resumes for a client that is hiring a salesperson. The consistent trait I see for nearly every salesperson is a lack of personal investment in his or her career. There is an old saying between two campers in the woods, “You don’t have to worry about being faster than the bear if you can be faster than the other camper.” Given the lack of... more »
  • Current market conditions may slow M&A activity, but financial buyers are still looking at residential building products segment
    Many different factors are currently affecting merger and acquisition activity involving window and door companies. The rise in defaults of sub-prime mortgages has decreased lenders’ willingness to extend new loans to customers that don’t qualify for standard mortgages, affecting the outlook on the residential housing market. The losses suffered by major lenders in this space has... more »
  • In case you came to work today with nothing better to do, let’s chat about ripping off your customers. Not that I’m implying any of my dear readers would do such a thing, but let’s say your evil twin decided to put his toe to the edge of the slippery slope and flirt with some unethical, immoral and perhaps even illegal business practices. The question is this: Even if you put... more »
  • With new product line incorporating a unique manufacturing technique, Insula-Dome looks to expand nationally
    Insula-Dome Skylights sees an opening for another big name brand in its product arena. Setting its sights on becoming that name, the 35-year-old regional manufacturer is launching a new product line incorporating a unique approach to vinyl welding. Based in Yaphank, N.Y., Insula-Dome was founded by Harry Jensen in 1973, originally manufacturing Plexiglas domes for vans. With its thermoforming... more »
  • The final parts of the process are internal and external exit strategies
    This article is the third in a three-part series about business transition planning and options. You’ve heard the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, it’s true, which is why it’s important to stress the planning component of business transition. Who will ultimately run the business? Does a family member currently involved in the... more »
  • 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 »