Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

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    The decrease in window and door sales means new investment priorities among manufacturers
    Strong demand for windows and doors spurred significant investment in new machinery and production systems by manufacturers looking to expand capacity over the past several years. “With the downturn in the window and door industry, the equipment market has followed suit,” reports Stürtz Machinery’s Mike Biffl. Like most suppliers, however, he says spending has not come to... more »
  • Assessing what's best for the company's future, and your own, should be as tactful as running the business itself
    This article is the second in a three-part series about business transition planning and options. Effective planning prepares owners, heirs, employees and customers for future change. It sets the foundation for strategic and operational decision-making and aligns owners’ long-term needs with the goals and objectives of the company and its management. It also improves the opportunity for... more »
  • Being proactive provides more options and helps align the long-term interests of the owner with the long-term direction of the company
    Too often, business owners spend their time working in the business rather than on the business. When the time comes to transition—whether that means turn the company over to the next generation, seeking new investors or selling altogether—they’re shocked at the amount of work involved. Moreover, these business owners generally leave themselves too few options and don’t... more »
  • Over the years, I’ve heard many people say, “We offer the complete package…,” talking about their companies’ products and services. No matter what they’re offering, whether they were a manufacturer, distributor or dealer, that could have been true, and could still be true, depending on the market or customers they serve. Still for many window and door... more »
  • On March 19, David Yancey of Homewood, CA, filed a lawsuit in San Francisco Superior Court alleging that he was misled with respect to the performance and insulating qualities of the gas-filled Andersen windows purchased for installation in his home. He challenges representations as to both initial gas fill and gas retention and claims that NFRC ratings of his windows were inaccurate and... more »
  • With new manufacturing plant in Tennessee, 140-year-old door maker continues family tradition of continued, steady growth
    The landscape of the interior door business has changed dramatically over the last 20 years or so. With its 140-year history, Steves & Sons has clearly learned to adapt and thrive with change. Dating back to the pioneer days of Texas, the San Antonio-based company has evolved from a frontier lumberyard to one of the largest interior door manufacturers in the United States. And while... more »
  • There are pitfalls in business combinations, but when executed properly, integration can add substantially to the bottom line
    Economic and industry-specific issues continue to weigh heavy on building materials companies, and many builders are asking for price reductions. To maintain prices and generate profits during a prolonged market slow-down, anxious suppliers, manufacturers and distributors are considering business integration. Integration, as a business strategy, is nothing new. Many antitrust laws,... more »
  • New machines reduce labor costs and increase output and quality
    Today many window and door fabricators manufacture their own screens, while others prefer to buy them from an outside source. Larger, more vertically integrated companies typically make their own screens, with many taking advantage of new automated screen manufacturing equipment. Recent advances in these low cost, flexible screen machines are also attracting the attention of those manufacturers... more »
  • Focus group suggests quality, reliability and simplicity are highest priorities
    Quality, reliability, “nothing that will lead to callbacks.” That’s what replacement dealers want from a window supplier, according to a recent focus group sponsored by Window & Door and Mikron Industries. While energy efficiency is important, “it’s sort of a given,” noted one participant. “If it doesn’t have an Energy Star label, nobody’s... more »
  • Settling into a relaxing evening at home with my family recently, I heard the unmistakable sound of breaking glass from another room. I rushed to the den to find the oldest of my three children (also known as my husband), standing next to a window, with a sheepish grin on his face. He had tossed a ball, it hit my favorite cast-iron candlesticks sitting on the sill, and you can finish the rest... more »