Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

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    A new vinyl window manufacturing system seeks to create "true one-piece flow."
    Most companies making vinyl windows follow the same basic manufacturing steps as 35 years ago. Lineals are optimized and cut into lengths. When the welding station operator is ready to assemble a particular unit, all four pieces are located and loaded one piece at a time into a welder. Sash and frames are then welded, cleaned and sent to glazing. There have been improvements to the process over... more »
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    Eventual market recovery, demand for triple glazing and continued efforts to reduce labor will spur more investments, suppliers predict
    Back in 2005 and 2006, window and door manufacturers were investing in new equipment and plants to expand capacity as the housing market boomed. With the housing bust of 2007 and 2008, things changed. Suppliers report that investments in new equipment are now down dramatically, but they also point out that spending has not come to a halt. Manufacturers continue to replace machines and upgrade... more »
  • An aggressive commitment to constant improvement in systems and procedures enables some manufacturers to thrive, even in tough times
    The decline in new home construction, combined with an anemic remodeling market, has created serious setbacks for many companies and the people who work-or worked-for them. Yet some window and door makers not only made money in 2007, they grew. Some expect no worse than flat sales for 2008. What separates these companies from those that are struggling, or already out of business? To get some... more »
  • The Legal Department
    We don’t need new laws; we just have to enforce the ones we have…” This line has been applied in innumerable ways to issues which have been the subject of a cry for more legislation. Sometimes, the furor results in old laws being enforced with new vigor. It’s good to know when that happens. We are seeing newly vigorous enforcement of an “old law” that has come... more »
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    Windows with Laminated Glass Provide Multiple Benefits Attractive to Homeowners
    Homeowners will do most anything to keep their family members and hard-earned possessions safe. They appreciate the enhanced aesthetics and lower utility bills that today’s attractive and energy-efficient windows offer, but a home that’s considered safe and secure gives them total peace of mind. Today, dealers can meet this need with replacement windows incorporating laminated glass... more »
  • You can hear the following from dealers and manufacturers all the time: “With all the electronic access to information today, why is the customer taking longer to buy?” or “We know they’re going to buy, we just don’t know when.” Today’s extended buying cycle is frustrating for sales and marketing people who don’t know how to adjust to it and deal... more »
  • It is important not to lose sight of the long term and fundamental strength in the residential housing market. Admittedly, it is difficult to see this silver lining through all the doom and gloom publicity about the housing slump. It can be even more difficult when we now hear talk of recession.  Maybe certain politicians are, for reasons of their own, saying we’re on the precipice of... more »
  • Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I love a dealer with an angle. It’s tough to develop a focus, a niche, a personality for a business—so when I run across a really good angle, I’m definitely doing a little happy-column-dance. This month I’d like to introduce Windows Plus, a replacement retailer based in Northern Virginia. The dealer’s is a story like many... more »
  • With marketing dollars scarce in a slowing economy, it’s a very good time to take a fresh look at grass roots marketing referral techniques that won’t break the bank. Word-of- mouth or viral marketing has been growing and is even becoming more formalized with the formation three years ago of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Grounded on the proposition that people like to be... more »
  • If I offered to hand you $15 or let you flip a coin to earn either $20 or $10, which would you choose? Taking a chance might mean I only fork over $10 to you but playing it safe means you give up the opportunity to walk away with $20. In this example, the difference is only whether you’re buying me one round or two, but what if the stakes are much higher? How risk tolerant are you when it... more »