Latest Articles

  • In the seconds it takes to ride in an elevator, can you describe exactly what you do and why you are the best person or company for the job? An “elevator speech,” as it is sometimes called, must captivate the listener’s attention and inspire them to want to know more about you. A persuasive “elevator speech” will be brief, approximately 30 to 45 seconds. The speech... more »
  • This week, we report on Department of Energy plans to raise the bar for windows to qualify for Energy Star. Energy Star standards are designed to “push the envelope” of energy efficiency, so to speak, so if it’s true that more than half the windows sold in this country are Energy Star qualified, the label clearly doesn’t serve that purpose. As we all know, there are many... 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 »
  • When you send your prospects and clients promotional items, go for a piece of real estate on their desk. Send a clock, nice paper weight, classy letter opener, photo frames, calculator cover, post-it-note holder, desk lamp, mouse pad, keyboard cover, stapler, etc. The idea is to send something that the recipient will keep on their desk perpetually. Of course, your logo and company information... more »
  • Window and door plant managers, equipment and software suppliers, lean gurus and other relatively educated production people have their own language and work in a world I’ll never comprehend fully from my industry-observing perch. One thing I do know, however, is the never-ending desire to improve efficiency and/or increase capacity often puts the focus on “the production bottleneck.... more »
  • We have a link in The Outside View... this week to a report from a Gary, Ind., newspaper, about a door manufacturer that won’t do installations in the city because the permit process is too time consuming. It’s not the first such story I’ve heard. More than one window and door person has said to me, “we avoid that city like the plague” when I’ve told them I... more »
  • For a fast way to gain customer referrals and check on the satisfaction of your past customers, try mailing out anniversary cards or letters. Send them out on the one-year anniversary of a first invoice or designate a single month as your company’s anniversary month. During that time, send out cards to your customers reminding them that you appreciate their business. Checking in to make... more »
  • Industry companies attracting and retaining key industry players with more than just salary, recruiters say
    Some of the biggest window and door manufacturers have had a rough year. The downturn in the residential housing market has led to layoffs, pushes to streamline operations and slicing of employees’ work hours. But this is not why the headhunters who specialize in the residential fenestration industry are busier this year than ever. Recruiters are not scrambling to find work for displaced... more »