Latest Articles

  • “What should I be for Halloween?” It’s October now, and if you’re like me and have kids, that question has probably popped up around your house already. Of course, we all know Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore, and I know our home office at the National Glass Association in Virginia isn’t the only place of business where employees come to work dressed up on... more »
  • One of the most exciting changes we’ve made to Window & Door in recent years is the launch of our Dealers of the Year issue. We’re now in our fourth year—and it’s a pleasure to recognize nine more companies involved in the sales, marketing and installation of windows and doors to builders, contractors and homeowners. As I’ve noted in the past, the nine companies... more »
  • The green building movement is offering us a real opportunity
    When it comes to business today...consumers today...selling today...everything is coming down to a single color: Green. Building greener homes is catching on at a spectacular pace. Homeowners are looking for more and more ways to make their surroundings and living space environmentally friendly by choosing green products. This green movement is the result of a combination of factors: global... more »
  • Make your staff a regular part of your promotional efforts. We tend to do business with people we like and who like us. A personal introduction of your key people can make your prospective client feel at ease. Let your client know that all of your employees are dedicated to serve. Often, a client will only want to know about the people doing the “hands on” work. Make introductions... more »
  • Last week, I had the privilege to speak at a gathering of Pella’s engineering team. The group’s focus was innovation, and the list of speakers included an interesting guy—Paul Leinberger. A marketing and branding guru, Leinberger said that innovation is no longer a competitive edge, but a consumer expectation. To get noticed at all, he suggested, companies need to be innovative... more »
  • As far as I’m concerned, the retirement benefits generation-shift is official. Andersen announced this week that it’s stepping away from a traditional pension plan and moving to a 401(k) program. Whether it's better for employees or not, the realities of the business world have led companies large and small—in all industries—to move away from traditional pensions. Century-... more »
  • Complaints, claims, and, ultimately, litigation are unavoidable. Failing to track claims and understand how decisions in one project or case may affect another project or case may spell disaster. It is critical to a manufacturer’s survival to manage claims efficiently and proactively. Have solid answers for each of these questions: How are product complaints handled? How are complaints... more »
  • Aside from the concrete floors and florescent lighting, trade shows are pretty cool environments. For me, trade shows mean reuniting with my industry contacts, learning new things and listening to exhibitors talk about what fires them up the most—their product offerings and how business is going. There’s a lot more buzzing this week at GlassBuild America than just equipment being... more »
  • Document retention policies are necessary today. The Arthur Andersen/Enron debacle should cause all of us to pause. Be able to answer these questions: Do you have a document retention policy? Do you follow it? Does your policy, if any, comply with the law? Do you have a process in place that protects against document destruction when claims are made? Are you saving drafts that might come back to... more »
  • Typing “construction defect” in a Google search creates several million hits. Owners, general contractors and attorneys throughout the country are turning to litigation to attempt to solve water infiltration claims. When water claims are made, window and door manufacturers are inevitably included in the target list. Failing to plan ahead for claims, some of which may be huge and... more »