Latest Articles

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    Overcoming the barrier of consumer awareness to sell
    Fiberglass entry doors have been on the market since the early ’80s. Particularly in recent years, the category has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to dealers, builders and remodelers who promote the performance benefits of fiberglass to their customers. But while the presence of fiberglass continues to grow faster than traditional materials, consumer awareness of fiberglass remains... more »
  • Manufacturer takes dealer-centric approach to ease ordering of an increasingly complex product line
     Window and door manufacturers are facing some growing pains. The list of products and options offered by most companies is expanding, and customers are becoming more demanding. One manufacturer facing these challenges is Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., now nearing the end of a multi-year rollout of a new ordering and quoting software package. The 60-year-old company’s made-to-order... more »
  • Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” makes the point that it’s easy enough to identify what separates a good organization or company from a bad one. We can see examples of good vs. bad companies in all tiers of our industry—manufacturers who don’t deliver on time versus ones that do, dealers who don’t return customers’ calls versus those who do. But... more »
  • The first car I remember riding around in was a Vista Cruiser. My dad was an Oldsmobile guy, and over the years as I grew up, we had a Delta 88 and a Cutlass. At some point, the family added a second small car—a used Fiat. That was followed up by a Datsun, and my parents have been driving Japanese ever since. I think they’re on their fourth Camry now—and if my dad yearns for... more »
  • Software provide offers manufacturers advice at NWDA Winter Meeting
    Atlantic City, NJ—Technology, in addition to products and services, is becoming a decisive factor when dealers and distributors select a manufacturer, said Lynn Hartl, president of WTS Paradigm, speaking at the Northeast Window & Door Association winter meeting yesterday. The event, which drew about 120 industry executives, also featured presentations on new decorative finish processes... more »
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    Focusing on new construction products, Tennessee manufacturer sees itself as small fish in a big pond with plenty of opportunities as a result
    MGM Industries does its own thing—in more ways than one. It’s most obvious “thing” is its product line. Unlike most vinyl window manufacturers, the company makes a mechanically assembled window to better mimic the look of wood windows. A tour through the company’s plant in Hendersonville, TN, reveals many other differences too. Unlike most manufacturers its size, it... more »
  • Used properly, a hammer can build shelter for people in need. Used improperly, the same hammer can be a blunt instrument of destruction. It is given that our world involves more and more standards. This requires more and more controls against misuse. We are getting the standards; I am concerned we are not getting the controls. Let’s agree that industry standards help the fenestration... more »
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    Continued advances in software mean window manufacturers are still finding ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies
    In today’s market, driving down cost is the number one priority for many window manufacturers. The key is to simplify and streamline process areas without hurting precious competitive advantages—quality, delivery time and product differentiation. Although computer technology is not new in most plants, many manufacturers are winning the battle through the use of increasingly... more »
  • As the market corrects, industry players take the time to focus on innovation, differentiation
    The window and door industry (and the residential building market in general) is catching its breath. Mainstream media outlets are telling scary ghost stories to the country and its arguably shaky consumers, with a message that house prices are tumbling, existing home inventories have spiked and new home construction in some areas has come to a screeching halt. Most economists, on the other hand... more »
  • NAHB’s massive trade show to take Orlando by storm in February
    Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get any bigger, the International Builders’ Show has another growth spurt. You’ll need your comfortable shoes to make the rounds, with the 450 new exhibitors the National Association of Home Builders has added to the show floor roster—bringing the grand total to 1,800 suppliers spanning 300 categories of residential and light... more »