Latest Articles

  • 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 »
  • How do you capture and hold the attention of your customers when making a sales pitch? Try putting yourself in their shoes and make pitches that are solution-oriented. Talk about return-on-investment, how the products relate to current trends in which homeowners are interested (such as energy efficiency and "green") and give strong examples of how your products can help increase their... more »
  • RFID tags—the labels that automate product tracking, helping Wal-Mart and other big retailers keep costs low—have dropped in cost from about $1 each to close to a dime, according to a label supplier who spoke at the recent Fenetech Users Conference. Related scanning equipment costs have come down too. As a result, this technology could start playing a larger role in the window and... more »
  • During my college years (and even afterwards, while looking for my first editorial job) I worked in an electronics factory. I started in the machine shop, but they quickly realized I was better handling all the paperwork in the stock room than working a drill press. The job helped me pay for school, of course, but was also a valuable introduction into the business world. Now, my kids aren’... more »
  • Relationships of any kind fascinate me, but lately I’m stuck on the whole vendor-buyer thing. First, I raised a big ruckus by asking your opinion about the Masonite and Home Depot “break up”. Now I’ve just run across a story about an Atlanta-area homebuilder filing for bankruptcy, owing among many debts $1.3 million to pro dealer Stock Building Supply. Yikes. And I was... more »
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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 »
  • Mulled windows are the darling of designers—“the introduction of light and the feeling of space”—you know what I mean. A proliferation of mulls done poorly, however, can represent an “Achilles’ heel” that can cause an otherwise vigorous company to falter. We have struggled with mulls through joinery and sealant concerns, education in the trades regarding... 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 »
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    Demand for higher levels of energy efficiency will continue to push the envelope
    Consideration of daylighting is gaining momentum within energy codes. That was the theme of a column written by Julie Ruth in the March issue of Window & Door, and it is true. This article is designed to serve as a counterpoint, however, to her assertion that “according to the two predominant codes for energy efficient construction currently used in the United States, the ideal energy-... more »