Latest Articles

  • Move to JIT manufacturing can shift costs elsewhere without an integrated strategy
    Today, many window and door manufacturers find themselves in survival mode. To combat a decrease in demand, some are frantically trying to increase their sales, while others are searching for ways to augment profitability. The most successful companies are not looking to boost sales alone, they are also investing in proven cost cutting methods. Reducing overhead is an obvious path toward... more »
  • Nothing feels better to me than the beginning of summer. And from an industry perspective, it’s great to see things warming up a bit. With the spring came news that workers were returning to window and door plants, and I suspect many distributors and dealers brought back employees as business picked up in the office and in the field. Whether you attribute the increase in activity to normal... more »
  • It wasn’t the main topic, but customer satisfaction was a recurring subject of discussion at a focus group of custom and semi-custom home builders I moderated recently. Held in Las Vegas at the same time as the International Builders Show, the session revealed a shift in builder reliance upon manufacturers for “customer satisfaction,” as opposed to dealers and distributors. The... more »
  • As consumer product companies embrace the reality of empowered consumers and the Internet-enabled world, many have been moving to an “open innovation” product development model, report Pat Conroy and Art Ash of Deloitte LLP. This model is based on the idea that information can now be gathered on a mass scale by using both external (end users, suppliers, academia, etc.) and internal (... more »
  • Bits and pieces of bad news continue to linger in the industry, so I wanted to share something positive I see happening right across the street from where I live.  The apartment building there is in the midst of a window replacement and they appear to be doing the upgrade right. It's an older building that probably started with wood windows that were replaced years ago with single-pane... more »
  • I was having coffee last week with the president of a window manufacturing company and we got to chatting about how difficult state regulations can sometimes make running a profitable business. There are some serious hoops to jump through, and then there's the issue of taxes. I'm not sure if it was the topic of conversation or the extra caffeine, but it's easy to get your heart pumping on a topic... more »
  • In a column in the May AAMA Southeast Region newsletter, Chuck Anderson writes that beyond the 30/30 tax credits, the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act will have another effect on the fenestration industry, as it will step up the timetable for state adoptions of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code and the implementation of efforts to enforce the energy code in states as well. In... more »
  • Given the worldwide concern over the environment, pollution levels and global warning–and the increasing political and government involvement in these areas–it's no surprise that consumers have an increasing interest in "green" building. However, caution and care should be implemented by all involved, given the increasing frequency of claims and litigation arising from... more »
  • House Majority Leader John Boehner visited Deceuninck North America this week. His district includes Monroe, Ohio, where the vinyl extruder is one of the largest employers, so he has good reasons to visit the company, learn more about its operations, and hear its concerns. This is the latest example of what appears to be a trend–our industry speaking up more to Washington officials. Viwinco... more »
  • Businesses play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society. Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. To assist employers, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a checklist of steps to take to prepare. It identifies important, specific activities... more »