Latest Articles

  • Know the skills and personality traits that will make a person successful in a given job, so you can develop job descriptions when you’re hiring. This helps in framing interviews with potential applicants, who in turn learn in advance more about the skills needed for the position. Initially, a job description facilitates the selection of the right employee. But a good job description... more »
  • Seriously—is it already Thanksgiving? The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by. Magazine cycles are even worse—I just spent the last two weeks collecting insights from folks in all areas of our industry in preparation for our January 2008 forecast issue. On a personal level, it's tough to talk about next year before I've even enjoyed my Thanksgiving Day turkey-and-pie... more »
  • Don't hire the first person you like. Commit to meeting a number of people—even though you won't be interested in most of them. You owe it to yourself to interview a group of talented professionals for whatever position you are trying to fill. The worst-case scenario is that if you don't think a person is a good fit for your company, you can use the interview to learn more about your... more »
  • Current market conditions may slow M&A activity, but financial buyers are still looking at residential building products segment
    Many different factors are currently affecting merger and acquisition activity involving window and door companies. The rise in defaults of sub-prime mortgages has decreased lenders’ willingness to extend new loans to customers that don’t qualify for standard mortgages, affecting the outlook on the residential housing market. The losses suffered by major lenders in this space has... more »
  • fea_historic3.jpg
    Manufacturers find success in strict, custom niche
    There’s a spectrum of what constitutes a “historic” window. Depending on guidelines outlined by historical trusts and preservation societies and decision makers involved with the project, historic renovation solutions can range from refinishing and reglazing the original sash and frames to recreating a specific look with a brand new window made to incorporate historic features.... more »
  • Greg Brooks, a consultant to the lumber and building materials field, suggested at the recent AMD convention and exhibition that things are looking up for “independents.” Economies of scale have not added up for big companies to an advantage, he says, pointing to, among other things, the fact that in most markets, locals are effectively competing with Home Depot on price. Brooks also... more »
  • In 1990, Penn State University joined the Big Ten, giving the conference 11 members. Why didn’t the conference change its name? Besides the fact that “Big Eleven” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, the Big Ten is one of the strongest brands in all of sports. To change it would have meant throwing away tremendous brand equity built over many generations of sports fans.... more »
  • Numerous exhibitors at the AMD show were buzzing about Fortune Brands’ decision to pull its companies—including Therma-Tru Doors—out of the 2008 International Builders’ Show. I heard unconfirmed rumors that other companies—including a big window manufacturer—had dropped out or were considering dropping out too. News like that reinforces what most of us know... more »
  • If you hire an advertising agency or marketing consultant, you are likely paying them good money to help you build your brand. When they come to you with recommendations or ideas, you should trust them like you would a lawyer or an accountant. They are experts, after all. However, don’t trust them blindly. If something doesn’t seem right, trust your instincts and voice your concerns... more »
  • This year's study examines what’s being sold along with windows and doors in the new construction market
    Today’s builders buy windows and doors from a variety of sources. They often buy those windows and doors together with other products and services. With our 2007 Supply Chain Study, Window & Door set out to get a better handle on what builders want and expect today—and how various channels within the industry are looking to cater to their needs. The following report presents... more »