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  • 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 »
  • The kids are back in school and I’m busy tying up loose ends before heading to Atlanta next week for GlassBuild America. As usual, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new on the floor and catching up with industry friends. The event should provide a good gauge of the industry’s mood. We’re all making preparations for 2008 and I’m very interested to hear what... more »
  • With new product line incorporating a unique manufacturing technique, Insula-Dome looks to expand nationally
    Insula-Dome Skylights sees an opening for another big name brand in its product arena. Setting its sights on becoming that name, the 35-year-old regional manufacturer is launching a new product line incorporating a unique approach to vinyl welding. Based in Yaphank, N.Y., Insula-Dome was founded by Harry Jensen in 1973, originally manufacturing Plexiglas domes for vans. With its thermoforming... more »
  • ProSales recently reported about an experiment Home Depot conducted at one of its stores. They placed a pile of wood featuring “FSC-certified” labels on the floor with an employee nearby promoting the wood’s greenness. They then placed a second pile of wood nearby, not labeled at all—almost to suggest it came from unknown origins and possibly a not-so-environmentally-... more »