Western Windows Gears Up for Growth
Reporting a 40 percent increase in sales this year, Western Window Systems has added 30 people to its workforce in recent months. Growing beyond its traditional Southwest base, the Phoenix-based specialist in "indoor/outdoor living systems" foresees further growth and hiring in 2012 as well.
"We have invested heavily in the past few years to improve our product lines to make our window and door systems a viable option for every part of the country," reports Scott Gates, marketing director. "With our thermal break capabilities, as well as improvements in glass options and building envelope strategies, Western is now a fit and a popular choice in many colder climates. Western is now actively selling products from coast to coast as well as deep into Canada and Mexico."
The manufacturer of multi-panel, bi-fold and sliding door systems continues to gain share in established markets, too. Gates points to numerous initiatives, including a focused effort on remodeling applications and outreach to architects.
With the growth, Western has added employees in outside sales, business development, administration, human resources, information technology and marketing, with the bulk being added in production, Gates says. "These hires have also been coupled with a tremendous investment into the infrastructure of our plant. We installed an entirely new racking system for our extrusions and storeroom, as well as many other new pieces of equipment in our shop. We are investing in our company to keep with our dramatic increase in sales."
The new hires added are helping Western, first and foremost, keep and meet its lead times to customers, he continues. "On most projects, Western works with a very aggressive three-to-four week lead time," Gates reports. "As our sales numbers have skyrocketed since April of this year, these new hires are helping us produce more product to keep up with the demand. The office hires that we have made are helping take our company to the next level in terms of professionalism, improved logistics, better sales presence, etc."
One reason for continued optimism at the Arizona company is what it sees as "tremendous growth potential" for large, multi-panel systems. "We feel inherently most every consumer wants their homes or commercial properties to have an indoor/outdoor type atmosphere," Gates states. "It expands the living space of their home and often feels like you have doubled the size of your living room. Ironically though, we feel that many consumers aren’t even aware these types of doors exist. We feel that as we do a better job of helping consumers understand their options, they will continue to choose products like ours to improve their lifestyle."
Western's growth, however, can be see across all product lines, not just its multi-slide and bi-fold doors, he notes. "When Western is chosen by our customer as a materials supplier, a majority of the time our product lines are being used on the entire house package," he says. "Thus, our growth in all product lines has to do with the fact that more consumers are choosing Western for their homes and less to do with a push of one particular product line."
While other window and door companies are struggling in this economy, Gates notes that Western is poised to grow "dramatically" over the next three to five years. In its recent expansion, he notes, the company has made a concerted effort to hire "growth hires," that will allow the company to move to the next level. "Western has an amazing team of talented individuals working together to do something very special," he concludes. "We would love to talk to anyone that wants to come along for the ride."