The Talk

  • October 9, 2013
    THE TALK...

    Is the Government Shutdown Affecting Business?

    As the government shutdown drags on, many question whether we're getting any closer to a resolution or whether each day takes us farther away from some sort of workable compromise. We try not to get too political with The Talk topics we kick around, but this is a pretty tough situation to ignore. While a two-week government shutdown is unlikely to have a large impact on housing and the ... more »
  • October 1, 2013
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    What's Your Experience with Internet Referral Services?

    Last week, we reported the launch of, a new internet service designed to connect homeowners with contractors. The field also includes Angie's List, Home Advisor (previously Service Magic) and others. Looking at various window and door dealer and manufacturer websites, it's clear many companies in our industry have at least tried these services for lead generation, and in some ... more »
  • October 1, 2013
    THE TALK... | Management

    Motivating Employees to Get Involved with Charitable Endeavors

    Most businesses today emphasize the need to rally employees behind a philanthropic mission in the local community as a way to ‘pay it forward’ while bringing colleagues closer together as a team, but figuring out where to start is usually the hardest part of getting involved in a cause. The key to choosing a charitable endeavor is to be sure it is in line with your company’s ... more »
  • September 24, 2013
    THE TALK...

    Does U.S. Manufacturing "Step Up" Innovation?

    Some pretty smart folks at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have issued a report basically summarizing what we in the window and door industry take as gospel: R&D and manufacturing are closely tied. Wherever the manufacturing happens, research and development is likely nearby.The MIT study warns that if U.S. companies continue to outsource production, we might increasingly see ... more »
  • September 17, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    What Did You See at GlassBuild America?

    Due to some health limitations, I missed my first GlassBuild America this year. It left me feeling a bit isolated, I must say, knowing so much of the industry–and so many friends–were down in Atlanta, while I was stuck at home in New York. I'm sorry I missed the chance to say hi to so many of you, but I'm definitely in recovery mode and plan to be back on the road again ... more »
  • September 11, 2013
    THE TALK...

    Do You Friend Coworkers?

    While not everyone has jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, it would be hard to argue that the social media giant hasn't significantly changed our lives. From the way we communicate, to the degree to which we stay in touch with long-distance friends and family, Facebook is a reality of today's society--including today's work environment.Whether or not to "friend" co-workers, especially ... more »
  • September 4, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Is Innovation on the Upswing?

    Congratulations are in order this week as we announce the winners of Window & Door's 2013 Crystal Achievement Awards. The presentation of these awards, honoring innovation in products, manufacturing and marketing, is one of my favorite tasks.And we have some impressive winners this year. Velux is being honored for a skylight that uses solar power to provide remote operation without ... more »
  • August 28, 2013
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Has a New Day Dawned for U.S. Manufacturing?

    This week, a documentary about American manufacturing premieres nationwide. Directors Vincent Vittorio and Nathan McGill of  “American Made Movie” highlight what they believe to be the underpinnings of long-term growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector, noting very clearly that domestic manufacturing “isn’t dead yet.” In a ... more »
  • August 21, 2013
    THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

    Are You Ready to Wear a Badge?

    A new law will soon go into effect in New Jersey requiring home improvement contractors to wear a state-issued ID badge at all times.  According to an article on the Remodeling Magazine website, the law is designed to help protect homeowners from scam artists in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.The badge must be worn on the upper left torso of the contractor "whenever the ... more »
  • August 14, 2013
    THE TALK...

    How Do You Show Your Veteran Pride?

    I continue to hear how rough it can be for our honorable, hard-working veterans to secure private-sector work after retiring from active duty. How can HR professionals or managers interpret military experience and translate it to, say, the window and door industry? Columnist Shane Robinson writes that hiring veterans pays off in droves. So many of the attributes veterans bring to the ... more »