The Talk

  • March 3, 2015
    THE TALK...

    Don't Follow Your Passion

    I recently listened to an episode of NPR’s TED Radio Hour that brought about a different perspective on the topic of success. Mike Rowe, former host of the Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs,” who is currently filming the second season of “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” for CNN, gave this advice in his TED Talk: don’t follow your passion. He cites the ... more »
  • February 24, 2015
    THE TALK... | Operations

    16 Reasons to Attend Industry Conferences

    I just returned from the AAMA industry conference held last week in Fort Lauderdale. I arrived a day early—the same day my home city of Memphis was being pounded by an ice storm and completely shut down for the next two days. The conference, on the other hand, was just cranking up.As I texted images back and forth to my wife (hers of ice, mine of sand), it was almost humorous trying to ... more »
  • February 17, 2015
    THE TALK...

    Dealers' Choice

    In the opening lines of his keynote address to the attendees of this week’s AAMA conference in Fort Lauderdale, comedian Kenn Kington joked about the endless proliferation of choices and how they complicate even the simplest of activities. We have so many choices,” he observes, “that we are solving problems nobody has.” In a more serious tone, he noted that so many ... more »
  • February 10, 2015
    THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

    A Shift in Attitude

    I received a note last week in response to our recent Energy Star Education article from Nick Bottaro of Bottaro Associates, expressing how pleased he was to read that industry professionals are comfortable with the “bar being raised again with regard to the efficiency of fenestration products.” He writes: “Those of us who were in on the ground floor, back in the mid-1990s, ... more »
  • February 3, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Improve SEO and Conversions with Better Load Times

    Improving the page-load time on your website might not sound like the most exciting tool in your window and door marketing game plan. However, a fast-loading site is one of the greatest advantages you can have over your competitors.According to surveys by industry experts Akamai and Gomez.com, almost half of Internet users expect a site to load in two seconds or less, and they’re likely ... more »
  • January 27, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    The Next Generation of Customers

    At last week’s International Builders Show in Las Vegas, many conversations about marketing and new trends in windows and doors took an inevitable turn toward the latest challenge for the industry: millennials. Specifically, how to market to them, what trends they’re attracted to, and how to get them to participate in the housing market were among the topics of choice. As ... more »
  • January 20, 2015
    THE TALK... | Sales & Marketing

    Mobile Is the Future—and the Present

    “Mobile” is a word everyone knows, but it has a specific meaning regarding online marketing. But what exactly does mobile mean in this context and how can you optimize your website for mobile devices?Responsive DesignMobile refers to the way potential customers are receiving information online via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Not only did sales for this category ... more »
  • January 13, 2015
    THE TALK... | Operations

    Ordering Liability

    A few years ago, I was contracted by a dealer to perform the take-off of full-frame replacement windows for a very old home. This was my only role for this job. A general contractor would hire out the installation to a crew with window replacement skill-level unknown to me.Most of the existing windows were double-hung wood, old-generation weight and pulley, with very robust exterior casing and ... more »
  • The Labor Talk, Continued

    In a recent Talk from last month, we started a discussion on the labor issue—that is, the lack of qualified candidates for work in this industry. More than 70 percent of poll participants reported that they cannot find skilled laborers to hire. We received some more insight on the subject, and it seems that the topic has yet to be exhausted, so we’ll finish it here.We received a ... more »
  • December 16, 2014
    THE TALK... | Management

    Keeping Employees Motivated During the Holiday Season

    It seems as though the holiday season ramps up earlier and earlier with each passing year. When we’re buying Halloween candy, holiday decorations are in the next aisle and Christmas music is playing over the store’s speakers. Americans have holiday shopping and celebrating on the brain earlier than ever. Following suit, most businesses lose the majority of their efficiencies in ... more »