The Talk

  • July 12, 2010
    THE TALK...

    What Drives Manufacturing Competitiveness?

    Newsweek blogger Rana Foroohar offered an interesting piece this week summarizing some key findings in a study about what drives global manufacturing competitiveness. Released by the Council on Competitiveness, the research asked 400 CEOs of top manufacturing companies what makes them competitive.Now, before you go looking at the blog, I want you to vote in this week's poll so we can get ... more »
  • June 29, 2010
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    How's It Going?

    With Fourth of July coming up, we're at the halfway point for 2010.  While unbridled optimism is hard to find, most people in the industry I talk to say things are getting better. I thought it would be a good time to see where we're at.  So this week's poll question asks how you expect your 2010 will compare with 2009.  Of course I'd like to hear from you.  What do you ... more »
  • June 22, 2010
    THE TALK...

    Scaling Back Your Summer?

    We've been hitting on a lot of heavy, industry-related topics lately, so I thought I'd offer up a lighter poll this week. Hey, it's summer. We've earned a more fun-lovin' Talk Topic.So here goes: What are you doing for a summer vacation this year? C'mon, email me. I really want to know. This AP report notes that most of America is scaling back—taking longer car rides and ... more »
  • What's Next for Energy Star?

    There's already been much speculation out there about what the next round of Energy Star criteria for windows, doors and skylights might look like, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that EPA has officially started work on the next set of performance requirements tentatively planned to take effect in 2013. With energy efficiency now elevated to a national priority, the next set of ... more »
  • June 9, 2010
    THE TALK...

    What's Your Source of Training?

    Boy, we sure do live in interesting times. We're not only wrestling this stubborn economy, but we are peddling fast to keep up with regulatory changes that are causing significant waves in the way window and doors are sold and installed.So much has changed since just a few short years ago—everything from the sales process to lead-safe installation practices to the legal implications ... more »
  • June 1, 2010
    THE TALK... | Management

    Are Investors Coming Back to Our Industry?

    When PGT Industries went public in 2006, window and door sales were already starting to decline, but no one was predicting a freefall. The overall market, including PGT's opportunities to expand both its impact product sales and regionally, provided reasonable growth prospects for potential investors. Now four years and one economic meltdown later, Ply Gem is testing the waters with ... more »
  • Pushback from Historic Replacement Market?

    One of our Outside View links this week is a USA Today blog on a campaign against replacing windows in historic buildings. Some preservationists argue that old buildings simply should not have new windows. They advocate window repair or using storm windows rather than window replacement. I have to admit, I was a little surprised. Sure I can see why preservationists might not want to ... more »
  • Are You Looking Beyond Windows and Doors?

    Marvin is certainly not the first window and door company to get involved in siding. There are plenty of building product distributors and dealers, and plenty of exterior contractors that handle both lines. There a number of companies that manufacture both too. It's still news, however, when a 100-year-old company like Marvin says it wants to look beyond windows and doors. They aren't the only ... more »
  • Have You Seen an Effect?

    No doubt it's too soon to tell what kind of impact EPA's lead paint rule will have on the remodeling business in general and the replacement window business specifically.  It's been less than two weeks since it became the law of the land.But I couldn't help but wonder, has the new lead paint rule had an effect yet?  No doubt, it's having an impact on installation crews.  I'd ... more »
  • May 5, 2010
    THE TALK...

    Are We Seeing Positive Momentum?

    This week, I feel some positive vibes in the air. This is probably the most upbeat WDweekly we've published in a couple of years—newly-reorganized companies, new programs at existing companies, a new facility, and some pretty upbeat economic reports coming across the wire. Who are you and what have you done with my economic crisis??Perhaps it's seasonal, or a bit of a coincidence, but ... more »