The Talk

  • Will Home Star be a Positive?

    Home Star took another step forward last week. I can’t say I’ve heard a lot of enthusiastic endorsements of the program from our industry, but there seems to be general support. Given the current state of our market, it’s hard to argue against a program that could stimulate more window and door sales.Home Star comes with some baggage, however. It’s not clear what ... more »
  • July 28, 2010
    THE TALK...

    Did the Economy Change How You Install?

    This week, my hat's off to Replacement Contractor editor Jim Cory for a fabulous topic worthy of some Talk... In his recent article, he explores how some home improvement companies have shifted the way they approach installation. He highlights how some companies used to use all in-house employees to install products and now they've shifted to using some subcontractors—often ... more »
  • July 20, 2010
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Do You Agree with Ducker?

    I think most people who know me well would categorize me as a pretty upbeat person. I'm quite optimistic and I look for the upside and growth opportunities in not-so-fun situations, including the rocky economic road we've traveled the last couple of years.Chipper attitude and all, I will admit that even I was pleasantly surprised when I digested the Ducker statistical report, sponsored by ... more »
  • 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 »