The Talk

  • 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 Marketwatch.com ... 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 »
  • Are You Satisfied with the Energy Star Version 6.0?

    Version 6.0 of the Energy Star criteria for windows, doors and skylights is nearly finalized.  And some manufacturers are still disappointed with the numbers, particulary for the Northern climate zone.  There, a .27 U-factor requirement for windows could force some companies to go to triple-glazing, which many see as a less than cost-effective option.   "Consumers expect ... more »
  • July 30, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Are You Ready to Sell Electronics?

    This week, Soft-Lite Windows announced plans to offer Nest Learning Thermostats through its dealer network.  The idea is to provide homeowners buying replacement windows an additional way to reduce energy costs.  I find this move interesting because there are a growing number of electronic items related to home automation and/or security that seemingly could provide a sales ... more »
  • July 24, 2013
    THE TALK...

    Are You a Modern Manager?

    In a recent Forbes column, Jacob Morgan points out that successful managers of today exhibit five primary characteristics—willingness to enable employees to succeed, a firm grasp of where technology is headed, a desire to lead by example, a commitment to being transparent, and willingness to share company information and market intelligence at all levels of the proverbial food chain. ... more »
  • July 16, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Will You Be Attending This Fall's Trade Shows?

    Each fall, I make the rounds, attending GlassBuild America, the Remodeling Show, the AMD Convention and Exhibition, and Win-Door North America.  I just started making some travel plans and I couldn't help but wonder whether the strengthening market might translate into busier events this year.Now I know many factors besides the economy go into decisions to attend a show. You might have ... more »
  • July 10, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Is the Real Unemployment Rate Higher?

    Last week, as many of us were enjoying the Fourth of July festivities, the business-minded folks were digesting the news that the government's latest jobs report featured a decent, worthy-of-discussion uptick in June. As we continue to rebound and level out from the extended economic downturn, it's nice to have some additional optimism poured into the system that has affected so many of our ... more »