The Talk

  • A stimulus program for replacement windows and doors…

    Right now, there’s much talk about the need to bail out U.S. automakers. Those in favor say actions are necessary to save the economy from falling into depression and put the U.S. in a leadership role in next generation energy efficient cars.A stimulus program for replacement windows and needed and the industry should lobby for it....might be beneficial, but is not ... more »
  • November 12, 2008
    THE TALK...

    Are you tightening your receivables?

    I love this article. It’s a crash course in small business survival in tough markets. But unlike the slew of articles online that do a whole lotta “this economic environment is not good” and not a whole lotta “so what are you going to do about it?” this article provides some blunt advice about how you should be approaching inventories, cash flow policies and what ... more »
  • November 5, 2008
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    With Obama's election, how do you feel about the next four years?

    I know there are a lot of readers out there less than thrilled with Barack Obama’s victory in yesterday’s election. Past polls we ran showed a pretty clear preference within our industry for McCain. Still I’m sure even some McCain supporters are happy this much-too-long campaign is over. ... more »
  • October 29, 2008
    THE TALK... | Management

    How many lawsuits have been filed against your company this year?

    Last week, the law firm Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P issued its annual U.S. Litigation Trends survey, which found that 75% of manufacturing companies faced at least one new lawsuit in the past year, and 53% reported facing six or more new suits. That's actually good news, according to the firm, which suggests that 2007 and 2008 saw the number of cases and dollar amounts involved trending ... more »
  • October 22, 2008
    THE TALK... | Segments

    What segment are you targeting?

    It’s pretty apparent at this point that our economy is not going to bounce back quickly. It’ll take time to get everything straightened out to reasonable levels and, in the meantime, companies in our industry (and many others) are pedaling fast to get lean and stay nimble in this tricky environment.In a general sense, I would classify my products as appropriate for customers:In the ... more »
  • Are you planning to offer a higher-end upgrade to your line?

    Most window and door manufacturers are interested in components that will give their products a higher end look, but most have to balance cost concerns as well. That's still true but hardware and extrusion suppliers at GlassBuild last week indicated more manufacturers are showing a real interest in adding components or developing complete new lines that offer an enhanced ... more »
  • October 9, 2008
    THE TALK... | Segments

    So, when do you think we'll see growth in the window and door market now?

    The economic outlook, along with the outlook for window and door sales, isn't too bright. We've all seen the news. While I'm not kidding myself, I found some hope and encouragement, however, in the number of window and door manufacturers I saw walking the floor of GlassBuild America this week.So, when do you think we'll see growth in the window and door market?First half of 2009Second ... more »
  • October 1, 2008
    THE TALK...

    Have you traveled to China for business?

    So who can tell me how to say “wish me luck” in Chinese? This weekend I leave for my very first trip to China. I’ll be visiting Suzhou and Shanghai, as I mentioned in my column this month, and while I’m dreading the plane ride, I’m really excited about the trip itself. The purpose of my visit is to learn about doing business in China; I’ll be meeting with ... more »
  • September 24, 2008
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    What effect will the government bailout have on the housing market?

    $700 billion. Or was it $700 trillion. It's way too big a number and too complicated an issue for me, but when I heard about plan to bail out Wall Street and theoretically save our economy, I couldn't help but wonder, "It would be nice if someone helped out struggling window and door companies that way."Of course, I know most business owners in this industry wouldn't want or expect ... more »
  • September 24, 2008
    THE TALK... | Management

    Have you picked up employees from struggling industry companies?

    A manufacturer contacted me not too long ago to see if I had heard any news about one its local competitors. The reason he inquired is that he was seeing an influx of people from this competitor looking for jobs at his operation.While I hadn’t heard any news in this particular case, and I wasn’t much help, it reminded me of something said to me not too long ago. “If you can ... more »