The Talk

  • 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 »
  • Keeping Productivity High During the Summer Heat

    For most people, the summer season is synonymous with sunny days, a packed social calendar and vacation time. It’s overwhelmingly recognized as the most popular time of year for relaxation, much to the chagrin of business owners everywhere come June 21st. As the temperature rises, and the days get longer, it’s easy for even the most motivated employees to lose enthusiasm, and ... more »
  • June 25, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    Are You Seeing Window and Door Shortages?

    NAHB and NLBMDA issued a recent report pointing to shortages of certain construction materials in the current market.  While windows and doors are not cited as prime examples, the groups' surveys indicate that our industry's products are harder to come by than usual, at least by historic standards.Nine percent of builders and lumber dealers report seeing some shortages in the market ... more »
  • June 19, 2013
    THE TALK... | Close-Ups

    Are You a Dealer Worthy of Recognition?

    This is sort of a trick question, actually. Any dealer that has weathered the storm of the last few years is likely a dealer worthy of recognition. We've been through a lot with the housing market rollercoaster, and last year's Dealers of the Year winners were stories not only of survival, but also of companies that learned to thrive in the new normal of window and door sales, distribution and ... more »
  • June 11, 2013
    THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

    What's the Rest of the Year Look Like to You?

    "Finally seeing a nice uptick in business!!!!"  That was the sign-off on an email I received this week from an industry supplier, and it was just the kind of nugget I needed to feel better about the next few months.Despite improving economic data–and construction and remodeling industry data suggesting that window and door sales are on the upswing–I continue to hear ... more »