Crystal Achievement Awards 2016: Celebrating Innovation

Announcing the 2016 Crystal Achievement Award Honorees

BEST: Dealer Support Program



Attendees to Soft-Lite's Energy Star Training program are recognized for their efforts to learn about the program. (Images courtesy of Soft-Lite Windows.)

Over the past several years, Window & Door has made a concerted effort to provide specific tools to window and door dealers to help them in their businesses. Whether it is specific product details in our print magazine, perspectives presented in our blog series (The Talk) in WDweekly and on, or in person at Window & Door Dealer Days, our goal is to connect dealers with manufacturers. Through such endeavors, it has become obvious that our objective is mirrored and enhanced by the network of manufacturers that serve this dealer segment.

As such, this year, we wanted to recognize a manufacturer’s commitment to supporting its dealer network by providing training/education, marketing materials, digital/mobile apps, displays, and so on. Our judges resounded that Soft-Lite Windows embodied the attributes for Best Dealer Support Program with a “nice, broad-based approach to strong dealer support.”

Soft-Lite introduced new displays for use in showrooms or home shows that incorporate benefits-oriented signage and a clear plastic literature holder.


In 2015, Soft-Lite developed an interactive training presentation for each of its product lines. These programs provide dealers with an overview of Soft-Lite, including an indepth review of the features, options and benefits of the windows as well as performance data for AAMA and NFRC testing.

This program is fully electronic for use on computers or tablets, incorporates an indepth video showing Soft-Lite’s manufacturing facility and processes, is interactive and utilizes illustrations and callouts to denote important features, and is fully narrated to ensure consistency in dealer product training.

Soft-Lite also tells us that it developed a structured Energy Star Training Program to educate its dealers about the Energy Star program, the anatomy of an energy-efficient window, how to best promote the program, and more. This new and improved interactive, web-based training enables a greater number of dealer representatives to be trained more quickly and efficiently, Soft-Lite reports.

Marketing and Sales Tools

In 2015, Soft-Lite expanded its marketing and sales aids with its Energy Star Marketing Collection. Soft-Lite’s marketing team created an array of new items, including literature (brochure, activity book, leaflet), signage and banners, postcard mailers, and customizable ad slicks.

Soft-Lite offers electronic files of the Marketing Collection—as well as many other tools—on its dealer intranet site, which was launched in 2015 and is exclusively for Soft-Lite dealers. “This site gives dealers fast and easy access to all of Soft-Lite's sales and marketing tools, including literature, videos, lead programs and more,” the company reports.

“Creating useful marketing collateral is a monumental task, especially since we touch every form of consumer with drastically varying degrees of product knowledge,” says one Crystal Achievement Award judge. “Soft-Lite addresses this issue with an all-encompassing program.”

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