Keepin’ it Simple… Or Not

Jim Snyder
October 6, 2015
THE TALK... | Operations

Have you ever taken on a fenestration replacement project outside of your comfort zone? Were you glad you did? Or, did you wish you hadn’t? Either way, you likely gained some valuable experience from it and it influenced your project undertakings in the future.

When I converse with my many dealer connections in different regions via phone, social media or in person. One dealer friend of mine up in Toronto posts an astonishing mixture of fenestration projects on Facebook. I think he carries every frame material made and has completed every type of residential fenestration project I can think of, and then some. Just last month, his company replaced an enormous glazed cupola. That’s just plain cool!

I learn a lot about businesses like my Toronto friend's by the kinds of projects they’re taking on. Understandably, their projects vary due to region, the window and door products they sell, and their installation force. These three factors can dictate their project opportunities or limitations. In many cases, the projects they choose are based on a deliberate business strategy.

Different dealers have different fortes. Some prefer to offer just one product line and specialize in one type of replacement application. This keeps business simpler, and there’s a lot to be said for that. Sure, they miss some opportunities but, in their grand scheme, it probably doesn’t matter.

Others prefer to be more universal, receptive to any kind of replacement project and offering more product lines. No replacement opportunity is missed. This requires much more management, a more versatile labor force, and broader assortment of tools and equipment. This variety can keep it more interesting (at least that’s how I preferred it).

What’s your project strategy? Read this week’s poll, share your approach in the comments and/or drop me a line with your thoughts.

Survey Results for 10/07/2015:

What's your project strategy?

Most everything, but there is a limit.





Simple is better. That's all we need.





If it's glass in an exterior wall, we do it.




Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at