Latest Articles in Management

  • There are pitfalls in business combinations, but when executed properly, integration can add substantially to the bottom line
    Economic and industry-specific issues continue to weigh heavy on building materials companies, and many builders are asking for price reductions. To maintain prices and generate profits during a prolonged market slow-down, anxious suppliers, manufacturers and distributors are considering business integration. Integration, as a business strategy, is nothing new. Many antitrust laws,... more »
  • Jim Collins, author of “Good to Great,” makes the point that it’s easy enough to identify what separates a good organization or company from a bad one. We can see examples of good vs. bad companies in all tiers of our industry—manufacturers who don’t deliver on time versus ones that do, dealers who don’t return customers’ calls versus those who do. But... more »
  • Used properly, a hammer can build shelter for people in need. Used improperly, the same hammer can be a blunt instrument of destruction. It is given that our world involves more and more standards. This requires more and more controls against misuse. We are getting the standards; I am concerned we are not getting the controls. Let’s agree that industry standards help the fenestration... more »
  • Progressive distribution companies are finding new ways to add value and reduce costs
    The demise and even death of independent distributors has been predicted by experts for years. Even today the jury is still out. A recent IBM report on distribution said: “Depending on to whom you listen, the distribution industry will be disintermediated into extinction by a direct channel between manufacturer and consumer or it will emerge as the ubiquitous connective tissue holding the... more »
  • More window and door manufacturers talk about kaizen events and changing the corporate culture. How widespread is this type of change?
    Ask nearly any window and door manufacturer, and they’ll tell you they’re “lean.” Competitive pressures, reflected in demands in pricing, lead times and quality, make “being lean” almost essential. But it’s clear that more manufacturers look to take this concept to a higher level. Although the trend may not be across the board, most window and door... more »
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    JIT and fully-integrated, Gienow is taking on the challenge of bringing everything online
    Gienow Building Products enjoys a reputation for manufacturing innovation. Just-in-time or JIT manufacturing is a goal at window and door industry companies across North America, but few are probably at the stage reached by the Canadian manufacturer, where most products literally come off the line and are loaded onto a truck. Window & Door recently traveled to Calgary, AB, to visit the... more »