Latest Articles in Operations

  • I have already learned a great deal in my time with Window & Door magazine; along with the technical details of the fenestration business, I am getting to know the men and women who make up this industry. Make no mistake, while the stock in trade is entry and interior doors, windows, components and supplies, the heart of this business is the people. I have encountered a variety of companies... more »
  • Maximize Labor and Gain a Competitive Edge with Automation
    The residential window and door market is poised for real growth throughout 2017. As the housing market continues to regain health, and the Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate for the second time in 10 years, mortgage rates are on the rise. Market watchers also anticipate that the new presidential administration will be conducive to additional growth. For residential window... more »
  • Eight tips to contend the weather
    As I write this column from the comfort of my home, I occasionally glance out at the house under construction next door. The framers, bundled up from the fierce wind in hoodies and coveralls, brush snow off a stack of lumber. Just two days ago they were wearing shorts, enjoying the sunlight as they started in on the construction. Yet today they seem to march on, as always. The postman’s... more »
  • Like many specialty retailers, we have great relationships with several fine window manufacturers who care about their reputation and have taken steps support great products. Several are the most important partners we have in our business. Of course, we are always looking at options and are approached by companies who want our business. We take these opportunities to meet new folks, too, and... more »
  • Several weeks ago, I stumbled upon an old Window & Door article that questioned the end of independent distributors. The article was written in 2004 and our world has greatly changed in the last decade. E-commerce is booming. This gave me pause. Are distributorships on the way out?  Fortune recently reported statistics that indicate consumers are now making more than 51 percent of... more »
  • If you’re a typical dealer of windows and doors, you need a $1.5 million line of credit for every $10 million in business. Accordingly, if your revenues are $5 million, a $750,000 LOC is what’s required. This level of funding assures you’re not chronically cash hungry and have funds for early-pay discounts, inventory, strategic investments or even a recession. Finding a bank is... more »
  • In order to stay relevant, it seems companies have to be willing to go digital, especially given the younger generations roaming around with Apple products in hand, expecting accessible information at the swipe of a finger. But, the window and door industry seems to be lagging behind in some areas. For one, there are still many steps within the selling process that rely heavily on handwritten... more »
  • Three tips to stop hackers
    Website hacking isn’t something that only happens to big companies. Every week, my office receives at least half a dozen calls from local small business owners that need help fixing a hacked website and the volume of these calls appears to be increasing. Despite common perception, hackers don’t only want to hack large e-commerce sites to access financial data. Many small business... more »
  • Getting to the root problems of installation and how manufacturers can address them
    The bold red color of the door helps distract attention from the issue, but the issue of the “frowning door” still needs to be addressed. (All images courtesy of the author.) Working with exterior doors is a tricky business. Manufacturers spend hours designing and assembling high-performing exterior doors that then endure many different factors that can lead to performance... more »
  • What Professional Services Automation software can help accomplish
    Our industry is excited about automation, and for good reason—it’s enabling businesses to work smarter and faster. A recent post on WindowandDoor.com noted how manufacturers are embracing automated products at ever-faster rates. But automation is as much, if not more effective for processes as it is for products.   In particular, Professional Services Automation... more »