Latest Articles in Strategies & Practices

  • Labor shortage problem continues to grow
    In the Industry Watch column from March/April 2018, we noted that availability of qualified labor is increasingly seen as a major problem for both the construction industry and for manufacturers. If anything, the situation has worsened. An industry-wide survey conducted this past summer by Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America, says labor shortages remain so significant and... more »
  • Strong personnel relationships build better businesses
    Business leaders often say people are their number one asset. People make business run. The industry is feeling this need for people now more than ever as demand is up, but the labor shortage and struggle to keep top-quality employees continues.  Additional resources to download 5 Dysfunctions of a Team Best Practices for Effective Feedback Developing Others Three Perceptual Positions... more »
  • This week is the National Association of Women in Construction’s Women in Construction Week, an annual event the first week of March that aims to promote women as a viable component of the industry. Although women comprise about 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, construction is made up of only 9 percent women, with just 3 percent being in the actual trades, according to NAWIC.... more »
  • Walker, a trend-setting customer experience consulting firm, recently did a study that asked professionals: Which changing customer expectation will have the greatest impact on your business in the future? While “speed” would seem to be the biggest customer pleaser in today’s “get it now or else” marketplace, it was edged out by “personalization.” For... more »
  • How to meet customers where they are
    Online disruption has arrived for almost every industry and market. Many are afraid of what these changes mean to their business, but I believe there is a huge opportunity for those who look at the shifts happening and take advantage of them. Companies in the building materials space that can leverage the shifts we’re seeing in how people want to buy will grow awareness, drive sales and... more »
  • MI Windows achieves OSHA Voluntary Protection Programs star for safety
     Editor’s Note: This article is based on the safety roundtable held at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association 2018 Fall Conference. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is often considered to be the police of workplace safety. OSHA sets rules and regulations, performs audits, issues fines and more, all in an effort to create safer workplaces. However, two... more »
  • Insights into the dealer segment of the fenestration market
    To better understand the current climate of the window and door dealer sector, The Farnsworth Group, partnered with the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, to conduct a benchmarking study measuring the sales, trade association interest, value propositions, and business confidence of window and door dealers, wholesale dealers, lumber and building material dealers, and window retailers/replacement... more »
  • As we roll into the new year, here’s a question I’ve pondered recently: what kind of window and door market will we see emerge after some significant consolidation throughout 2018? Just a year ago, following a flurry of 2017 mergers and acquisitions, Window & Door forecasted 2018 to be an “open door” for some increased activity. “Consolidation in the fragmented... more »
  •  For companies that decide recruiting is a hiring strategy worth considering, there are certain practices that can help lead to success. Build a relationship with a vetted firm. Do your homework to find an honorable firm with a good track record. They should work for the employer, not the candidate. Find a recruiting partner. Recruiters should demonstrate deep industry knowledge of the... more »
  • Many manufacturers, distributors and window and door retailers face an ongoing challenge: disposing of surplus inventory. Many practice discounting, liquidating and auctioning unwanted merchandise, but this labor-intensive work can yield little profit.  Another idea is to donate products to charity, also known as product philanthropy or gifts-in-kind donations. This practice has financial... more »