FeneVision Users Talk 'Virtualization'

June 30, 2010
Meetings & Events

"Virtualization" was a hot topic at the eighth annual FeneVision User Conference, being held in downtown Cleveland this week. Gathering nearly 100 people from 32 window and door manufacturers and glass fabrication companies, as well as a dozen industry vendors, the event, hosted by FeneTech Inc., featured a speaker who detailed the concept, which means separation of computer systems and data from specific hardware.

FeneTech customers that have made the transition to "virtualization" also shared some of their experiences, pointing to such benefits as reduced IT staff needs, less IT infrastructure maintenance, system redundancies and flexibility in providing access to systems.  “In this industry today, if your software doesn’t work, you don’t work,” said Ron Mascarella of Vista Window Co. in Warren, Ohio. His company is one of the early adopters in the industry that is converting to virtualization to protect their data and business. 

While virtualization was one of the new topics, many companies represented at the conference are now focused on embracing Web estimation and order entry systems.  Sunrise Windows virtualized its data last year and has been rolling out FeneVision’s Web Center product since January, according to Steve Welter, IT manager for the Temperance, Mich.-based manufacturer. The company is also aiming to add capacity planning later this year. “Our company and our customers are relying more and more on our ERP and order entry capabilities,” he reported.

Geoff Roise, officer for Lindsay Windows in North Mankato, Minn., said his company has rolled out FeneTech's Web Center and updated its scheduling module earlier this year. He plans to virtualize and implement glass optimization this fall. “Every year, this business relies more and more on software,” he says. “You have to stay on top of it. You have to be here with the other users sharing and learning.”

That sentiment was shared by many of the FeneVision users gathered in Cleveland.  Joe Shoots, VP of sunroom and replacement window maker Vinyl Design Corp. of Toledo, Ohio, says his company’s biggest challenge is reinventing itself as its dealers reinvent themselves. “If we can’t, we risk getting passed up.” Like other attendees, Shoots came to the event to learn about new capabilities for manufacturers using FeneTech products, as well as insights on getting more from the computer systems. “We’re focused on improving our best practices and getting more out of our software.” Like others on hand, his company is also considering implementing Web estimating and ordering later this year.

The conference ends today.

Users of FeneTech's software systems for window and door production and glass fabrication
gathered are in Cleveland this week learning about new system capabilities.