Collins, the Trend Tracker

Thoughts on the Plight of Gorell Windows

Feb 16th, 2012

It was with sincere regret that I learned last week of the placement of Gorell Windows & Doors into receivership. I learned this news as I was preparing to leave an otherwise upbeat Builders’ Show and it served as a reminder that we’re not completely out of the woods yet. Wayne Gorell is a statesman […]

Good News for the Year Ahead

Jan 10th, 2012

I wrote in January 2011 that it was easier to be an optimist at that time than a year earlier. This week’s positive economic news is helping make it easier to be optimistic about the year ahead. Employers brought on 200,000 employees in December. This hiring surge helped to lower the unemployment rate to 8.5 […]

That Used to be Us

Nov 22nd, 2011

I recently attended a forum featuring Thomas L. Friedman, author of the 2004 bestseller The World is Flat. He attended the forum to discuss his new book, That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. His earlier book is a discussion of the […]

The Bright Spots Most Headlines Miss

Oct 24th, 2011

I recently attended a round table discussion between chief investment officers and senior economists from three significant financial institutions, who have purview over billions of dollars in client assets. There were several key points of interest to participants in the building products industry. One of the economists keeps a careful eye on the tie between […]

Do Manufacturers Know the $1,500 Credit has Expired?

Jul 18th, 2011

I had occasion recently to review the websites of more than three hundred window and door manufacturers. I was surprised by the number of residential window manufacturers’ websites that still contain references, right on the home page, to the tax credit. They talk about consumers getting a $1,500 tax credit and the benefits of energy-efficient […]

The Future of Manufacturer/Dealer Relationships

Jun 21st, 2011

I had occasion recently to attend an industry event in the overhead door market. I believe that some of the key thoughts I took from that conference apply to the door and window market as well. In an amusing bit of finger pointing, I heard from large and small manufacturers who each believed strongly that […]

Determining the Effect of Fewer Private Equity Funds

May 24th, 2011

Last week, I attended a presentation by Philip Canfield of GTCR, a Chicago-based private equity firm that has invested more than $8.5 billion in 200 companies since its founding in 1980. Canfield covered several themes about which I’ve written in the past. These included the staggering amount of cash being held by private equity funds […]

Look out for Warranty Liabilities in Acquisitions

Apr 18th, 2011

scarpe hogan donna scarpe hogan online Whenever a company is acquired, the treatment of past customer warranties, and the claims from those warranties, is always a critical issue. The seller has the incentive to shed as much liability for those warranty claims as possible, while the buyer desires the opposite outcome. The third set of […]

Views of the Recession from Other Industries

Mar 21st, 2011

I attended a presentation last week with keynote speakers from industries that couldn’t have been more different from the door and window industry. However, their insights have direct bearing on our industry. The speakers were the senior executives of companies that included a newspaper and new media publisher, an automotive supplier, a sandwich chain and […]

Have I Got a Buyer for You?!

Feb 18th, 2011

If it hasn’t happened already, before long you’ll likely get a call or letter with the possibility to change your life. A group will claim to have been retained by another company in the industry to acquire your company. Not just any company, they want to buy your company. They’ve taken note of your position […]