Collins
by Mike Collins
May 3rd, 2010

Benchmark Survey Helps Manufacturers Navigate Challenges

Spring marks not only the start of the busy season for most door and window manufacturers, but the time each year when we conduct our annual Window & Door Industry Benchmark Survey. This survey is exclusively for manufacturers of residential or commercial entry doors, windows, interior doors, overhead doors and skylights, as well as sunrooms.

When we designed our survey, we made the conscious decision to focus primarily on financial analysis of various aspects of the operation of door and window manufacturers. In this way, we feel we’ve created a survey that adds to the overall body of research on the industry without being duplicative of the efforts of any other survey.

The results of the survey typically contain more than 80 charts and graphs that can be used in analyzing key aspects of performance. Examples of such information regarding competitors in the industry include the following: current ratio, debt to equity ratio, days’ sales outstanding, emphasis on Energy Star® products, productivity per worker, types of glazing used, warranty expenses, most common certifications achieved, sales and marketing methods utilized and a host of other information. We’re not aware of another survey in the industry that contains this data, all of which would be very useful in managing a door or window manufacturer in this challenging environment. We limit participation in the survey to manufacturers and the full results of the survey are only distributed to participants. When you consider the fact that we don’t charge to participate in the survey or receive the results, you might guess that the majority of companies choose to participate.

That assumption, however, would be incorrect. A sufficient number of companies participate to make the results meaningful, but many companies choose not to invest the few hours that are needed to complete the questionnaire. We believe the reason that participation has been a challenge the last couple of years, in particular, is that the performance of most companies in the industry has been lackluster. While we understand that sentiment, it is during challenging times that we should place the highest premium on information regarding the average condition of competitors. In exchange for a small investment of time, we provide door and window manufacturers with a tool that can be used in navigating the challenges ahead. We hope that all door and window manufacturers will choose to participate and will request a copy of the questionnaire at mcollins@jordanknauff.com.



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  1. Interested in understanding the long-term fundamentals of the replacement window industry

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