Why are the Simple Things the Hardest?

Apr 16th, 2012

It’s easy for manufacturers to bring dealers in for training, right? So why don’t some of you? It’s easy to tell a dealer of a new product—so why don’t some of you? And if a manufacturer fails in some of these areas, why doesn’t a dealer change manufacturers? Perhaps that fact in itself is even […]

Hooray for Making Money and Sharing Ideas

Mar 26th, 2012

Obviously, that’s why any company is in business, right? To make money. However, throughout the past several years, many moulding and millwork and door and window companies have not made money—yet still survived. So I was extremely pleased to attend the recent meeting of the Moulding and Millwork Producers Association (MMPA) and hear that things […]

It All Comes Down to Marketing

Mar 1st, 2012

If you’ve attended a meeting of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), you know that the group spends three days holding concurrent meetings discussing the latest issues and this often includes revising and updating its important technical documents. So if you’ve been there you know that much of what is discussed can get pretty technical. […]

A Sad Day

Feb 17th, 2012

No one on our staff ever wants to hear of a company closing, a plant shuttering, a bankruptcy—none of it. Every time we have to report on one, it is bad news for the industry, the company, its workers, etc. But I will admit that once in a while, and that “once” happened this week, […]

My Famous List

Feb 10th, 2012

I am sure my list is not actually famous, but as has become customary when attending various events I usually bring you my top insights and experiences from industry gatherings. So following are some of the things that really caught my eye this week at the International Builders’ Show, as well as conversations of interest. […]

My Day with Joseph

Feb 2nd, 2012

When I talked with Joseph Pigliacampo, president of Joseph Machine Co., in depth at an industry event last year, his enthusiasm for “zero scrap” was contagious. I told him I would definitely set a time to learn more, and that time came this past Tuesday when I traveled to the company’s plant in Dillsburg, Pa. […]

Kicking Butt

Jan 18th, 2012

At times, companies are closed mouthed when it comes to their competition, while others put it all out there, so to speak, and let their competition know they are coming after them. This was the case with two insurance giants, according to an article I read in Advertising Age from February 2011. The writer got […]

Merry Christmas

Dec 13th, 2011

Are there really reasons to be merry this holiday season? If you’re a worker at certain Pella, Milgard, Schield Family Brands, Andersen, Jeld-Wen, or Champion Window plants, to name a few, you may not be in the holiday spirit. All of these companies have closed plants in the last three months, putting many employees out […]

Top Insights from AMD

Oct 28th, 2011

Want some optimism and some encouraging ideas? Check out my highlights from the Association of Millwork Distributors (AMD) Annual Convention held this week in Nashville. Good News for Wood A few people I spoke to at the show reported that the wood business is doing fairly well including Mark Rieser, president of Windsor Windows and […]

Consider Diversification

Oct 17th, 2011

Diversification. It’s something you hear a lot about as companies struggle to stay afloat. For example, I’ve written stories recently about residential companies moving into the light commercial market as a way to gain market share. We also hear often about window dealers that have expanded outside of windows, into areas such as gutters or […]