FeneTech Holds 2014 User Conference

June 9th, 2014 by DWM Magazine
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The FeneTech user conference was held June 2-4 in Aurora, Ohio.

With demand up in 2013 and again in 2014, some door and window companies have a new problem, according to attendees at the 12th annual FeneVision fenestration ERP software user conference in Aurora, Ohio, June 2-4: getting enough supplies to meet demand.

“Companies in this industry have spent the last five years trimming costs and deferring investments to survive,” said Ron Crowl, president of FeneTech and host of the user conference. “Although managing backlog and supplies are challenges, it is one all of them would rather have compared to previous years.”

While no wanted to go on record, several pointed out that vinyl extrusions in particular are in limited supply.

“We get it,” said one attendee. “They cut back on costs just like we did. But we still need more vinyl to fulfill our orders.” As always, window makers need to deliver complete orders to keep contractor/installers happy and paying their invoices, he said.

One company enjoying record sales while not suffering any supply problems is Wincore Windows and Doors in Parkersburg, W.Va. Wincore sells replacement and new construction windows east of the Rockies.

“This will likely be our best year ever,” said Toby Nichols, vice president of information services for the company, which lists its sales at between $50 and $100 million. “We’ve had no problems managing the growth.”

Wincore has added a full impact windows series for severe weather areas and painted vinyl windows. The company has also invested in new machinery while continuing to make improvements in its systems.

A major Cialis 10mg focus has been on making web-based estimation and order entry available to all the distributors, dealers and contractors in its selling channel. “I think the industry has reached a point where if you don’t offer the tools where a customer can price and place their own orders, you can’t get in the door,” said Nichols.

While companies are working to manage growth issues and are hopeful the market will continue to improve, most are retaining some of the caution that enabled them to survive the recession where others could not.

“Will this last?” asked one attendee. “We think so but want to see how it continues the rest of this year.”

Business is also up this year over last at insulating glass fabricator Intigral Inc. in Walton Hills, Ohio. The company delivers insulating glass to door and window manufacturers in the Midwest.

“Our competitive advantage is that we can deliver sequenced carts of custom IG to our customers in the shortest possible time,” said Intigral president Jason Thomas. “We believe the market will continue to improve overall and we will continue to improve our integration with our customers and offer the best [insulating glass unit] spacer options along with the high-valued specialty options for their [insulating glass units].”

Attendees at the two-and-one-half day conference came from Quebec, Estonia and across the U.S. The schedule included joint opening and closing sessions each day and then separate breakout sessions for door, window and sunroom companies and then glass fabricators.

The event also included entertainment and networking time, with Monday evening at a local horse-racing track and the next evening at a local winery.

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