International Window Re-Opens for BusinessJuly 25th, 2011 by DWM Magazine
International Windows’ message to customers is that it has re-opened, is shipping windows and is even putting new products and procedures into place that will improve on the company’s 50-year-plus reputation.
International Window parent company, International Architectural Products, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in May, and International Window was acquired by Universal Moulding in June.
After having to close its doors on May 11, Lori Bargeron, sales manager, reports the company re-opened on July 5 under new ownership.
Yet familiar faces at International Window, with decades of experience in the industry, were re-hired to the delight of many customers. Larry McConnell and Rick Johnson are back as general managers of the Hayward, Calif., and Fullerton, Calif., facilities respectively, as well as four salespeople, in addition to Bargeron. All in all, McConnell says about 20 percent of the workforce has returned.
“We have supervisors at both divisions, as well as production workers and are taking orders daily for shipments that will get to customers within a week,” says McConnell.
Bargeron says that even when the company had stopped production in May, she continued to field calls from customers.
“I kept the same number and was returning calls,” she says. “I thought they were due an explanation.”
Customers were forced to find another window supplier but Bargeron reports that word is getting out slowly, including a letter sent to customers this week.
“No one has said they won’t be coming back,” says McConnell, who adds that the reaction from customers to the re-opening is very emotional.
“I worked with this company for 37 years and have known some of these customers for 37 years. They are pleased to see us back in business and are pleased to see the people with years of service back to work. We had a very good reputation—our problems were caused by the financial issues of the Corporation.”
Bargeron says customers are asking if the products will stay the same, to which she quickly replies yes, although some new additions are in the works and the company is exploring some possible expansion into new territories.
“We had a new vinyl line we were working on prior to the bankruptcy and the new owners are proceeding with that,” she says. “We are also putting in a new paint line, which will shorten lead times.
The company currently ships to California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Oregon. McConnell says the company is in negotiations to add distributors for Texas and New Mexico.
And as far as business as usual goes, “We are presently ahead of schedule for what we thought we would do by now,” says McConnell. “Our growth is dictated by the people we can get back. We believe in three months we will be near where we were before.”