While it’s anyone’s guess as to when the economy and housing market will improve, manufacturers are focusing on improving processes so when the recovery does come they will be ready. This was the focus of company representatives who attended the seventh annual FeneVision user conference last week. (FeneTech develops, installs and supports the FeneVision and FeneVision Glass ERP, MAX-Opt small-batch high-yield lineal optimization, SCAD, virtual digitizing, line scanner and cullet scanner systems.)Many attendees said the market slump has increased the motivation to reduce costs.

“While we’re always looking to improve productivity, service levels and use of information, the current economy makes it even more critical to find more ways to save time and materials,” said Ron Mascarella, vice president of systems and technology for Vista Window Co. in Warren, Ohio.

Mascarella was one of 45 people from 20 companies from across the United States that attended the three-day conference.

“We can’t stop improving,” said Toby Nichols, chief information officer for Wincore Windows and Doors in Parkersburg, W.Va. “The competition won’t.”

Continuing to improve through sharing information was a theme cited by a number of attendees. Other benefits mentioned include getting face-to-face time with FeneTech staff and providing input on upcoming improvements to FeneVision and other applications.

“It’s time well-used even though we’re busy this time of year,” said Don Montini of Interstate Window and Door Co. in Pittston, Pa.

Some may find it odd that competitors gather in a forum such as this but Ron Crowl, FeneTech president, says the company’s staff is privileged to have this type of relationship with customers.

“They help each other here and in our online forum as well as guiding us on issues and improvements,” he said.

“It’s easy to think you know everything, but through sharing ideas with the other attendees, we learn something every year that helps us work smarter,” added Mascarella.


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