In a move designed to increase its market presence, Crystal Window & Door Systems says it has initiated steps to integrate its Chicago-based affiliate manufacturer Crystal Windows & Doors Illinois Manufacturing (Crystal Chicago) operations into the New York-based company’s national operations. The move will combine the 80,000-square-foot Chicago factory with Crystal Windows’ current 340,000-square-foot network of window production and aluminum extrusion facilities.Plans also call for the expansion of production capabilities and product lines made by the Chicago facility. The integration effort is scheduled for completion this year with expansion activities continuing into 2010.

Crystal Chicago began operations in 1996 as a separate entity with support and an equity investment from Crystal Window & Door Systems in New York. Over the past 13 years, the Chicago manufacturer has maintained an informal affiliation with the 20-year-old New York corporation, but has operated independently. Crystal Chicago has focused solely on the City of Chicago and the surrounding metropolitan area, while the larger New York manufacturer has expanded nationally. Integration of Crystal Chicago operations into Crystal’s national business will strengthen brand recognition, provide resources to expand distribution in the greater Chicago metropolitan area and adjoining states, improve logistics, reduce product delivery times and increase customer service.

The Crystal Chicago operation previously only produced four of the many Crystal product lines, but expansion plans call for it ultimately to manufacture most of the corporation’s vinyl and aluminum window lines. Upgrading the Chicago manufacturing facility’s insulated glass production also is scheduled. In addition to integration of manufacturing operations, the New York and Chicago entities are unifying other functions such as sales, marketing, purchasing, information technology, logistics and R&D.

“This integration allows Crystal Windows to rapidly expand its national manufacturing capabilities and forgo the huge capital and time investment that an entirely new facility would require,” says Steve Chen, executive vice president of Crystal in New York.

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