While at the International Builders’ Show this week I’m working hard with our fellow editors here to bring you the latest news quickly through out tweets on twitter and our daily videos. While much news at IBS does happen on the show floor, some of it does not. Deceuninck North America is not exhibiting this year, but I had an opportunity last night to interview its CEO, Mark Parrish. The conversation was so interesting that I had to share a few snippets here.

While Deceuninck is in a solid position now and Parrish says the company will be profitable in 2010, he admits the past five years or so have not been easy. But Parrish says the steps put into place have allowed the company to emerge stronger.

“We have a zero waste initiative,” says Parrish, “and we define waste simply as something that provides no value.”

“When we looked at that definition we found better ways to spend our money,” he adds.

When Parrish joined Deceuninck in 2005 he says he had a lot of internal problems to solve while the industry was also facing the onset of the recession.

“That was the greatest challenge I ever faced,” says Parrish.

He talked about the layoffs the company was forced to make, but the fact that through it all Parrish strived to improve morale of the remaining employees–not always an easy task.

“We could go into the realm of compliance or forge a commitment to changing our future,” he says. “We looked at every employee as a future employee who could come back.”

Parrish says it was tough to go from a large expanding company to a smaller one but “it really allowed us to form a commitment to the elimination of waste.”

“We turned waste into profits,” he says. “Fewer people could do more.”

Parrish reports that the company is growing again and hiring again. Though the future looks bright Parrish does say that challenges still lie ahead.

“I think the industry will be slightly down in 2011,” says Parrish, who attributes some of that to the end of the $1,500 tax credit.

But Deceuninck is headed into the future strong and with a focus on energy-efficient products in both windows and the building products segment as a whole.

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