Well, we are now in the height of the busy season. October is perhaps the busiest month of the year. Winter is approaching, which means business in the door and window industry will slow down substantially. It will be time to catch one’s breath and take a pit stop — change the tires and check the engine for next year’s race

For me, it’s a very busy time of the year as it is a good time for door and window fabricators to re-evaluate product design. Is this the best spacer system I am using to help penetrate the market given increasing demand for energy-efficient windows and doors? Do I want to add a new window to my lineup to enable me to go after sales that I have been missing out on simply because I don’t have an offering for that market segment? Am I using the best sealant system to ensure minimal callbacks and warranty expense? What about door and window hardware? Is there something new out there that might offer my sales team a competitive advantage and help bolster sales in the coming year? What are my equipment needs? Is it time to replace that aging washer or glass cutter with a newer model? Can I get a replacement machine installed by year end to take advantage of Section 179 tax savings?

Indeed, Section 179 can have a near-immediate impact on financials since depreciation can be greatly accelerated. Indeed, if you are on the bubble about replacing a piece of worn equipment that may still be limping along, but you are not quite sure how long it will last, then you should seriously consider the potential tax advantages to doing it now as opposed to waiting until the new year. Here is an example.

Another critical need which is worth looking into during this time of year is a preventative maintenance (PM) program. I know more than a few manufacturers that had equipment breakdowns in the heat of battle, which caused downtime, overtime, and a great deal of stress. In most cases these equipment breakdowns could have been avoided if a PM program would have been in place. No one would expect their car to run forever without oil changes and tune-ups, so why would anyone expect industrial machinery to be any different?

So, whether you did experience a machinery breakdown or were lucky enough to have made it through the busy season without one of any sort, now is the time to call in your equipment supplier and put a PM program into place. It might be as simple as changing filters, cleaning screens, changing hydraulic fluid or swapping out worn parts. A dime spent here will earn you an extra buck somewhere down the road.

So, yes, those last few months of the year, although slow from a business perspective, can have a huge impact on your company’s future, and that time represents an excellent opportunity to pull the company in for a pit stop and examine, not only from a conceptual and strategic standpoint, but also from a “hands on” perspective, exactly what it will take to keep you in the race when the green flag goes up for 2018.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Jim,

    You write about new product introductions. Here’s a thought. Have we reached a point where the cost and bureaucracy around certifying either a new product or making a modification to an existing product is so expensive that companies that could make improvements to their product lines may choose not to do so?

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