A Good Week: Challenges, Yes But Just Keep Going

It’s Thursday, January 13, as I write this column, and it’s been a good week for our market. It seems every time I open my email or browser these days, I receive news of another door or window manufacturer expansion. This week it was Jeld-Wen, Marvin, and Steves and Sons. It’s nice to see good news evident all around me.

On this same January day, I’m sending emails to hundreds of door and window dealers in anticipation of [DWM]’s upcoming annual Top Door and Window Dealers issue. Already, I have begun to receive responses like this one: “We grew 50% last year, organically from $40.5 million to $65.9 million. In 2022 we’re expanding into other states, the first stop being Texas. We just signed the lease today. Very exciting times.”

Exciting times indeed. Check out the upcoming March-April issue to learn which dealer that was, and learn about others posting growth.

Do you know why the focus above makes me so happy? Because I know what our industry is facing. I’m aware that it’s almost impossible to navigate the
challenges thrust upon you at every turn—namely labor and supply chain but, like the Energizer bunny, you just keep going.

On this same January day (yes, it’s a crazy one), the Supreme Court announced the rejection of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring businesses with at least 100 employees to require workers to be vaccinated. Immediately, I reached out to affected companies to gain their views (go to dwmmag.com and type in Supreme Court in the search box for the story).

In a few words: they were relieved. And it’s not because they don’t believe in the vaccine as a viable way to present the spread of COVID. But, in a time when finding workers isn’t just a struggle but an all-out exhaustive fight, losing even just one is a blow to productivity. Can you imagine having to take a portion of the small legion of employees you have left off the plant floor? What would that do to your business? Even in the case of a company like YKK AP America, where president Oliver Stepe says the company’s internal employee vaccination rate is as high as 90% in some locations, it’s an issue. The number is not 100%, so that’s taking integral workers off the plant floor. None of this is easy, and I applaud each one of you, big or small, for keeping up the fight—for dealing with every challenge as it’s shot at you from all directions.

Looking to the future, be sure to read the article on page 22 for a comprehensive report on what housing and the economy have in store for 2022.

And in a world where COVID keeps rearing its ugly head and fewer people are venturing out to trade shows, guess what? Suppliers continue to unveil innovative products. See page 26 for the winners in the Annual Readers’ Choice Awards to discover products you may want to incorporate into your businesses.

Take care and keep fighting.

Tara Taffera is the publisher of [DWM] magazine.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

DWM Magazine

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