Collins, the Trend Tracker

Market Volatility Clouds the Long-term View

Feb 28th, 2018

The stock market is whipsawing, interest rates are rising and the bitcoin bubble could pop any day now. In a period of short-term tumult, it is easy to be distracted from the long-term outlook for the economy and the building industry in particular. Fortunately, the recently appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has […]

Tax Changes Trump the Interest Rate Hike

Dec 20th, 2017

The recent 0.25-percent fed funds rate increase and three rate hikes planned for 2018 have raised the question of whether home remodeling and construction will suffer as a result. There is reason to believe that the tax plan recently passed by Congress will outweigh these interest rate hikes in their impact on the economy. For […]

Consumers are Doing Their Share

Nov 30th, 2017

Cyber Monday, the recently traditional echo shopping day after Black Friday, set a new record this year, reaching $6.6 billion in sales in a single day.  This momentous spending, combined with other indicators, show that the U.S. consumer is spending in ways that bode well for new construction and remodeling. On a side note, roughly […]

A Good Time to Donate to a Good Cause

Oct 30th, 2017

In an earlier blog, we noted the good work being done by World Vision in their effort to place donated building products into the hands of families in need through their Storehouse network. We currently find ourselves at a timely crossroad for this idea. First, we are approaching year-end, so it is an excellent time […]

There’s Gold in Your CRM

Oct 2nd, 2017

If you are currently using a customer relationship management (CRM) program to manage your contacts, there are numerous easy ways to drive additional utility and sales out of the program.  If you aren’t using a CRM yet, you should find one and adopt it throughout your organization. Look into the best-known programs, find one that […]

Learning from Disasters

Sep 8th, 2017

Hurricane Harvey struck on August 25, damaging some 200,000 homes in its path, primarily in Houston. Right now, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. As familiar as images of hurricane rescues have become, each such disaster brings with it an unforgettable image that becomes symbolic of both the disaster and the recovery. With Hurricane […]

Talking with Tyson, Part I

Jul 31st, 2017

DWM blogger Mike Collins talked with fellow blogger Tyson Schwartz about Schwartz’s recent promotion to president of Soft-Lite Windows. Part I is running today; Look for Part II at the end of August. Fellow DWM blogger Tyson Schwartz was recently named president of Soft-Lite Windows. Schwartz’s 25-year climb from the sales ranks to the senior […]

Fed Beige Book Results

Jun 2nd, 2017

On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Beige Book report was released, compiling economic updates for the 12 Federal Reserve Districts in the country.  The overwhelming majority of the economic news was positive, but the report also highlighted certain trends of particular interest to the building products industry. The economic information reported can vary widely by district, […]

Association Meetings are Well Worth Your Time

Apr 27th, 2017

This week, I gave a presentation outlining our overview and outlook of the door and window industry at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Southeast Region meeting in Orlando, Fla. Each time I attend an industry association event, I ponder the reasons that bring some industry participants to a meeting while others take a pass. […]

What Does the Healthcare Bill Defeat Mean for the Industry?

Mar 30th, 2017

After just over two months in office, President Trump and GOP leaders found themselves in the unenviable position of pulling their new healthcare bill just minutes before the House was to vote.  So what does this mean for our industry in a direct sense and what about other pending changes that stand to benefit the […]

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