Shop Talk

Outsmarting Supply and Labor Issues with Outsourcing

Jun 22nd, 2021

The door and window industry is on the brink of what’s traditionally been our busy season. But for many of us, it feels like it’s been busy season for the past year. A hot housing market, low interest rates and homeowners looking to make enhancements to their spaces—they’ve all worked to drive a major spike […]

Focusing on the Right Parts of Glass Quality

May 18th, 2021

A high-quality insulating glass (IG) unit is the result of many small processes that have been performed correctly by an appropriately trained and knowledgeable team. But considering today’s labor market, pulling this off has become a major challenge for some door and window makers. Ongoing difficulties with hiring and high turnover rates mean that today’s […]

Practical Tips for Getting the Most Out of an Automated Line

Apr 21st, 2021

To a window manufacturer that’s struggling to keep employees on the shop floor, the benefits of automation have been clear for a while. And as our collective labor struggles continue, my sense is that continued investment in automation will be occurring for the foreseeable future, even as lead times for equipment continue to stretch across […]

What to Do When Every Week Brings a New Challenge

Mar 15th, 2021

“What are we short on this week?” That’s a question that door and window plant managers have probably been asking themselves a lot lately. Whether it’s glass, vinyl, or something simpler, like weatherstripping, a wide range of components and raw materials have been in short and inconsistent supply for months. For managers and shop workers […]

Sharpening Your Skills by Any Means Necessary

Feb 16th, 2021

We all know what happened. About a year ago, life as we knew it changed, as did the way we do business. Speaking as someone whose profession involves travelling about 80% of the time, I can affirm that statement with some certainty. As a technical services representative for Quanex Building Products, I visit customers on-site, […]

Helping You Navigate the Perfect Storm

Jan 18th, 2021

Does the figure eight to 10 weeks sound familiar to you? It’s the average amount of lead time I’ve heard reported from several of my door and window customers recently. Which is to say: If you’re a homeowner who pulls the trigger on new windows today—right now—you can expect that they might not be installed […]

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