Volume 2   Issue 3               Fall 2001

w d m a   o p e n s   u p 

Taking the Lead
by Alan J. Campbell

The advancement of the fenestration industry is the most important job of the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) as it develops and redefines its strategies and objectives for 2001 and beyond. 

The WDMA is remapping its organizational flow and decision-making processes to find the optimum avenue for influencing codes around the country. We want to be a primary source for the introduction and creation of workable and beneficial industry standards and certification.

Strategic Objectives 

Using the technical expertise of its membership, WDMA has reasserted itself as a leader in industry service. We’re not satisfied with letting others decide our fate in this increasingly competitive market. Builders, architects, specifiers and consumers want to know what they are buying, and WDMA wants to assure them their fenestration products are of the highest possible quality. The buying public is savvy and educated and they need and want to have the power of knowledge. 

The new strategic objectives at the core of our work include:

• Leading in the advancement of the window, skylight and door industry by promoting the benefits and value of superior-performing products;

• Formulating and promoting marketplace driven standards of performance for products of the window, skylight and door 
industry;

• Improving the conditions under which the industry must operate; and

• Collecting and disseminating pertinent industry data.

“Builders, architects, specifiers and 
consumers want to know what they
 are buying, and WDMA wants to 
assure them their fenestration products
 are of the highest possible quality.”

A dramatically changing industry psyche has caused WDMA to take a hard look at the process in which it makes critical decisions and sets its goals and objectives. That’s now the job of the strategic vision committee and its technical subcommittee.

Strategic and Technical Committees

The strategic vision committee and technical subcommittees are mapping out the perfect organization and performing a gap analysis to offer insight into how we can serve our membership most effectively, according to Mike Koenig, WDMA’s technical subcommittee chair and material development manager for the Andersen Corp.

Windows and doors are not just another commodity. The selection of these products is an important part of the decision-making process for the buyer and shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Our goal is to eventually provide complete-material-neutral, performance-based standards in a formal process, rather than relying on some of our standards and other component-based standards to piece it together,” said Koening.

WDMA will take a formal, set approach to the implementation of standards, which will conform to a seven-step development process. There will be initial requirements before proposed standards will be submitted to a committee for consideration as well as specific guidelines that must be met as part of the standards-making process. 

That’s just scratching the surface. Expanding the organization to be even more broad-based and material-neutral takes priority. WDMA continues to take the fast-track approach, fine-tuning its processes while studying the industry, its market segments and strengths and weaknesses.

WDMA wants to be integral to the technical certification process. Increasing technical activity and available expert resources is also part of the plan. “There’s demand within the industry to provide technical expertise, with renewed interest in working with standards experts and code bodies,” said Koening. 

WDMA has so many expert resources from within our membership. We hope to take advantage of those resources and harness their energy and technical power for the benefit of the entire industry.

Alan J. Campbell, CAE, serves as president of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association, based in Des Plaines, Ill.


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