Volume 10, Issue 1 - January 2009

from the publisher

New Year, New Look
by Tara Taffera

If you’ve read my blogs (www.dwmmag.com) you know that I set a goal awhile back to try to stay positive and not just write about all the bad things happening in the market. When I find glimmers of hope in this down housing market and down economy I vowed to bring that news to you to keep you upbeat and focused on the future.

So when you read about the latest plant closing or the latest housing starts, think of this list. If you need to rip it out and pin it on your bulletin board, feel free. When you’re feeling stressed glance over and look at it to stay sane—whatever gets you through the day. 

So here’s my top five list of reasons to stay positive in 2009:

5. There are door and window manufacturers who are succeeding (see December issue of DWM, page 45 to read about Lindsay Windows and Vinylite Windows). And see page 16 of this issue to learn how Soft-Lite has found success and growth.

4. Suppliers are working on getting stronger. In turn this will make door and window manufacturers stronger (see feature article on page 22 for examples of ideas).

3. You as manufacturers and suppliers now have time to develop new products, look for new business, develop strong marketing materials and generally make your businesses stronger. If you don’t take advantage of this opportunity, you’re doing your company a major disservice.

2. Green/sustainability opportunities abound. While many segments of the market are down, where people are investing is “green” or sustainable products. So if you can capitalize on products that fit this category that will help your company. Do you practice sustainable manufacturing methods? If you do, publicize it. That could be the reason an environmentally savvy customer chooses you over your competitor. 

1. Energy Star® Offers Opportunities. Many people may argue why this is even on the list let alone at number one. The Department of Energy says it will announce the new Energy Star requirements in early 2009. They say the goal is to have Energy Star be more of a differentiating factor and wants Energy Star for windows to eventually occupy say, 25 percent of the market, as opposed to the current 53 percent. If you participate in the program promote the heck out of it. Again, use your marketing materials to tell companies why they should choose your company when selecting an efficient window.

What else should be on this list? What do you disagree with on the list? Send your suggestions, or even your own list, to ttaffera@glass.com.

DWM

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