Volume 13, Issue 5 - June 2012

From The Publisher

Stating the Obvious
Don’t Forget to Make the Sale
by Tara Taffera

How can I make such a statement you ask? Some manufacturers are introducing innovative products that push the envelope on thermal performance; others offer quality products in all price points and materials. But as the father-and-son marketing team of Dave and David Alan Yoho pointed out in a recent seminar to home improvement companies, window retailers often fall short when it comes to making a sale. (See page 44 for the full story.)

They’re not the only ones who have talked about the importance of great salesmanship in recent months. DWMmag.com blogger Mark Milanese, owner of Milanese Remodeling, often reminds companies in his blog that “Nothing happens until you make the sale.”

Read the article for practical tips like these from Dave Yoho and his son: “Don’t let your sales reps change the script;” “Your best closer goes out first;” “Why don’t’ reps make the sale—lack of proper training.”

No doubt, however, it comes down to more than just sales reps making a good pitch. You must have a quality product, and even that isn't always enough in this competitive environment. So what have some companies done to be more competitive? They have implemented lean manufacturing into their plants and have saved significantly in items like custom charges, have decreased lead times substantially and reduced waste.

Check out our article on page 30 and learn what lean isn’t. You'll quickly see that it’s not about reducing employees and it is about reducing waste. And if you think you know what waste is, think again. Steve Waltman, vice president of sales and marketing for Stiles Machinery, says window companies have to stop thinking of waste just as wasted materials.

“There is waste if you need four and you make five. There is waste if you need to remake it—that’s the worst kind of waste. If you make it and you can’t find it then there is a waiting waste. What if you have to wait a day before shipping it?”

I encourage you to keep this in mind and brainstorm what you can do in your plants to make improvements in this area.
When companies make these changes, Waltman says they will find: “I like the new me. I like having people specifically tasked to do things and do them well, etc. I like holding down material and freight costs.”

So why aren’t more window companies implementing lean? I would love to hear from you on this issue. Have you thought about it but thought the savings wouldn’t be worth the effort? Also, are you taking the time to train your sales reps on proper techniques? Drop me a line at ttaffera@glass.com.


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