Volume 14, Issue 7- September 2013

What's News

Telling the Truth
Amesbury and Truth Presidents Talk Acquisition

Tyman Plc, the parent company of Amesbury, completed the acquisition of Truth Hardware of Owatonna, Minn., from Melrose Industries Plc on July 15. The two former competitors and industry leading hardware companies will now be under the same corporate ownership. What does this mean for its customers, employees and the industry as a whole? Jonathan Petromelis, president and CEO Amesbury and Jeff Graby, president at Truth, spoke to DWM magazine to offer some of the details behind the big news.

The two executives are members of a steering group that will lead the integration of the two companies, along with Louis Eperjesi, CEO of Tyman and Tyman CFO James Brotherton.

Petromelis says Truth will be integrated under Amesbury but is quick to point out that the Truth name isn’t going away.

“As a combined business we need to combine ourselves,” he says. “But it’s far too early to know other details as we just finished our last site visit. What we have told everyone is this will be a 12-month process and that still stands.”

Graby jokes that the few decisions that have been made aren’t very interesting ones.

“The integration is early on every front,” adds Graby. “The big ones wouldn’t interest anyone as they are about our 401K plan,” and adds that the companies have to address everything from healthcare to finance to logos and presence at trade shows.

“I am extraordinarily pleased with the initial discussions so far and all the face to face meetings,” adds Graby. “The direction of our committee is to solicit feedback from sales teams, etc., and listen to the customer and find out where things can be improved.”

It turns out the two companies are almost a perfect fit for one another in terms of products offered and the company culture.

“We are finding that we are very aligned in our thinking,” says Petromelis. “We are both engineered, value-added manufacturing businesses and that’s what aligns us.”

“The first thing that comes to mind is we are both very keen on the safety of employees,” adds Graby. “I have seen every agenda item open with safety. Much of what we are working on is trying to instill this philosophy as well. More from the market side, we are all about making a great experience for the customer. This is geared around the value proposition of on time delivery and a good quality product. We both want to enhance the customer brand experience, so we are very aligned in our thinking.”

Corporate philosophies aside, both companies also have complementary products that are enticing to those on both sides. In fact, Truth’s position as the “industry leader in the casement window market” is one of the things that made them so attractive, says Petromelis.

“Truth has been entrenched in the casement window market for 50 years,” he says. “They are the longtime leaders in the casement hardware side.”

Graby adds that the acquisition combines individual strengths into a much more integrated company.

“They are great at sliding windows, balances, sealing solutions, etc.,” he says. “Together we have a much more comprehensive portfolio and a better engineered solution whether it’s a balance, sealing solution, or casement hardware. And we both are in the patio door market so together we can bring new products to the marketplace.”

Graby adds that he, along with many Truth employees, are glad to be owned by a company that specializes in the fenestration market as that has never been the case until now.

“We share the same customers, the same fundamental interests and quite frankly we are very excited,” he says.

There is no doubt that strategic plans are in the thoughts of top executives.

“When I look at our strategic plans it will be to continue to expand in residential but we also have a focus to expand commercially and we will do that with Truth,” says Petromelis. “Truth actually has a higher penetration in the commercial market, so combined it will give us a good base for expansion.”

While putting these big plans in place they won’t forget about the most important part of the equation.

“The big thing for us is to always focus on the customer,” says Petromelis. “That is always the focus for us and that will continue.”

Some Say Latest Draft Not Such an Energy Star
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed final draft of the Version 6.0 specification for doors, windows and skylights on July 31 which includes a proposal to delay the implementation date. Meanwhile, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), criticizes EPA for ignoring industry concerns while some manufacturers in the industry say, “enough with the belly-aching.”

EPA says it has reviewed the input submitted by commenters and discussed the implementation date proposed in Draft 2 with many stakeholders. Some organizations indicated that they could meet the proposed criteria in early 2014, while others requested that the implementation date be delayed. EPA is proposing to revise the effective date of the Version 6.0 specification to January 1, 2015, to allow more time for manufacturers to implement the proposed Version 6.0 specification.

Other changes include the fact that EPA has changed the U-factor maximum for skylights in the Northern and North-Central zones from 0.47 135 to 0.48. Stakeholders informed EPA that a U-Factor maximum level of 0.48 would improve product availability for 136 all product types in both zones.

But the WDMA says it did not listen to manufacturers when it came to other aspects of the program. The association says the program has taken an unjustified and unprecedented step to target a deep cut in the share of Energy Star windows and skylights sold to average consumers. “Past revisions have focused on incremental gains in efficiency that still would promise a reasonable payback period for fenestration products carrying the Energy Star label,” says the WDMA. “In an earlier Version 6.0 draft, the program admitted it set the proposed standards for windows with a goal of reaching ‘a market share of less than 50 percent after the Version 6.0 specification takes effect’ from just over 80 percent. (Version 6.0 Draft 1 Criteria and Analysis Report, p8.)”

“Because of the program’s past success, consumers expect to recoup the cost of Energy Star labeled products through energy savings in a reasonable period and they doubt the efficiency of products without the label,” says Michael O’Brien, CEO of the WDMA. “Version 6.0 takes away reasonable payback periods for much of the country and will strip the Energy Star label from affordable energy-efficient products that do offer a fair payback period.”

The U-factor for windows in the North-central zone has shifted to .30 from .29. “But the area of greatest concern to consumers and the industry—the Northern zone criteria—remains unchanged. The Northern zone covers almost half of the country,” asserts the WDMA.


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