July 31st, 2008
Beware the Recovery and Take a Good Look at Suppliers
In a recent column, DWM columnist Michael Collins, vice president of the building products group at Jordan, Knauff & Company, wrote about how door and window manufacturers need to “beware the recovery.” I’m sure a few looked at that and thought, “Yeah, right, and turned the page.” (Click here for that article).
Recently, the fate of one door and window manufacturer proved that Collins was indeed correct. RoundTop Windows was forced to close two of its locations suddenly for events related to a plant expansion. I won’t go into all the details here (look to the upcoming September issue of DWM for more information). But, one main reason for the company’s problems was due to a supplier who didn’t provide a crucial machine in time, according to Roundtop’s president Dianne Waterhouse, quoted in The Brantford Expositor.
This unfortunate situation brings two items to mind immediately. First, Collins was right. We do indeed need to be aware of the recovery. Don’t rush immediately to open more plants when things pick up again. Don’t let expansion lead to your demise.
And one last thought, when it comes to new plants. It may seem like an obvious point, but, when opening new facilities, location is more critical than ever in these times of rising fuel costs.
Second, this closing makes me realize the importance of a good supplier. There are certain names I hear again and again when I go to trade shows. There is one machinery supplier and one glass supplier who are always described as top-notch.
So a note to suppliers: does your name come up on the top of manufacturers’ lists? If not, take a look at the ones who do. You know who they are. What are they doing that you can emulate? With increased competition and everyone vying for business, manufacturers must make sure they partner with suppliers who can deliver what they need when they need it.