Edgetech Management Says More Tough Times to Come: Differentiation is Key

October 2nd, 2008 by Editor

At various times throughout the year, DWM thinks it’s important to sit down with leading members of the fenestration industry to discuss various issues. This month, DWM editor Tara Taffera spoke with Mike Hovan (MH), Edgetech president, along with Larry Johnson (LJ), Edgetech executive vice president.

DWM: In the past few weeks there have been several stories about companies declaring bankruptcy or closing a plant, etc. Do you think more of this is to come?

LJ: Definitely, there will be more to come as many companies are spread a little too thin. We will see more plant consolidations where businesses are down and more businesses being brought into one main plant.

DWM: How is Edgetech accounting for some loss of business in these difficult times? And, what are you doing to help companies “hang in there” until the market picks back up?

LJ: It’s getting to be more and more about how companies can differentiate themselves and make their products better. This year we have been very busy with that and have been bringing in new customers.

MH: Our focus has always been on making our customers more competitive. In light of the times we have become even more sensitive to this issue.

A lot of customers are coming down, and they’ll be in trouble if they are slow to make adjustments. But customers are looking to become more competitive, and everyone is scrambling to get business. But luckily it’s not a chase to the bottom as far as price. It’s about how to differentiate, and get better performance from their products. That’s where our strengths lie from a performance standpoint. And along with that we offer marketing services, quality audits, financing options, etc.

LJ: It also says a lot to the customer that Edgetech has been around for many years-we have no seal failures, and our product is three to four times more energy-efficient as compared to the competition.

DWM: Let’s talk a little more about energy efficiency. I know your company places a big emphasis on this subject.

MH: People are looking at what it means to be sustainable. We want to get the message across of what that really means. If you have a product that you say is “green” but you have to replace it every three years, how green is that? We’re trying to get that message across. To this end, we’ll be talking about this at the GlassBuild show-helping manufacturers understand how to be certified, and the steps to take to get higher performance levels from their products.

DWM: You mentioned the fact that you’ve been around for awhile. Does this help when looking for new customers?

MH: Without a doubt. Hopefully that will continue. We earn our wings every day and are not resting on our laurels. We know that anyone new can come in and manufacturers have to look at the value that supplier brings and ask if that company will bring the same value as Edgetech does.

LJ: We get that sometimes with some of our newer accounts. We point out why we are an industry leader, and also to the service we’ve provided thus far. Any new companies that come along won’t have that breadth of service.

DWM: I know Edgetech has a very strong international presence. Has this helped counteract the fact that the U.S. market is down?

MH: Most of our customers are off from where they were a year ago, but we are about even. This is a real feather in the cap of our sales team in North America. We are up in sales pretty significantly for 2008 because of our international growth.

Our international strategy is playing out perfectly now. While many are really struggling, we are diversified, so clearly that has been a positive for us.

LJ: When we saw a need for manufacturing in the United Kingdom we had manufacturing up there in six months. We can react very quickly. We’re putting a second line in the United Kingdom currently, which will double our capacity to service Europe out of this facility.

DWM: Thank you for your time.

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