Business Intelligence
Marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Safe is boring and boring is bad.” You only need to look at Donald Trump’s unbelievable success in driving his brand through social media to see the truth in that statement.
As I enter my 30th year of window manufacturing, it’s fair that I could be considered a tire kicker. It stems from not having the internet 30 years ago to meticulously guide us through our early acquisitions. Shop equipment had to be seen before it was purchased, most often at well-attended industry trade shows.
Careers can take funny paths and mine is no exception. When I graduated from journalism school in 1994, media companies in Canada were undergoing a massive round of mergers and consolidations. In effect, people who didn’t know what the Internet was and what it was going to do to the media industry snapped up smaller newspapers and TV and radio stations that had already been weakened by the Internet and what it was doing to the industry.
July 7, 2016 - The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union represents a major economic shock to the U.K. and Europe. It will lower business and household confidence in the U.K. and Europe, while also potentially fanning the flames of referenda in other countries given the electoral cycle in Europe. Despite the importance of the shock to Europe, it is expected that the impact beyond its borders will be relatively contained, as the United States, China and India remain on reasonably solid footing. On balance, our global growth forecast has been marked down from 3.1% to 3.0% in 2016, and from 3.5% to 3.3% in 2017.
July 7, 2016 - Onerous municipal regulations for residential development are reducing the supply of new homes (houses, condos, townhouses, etc.) in Canada's biggest cities and contributing to rising home prices, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian policy think-tank.
June 23, 2016 - Half of Canadian businesses could soon have a competitive advantage over the rest: according to a new study commissioned by TELUS, there's an even split between Canadian businesses when it comes to their plans for Internet of Things (IoT) technology.The study found that 52 per cent of Canadian businesses are considering, planning, piloting or deploying an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, while 48 per cent indicated that they have no plans at all to adopt the technology. For those who are not considering IoT, 64 per cent feel that there is no business need."By embracing IoT technology, Canadian businesses have a huge opportunity to reap the benefits of digital transformation, yet we're seeing that some are much further along the adoption curve than others," said Jim Senko, senior vice-president of Small Business and Emerging Markets at TELUS. "From streamlining business processes to creating entirely new business models, IoT solutions have tremendous potential to generate efficiencies, increase cost savings and quite literally, revolutionize how businesses operate. If companies aren't already looking into the technology, they're at risk of falling behind those that are."Organizations that have embraced IoT are seeing the results that the technology can deliver - and they want more. The study revealed that the vast majority (86 per cent) of Canadian businesses who have piloted or deployed an IoT solution are seeing its value and 83 per cent are planning or already implementing additional solutions. There's a sense of urgency amongst these adopters as well, as more than 50 per cent wish they were further along in their deployments.  According to the study, Canadian businesses are sharply polarized when it comes to the impact they think IoT will have on their industry. Nearly two-thirds of businesses who are in the piloting and deployment stages predict that they will see a transformational impact on their business over the next five years, while only seven per cent of non-adopters feel the same way."The vast majority of businesses that are piloting IoT solutions are realizing that small changes can have a big impact and that, with the right partner, the technology can be deployed safely and securely," said Senko. "A business can start with something simple like remotely tracking vehicles or high-value assets and then evolve their IoT strategy and build their business case as they gain experience with the technology. There are IoT solutions for nearly every industry, and it's important that businesses 'test the waters' to fully understand what IoT can and can't do for them."  Other key findings in the study include: Of the 52 per cent of IT decision makers who are interested in IoT: 23 per cent are considering 11 per cent are planning 9 per cent are piloting 9 per cent have deployed at least one solution The most common solutions currently being piloted or deployed are security (53 per cent) and remote monitoring (47 per cent) The biggest barriers to adoption for IT leaders, regardless of development stage, are budget (51 per cent), security (41 per cent), privacy (36 per cent) and demonstrating ROI/building a business case (33 per cent) More than half (55 per cent) of Canadian businesses do not feel they have the necessary IT expertise within their organizations to develop IoT solutions and require external partners The study was conducted by MARU/VR&C (formerly the Research & Consulting Division of Vision Critical) and surveyed 506 IT decision makers from businesses across Canada in March 2016.For more informationhttp://telus.com/iot
May 26, 2016 - The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has released the AAMA 2015/2016 Study of the U.S. Market for Windows, Doors and Skylights. This bi-annual report delivers timely information on residential and non-residential market trends and product relationships for windows, doors, skylights, curtain walls and storefronts. Forecasts are based on projections of construction activity as of March 2016.
May 12, 2016 - During an industry forum on May 4, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) hosted representatives from the Center of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), who are seeking assistance from fenestration experts in combating the Zika Virus in Puerto Rico. Industry representatives suggested products and generated ideas to screen windows and doors in Puerto Rican homes to reduce exposure to mosquitoes - carriers of the untreatable Zika Virus. This urgent public safety issue was discussed in a forum hosted by AAMA, to help generate possible solutions.
April 28, 2016 - Two experts led a discussion on home trends and the future of housing at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2016 Annual Conference. Mollie Carmichael (John Burns Real Estate Consulting) and Nick Lehnert (KTGY Architecture and Planning) shared information on trends and design solutions as they pertain to a range of generations and other demographic information.
April 14, 2016 - Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.4 billion in January, a decline of 9.8% from the previous month. This decline, which followed a 7.7% increase in December, was largely due to lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in British Columbia and Ontario and, to a lesser extent, institutional buildings in Quebec and Alberta.
March 31, 2016 - The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has identified the Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2016, a list of key impediments that are preventing Canadian businesses from reaching their full potential and, in turn, Canada from improving its productivity and economic prosperity.
Research shows that the average employee spends 28 per cent of their time sending, receiving and sorting email. Two and a half hours a day spent on email adds up to 81 days a year. With mobile devices and employees checking their emails outside work hours, reports say the typical working day is now 12 hours so it is more important than ever to communicate clearly and concisely the first time. Yet so many people I communicate with in this business send one-word emails.
If ever there was an opportunity to have a reset button, this would be the perfect time. In my column last fall, I discussed how the fenestration industry as a whole had an uneasy feeling about what was about to come. There were no clear indicators or signs, but a lot of back-room chatter suggested 2016 was going to be an “interesting” year.
Some troublesome signs are swirling around the Canadian window and door industry now, as documented by our Fit and Finish columnist, Chris Meiorin of Euro Vinyl Windows on page 13. The slump in our dollar, driven by the crash in oil prices, has made the supplies fabricators need very expensive relative to the prices we are able to charge in our domestic markets.
Mar. 3, 2016 - Empire Communities has announced that Tony Pucci has been appointed as President, Low Rise effective December 31st, 2015.

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