The Right Tool for the Job
Why fenestration manufacturers need fenestration-specific solutions
It is easy to visualize the importance of having the right tools for the job. Just imagine a fire truck rushing through city traffic with its siren blaring. It arrives at the scene of a ferocious fire with the heat of the flames and thickness of the smoke charring the firefighters’ faces as they hop off the truck and begin readying their equipment.
But instead of fire hoses connected to reservoir tanks of water, the firefighters begin pulling out garden hoses and buckets. Despite the heroic anticipation that accompanies their approach, it quickly becomes apparent to anyone watching that they are ill-equipped to battle the blaze.
Having the “right tools” for a job is merely a useful metaphor for most industries, but when it comes to fenestration, it’s valuable in both a literal and figurative sense.
When we speak of tools in a manufacturing setting, the impulse is to imagine machinery rather than software, but both are equally important. And it’s also equally important that both are specialized in the specific needs of fenestration manufacturing.
With rising input costs, fluctuating prices and lingering supply issues, the importance of efficiency in operations has never been greater.
While it might seem fantastic for a manufacturer to simply buy more machinery and feed it an unlimited amount of profile all day, it is not a realistic solution, or even necessarily be the best.
More machinery means higher utilities costs and increased maintenance fees. Plus, over-capacity of stock takes up space and creates more opportunities for error and waste.
Managing throughput is not the responsibility of a welder or machining center; rather, it must be done manually or with the right software. With a manual process, a bottleneck on the design processing side can translate to machinery standing idle. An automated process with the right software ensures operations are running as efficiently as possible.
Likewise, proper stock management software specific to fenestration minimizes one of the biggest drains on a window and door manufacturer’s capital by limiting the amount of stock that it’s housing. Good stock control comes down to a good understanding of demand and workflow, both of which can be better defined and predicted with the right software than even the best production manager on their own.
Just as efficiency is vital to the operations of a modern fenestration manufacturer, so too is accuracy.
To make the most accurate cuts on a shop floor, no laborer worth their salt is going to “eyeball” it. Likewise, no organization is going to optimize accuracy by manually managing the processes and reporting multiple silos of data.
Integration is vital to accuracy. The best design and manufacturing software specialized for fenestration will provide a reliable integrated system that prioritizes data accuracy. This type of solution will guarantee true cost with accurate and consistent data reporting that provides the ability to make accurate quotes every time.
There are too many variables at play in the modern fenestration manufacturing business for it to be managed without integration. The right fenestration software causes a domino effect of benefits by providing accurate reporting: sales can provide accurate quotes, accurate quotes create happy customers, happy customers become returning customers, and returning customers enhance the reputation of a company.
Better bottom line
To take that domino analogy one tile further, manufacturers with great reputations in the industry are also among the most profitable. We have gone over the benefits of specialized software that tracks, automates and integrates, but the right fenestration solution will also transform manufacturers that are still processing designs manually.
Seamlessly integrated window and door software enables a fenestration manufacturer to work from the design of the end user: an order is electronically sent to the window company, which then puts it into the manufacturing process before the final product is delivered onsite. Not only does the right software speed up this process but it also reduces the possibility of error and the associated costs of remakes and additional deliveries.
Put simply: it improves the bottom line of the manufacturer. And because the right software is specialized in fenestration, it will be built with customizations and add-ons that appeal to the specific needs of individual window and door manufacturers.
This better bottom line can be achieved with a relatively low investment. Fenestration-specific software represents a significantly lower cost than almost any investment a manufacturing business can make—so much so that returns on that initial investment are frequently faster than anticipated.
The right tool is transformative
This article began by asking you to imagine a fire truck arriving at a fire without the proper tools to extinguish the flames. Now, imagine that same fire truck pulling up to the scene, but it doesn’t roll out proper hoses this time. No, the firefighters calmly enter the building where a fire would have been and eliminate the spark that would have caused a fire.
This is the difference that the right tools can provide. Window and door manufacturers using fenestration-specific software do not spend their time putting out fires because there are no longer fires to put out.