Contract Glaziers Speak Out: Value Added Services

Is it enough to have a great product, a solid reputation and competitive pricing? No. Not in today's competitive market. Companies with the competitive edge know that it's all about giving customers that little extra bang for their buck. It's not rocket science, but being able to go above and beyond in any aspect of your operation just makes good business sense.

Dave Hewitt, director of marketing for EFCO Corp., in Monett, Mo., says in today's business environment it's imperative that companies be in tune with the type of customer service they provide. "EFCO was built on a solid foundation of service and that definitely remains a priority for us. Two things that I think have helped give us a competitive edge in this arena is our customer service and technical support through our in-house engineering services."

"We have what we call 'service PODS' for each region of the country," continues Hewitt, who has been in the industry for more than 25 years and with EFCO for a year and a half. "These service PODS are inclusive to providing estimating, factory order writing, shop drawing, coordinating project management services and team leaders to handle customers, expedite questions and projects correctly and efficiently from the very beginning."

"The second area that has been highly utilized by our customers is our in-house engineering personnel and their technical expertise. In addition, we have engineering software and a detailed engineering library online (via our website) to give customers the opportunity to conduct analysis on products and their applications. This has been an invaluable service especially on projects involving unique or more challenging types of applications," Hewitt said.

According to Greg Hall, marketing supervisor, the Vistawall Group is committed to adding value to its products through customer service and innovative product offerings. "This is very important to our customers," says Hall, who has been with the Vistawall Group for three-and-a-half years, and in the industry for more than 20. "For example, one area we have taken the lead is our Green Building Initiatives, which have been met with a very positive response from our customers, " Hall points out from his Terrell, Texas office. "These initiatives give our customers the tools and products that help buildings attain LEED points in several categories."

Recently, the Vistawall Group introduced new products that add value through improved thermal performance. The TCR-250 Ribbon Window, a 2 - by 4 -inch system with continuous head and sill members, utilizes glass-reinforced polyamide insulating strips, providing superior thermal performance compared to traditional thermal break systems. Wausau Window and Wall Systems, now in its 50th year of operation, takes a team approach with its customers. "We have found that there is no single approach to a project or to working with customers," explains Tim Nass, regional sales and marketing manager. "Therefore, we work closely with our customers and have developed an 'a la carte' approach to service. Customers appreciate personalized service integrated into the management, design and overall scope of their projects. The ultimate goal is to ensure a complete professional process that results in a quality project and efficient install package."

"While we have formidable competition, our biggest competition is our budget," notes Nass. "Focusing on the communication and customer service aspects of our operations reduces problems, saves time and money and increases customer satisfaction." Watch for "Contract Glaziers Speak Out" every Tuesday on USGNN.

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