April 03, 2018

How Are You Preparing for Busy Season

by Joe Erb

We’ve seen numerous indicators so far this year that 2018 is going to be a big one for the fenestration industry. Are you prepared?

The first day of Spring has come and gone, and that means busy season is right in front of us. Are your operations ready for increased orders and more activity on the plant floor after the winter slowdown? Here are some tips to get yourself prepared:

Keep focused on safety.

It’s always important to remember that no matter what we’re up against on a given day, the most important thing we can do is to put safety first on the plant floor.

When the pressure is on, and orders need to get out the door, the temptation to cut corners here and there grows significantly. But we can’t let that happen. One of the most important things to remember here is simple: Common sense is king. But when you’re working or walking on a plant floor, chances are you’re not thinking back to those by-the-book definitions of working safely. Because the truth is, we all know the difference between safe and unsafe behavior. We know it when we see it—and when we take those actions.

Make the most of seasonal staff.

During the summer months, your seasonal employees are critical. And there are certain considerations you should be thinking about to make the most of them.

Last year, my colleague and Quanex Corporate HR Manager Natalia Bubis offered some advice on how to do just that. Building loyalty among your seasonal staff and taking the time to find the right people were the top tips, but her full post is worth revisiting.

Consider what to keep in-house.

Busy season tends to expose weaknesses across the plant floor. And when those present themselves, plant managers should take advantage of the opportunity.

Take a minute to think about what, how and why different capabilities make sense to outsource versus accomplish in-house. Busy season can be illuminating in this regard. For example: A window manufacturer outsources its IG, but demand is spiking—as we anticipate might happen this summer. The manufacturer can compensate with more IG from its supplier, or it can handle overflow with in-house capabilities. Quality and consistency are, of course, critical here, and making sure your in-house insulating capabilities and equipment are on par with outsourced IG must be a part of such a strategy. But it can be worth the investment for the right manufacturer.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly at Joe.Erb@Quanex.com

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: April 03, 2018 by Joe Erb Filed under: fenestration, industry, insights