April 02, 2020

Why Screens are Such a Challenging Customer Complaint

by Guest Blogger

Put yourself in the shoes of a homeowner. Just last year, you made the investment in new windows for your home. Now, it’s spring, and it’s time to reinstall your screens to let in some fresh air after a long winter.

You had no problem removing your screens in the fall, but re-installing them seems more challenging than it should be. You’re struggling with making a screen in the living room window fit. Perhaps it’s been dinged or maybe it was not right from the start and you are just noticing. Regardless, it seems like that type of quality issue shouldn’t already be occurring less than a year after purchase.

The good news is that your windows came with a warranty. It might be a headache—but at least the window company has your back.

But as a residential window manufacturer might know, this is where the real headache begins. Your customer service team must handle the incoming complaint amidst their regular duties. A replacement screen must get to the homeowner quickly, so narrowing lead time is essential. Scheduling the replacement in your production can cause disruptions in regular workflows. All of it eats into your profit margin. If you don’t complete this process to the customer’s satisfaction, instant feedback via online reviews can ding your reputation. What’s more, many window and door manufacturers will tell you that screens are one of the most frequent customer complaints they receive.

Why do so many customers complain about screens? The simple answer is that quality control on screens production is difficult to maintain. Many companies that make their screens in-house do it by hand, via manual processes that depend on the highly skilled workers performing critical parts of production consistently. Human error can influence this process—especially when orders are up during busy season—and can cause breakdowns in quality and fitment issues. Even the smallest errors in the process can cause issues once these screens are in the hands of the customer, and there’s where manufacturers feel the impact.

Screens fabrication is also a labor-intensive process. At the common size of 1/16 inch, successful fabrication can be a delicate process, taking up significant time and effort from the technician. Screens can also be easily ripped or damaged, making production and packaging a critical consideration—one that can also slow down your overall production volume. A missed screen on an order can cause a complete job to go unpaid until the issue is rectified.

Finally, despite the time and effort that goes into making them, window and door manufacturers aren’t typically generating their value with screens. Rather, screens are a necessity that the customer expects will just work. And when they don’t, it’s easy to understand their frustration.

The real value of high-performance windows demanded in today’s marketplace is in framing technologies, effective insulating glass packages, and effective engineering and design. And the more time, labor and effort that goes into screens production—the less attention that can be paid to separating yourself from the competition. Maintaining precise quality control throughout the screens manufacturing process, and maintaining the delicate handling required during packaging and shipping, requires the kind of dedication that a window and door maker might feel like they don’t have time for.

Luckily, there are options. Manufacturers who are fed up with the screens-related headaches can consider outsourcing production with a trusted third party. Quanex offers such an option, with multiple dedicated screens production facilities operating throughout the U.S. Since screens production is all we do at these locations, quality is assured, along with custom packaging and delivery options to meet the needs of any manufacturer.

Interested in learning more? Check out www.Quanex.com/Screens, or contact me directly at Brian.Ludwig@Quanex.com.

For more information about Quanex visit www.quanex.com
Posted: April 02, 2020 by Guest Blogger Filed under: customer, manufacturing, screens