Not Any Old Window Company – Western Window Systems Brings Innovation to the Homebuilding Industry

It’s not any old window company.

Since its founding in 1959, Western Window Systems has expanded from a small insulated glass manufacturer in Arizona to a large-scale designer and manufacturer of custom door and window systems for homes across North America.

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Western COO Scott Gates credits the company’s “core value of partnership” for its success.

For 20 years, Western focused on customized features for luxury homes. But then Western decided to expand its reach to more homes, creating the “Volume Program” in order to provide standardized doors to production home builders. By expanding into this market, Western could offer lower prices and a quicker lead time while still maintaining the high-quality products they were known for.

“Western Window Systems’ exceptional customer service is founded on its core value of partnership,” said Scott Gates, Chief Operating Officer of Western Window Systems.

The company tries to treat all of its employees as partners in a shared effort, and this approach has had remarkable success at creating a company culture that fosters high rates of employee retention and morale.

Western has grown at astounding rates as well. The company grew 50 percent annually for each of the last three years and is currently on track for 80 percent growth this year. This resulted in Inc. magazine’s naming Western to the Inc. 5000, a list of the fastest-growing companies in the country.

It hasn’t been easy. The recession (and subsequent decline in homeownership) hit the company hard, so much so that it was on the “brink of financial devastation,” said Gates. But they survived. “By concentrating on the big picture, we were able to endure the discomforts of the recession through a plan of long-term growth.”

Western maintains a strong involvement in the community. The company is contributing to a project that will transform vacant space in Phoenix into an area for community activities. “Western Volunteers, the company’s volunteer organization made up of employees and employee family members, gives its time and efforts to various non-profit groups in the community on a regular basis,” said Gates. Western Volunteers often serves meals at the Ronald McDonald House and has packed over 15,000 meals for Feed My Starving Children.

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Western knows innovation is key to their industry, so they’ve embraced the “indoor/outdoor living trend”.

Gates admits that the window market is highly saturated. This means that Western has to continuously innovate to produce better products and differentiate itself from its competitors.

It starts with the core values of excellence, innovation, and partnership, said Gates. The company sets itself apart by focusing on creating homes that embrace the “indoor/outdoor living” trend – a design that blends the inside and outside of the home through large windows and doors that provide natural light.

Customer service is also paramount in every project. “Designed around building relationships, the company’s culture celebrates honesty, respect, and going above and beyond customer expectations,” said Gates.

Daniel Huizinga is a columnist for Opportunity Lives covering business and politics. Follow him on Twitter @HuizingaDaniel.