Located in Fort Scott, Kansas, Win-Vent Architectural Windows is a leading manufacturer of commercial and heavy commercial grade aluminum architectural windows since 1974. Owned by Extrusions, Inc, the company operates out of a 160,000 square foot facility, employs approximately 165 people and values a reputation for producing quality windows at competitive prices with excellent delivery.
Nobody can see the future but when Win-Vent first implemented Soft Tech V6 software to take control of the manufacture of custom architectural windows, the decision proved prescient. Some two decades after first installing the solution, the company has grown far beyond expectations, with a particularly strong performance in the years since 2012, and Win-Vent credits Soft Tech and V6 for enabling its expansion.
Win-Vent is a rapidly expanding business, explains Drew Clark, Inside Sales Manager at the company. “Since 2012, when I joined, we’ve more than quadrupled in size,” he reveals.
With a core value proposition of consistently providing the sort of service which keeps customers coming back for more, a system which improves efficiency and performance while delivering complete visibility is indispensable.
In the beginning
“While I wasn’t here in the old days, I’ve heard stories about how it was done before V6. It involved big calculators, grid sheets and hand drawing take-offs. There’s just no way we’d be able to handle today’s volume like that.”
It was in the late 1990s that Win-Vent first installed Soft Tech’s V6. Clark says the software worked well for Win-Vent when it was a smaller company and has scaled seamlessly to meet the requirements of a now much larger business.
“It’s taken us to another level. We use the full capabilities of the software, as a quoting tool first and foremost, then right through to processing the work, including providing cutting lists and patterns to the factory floor. The specifications flow right through from the very start of the job, to its manufacture and then delivery.”
It is all about efficiency, Clark confirms. “It is about doing the tasks involved in producing custom windows a limited number of times and getting what you need at the end of it. The information V6 provides makes it easier on the floor, as it tells you what you need and how to do it.”
While he hadn’t used V6 or any other window and door software prior to joining Win-Vent, Clark says the software has proven easy to use, though the more detailed features do require dedicated expertise. “We’ve seen the value it delivers, and now have taken on a new employee dedicated to working with V6 to further extend its capabilities for our company.”
The more we use V6, the more we learn
Over the course of twenty years, Clark says “V6 has worked for Win-Vent, and it has worked well. The more we use it, the more we learn what it can do to make our lives easier.”
It is in part thanks to the software that the company has experienced a total business growth increase of 455% between 2012 and 2018. “Some of the best features are the documentation that V6 provides, like costing and billing of materials. And the optimized cutting plan is huge, as it helps us get the most out of metal extrusions and therefore boosts productivity and profitability,” enthuses Clark.
He adds that with many of its products being custom one-off extrusions, V6 makes it easy for any customer to get parts or replacements. “V6 gives us the ability to respond fast and accurately. We couldn’t do it otherwise.”
Moving into the future
Clark says it is tough to narrow down ‘single pieces of the puzzle’, because V6 is so central to Win-Vent’s overall operations. “It is the complete package which delivers the goods for us. We have a tight-knit management group and V6 allows us to work well together, with no-one wearing one single hat. As a small but growing company, this software is essential in helping us maintain the customer service that makes people want to come back.”