Tuesday, 23 July 2013

North Star Windows and Doors Builds Success in Elgin County

North Star Windows and Doors has become an industry leader in Ontario, and one of Elgin County’s major manufacturing employers, by following a simple formula.

The company, founded in London in 1985, moved to Elgin in 1993 and has since become Ontario’s largest manufacturer of vinyl windows and patio doors.  It has distributors all over Ontario, in Quebec and several US states, Eastern and Western Canada and as far away as Mexico.

“We are known in the industry as having the highest-quality vinyl windows around,” general manager Lorne Girard says

“We are unique in that we not only make our own extrusions, we process all of our own glass, we do injection moulding of some of our hardware, we fabricate all of our own windows and distribute all of those products ourselves.”

Employment has grown to 285 people from about 50 in 1993.  You can see some of the employees at work, and talking about their pride in their work, in a video labelled “See How Our Windows Are Made!” at www.northstarwindows.com.

The video mentions many innovations that North Star has introduced over the years, including designs that reduce condensation and enhance energy efficiency, and improve the ease with which windows and screens can be opened, raised and lowered, and removed.

This year the company has introduced a new Espresso colour for its products, which complements the colours of many houses from red brick to contemporary designs.

“We built the company around an outstanding team of people committed to our foundational cornerstones, Girard says.  QVSD is a short form for quality, service, value and delivery, and remains the focus of everything we do today.”

An example is the company’s delivery promise.  Standard product is delivered within 10 days, 100% on-time.  North Star was the first company in the industry to make such a promise and we have maintained this delivery mantra ever since.

Girard says North Star’s location in St. Thomas gives it a big advantage in keeping its delivery promise.  Its fleet of trucks operates in a 600-mile radius with easy access to major highways.

Girard also likes the business environment in St. Thomas.  He is a member of the St. Thomas Executive Forum, a group that meets regularly to help each other address businesses issues and share best practices.

Having access to such expertise, and the skills and dedication of North Star employees, will be invaluable to Girard as he sets his sights on expansion of the company’s 250-member dealership network, especially in Quebec and Western Canada.


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