FeneTech News and Updates

Check out the latest news, updates, testimonials, and publications about FeneTech’s FeneVision ERP software solutions.

See what those within the industry have to say about FeneVision ERP software solutions, and read the latest news about our ever-evolving company and its commitment to excellence.  

“Our company was started in 1909. A willingness to change over the years is a big reason we’re still in business and growing more than 100 years later.

Syracuse Glass was initially a glass distributor but over the years evolved into a fabricator. In 1973, we began making insulating glass as an early adopter of double glazing. In the early 2000s, we sold off our auto glass business, which at one time was 50 percent of our revenue.”

Making it easy to do business with us

“Today, we manufacture insulating glass for commercial projects, shower enclosures, all-glass storefronts and custom aluminum storefronts with Tubelite. We have 90 employees and intensively service customers within 250 miles of Syracuse.

We made it through the 2008 recession in part because our small commercial niche and slow-growth region are less susceptible to boom and bust. But we also came through because tough times always bring out the best in our team.

Our customer service culture makes a big difference. We work very hard to make it extremely easy to do business with us. We consider it a must-do, not something extra.

We’re very happy with our decision to work with FeneVision.

Now 105 years later, we are in growth mode and very excited about the prospects for the company. FeneVision is a big part of that. It’s a very satisfying business relationship.

What we’ve seen in recent years is an increase in complexity. Products used to be much simpler and lead times longer: there were four colors of glass, it was either tempered or annealed, the spacers were all the same and there were only a few coatings available.

Now there are lots of ways to get into trouble. There are hundreds of options. Some architects want configurations that are like science experiments.”

Technology backed by people

“We had a system we liked before we bought FeneVision in 2009, but the company stopped supporting it. While we made it work for several more years, it was blue screen, not Windows-based or graphic. Eventually, we decided we needed to upgrade.

We evaluated three packages over six months. We did demos and visited plants where the software was installed.

We liked FeneVision’s technology, but even more noteworthy are FeneTech’s people. They know how important their work is to our success. Because I’m convinced of their commitment to our industry, I believe this can be our last software system.

Our belief in them continues to pay off. With FeneVision, our people routinely manage complexity so it looks easy to customers. We can meet very short lead times for small orders and find it much easier to manipulate scheduling to accommodate delivery and material issues. And our schedulers can also adjust production to improve yields.”

Complexity is opportunity

“With every FeneVision upgrade, there are more features. If we have a problem, they really work to help us solve it. Through their annual user conference, we are now part of a network of fabricators we share information with. Their customer service culture is reassuring for me. I’ve enjoyed watching them succeed.

Today, we see complexity as opportunity. Being able to manage any kind of order and deliver it quickly and correctly has enabled us to increase customer loyalty and pick up market share. We work hard at service all the time. It sets us apart.

This is our third enterprise software system since I’ve been here. It’s a big decision because we do so much with it. Even though we embrace change, we don’t like drama. We like to keep things dependable for our customers.”

What we like about FeneVision

“We deal with the same customers over and over. With FeneVision, it is very easy to accommodate repeat business. It’s a big part of our success.

We just bought the paperless delivery software. After testing it this fall, we hope to roll it out in early 2015.

We now offer online order entry and a quarter of our orders are entered by customers. They can place and check orders whenever they want.

We switched from in-process labeling to laser marking. The change has been huge—no glass with missing labels.

Another thing we really like is the graphic display. We can see the grid, the color, side views and front views. It’s more intuitive, and mistakes pop out when you can see the colors. It’s helped reduce errors.

Our IT manager has set up two automatic daily bundles of information. At 11, we see the daily billing, order entry totals, on-time shipments and all sales by delivery area. At 5 pm, we get the backlog by all segments.

Recently we got a nice compliment from a customer who got a panicked call from their customer. A piece of glass in a door had broken and they needed someone to measure the glass and get it repaired as soon as possible. Our customer asked for the laser marking on the broken glass, got the replacement ordered and saved a service call. Their customer was very impressed. We can also track readings from our LiteSentry device to the laser markings.”

John Dwyer, president
Syracuse Glass

Thompson IG MichiganThompson I.G., a leading supplier of fabricated glass for the commercial, residential architectural and recreational, mass transit and commercial vehicle markets, is upping its already high commitment to quality glass products.

Located one hour northwest of Detroit in Fenton, Michigan, Thompson I.G. serves customers throughout North America with innovative and high-performance insulating, tempered, laminated, specialty, digitally-printed and Pleotint’s Suntuitive® dynamic glass products.

To help ensure its flagship insulating glass products are defect-free, the company has installed a FeneVision LineScanner automated quality scanner after the washer and before the build station.

“We offer our glazing contractor and manufacturer customers a practically unlimited range of aesthetic and technological choices,” said Lorne Flaig, vice president of customer and supplier services for Thompson I.G. “Automating inspection before an essential production step has improved our outcomes and yield.”

Founded in 1989, Thompson can produce IG units up to 80 x 138 inches and offers warm edge spacers, low-e coatings and argon fills. It has two cutting lines, a tempering oven with convection heat and advanced lamination and autoclave technology and makes specialty glass, digitally printed and spandrel glass.

“Our emphasis is on customer service, short lead times and high-performance products,” Flaig said. “The LineScanner helps us get more product right and to the customer when they want it.”

The LineScanner detects inclusions, scratches, finger prints, stains, chips and more. Thompson’s unit is fully integrated with their production system and provides logo check to ensure the logo on each unit is in the right location.

Nate Huffman of FeneTech, which sells the FeneVision LineScanner in North America, said, “Automated scanners helps operators consistently find glass defects and confirm the size and fabrication locations. It can be used on individual lites as well as dual and triple IG’s.”

The LineScanner is accurate at speeds of up to 180 feet per minute and can be made up to almost 11 feet wide (3.3m). Mounting can be horizontal or vertical with as little as 2.75 inches clearance to the glass.

To learn more about Thompson I.G.’s quality glass products please visit www.thompsonig.com or call 800.650.9001.

FeneTech develops and markets industry leading software and quality systems for window and door manufacturers and glass fabrication companies and provides implementation, training and support services. Headquarters are in Aurora, Ohio with offices in Luxembourg.

“We started Tristar Glass Products from scratch in 2005. In 2015, we’ll open our third fabrication facility and reach 200 employees.”

We’re an architectural and decorative glass fabricator certified by PPG and Guardian. Most of our business comes through commercial glazing companies. Caring for customers is a big part of what we preach from the top down. We take pride in it.

Service and loyalty sets us apart. We have a higher level of commitment to the extra things. We rush orders, we do favors. We get the right products to our customers on a timely basis and try to never say no.”

Gaining market share and quality people

“I had worked in the industry for many years and owned a glass fabrication company with my brother, which we sold in 1995. When my non-compete expired in 2005, I immediately opened Tristar for business. I saw the need and felt we could do a better job than the competition.

Fortunately, we never saw a bad downturn in 2008. The regional economy certainly slowed but it was not like the coasts. We’ve been able to pick up market share and buy equipment and expand our capabilities at reasonable prices.

We’ve also been able to find quality people at each step, which is why we were able to open a facility in Dallas in 2012—the same year we moved and expanded our Oklahoma plant—and will open in Houston this year.”

People drive our business

“People drive the business, and the people who work here and that we hire wholeheartedly share our belief that our primary concern is taking care of our customers.”

The Houston facility is 66,000 square feet featuring a state-of the-art convection furnace with a bed load size of 130 inches by 240 inches, the largest of its kind in the United States.

We can go big because we have good systems, great customers and a lot of people dedicated to providing exceptional service and quality.

We also have a second website, tristarvisions.com, for our decorative glass division, which offers a full range of services for interior and exterior applications.”

Getting ready to grow

“There’s lots of interaction and coordination in this business and we strive to never make it difficult or unpleasant to deal with us, especially during tough situations.

We invested in FeneVision in 2010. Our software up to that point was strictly an order entry program someone locally had written. It was doing the job but we were seeing our potential to grow. We knew we needed to have robust systems.

We looked for software that could do what we wanted and came from a company that could give us the support we need when we need it. We wanted one package that could do everything for us.

We actually began implementing another program and were quickly aware that it couldn’t do what was promised.

That’s when we selected FeneVision. You could see that the people at FeneTech saw the need for strong systems for fabricators.”

Seeing the entire process

“FeneVision takes us through the entire process.

My wife Karen is the company controller. She likes the ability to go in and take an order and track it all the way through to where we ship it and invoice the customer. We can see what happened all along the process. We can find it right down to a customer’s location.

We’re trying to automate our processes more and more and even move toward touchless production. Currently we are ready to move into laser marking from barcoding.”

No complacency

“All fabricators have similar equipment and ways to take care of customers. We try not to get complacent or think we are better than we are.

We operate with a high level of commitment because this is our livelihood. We take it personally when something goes wrong, whether it’s our fault or not. It’s how we respond that matters, that helps drive our growth.

When we saw opportunities for expansion, FeneTech and FeneVision looked to be in the best place to help us manage it. Today, FeneVision is supporting our growth.

It was an investment but no one would give it up and go back. We all really appreciate what it does for us.”

Tim Kelley, president
Tristar Glass


“Wincore set out to create a world-class window company solely focused on customer satisfaction. FeneVision was there from the start and seven years later continues to help us grow.

The company was founded in 2007 by 12 people with more than two centuries of combined industry experience. Since then, we’ve grown from 50 to 250 employees with customers nationwide.

We’re still growing because our customers know they’re going to get a quality product delivered on time that has the strength and experience of Wincore behind it. We have great people with high standards for product, service and open communications. Who we hire is everything.”

We’re not just bigger today, we do more

Wincore Window & Doors Logo“We initially offered two replacement lines and two new construction lines. We added entry doors after two years and now offer 14 product lines, including StormForce impact windows. We’ve fabricated our own IG since day one and added many IG options the past two years.

The founding partners knew the choice of software was a serious decision—it can cost you your company. It has to work, not only to execute the basics every day, but to help us be more efficient.

From day one, FeneVision has worked this way for us. It’s part of everything we do, from order entry through inventory, production, trucking, accounting and back to our customers, full circle, 360 degrees.

Our people are the backbone of our company, but FeneVision is right behind.”

Systems matter more than ever

“The founders knew we had to have capability like this to compete and grow. They wouldn’t have started Wincore without it.

Today, if you don’t have the tools to enable customers to place their own orders, you can’t even get in the door. FeneVision’s web order entry is a competitive advantage that has allowed us to go in and win customers where we couldn’t before.

Now our customers’ customers are creating their own quotes and placing and tracking orders any time day and night. It makes it easy to do business with us.”

A system that adjusts to us

“In 2007, several ERP systems were evaluated. FeneVision was chosen to be the best on functionality, ease of use for operators, affordability and flexibility.

Without modification, FeneVision is rock solid. All the steps for window and door making are already in the package. Yet it’s highly customizable. We’ve always been able to configure FeneVision to fit us, rather than the other way around. We routinely script new capabilities as wants and situations arise.

Every one of our management teams uses FeneVision’s business intelligence features every day. We can create our own reports or have them created for us, but we’ve found many of the standard reports are very useful.

With FeneVision, we operate the way we want to.”

No limits

“We plan to keep growing. We’re adding more options and whole new product lines. We see no limits in the software. It is very scalable, powerful and strong.

We still get calls every other week asking us to change systems. We always tell them we’re happy where we are. FeneVision is working very well for us.

I love the software. And this is coming from a guy who created his own fenestration ERP in the past. Everything we need is built into FeneVision.

At the beginning of the day, in the middle of the day, at the end of the day, it makes what we do better.”

Toby Nichols
Wincore Windows & Doors

“You can consider me a window geek. I grew up in the business—at one point we lived on the second floor of the plant. I’ve done just about every job in the company. I still have a scar on my hand from trying to carry too much glass.

We’ve grown 600 percent in the last decade. Almost as soon as we’ve expanded our facilities, it seems we’ve had to begin to plan for more. Yet as fast as we grow, I only have to look at that scar to remind myself to focus on what really matters. For Thompson Creek, that is delivering the best possible customer experience for every customer every day.

Our motto is trust your home to Thompson Creek. We want people to be house proud, which is why we directly sell, install and back every one of the more than 60,000 replacement windows we make each year.”

Building in quality up front

“Growing up in the business, I learned first-hand how important it is to build in quality up front. Going direct was a decision we made in 2001, and we’ve never regretted it.

Attention to detail matters, so we invest in all areas of that customer experience. We have an extensive showroom where people can see what they will get and where they can get to know us. We offer great standard features and desirable options.

And we install replacement windows and doors in less than 30 days. Customers want to see the improvement in their homes as soon as possible. We work as a team to make it happen. And we back it all up with a transferable double lifetime guarantee.”

A belief in technology—and in reducing errors

“My family started the company in 1980. 25 years later, we were still operating like a small business using a home-grown DOS-based system that wasn’t going to be able to meet our needs. We needed something that would grow with us.

We installed FeneVision in 2005. We might have looked at some other software, but we had a lot of confidence in our referral source. When we looked at the software, we liked what we saw and moved pretty quickly.

We believe in technology. We believe in reducing errors. The fewer times we enter the same data, the more it passes through our system, the less chance for human error. Getting it right enables us to be fast and accurate.”

Outside opinion

“FeneVision helps us do that. It’s such a good match for us, so good on the floor, so good at material requirements planning. It allows us to interface with any new equipment or software that we have added to business, including the SAP order entry system we use for all our businesses.

We had a consultant come in a while ago, and the only software he recommended we keep was FeneVision. It is the only business software we haven’t had to replace as we have grown.

FeneVision has definitely evolved and they involve users in the process of determining where to improve. That they listen and respond really speaks to their commitment to their customers.

In addition, over the nine years we’ve been with them, we still work with many of the same support people we started with. They’ve become part of our team, which is the kind of partnership we look for in our business relationships.”

A good model and the right priorities

“We’re fortunate that our business model continues to put us in a position to grow. Even so, customer satisfaction is and always will be our top priority.

We knew our investment in FeneVision was designed to support our longer term growth plan at every turn. There is just no need to replace it because there are no limits with FeneVision.”

Rick Wuest, president
Thompson Creek Window Company