Kawneer’s 53rd consecutive Partner Panel meeting took place September 22 – 24 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Fifteen customers who made up the panel’s rotating group traveled from across North America to take part in the annual event. The meeting, which provides the opportunity for Kawneer management to gather with representative customers from each region, has become an invaluable forum for open communication and is an essential component of Kawneer’s business development strategy.

“Our annual Partner Panel demonstrates the importance of two-way communication with Kawneer customers,” said Bob Leyland, Director of Sales. “The feedback and recommendations provided throughout the three-day session not only give us further insight into the priorities of our customers, but also enable us to take action on significant issues.”

Throughout the meeting, customers and Kawneer leaders discussed a range of topics including ongoing market challenges, new product introductions, operational improvements and information technology solutions to enhance customer service. Full-service proactive support from the Front End was an issue of importance to customers who agreed that the speed in which they received information was a critical component to the overall success of a job.

“Right now we are focused on what we need to do so that the entirety of the customer experience is improved,” continued Leyland. “We recognize that service has historically been a key point of differentiation and will consistently strive for best-in-class responsiveness and proactive management of customer orders.”

Product innovation was a key focus area during the meeting. Discussion centered on continued investment in product development especially relative to high-performance products. Partner Panel members confirmed our position and commented that products like Trifab® 451UT (Ultra Thermal) framing, Clearwall™ curtain wall and Versoleil™ SunShades are in line with needs and further differentiate Kawneer.  Customers noted that they felt Kawneer is now ahead of the curve with product development and enhancements, so it will be important to sustain the momentum.

In addition, Denise Alter from D&A Glass Company, Inc., Meridian, Idaho, was elected as the Partner Panel chairman for 2011. She will replace Ken Van Hoozer from Bell Glass Company in Killeen, Texas, who served as this year’s chairman.

As we begin to prepare for 2011, we know that we will continue to face market challenges. However, through our dedication to maintaining an ongoing, open dialogue with our customers, we feel we are better prepared to not only face those challenges, but also come up with effective solutions. These relationships and partnerships are invaluable, and we encourage all customers to share their feedback on a continual basis so we can all grow together not only throughout next year, but also in years to come.