Midwest Built. Midwest Tough. It’s the motto of Minnkota Windows, the Fargo, North Dakota manufacturer and distributor of Windows and Doors. But staying strong in a down economy is no easy feat. Minnkota, who has persevered for more than 30 years, almost makes it look easy. Brad Bushaw, General Manager for Minnkota attributes the company’s success to three key factors – product quality, superior service, and dedicated employees.
“Since 1980, we’ve been growing because we all share the same goal – to keep customers happy and coming back.” Bushaw adds that Minnkota has been very fortunate with a loyal customer base and a strong dealer base. The company has recently experienced growth in the vinyl business, particularly in the replacement windows segment as well.
“Our windows are made by skilled craftsmen with a work ethic as solid as the windows they build,” says Bushaw. With pride such as this, Minnkota is very selective with the hardware they choose. All hardware has to meet the company’s high level of quality and performance. “We use Roto’s Casement, Tilt & Turn and Patio Door hardware. We like the quality, however, the thing we like most is the reliability and no complaints.”
Obtaining customer and dealer input is also critical to Minnkota’s success. Recently Minnkota learned about the new FlipLock automatic positive action sash lock from Roto. This new lock has an intuitive lever that lets the user know if the window is securely locked. “We thought we would get positive feedback on this new lock, but ‘positive’ is an understatement. Everyone liked its streamlined, modern look, how easy it was to operate, and how easy it was to tell if the window was locked or unlocked,” said Bushaw. “When compared to the traditional cam lock, the Roto FlipLock is super easy to operate, too. We think it is going to be very popular, especially with the growing elderly population.”
Bushaw adds, “If only we had the FlipLock a few years ago when we received a phone call from an older customer complaining that she couldn’t get her window to close. We sent a technician out on the service call. When he got there, he noticed that she had been trying to shut the open window while the cam lock was in the closed position. Of course this was an easy problem to solve. Unfortunately she was about 200 miles away! We often joke that our technician drove 200 miles to shut a window. However, in so doing, we solved the problem and made our customer happy.”
Minnkota does a great job of anticipating customer needs and they appreciate the same from Roto. “Since we do a lot of custom work for residential as well as light commercial applications, having a firm grasp on inventory is a must. Something we’ve really come to appreciate is how Roto helps us manage our inventory,” says Bushaw. “As General Manager, the last thing you want to hear is that you’re out of something. Roto does a great job of monitoring our stocking levels and anticipating our needs. Plus everyone from sales, tech support, and customer service has been very responsive. I think that’s one reason why our relationship with Roto works so well. They share the same values and philosophy that we do. Basically, treat those as you would like to be treated.” For more information visit www.minnkotawindows.com.