For almost 100 years, Pella Corporation has been a household name in windows and doors in both commercial and residential construction.

A family-owned company since 1925, Pella has survived and thrived through multiple economic crises in the U.S. by continuing to develop and introduce new window and door solutions to the market and remain a top competitor in the industry.  How did they do it?  Listen to this videocast discussion between TBM’s Executive Vice President, Dan Sullivan, and Pella/CWS Continuous Improvement Manager, Brian Giddings about the innovative and strategic approaches Pella implemented that created a flexible, resilient, and team-oriented culture.

Learn about the following approaches that delivered quality products with speed and superior customer service during varying market shifts over the years:

  • Implementing Continuous Improvement initiatives
  • Leveraging 3P (product, preparation and process) processes
  • Empowering the Voice of the Customer
  • Expanding product and design into new markets

About the company:

Pella Corporation has been a family-owned business since 1925. It was founded and is still headquartered in Pella, Iowa. The company employs over 10,000 people in the U.S. with growth over the years happening both organic and through acquisition. They operate across 17 manufacturing facilities and 200+ showrooms. 


What were the key factors for success during challenging economic times at Pella?
(Timestamp 0:00 - 4:59)

Before the 1990’s Pella Corporation has always been known for its quality products, however, very expensive. As competitors entered the market and with new varieties in materials and products, Pella embarked on its continuous improvement (CI) journey in 1993 with TBM as its partner. During this time they identified opportunities for process improvement, increased employee engagement, product improvement and growth that would differentiate themselves from the competition.

Listen to the first segment of this video cast (timestamp 0:00 – 1:35) to learn about the key factors in their CI journey that set the company up for ongoing success.

How Pella creatively leveraged continuous improvement and voice of the customer to help differentiate itself during tough economic times?
(Timestamp 5:00 - 8:32)

The ability to serve its clients with quality and speed was a priority for Pella, especially during recessionary times.  As markets and demand fluctuated over the years, Pella made it a point to ensure the needs of the customer were top of mind as continuous improvement efforts were formulated.

In this next segment (timestamp 5:00 – 8:32), discover the game changing improvements that took place as a result of the voice of the customer that has transformed the company, processes, and products to what it is today.

How did 3P processes (product, preparation and process) help Pella meet high demand with better quality while controlling cost?
(Timestamp 8:33 - 12:04)

A secret “weapon” within Pella’s continuous improvement “arsenal” was its development of their 3P process that not only transformed its product design and delivery capabilities, but it also ensured better cost control and flexibility to adjust to the ebb and flow of dynamic market conditions, with lower risk and high return on capital. 

Listen in (timestamp 8:33 – 12:04) to get the details of Pella’s 3P process that gave the company and team members the ability to serve new and existing markets with better quality and speed.

How did speed and lead time reduction help Pella successfully penetrate different markets?
(Timestamp 12:05 - 20:24)

Pella made the strategic decision to expand into different markets which created flexibility to meet various demand scenarios. This growth meant the need to standardize processes and expand capabilities to meet the needs of the customer and delivering 2x’s faster than competitors.

Watch the next videocast (timestamp 12:05-20:24) to learn about success factors for entering new markets which became a big differentiator for the company.

How did continuous improvement support short- and long-term strategies that has positioned Pella for success in any economic environment?
Timestamp 20:25 – 28:35)

Listen to the final segment (timestamp 20:25 – 28:35) of the videocast which highlights the strategic decisions made on Pella’s product, sales and customer service that contributed to a healthy bottom line during good and bad economic times.

Brian Giddings
Continuous Improvement Manager, CWS/Pella

Dan Sullivan
Executive Vice President, TBM Consulting

Email Dan