Ply Gem Industries Inc. is shuttering two window and door fabrication plants in a move that company officials say will increase capacity utilization and overall efficiency.
Ply Gem will close a 156,000-square-foot plant in Phoenix, and a 360,000-square-foot plant in Hammonton, N.J., said Shawn Poe, Ply Gem's chief financial officer, in a Nov. 21 telephone interview.
The two plants employ a combined 306 workers. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, production will begin to shift to other Ply Gem facilities in December, with both sites slated for shutdown in March. The Cary, N.C.-based firm expects to incur pretax costs of about $6.6 million, the filing said.
``This action was difficult in that it impacts a number of our employees, however, the market conditions that exist today and that are expected to persist into next year, combined with the competitive climate demands the most efficient operating structure and this decision to consolidate these operations will improve overall performance and is in keeping with Ply Gem's commitment to its customers and the financial community,'' said Gary Robinette, Ply Gem president and chief executive officer, in a news release.
Ply Gem customers will not experience any interruptions in service, officials say.
The downsizing represents more of the same for an industry struggling to deal with sharply falling demand and rising uncertainty in the building and construction markets.
Nick Limb, managing partner with Ducker Research Co. Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., said he thinks the window and door industry is in about the middle of its contraction.
``I don't think anyone smart is looking for a quick rebound here,'' Limb said in a telephone interview. ``This is not a credit crunch issue like automobile sales. Next year is going to be a very tough year. People are looking at 2010 for the start of the recovery.''
Limb credited Ply Gem for its proactive move.
``I think Ply Gem is one of those [companies] that is pretty much ahead of the game.''