This article originally appeared in the March 2021 edition of Minneapolis Lakes Magazine. Click here to see the complete article.
Tried and True Window Replacement
By GORDON GLANTZ
Nobody needs to tell Tony Flint about the importance of teamwork, as he has spent his entire life playing or coaching numerous sports. What is true in sports is generally applicable in the real world, as Flint certainly sees it every day at Great Plains Windows and Doors, where members of the team each play an important role in the success of the business.
The result has been a winning product for customers, who are served in the seven-county Metro area as well as parts of western Wisconsin.
“That’s an excellent analogy,” said Flint. “Everyone is extremely important to our Great Plains team. We are kind of like a family, and that’s because we all wear quite a few hats and communicate with one another. At the end of the day, it feels pretty good.”
It doesn’t hurt to sell and install Andersen windows and doors from the nearby home base of the renowned company either, which was most recently awarded the 2019 Energy Star® Partner of the Year for sustained excellence.
Flint said: “When it comes to replacing old, moldy, rotted out, or non-efficient windows or doors, all we do here is replace them with Andersen only products. We don’t do roofing or siding or gutters or decks or anything like that. All we do are Andersen windows and doors.”
Andersen – based a short distance away from the Great Plains office, was originally established in 1903 as Andersen Lumber, but in 1929 changed their name to Andersen Frame Company to focus more on windows. Andersen’s reputation grew exponentially from there.
“There are quite a few different window manufacturers out there throughout the U.S. and Canada,” said Flint. “But really, when you narrow it down, there are only a few in which we compete. Ironically, we are all within 4-7 hours of one another.”
Given the extreme weather conditions of the region, it tends to make sense that Andersen would call the Twin Cities region home. “There is really no better testing ground than the Midwest,” said Flint. “You get the extreme cold of the winter and the heat and humidity of the summer.”
Flint believes Andersen sets itself apart with its engineering, materials, and the amount of testing that is performed to make sure they are the best in the field.
He added: “As far as Andersen is concerned – and, maybe, I’m a little biased because it’s all I’ve done for quite a while now – there is a tremendous amount of engineering that goes into the product. The product lasts; it holds up. Andersen has been around for nearly 120 years. That’s not by mistake. That’s why we feel extremely comfortable selling and installing Andersen windows and doors.”
Great Plains Windows showcases all lines from Andersen Windows
Flint, who has been in the window and door business a little less than 20 years, became the Director of the Sales and Operations at Great Plains Windows and Doors from its conception around a half-decade ago.
“About six or seven years ago, there was an influx of phone calls from people looking for us to not only sell it, but also install the product as well,” said Flint. “Great Plains decided this would be a terrific addition to its already successful millwork business. With the right people and the right level of experience, know-how, and unsurpassed support from ownership, we launched Great Plains Windows and Doors and have never looked backed since.”
“I enjoy it a lot. We are able to help people with what is their largest investment – their home. Replacing their old windows and doors isn’t like buying a car or a boat, but it certainly bodes well for people who are improving the energy efficiency and operation of their windows and doors.”
Because his division has a narrow focus, that being only replacement windows and doors, Flint sees a major edge on the competition as being able to provide customer service.
“We are able to focus on that particular entity,” he said. “It’s a form of remodeling. We are putting windows and doors into existing openings. Every now and then, there might be some unforeseen challenges. We could take out a window or door and find some additional rot. If that happens, we discuss it as team to figure the best solution for the homeowner. We are not going to put a new product into an opening that is not going to hold it.”
Flint says, “It’s part of our culture to have a customer-first mentality. Communication is the key, with both the homeowner as well as our internal folks.”
Plenty of options on display from Andersen Windows
2020 and the pandemic also changed the way folks were relating to their existing windows. “People were staying home,” said Flint. “They were operating their windows and doors more than usual, or at least looking at them more often…people were, and are still at home, not traveling as much and possibly saving more money. I would like to think that some of those dollars went toward remodeling.”
Flint sees the arrow continuing to point upward for his division in 2021 and beyond.
“I’d like to say it will be business as usual,” he explained. “And I say that in the best possible manner. We are going to keep doing what we usually do, and that’s reaching out to folks with our marketing and letting people know we are here for them, whether they are still at home, or back at the office.
“We are certainly looking forward to additional growth. We have plans in place to do that, and with an established “customer first” focus, we are looking to help more and more folks replace their old, worn out windows and doors today, tomorrow, and beyond!”
To learn more, visit www.greatplainswindows.com , make an appointment (651) 207-4571 or visit their showroom located at 6866 33rd St N Suite #100a, St Paul.