At the Top and In Touch
D&WC: Please give a detailed
description of your company and its history.
Laura King, Marketing Com-munications and
Merchandising Specialist: In 1946, Elmar Window Fashions,
originally named Elmar Supply Co., began as a distributor of two-inch
components and blinds in Glenside, PA. Selling primarily to the
Northeast market, the business shifted to fabrication of blinds
and shades by 1980.
The early success of Duette® Honeycomb Shades and Silhouette®
Window Shadings provided a compelling reason to partner with Hunter
Douglas Window Fashions. In 1993, we became a full-line fabricator
of the entire Hunter Douglas product line. The combination of a
dedicated focus selling the Hunter Douglas brand and the decision
to expand into new markets provided us the ingredients for achieving
substantial growth in the 1990s.
Today, Elmar Window Fashions is the largest independent, exclusive
Hunter Douglas fabricator in the country. Managed and owned by Craig
Garretson since 1980, we are positioned today to carry on family
traditions with the support of Craig’s two sons, Todd and Ross.
With our headquarters in Willow Grove, PA, a separate manufacturing
facility in Warminster dedicated exclusively to manufacturing shutters
and a Sales and Service Center in Charlotte, NC, Elmar Window Fashions
has a lot to be proud of.
D&WC: What are your strengths in
Craig Garreston, President: The strength of our company
lies with our employees. They are well qualified in their fields
of expertise and constantly strive to raise their performance levels.
We believe in giving employees the freedom to use their natural
talents. The result becomes an environment in which we can provide
an emotional bond between our employees and customers.
D&WC: What distinguishes you
from the competition?
King: You may have noticed our
bright, bold-colored testimonial advertisements running in this
magazine over the last few months. We have taken the approach of
partnering with accounts to help them grow their business and reach
their fullest potential through three core competencies:
1. Business Building Solutions
2. Operational Excellence
3. Training & Education
Elmar’s focus within these three areas truly differentiates
us from our competition.
Our sales organization and marketing department considers it their
job to help create business building solutions to drive more business
to our customers. An Elmar sales consultant is a professional business
consultant committed to providing customers with innovative ideas
on how to improve their businesses to grow profitably to an entirely
different level. This coupled with a dedicated selling process and
approach will help retailers maximize their full potential and close
Scott Roy, National Director of Sales:
Our professional Sales Consultants arrive for an appointment with
business solutions ready to discuss. The days of the ‘milk-run’
service representatives are gone. Valued customers need professional
help growing their businesses—that’s our job!
D&WC: What are some of the key
factors involved in your growth and success?
King: The cornerstone to any
great manufacturing organization is providing a quality product
on time for a good value. We have invested heavily to improve our
operational expertise through better processes and a new management
team focused on root-cause analysis and improved customer satisfaction.
For years, the greatest quality concern was missing or wrong parts.
Today, our new e-hardware parts system has made it virtually impossible
to include the wrong parts, or package a blind without any parts.
Through the use of a barcode computerized scanning system, a list
of coordinating parts is attached to an order. These parts must
be scanned and weighed before the package can move to the next step
of the packaging process. This system is virtually foolproof and
has decreased the amount of incorrect orders leaving the building.
Bill Stepp, Director of Opera-tions:
Our customers expect high quality every day. At Elmar, we will continue
to improve and introduce new process innovations to ensure consistent
quality, on time delivery and a competitive price. Our goal is true
Operational Excellence, and we will continue to improve our processes
to ensure a great partnership with Elmar Window Fashions.
D&WC: Do you educate your customers?
King: We strongly believe in
providing top-notch training and education to our customers and
take pride in conducting the best training in the window coverings
The 2004 LeadingEdge Training Confer-ence is a three-day training
held in 10 cities throughout the United States featuring highly
qualified outside presenters, as well as our own Elmar Window Fashions
experts. The training conference is broken into three series: Business
Development, Product and Design and Installation Training. Each
training series will include several different workshops and will
be unlike anything else you’ve attended within the industry.
In addition to the LeadingEdge Training Conference, Elmar also conducts
comprehensive installation schools at our training facility in Willow
Grove. Ranging from one to three days, installers from across the
county travel to Elmar to participate in a hands-on training program
for shutters, motorized jobs and core window products. These have
been so popular we’ve already conducted eight this year!
Anyone interesting in learning more about Partnering For Success
with Elmar Window Fashions, please contact me at the information
Elmar Window Fashions
601 Davisville Rd.
Willow Grove, PA 19090
fax: (800) 761-3038