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Ply Gem Building Products Hosts Inaugural Innovation Challenge


February 20, 2018

Ply Gem, a North American building products manufacturer, demonstrated its commitment to innovation – one of the company’s core values –through its inaugural Innovation challenge.  The competition, open to all full-time Ply Gem associates, was implemented to identify and evaluate high-potential, innovative go-to-market solutions through in-house teamwork and collaboration.

“Essential to Ply Gem’s longstanding history of success is our people; we have the best and brightest minds in the industry and we believe that innovation is everyone’s responsibility,” said Gary E. Robinette, chairman and CEO, Ply Gem Building Products. “This year’s Innovation challenge has reinforced Ply Gem’s core values, providing an open platform for our associates to express their ideas, while highlighting our company’s ongoing dedication to advancing building science and exceeding customer needs, now and in the future.”

Following a thorough application and judging process for the Ply Gem Innovation competition, four winning product technology and business model solutions were selected from among the 400 entries. All submissions were evaluated based on their potential impact to customer engagement, practicality of use/potential for scale, market share, revenue, and/or cost improvement. Ply Gem awarded a combined total of $100,000 to the top four winners.

  • 1st Place Entry: An industry-first means of making Ply Gem’s building products more accessible and secure at the jobsite, resulting in measurable customer efficiencies for new construction and remodeling.
  • 2nd Place Entry: A revolutionary new window hardware concept that reduces SKUs and inventory in Ply Gem window plants, while providing an improved customer experience in terms of operation and design aesthetic.
  • 3rd Place Entry: An approach that combines smart home technologies to bring new purposes to Ply Gem’s existing array of building products such as vinyl siding and windows.
  • 4th Place Entry: A new model for adding functionality and reinventing where windows can be installed in the home.     

Throughout its 75-year history, Ply Gem has been committed to pushing the boundaries of sustainability, advanced material science and smart manufacturing. The Ply Gem Innovation challenge is an extension of the company’s Foundation Labs division, which serves as a new approach to making innovation a sustainable business model and exploring opportunities for researching, prototyping, testing and launching new products and methodologies into the industry.