In the midst of a building boom, getting work isn’t a problem for Anaheim-based Walker Windows. The real challenge lies in providing the best, most complete, and most consistent window and door sales, installation, and service in Southern California.
It’s how the 18-year-old window and door dealer has grown from a tiny operation launched in a Huntington Beach apartment to a full-service company employing 55 workers and existing on a stellar word-of-mouth reputation.
“We provide turnkey service that a lot of other area dealers can’t provide,” says president Troy Jenkins, the man whose apartment was the birthplace of Walker Windows back in 1999. “We provide not only the product, but we provide installation and service, and it goes with the turnkey package. Some of our competitors subcontract these services or don’t perform as well as we do.”
Outstanding service is one area where Walker Windows and Western Window Systems are a good fit for each other. And, Jenkins points out, he became one of the initial Western Window Systems dealers in Southern California about four years ago.
“Western Window Systems makes me feel like we are important customer,” Jenkins, an Arizona State University graduate. “With some manufacturers, you feel that you’re just another number. But when situations come up, the guys running Western Window Systems will actually pick up the phone and talk to us directly and do what they can to help.”
Named dealer of the year in 2014 by Window & Door Magazine, Walker Windows has carved a niche in the multi-family housing business in Southern California, proving itself as a full-service installer with some of the bigger builders in the region.
“We get recommended a lot,” Jenkins says. “We also get recommended a lot by third party inspectors in California. They’re some of our biggest allies. They say, ‘You know, you should go with Walker Windows because they have a good program and training for their guys.’”
That top-notch training goes along with a fostering work environment and strong company core values. A pay scale and benefits package that are above the average for Southern California also helps Walker employees feel valued. Jenkins lauds his company’s ability to retain employees as it continues to grow, noting that his estimating and project-managing team has grown two-fold in just the past couple of years. It’s key to making a short- and long-term impact in such a competitive region of the country.
“We compete against a lot of smaller manufacturers that sell direct, and so it’s obviously difficult from a price standpoint as a dealer to compete with them,” Jenkins says.
That’s where choosing the right manufacturers to work with tips the balance in Walker Windows’ favor. Enter Western Window Systems, with its national footprint and superior products.“
Western Window Systems has a higher caliber of door and window than what many local manufacturers can make,” Jenkins says. “Western Window Systems gives us an opportunity to approach customers and sell them a product they can’t get regionally.”
And, he says, Western Window Systems makes the process of selling window and door solutions easier for Walker because it promotes its products to the end user and “doesn’t just rely on the dealers” to all the heavy lifting. He finds that Western Window Systems’ Volume Program is specific and consistent, which also can ease the burden on a dealer of Walker’s ilk. “The Volume Program has these colors and these sizes at these prices,” Jenkins says. “With other manufacturers, you have to get each door or window priced out each time.”
With the California building boom showing no immediate signs of slowing down, Walker Windows hopes to continue a healthy balance between short-term success and long-term growth. Jenkins notes that the possibility of accepting bids in Northern California is a distinct possibility, and he says vendors have sought his presence in other western cities such as Las Vegas and Phoenix.
Until Walker taps those markets, the company will continue to ply its trade throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, and, of course, Orange counties.
“Based on the plentiful amount of work, the biggest challenge is just managing and selecting which jobs to pursue,” Jenkins says. “We need to making sure they are the right jobs and right fit for us — and the right customers — pursuing significant growth while doing the best job we can. The most important thing is fulfilling the obligation once the contract is signed.”