2013 Top 50 Glaziers
Installers from Josloff Glass working on the Terminal B Modernization at Newark International Airport. Photos by Ari Mintz Photography, www.arimintzphoto.com.
2012 was another year of improvement for U.S contract glazing firms, with more than 75 percent of the Top 50 Glaziers reporting a year-over-year sales increase. While most companies’ sales remained below their pre-recessionary peak—more than 60 percent of companies reported lower sales in 2012 compared to 2007—most firms appeared to be emerging from the downturn.
Increasing sales volume does not necessarily translate to rising profits, however. Many glaziers indicate that they continue to face low profit margins, particularly for “completion of projects sold during a poor economy due to lower profits,” says Andy Canter, president of #25 Ridgeview Glass Inc. The biggest challenge in 2012 was “successfully completing low-margin, high-labor jobs contracted during the recession years,” agrees Leo Karas, treasurer and former president of #13 Karas & Karas Glass Co.
Additionally, low bidders continue to affect many in the market. The biggest challenge for #20 Cherry Hill Glass Co. was “unrealistic pricing from competition clouding up the market,” says Kevin O’Neill, owner. Diana Bernal, marketing executive for #45/46 Key Glass, says differentiation and education are critical when “bidding against competitors who do not
understand specifications of projects, codes and what it takes to execute the work. To overcome this, we spend a lot of time in the design stages offering our expertise to architects and general contractors with the hopes they see the value and education in a complete bid and realize the costs associated.”
Contract glaziers report they are also feeling the effects of the closures of other glazing firms. The biggest challenge in 2012 for #16 Kovach Building Enclosures was “absorbing a majority of Trainor Glass’ southwest office, field and plant staff, and merging the different schools of thought,” says James Hatch, preconstruction manager. Officials from #35/36 Walker & Laberge Co. say they faced challenges “taking on projects from companies going out of business.” Tom Schlotfeldt, president of #14 Architectural Wall Systems, says the closures have also affected bonding. “Our biggest challenge in 2012 related to our bonding relationship. Our surety left our industry due to losses from other contractors, which left AWS scrambling. We have worked through that issue; however, it was a distraction that we did not need,” he says.
Closures at the supplier level have also presented glaziers with challenges. Paul Becks, executive vice president for #15 National Enclosures Inc., says “the primary challenge is the identification of financially viable suppliers that have the appropriate resources.
The market has been hit hard through contraction and financial failures, making a shortage of viable sources.”
The 2013 Top 50 Glaziers Special Report has expanded to offer a more complete picture of the state of the contract glazing market in the U.S. The following feature provides the list of Top 50 Glaziers—based on 2012 sales volume—market statistics related to bid levels, profit margins, competition, and building segment activity; and a gallery of recent notable interior and exterior projects. The report also looks at the U.S. glazing market over the past several years, from the peak building years, through the Great Recession, to today.
The 2013 Top 50 Glaziers Report:
About the list
The annual Top 50 rankings present what Glass Magazine editors believe to be the United States’ 50 largest contract glazing firms, based on sales volumes. The glazing firms are ranked within nine sales categories.
The majority of the information included in the Top 50 comes directly from contract glazing firms. All but two companies provided sales figures for this year’s report. However, some
companies declined to provide any information.
We understand the sensitivity of releasing sales figures; however, we do not omit any firms simply because they ask. In cases where a company declines to provide information, we use independent sources to determine its ranking.
If your company belongs on the list, or you would like to update its information, please contact us. It is only with the cooperation of individual companies that Glass Magazine’s Top 50 Glaziers rankings can be as accurate as possible. Questions or comments about this year’s rankings, and requests to be included next year, can be sent to Katy Devlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.