G3: Industry Insiders Talk Glass
Chip Olson, national sales, Quattrolifts
"More and more of the companies I visit are talking about ways they can become more efficient. These companies feel strongly that becoming more productive with the personnel they have will play a key role in helping them succeed in 2014. Many companies over the last few years have reduced their office staff and field personnel to survive the recession. Many others have thought twice before adding staff when needed because they are concerned about the strength of this recovery. Doing more with less is difficult to sustain unless it includes efficiencies. Equipping your shop or field forces with the right tools to do their job efficiently is one way to help maintain a productive and profitable company."
Greg Abrams, president, Cardinal Shower Enclosures
"The change that I anticipate most for the industry in 2014 is the volume of business. Our industry has seen some ‘optimistic bubbles’ of hope throughout these tough years of the recession, but not a true push in the right direction until now. With multiple locations and a geographical footprint that covers the entire country, we have been able to monitor the economies in each city, and it truly seems that all markets are showing signs of recovery for the first time since 2007. This being said, preparation for this volume will be critical in keeping pace with the demand. Here at Cardinal, we have been experiencing an upward trend for some time now and have taken many different actions to increase capacity and prepare so that we can continue to provide the quality and service that our customers have come to expect from us. I also suspect that with the increase of volume will come a wave of new products to the market in an attempt to capture as much of that potential business as possible."
Helen Sanders, VP, technical business development, SAGE Electrochromics Inc.
"With the publishing of LEEDv4 at Greenbuild, we are going to see an increasing number of architects asking product manufacturers for health product declarations and environmental product declarations. LEED points are now available if an architect uses 20 permanently installed products from at least five different manufacturers that have EPDs and HPDs, or equivalent. EPDs are third party verified documents that detail the environmental impacts from sourcing raw materials through the manufacturing of the product—cradle to gate—the impacts of transportation of the product and over useful life (use-phase) and then the impacts during the end of life (disposal and/or recycling). HPDs are like an MSDS for your product as they detail the ingredients and their associated hazards. Requests for such documentation from product manufacturers is going to become frequent and will reverberate down the supply chain because the primary product manufacturers will need information on raw materials to generate their EPDs. Having EPDs and HPDs for your product will be a differentiator in the short term but likely it is a ticket to play long term. Rules for generating EPDs for both flat glass and windows—including curtain wall, storefront and skylights—are in the final stages of development and will create a level playing field for the glazing industry."