glassblog

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ladies, forgive me. This blog is written from a male perspective. Change the gender references to quarterback/band member, and the metaphor still applies.

In high school, there are two types of girls: the cute head cheerleader and the average-looking girl. Everybody likes the average girl but wants to date the head cheerleader. The average girl has a great personality and is consistent in everything. The cheerleader is always cute, but her emotions run the gamut.

At the 20-year reunion, the average-looking girl has become more attractive, if not beautiful. The cheerleader has gotten fat and continues to dye her hair an unnatural color. The guys start looking at the "average girl" differently than they did during high school. The problem is that they haven't changed the way they treat or interact with her. The average girl is still hurt by the guys' archaic advances and solicitations. The guys need to learn how to interact with her on her terms.

During the boom, aluminum and glass suppliers paid token attention to the average glass shop, but they chased the large commercial glazier. Glass shops had to reach out to suppliers before sales reps would even talk to them. Yet, those same sales reps would appear on bended knee before commercial glaziers.

Now that the boom is over and large commercial glazing jobs are few, glass shops have become more attractive to the aluminum and glass manufacturers/fabricators. The glass shops have small tenant build-out jobs, convenience stores and private corporate jobs; and, in many parts of the country, these jobs are prevalent. It's interesting that the suppliers have "come a-callin'" again to the glass shops.

The problem is that the suppliers haven't changed their attitude toward the glass shops. The glass shops are still merely a "skirt to chase". Come on suppliers! Change your ways. If you won't or can't change, we will find suppliers that really care about us. Learn how to treat us. Use the telephone, not email. Consistently, not intermittently, call on us. Schedule an appointment to see us in person before we need you. Ask us how you can help us (and then truly help us). Make us want to buy from you because of your attitude toward us and the way you treat us.

If you can't or won't change, then go back to your fat, broke, bleach blonde cheerleader! 

The author is president of Evans Glass Co., and chairman-elect for the National Glass Association. Write him at bevans@evansglasscompany.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The 2011 GlassBuild America event is now history, and what a wild and enjoyable time it was. The show continues to cement its place as the networking event of the year, and it was great to see everyone. In case you missed my other recaps, you can read about day one here, day two here and day three here. Fun stuff in all of them, especially the incredible hair on one of our industry's most talented guys. Who knew Fabio was a consultant?

Some concluding thoughts on this year's GlassBuild America:

  • Machinery dominated the floor and attracted the most interest. I spent a lot of time at the Erdman booth and was lucky enough to get a private tour of the GED booth, where the awesome Bill Briese and Dan Reinhart showed me just mind-blowing technology. Click here to watch a video of the GED's Automated Tri-Lite Assembly System in action.
  • The news of people trying to steal intellectual property was part of the buzz at the show and should be taken seriously. Sadly, other trade media chose to make light of this incredibly serious, immoral, unethical and basically criminal situation. People work way too hard to create and build products, and giving crooks who are trying to steal intellectual property a forum is despicable.
  • Chris Mammen was elected chairman of the NGA board of directors and will do a tremendous job. Chris is the owner of M3 Technologies and a classy guy through and through. He will be a wonderful leader for the organization.
  • In case you missed it, Glass Magazine released an app for iPad and Android tablet users. Very, very sharp stuff here. Go to your app store and download it for free. I have, and it really is very cool.
  • Last for the show stuff: this year, I had the absolute honor of getting to work with the GlassBuild America organizers. For years, I was an exhibitor and/or attendee and took a lot of things for granted. And I even took some unfair shots too. Well, all I can say is, when you get in the middle of it, you are blown away about how it all gets done and comes together. Putting on an event to take care of thousands of people and hundreds of exhibitors takes time, precision, care and talent. And, the folks at GBA showed all of those skills and more. Thank you for letting me get a taste of it!

Elsewhere...

  • A major congrats to Jennifer Duemler Donahue on the birth of her son Henry Steven. Jennifer is a PR and writing goddess, and one of my favorite folks around. I'm very happy for her and the expanding empire at the Donahue World HQ.
  • The Solyndra solar story has been pretty prominent in the national media, but those of us who have been following the solar world for awhile are not surprised. This company had been taking heat from the solar community for a long time. I give them credit for trying to buck some systems, but shame on the DOE and those who kept on approving cash here, because the signs were very clear that this was not anywhere near a slam dunk that deserved a half a billion in funding.
  • Another positive forecast about the flat glass industry hit the streets last week as well. This report is calling for a 9.1 percent surge in demand thanks to emerging technologies and recovery from the recession. Hopefully, this one is on target.
  • Next up show-wise is Greenbuild in Toronto, in just a few weeks. That show continues to grow, but this edition will be very interesting to watch for two reasons: How will the mix of attendance be with the event in Canada for the first time? And, will the older, more seasoned architects be more in attendance than in the past?

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day three at the show: I'll be short here because I am whipped and will have the big recap in next week's e-glass weekly.

As expected, traffic on the show floor was lighter on day three, but the machinery side was jumping. If there's a storyline here, it's that the machinery booths seemed to have solid traffic throughout.

A fun video about the show featuring a certain well-dressed Canadian showing off his dance moves is here.

 Also, I did see Greg "Fabio" Carney and he was not pleased with me. Love the hair no matter what.

With the shorter day, I missed a few folks like the fine people at Technoform. I was there for a heartbeat on Monday and just never made it back. It was great seeing the always awesome Milind Jhaveri, even it was only for a second. Also missed hooking up with Chad Simkins of Soladigm. I saw him a few times for a few seconds each, but never could connect. He's a busy dude growing that product line.

I did get around to several booths though and saw some great things: the equipment at Erdman was awesome, as was the machinery at GED. Loved seeing the new technology at 3M and some wild stuff at Zircon. This show really brought out the best in the exhibitor.

The full recap is coming over the weekend.

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day two at the show was very strong with heavy traffic. It seemed like old times for a moment there. Really a fun day all around; now, to the floor...

I witnessed my first ever impact demo at a show: very cool stuff. Yesterday, when I stopped at PPG, I did not see Jan Rogan, and I thought she skipped on this one. So, I was thrilled when I saw her smiling face this AM. Also nice to see Mark Kearns from Dlubak; he guy is always working it.

The big story at the show, and I'll mention this in next week's post as well, was Greg Carney. And more specifically, Greg Carney's hair. Greg now has flowing locks like Fabio. Seriously. For a guy like me that can't grow hair on my head, seeing Greg sporting just a huge headful was stunning.

Elsewhere...

The machinery booths were all packed today. It surely seemed like interest was at an all-time high.

The gang from Glassopolis was extremely busy. They promised swag, but all I've seen so far is cookies. C'mon Rob, gotta step it up.

There was a Scott Surma sighting on the floor. So great to see Scott, as I consider him one of the most talented people around. Also the Glass Pundit herself, Kris Vockler, was out and about. Wednesday, she'll be leading a very cool seminar on decorative glass but today she was working the floor alongside good friend of the blog Steve O'Halloren. I got to walk to the show with Dr. Helen Sanders of Sage, which as always is a complete honor, and got to meet Sage's new VP of Marketing Derek Malmquist, who was an extremely impressive individual.

Missing from the floor was Julie Schimmelpenningh as I hear she is down under. (I did see the awesome Aimee Davis of Solutia though). Also no Garret Henson from Viracon, but there are rumors he may appear on Wednesday. I don't think I have ever done a GlassBuild America without a Viracon sighting. Bobby Hartong of WA Wilson was a no show (we got his dad and his business partner), but I guess the lack of DQ's in Atlanta kept him away.

All in all, a good day at the show. One to go.... 

Read more GlassBuild coverage here...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So Day 1 of GlassBuild America is in the books, and after a slow start the afternoon saw some brisk movement throughout the hall. My first thought is this year the show floor looks the best it has ever looked. The exhibiting companies really brought their "A" games. I am blown away by the style and class so many of the booths are showing. Really top notch!

As for seen on the floor... and the way I do this is in a rapid-fire style... so hang on, here it comes....

The first guy through the gates this a.m. was Dan Pompeo, the headlining manufacturer's rep—one of the best around no doubt. As always, the gang from Walker Textures dazzled not only with their impeccable clothing choices (as always), but the continuation of the Saturday Night Fever style dance floor. I've noted in the past that PPG sets the fashion tone for traditional booth-wear, and Rob Struble did not disappoint with lightweight vests that had pockets. Nice stuff, Glenn Miner and Joanne Funyak were styling as always.

Great looking booths... Cristacurva left you speechless—just strong. My friends from General Glass International had amazing examples of what they do in full size surrounding the space, and, they are serving ice cream in their booth. So, you get great looking stuff and one of the greatest foods around! Loved the Lauren International booth. As they told me, it's hard to make rubber products look exciting. Well they did, and they did it with style! Guardian Industries' booth was huge and very impressive. No doubt Earnest Thompson, Chris Dolan and company are bringing the best every time out now. They raise the bar with each show.

I met one of my blogging heroes, Bill Evans [Evans Glass Co.] on the floor. The guy is awesome in print, and inspirational as heck. Just a thrill to meet him in person.

The Glazing Executive Forum was a veritable "who's who" of the best glaziers in our world, along with some seriously good suppliers. It looked like things went very well though I'll be curious on what everyone thought of the keynote speech, and I'll have to bring that up in a future post.

The highlight of my time though was the whole Quanex experience. Quanex is without question the dominating presence at the show... bigger than life. This year though I had an amazing opportunity to get inside the booth and have time with the Chairman, President, & CEO of Quanex David Petratis. I did an interview with him that will be up on www.GlassBuildAmerica.com soon, and quite frankly I found him to be engaging, genuine and motivating. The guy is a gem. Then later I got to meet Mike Hovan in person for the first time after following him for years and catching up with great old favorites like Erin and Larry Johnson, Joe Erb and new friends Brian and Kim Kress. Just a thrill for me, for sure. Ironically they all like the older version of my blog when I was a little "harder" with my edge... I'm a kinder, gentler blogger now... but you never know maybe my teeth with show again...

All in all, Day 1 was a crazy whirlwind of a show. People are busy right now, but I believe everyone is very worried about the coming months. No one can really accurately predict what next year will bring, and I think that just scares people to the core.

Day 2 and 3 I'll be all over the floor. I look forward to catching up with more people and seeing things that are "new" for me. So that's the goal. To me the show is strong because, as noted above, the exhibitors really came out strong. People that are attending are enjoying the benefits of that for sure.

Read on for links of the week and the pre-show blog.

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, 2011, as exhibitors finished assembling their booths in the usual mad dash to opening day, a sharp-eyed security guard noticed flashes of light coming from under the Barkow truck in the 800 aisle of the GlassBuild America show floor. As he approached, two men ran off, one from under the truck where he was apparently taking pictures.

Given the anniversary of the infamous date, this event brought in the Georgia police, who scanned the truck's chassis with mirrors. They quickly concluded that it was a botched job of glass truck espionage by two local yahoos.

Why the interest? For 2011, General Motors widened its truck body. Barkow's solution: "Super single" rear tires that buy enough room between the body and the outside of the tires. With President John Weise's permission, I snapped this photo with my handy iPad so I could instantly upload this trade show tale of innovation and attempted copycatting.

Steve Jobs famously said that innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower, a sentiment that resonates at every trade show, perhaps more so when times are tough. This year's GlassBuild America welcomes attendees to visit Barkow and the 392 other companies--including 73 new exhibitors--for the up-close, kick-the-tires experience only a trade show offers.

Glass Magazine extends that welcome with its own latest innovation (thank you Mr. Jobs): the glass industry's first magazine Apple app. You can download it free here.

Androiders, your tablet app is coming very soon.

Just a few years ago, the thought of reinventing the wheel was preceded by the question why. But the road keeps changing, and speed and traffic keep increasing. In our 24/7/365, post-9/11 world, news about reinvented wheels is delivered and received however you need and want to learn about it—in print, on your computer, smartphone or tablet. So whether you're delivering or receiving a load of glass, or needing to know what technology will be on it tomorrow, you have more choices. And that's a beautiful thing about innovation. 

Harris is publisher of Glass Magazine. Write her at nharris@glass.org.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lost in the excitement and action of Hurricane Irene was the earthquake that struck earlier that week. Thankfully, there were no reported deaths or major injuries, and for the most part, everything and everyone survived. However, one thing that came out of it was said perfectly by Arlene Stewart, the legendary energy consultant, in a tweet. Here goes:

"@ArleneOnEnergy 10 yrs ago, I watched SE code bodies look at Nanette Lockwood like she was nuts for advocating for seismic provisions. Vindicated much?"

And there ya go. For years, people have been warning of issues to come, and even though we skated on this one, the seismic provisions still should be addressed and put into play. As for Nanette Lockwood of Solutia, it's been many years since I had the honor of working with her, but she happens to be an absolute authority on so many of these issues. If she told me to prepare for another quake tomorrow, I'd drop everything and go. So, this whole scenario bears watching, and we'll have to see how it affects us in the glazing world, because it will. And oh, if you are not following Arlene on Twitter, you need to.

Elsewhere...

  • One tough result from the hurricane was the damage in Vermont. The iconic covered bridges that stood for so long were completely wiped out. Towns flooded. Just awful...
  • The Steve Jobs resignation was also a tough one to take. While many expected this day to eventually come given his health battles, the finality of it all is still stunning. Apple is more than Steve Jobs, and I am sure their products (and love of everything glass) will continue on, but it won't be the same. By the way, here is a quick and simple article outlining three main takeaways from how Steve Jobs did business.
  • We are coming up on another anniversary for this blog. I started in October of 2005, and almost 400 postings later, I am still here, still plugging along. Thanks to everyone who reads this and supports it. And just a note: I do actually post this on Sundays at my original site. Ironically, it gets tons of hits from the state of Virginia that day. I guess I am popular there! Anyway, it continues to be a thrill that many of my stories/opinions/comments get picked up by competitors to run the day before my posts appear Tuesdays in the always-excellent e-glass weekly. I appreciate everyone for following along.
  • Missed noting my brother's birthday last week... and for his big day, the best gift he got was a year-long membership in the Dairy Queen Blizzard Club. Who would have thought that the first Perilstein to have a membership in such an epic club would be the skinny one... Happy Birthday bro...
  • Football predictions: As many may know, I have not been into football this year, but I still have to make my traditional (and usually wrong) call on who wins it all. So, fans of 30 teams will be happy and fans of the two I pick, not so much. Here it goes: Your Super Bowl will be the New England Patriots vs. the Chicago Bears. For some reason, I think Jay Cutler will have a huge year this year, and Brady and the Pats look unstoppable. Of course, and as always, I hope I am wrong.
  • Last this week, here we are on the cusp of the show of the year: GlassBuild America kicks off Monday the 12th. The show floor is sold out, and attendance is gaining some nice momentum. I am really looking forward to seeing so many of the folks I can usually only hook up with at GBA. I will also, per tradition, be posting nightly with all of the flavor, pomp and color of the show. If you are coming to the event, look for me running around or at my booth #1104. See you there! 

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

As most of you know, GlassBuild America is right around the corner. This is the glass industry's one event that brings everyone involved with glass — glaziers, fabricators, manufacturers, dealers, etc. — together in one location. If you've never been, then this is the year to come. Let me share a few reasons why.

First, the cost is more practical than ever. Have you seen the price of flights to Atlanta? Not to sound like a used car salesman, but they're insanely low. A couple of the big travel sites (Yapta, Kayak, etc.) let you track the historical price of flights, and when you run them for Atlanta, they're as low as they've ever been. They've gone down even more in just the last couple days. So, the travel cost can't be an excuse. Go ahead, book a flight.

Second, is the industry-leading educational content. Sure, there are other seminars and conferences throughout the year. I'm sure all of them are worth your time. But the Glazing Executives Forum has become an event you simply must attend if you're serious about being successful in your business. You'll learn more about the latest trends and products in the industry, along with economic and financial information to put it all in perspective. Plus, you'll be in a room of your peers all focused on finding solutions to common challenges in the industry. We're also pleased to add a new forum this year directed at the architect community.

In addition to the forums, we have seminars on two of the biggest trends in glass: decorative glass and building integrated photovoltaics. The decorative glass session will be moderated by Kris Vockler of ICD Performance Coatings and her ace team of panelists. The BIPV seminar will be led by Richard Voreis of Consulting Collaborative. Both moderators have recruited a top-notch team of experts to share their insights on these two vital areas of growth.

Third, the show itself. Have you seen the list of exhibitors? There are some major names on that list. And there's only one show that they all attend. Simply stated, if you want to go to one place where you can see the latest in all things glass, this is it.

So, it's not that expensive to go, you'll learn a lot and you're highly likely to bring a good idea back to the office. That sounds like a good return on investment to me. 

Matt Rumbaugh is senior manager, education and training, for the National Glass Association. Write him at mrumbaugh@glass.org.

Monday, August 29, 2011

I had a great blog already written, but due to Hurricane Irene I decided to change it up. Because I post this blog on Sundays, the full force of the hurricane and its aftermath will not have played out completely when I post this. Obviously, my thoughts are with everyone in its path. Hopefully, everyone is staying safe.

Given the circumstances, my normal batch of commentary, snark and kudos is just not appropriate. All I can say is that a hurricane is bad wherever and whenever it hits, but the fact that Irene is hitting places that normally don't get hurricanes makes this even worse. Compounding the problem is that so much in our world depends on what happens in cities like New York. Basically, if New York sneezes, the rest of the country can catch a cold. So, it does beg the questions: how much of an economic effect will this hurricane have, and how far will it reach?

It has been a very good summer for the glass and construction industry (especially compared to the winter and spring). Will this derail or lengthen it? No matter what the result is, hopefully everyone  hangs in there with as little issues as possible. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

I will close with some levity though: specifically, this story on what the folks are hoarding in Brooklyn ... and it's not water. I guess we all deal with things in different ways!

I'll be back next week with a regular post. 

Read on for links and video of the week...

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

They say a photo (or in this case, a video) is worth a thousand words, so I will keep this short.

In this frustrating economic environment, sometimes it's easy for me to get bogged down by falling ABI numbers and gloomy construction forecasts. Then I see videos like this, and I'm reminded that the future of the glass industry is bright: very bright.

Our industry, and those working in concert with it, continue to make product advancements that stretch the limits of glass applications, and the imagination. I continually see products and projects featuring glass in new and innovative ways, and that makes the glass industry an exciting place to be. 

Will we live in a world where our highways are made of glass solar panels like those in this video? Will glaziers installing BIPV today be installing solar highways tomorrow? Who knows? But it's interesting to think about.  

 

Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine, e-glass weekly and GlassMagazine.com. Write her at jchase@glass.org.

Page 3 of 10
 << First | < Previous | 1 | 2 | 4 | 5 Next > | Last >> 

Blog Archive