glassblog

Monday, September 24, 2012

So it's time to get back into the nitty gritty of the industry after the rush and excitement of GlassBuild America. Before the show, a ton of news broke, and we put it on the shelf until after the show so it could get its proper due. And of course, since the show there’s been significant news too. So without further delay, let’s get caught up!

Here goes:

  • A comment was left on a recent blog post about the lack of action regarding training our glaziers and industry. This is a massive problem and one that will most likely get worse before it gets better. Reason being, with everyone slashing costs, one of the first things to go is education and training. It’s a classic corner cut. Add that to our aging industry workforce, lack of feeders and the volatile nature of our world, and this IS a massive problem that deserves debate. There is no easy fix either, because it will need a concerted industry effort to improve the situation. Our industry has never been known to work together, so we have our work cut out for us.
  • One person who was working very hard to provide education to our industry sadly is leaving us. David Walker, the excellent VP of Association Services for the NGA is moving on to a tremendous gig as president and CEO of the Coalition to Support America’s Heroes. It is a great organization that is doing extremely important work for the men and women who risk their lives to protect us every day. David was instrumental in reviving the NGA education efforts, and he will be missed. However, the NGA acted very quickly and  hired David’s replacement in Jim Gandorf. I was able to spend a few minutes with Jim at GlassBuild and came away extremely impressed. I am confident that the issues that I note above will be on Jim’s radar and he’ll be pushing hard to take the work that David and team began to the next level. Welcome to our world Jim!
  • The Architectural Billings Index bounced back. Parse that with a great trade show, and I’m back on the positive train.
  • The Glass Magazine People awards were a hit, and a major congrats to all of the winners. I do not know Brian Abrisz or Richard Poirier personally, but I am sure they deserve after winning such a huge vote. What an honor! I do know John McGee and I am thrilled for him, a great guy who I have immense respect for. As for the last winner, that category was tough, with John Bush, Scott White and the eventual winner Waylon McCall. I actually worked at one time or another with all three. I think the world of all three and wish I had a portion of their talent. I'm happy for Waylon, since this award should make up for past crushing fantasy league losses (LOL). Seriously though, how anyone who knows these three could pick between them is beyond me. In any case, looking at all of the nominees and winners does show the talent we have in our industry, and I am sure next year these awards will be even harder to vote on. Heck, if we could have a training program led by the guys above, maybe we could solve some of our workforce issues!
  • The great news out of Colorado about RavenBrick (full disclosure, my firm does consulting work for them) was exciting. Getting funding and preparing to go into full production in a new plant is just tremendous for the company founders and employees who have worked their tails off to get to this point. It also shows that dynamic glass, whether its thermochromic like this, or electrochomic from Sage or Soladigm, is going to be a major player in our world going forward. The momentum is there.
  • One more show note, did any of you who stayed at the LVH laugh over the “Go Green” offer in your rooms? The LVH would give you a $5 coupon a day to skip getting your room cleaned in the name of “green." That just slayed me. What a great efficiency improver. Give someone $5 that has to be used in the hotel, and save time and money not having staff clean. That has got to be the most creative usage of the green meme yet.
  • Last, I picked USC to win it all, and they have already lost, and I picked the Dolphins to go winless, and they have already won. Nice to see I can still pick ‘em!

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, September 18, 2012

The glass industry has a people problem. Or, more accurately, a lack of qualified people problem.

I was shocked to read a statistic that said the contract glazing industry will have 33,400 job openings between 2010 and 2020, which is "80 percent of the total number of glaziers employed in 2010," according to a report from 24/7 Wall St. (Thanks to Max Perilstein for leading his blog two weeks ago with this news). And it's not just contract glaziers that need people.

"We struggle with finding the right talent that is interested in getting into glazing," said Scott Clymire, vice president, United Architectural Metals, during the State of the Industry panel at the Glazing Executives Forum last week in Las Vegas. With design-assist becoming more common, UAM is seeking architects and engineers that want to get involved on the manufacturing side of the building trade, he said.

As the glass and glazing trade becomes increasingly more sophisticated, education and training on all levels at a company are critical. "Our employees are assets, and the investment in people is important," said Garret Henson, vice president of sales for Viracon, who also spoke during the GEF panel.

New employees coming into the industry will expect these training opportunities, added panelist Oliver Stepe, senior vice president of sales & marketing for YKK AP America. "More and more, we are hiring new people from outside of the industry, and they're asking us, 'what are you doing to train?'" YKK developed several training programs that it utilizes when necessary, including a basic product training, one week manufacturing training, a quick start program to prepare new employees for customer service within 90 days, and career development training.

"One of the best things you can do is to use an employee to train other people," Stepe says. "It doesn't have to be the most seasoned person. It's a good motivational technique. Send employees to conferences and symposiums, and when they come back, have them speak to the team about it."

In addition to recruiting and training, companies also need to be planning for the departure of their seasoned workforce. "Succession planning is critically important," Henson said.

Companies are faced with a three-tiered personnel challenge: to recruit talented young people, train them, and poise them and others at the company to become the future leaders of the company and the industry. And, according to economist Jeff Dietrich, the time to make those investments in people is now. "You should be hiring," said Dietrich, senior analyst for the Institute for Trend Research, at GEF. "You have a window where you can hire young and intelligent people and not pay them what they are worth for two or three years. Hire them and train them now." 

Devlin is senior editor for Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, September 17, 2012

If there was one word that could sum up GlassBuild America 2012 it would be “engaged.” For the last few years, the show saw exhibitors continue to build amazing booths but attendees struggle to fill expectations against a brutal economy. This year, however, the tide turned. This time, the attendees were truly engaged in positive conversations with the exhibitors, and they actually had real live business to discuss. I heard from so many people who booked business or found great prospects that it really was exciting. Like one exhibitor told me: Last year it was, 'wow I hope someday to use your product.' This year it was, “I have a project and I want to use your product.' What a difference a year makes.

I have been to boatloads of shows over the years and I always gauge the crowd and get a feel for expectations. After this one, I can’t help but feel positive that we are headed in the right direction. Time surely will tell, but for now, I am enjoying where we are going.

My quick awards:

  • Best booths: Quanex: They always have a great presence, but this year their booth was perfect: open, inviting, informational and truly welcoming. The runner up was PRL for its amazing mix of materials, including some really unique hardware.
  • Most newsworthy event: The Glazing Executives Forum “State of the Industry” panel absolutely delivered in an 80-minute session that could have gone on all morning.
  • Hot product: Decorative glass still rules, but the installation equipment for the glazier was a very close second (loving the lifts and cranes!)
  • Best shirts: Lauren Manufacturing with the blue, orange and black shirts. Sign me up; that group has excellent fashion taste!
  • Top showstoppers: Several booths had professional models working, and YKK even got Jay Leno (or a close impersonator) to work their party. Looks like the Vegas style is back!
  • And before I hit my part of the show, I have to give major props to the ladies who put this event on. They build this thing from the ground up and deal with every obstacle thrown at them to put on a first-class event.  Congrats ladies; you are one talented and amazing team!

Now on to the show scene…

Who I saw on the very busy show floor:

  • Last week I said, "If you see me, stop me and say hi." The first to do that was Mike Gainey of Azon. Odd to see Claude Duquette of Eastman now that Solutia is a part of that company. He did look dapper in a great red Eastman golf shirt though. He was with Doug Marren, who will be returning from the solar world to work in glass again. It's great to have him back in our side of things! Good to see industry stalwarts like John Dwyer and Bernard Lax. I saw the Idaho State football hall of famer Dave Michaeli of AGC; looks like he could gear up now and rush the QB. And speaking of AGC, running into Matt Ferguson was an unexpected pleasure. No show for me is OK unless I see Jan Rogan of PPG, so I knew all would be well when I visited her on day one. The always-dynamic duo of Bob Price and Mike Nicklas of JEB even stopped and said hi to me. 
  • On the fashion side, Danik Dancause of Walker broke out a powder blue sport coat that not only drew attention at the show, but also had all the women at Coyote Ugly wanting him to dance on a table. (That will never happen to me!) 
  • Always nice to see my old friend Chad Simkins, who is now doing great things for Soladigm. Speaking of old friends, getting to see Bret Summers of Arcadia was great, as was catching up with Michael Schmidt at Erdman Automation (whose booth was jammed all day, every day).
  • A few more: saw fellow bloggers and NGA heavyweights (as well as excellent businessmen) Bill Evans and Chris Mammen. I also met for the first time Mike Albert and Bryan Bush: great guys. Got to have a quick visit with one of the best reps in our world, Dan Pompeo, who was there with his better half and the brains of their operation, his wife Stacey. The Quanex people as a whole are always so welcoming to me. I can’t thank them enough for their hospitality. Dave Lutrell and Tom Noe of Glasstech actually admitted that they read the blog. Then again, they said this at the big reception party, so who knows… LOL. Bowie Neumayer of Cardinal and I caught up and compared notes on Fantasy Football. Hopefully by the time you read this Bowie’s team will have a win on the board or they’ll be heck to pay.
  • Finally on the scene, it was super to catch up with family: my brother and nephew Josh along with Justin Benline and Tim Marconi of WA Wilson were there. Great to see my bro and Josh and watch them cringe realizing that they are related to me as I worked the floor in an obnoxious yellow media vest. (Yes, I think both want to disown me.) 

Who I missed…

  • I know Rodger Ruff of AGC was there but didn’t ever get to catch up to him. His booth was always packed when I went by. Tom O’Malley, the legend from Doralco, I saw for a second and never saw again. Joanne Funyak of PPG missed the show, and all really missed her. Joe Carlos of Triview was working the floor and seminars, so I didn’t get as much time with him as I would like. I saw Derek Malmquist, the excellent VP of marketing for SAGE for a split second, and then did not make it to his booth in time to visit. Very disappointing for me. Saw Mark Spencer of SAPA several times, but the guy is too popular, so never could get a chance to talk. And last but certainly not least, Earnest Thompson of Guardian had to miss because of other meetings… or maybe because he was afraid an Alabama fan would approach the booth and remind him about the U of M-Bama game.

Final thoughts…

  • Hope to see everyone in Atlanta in 2013. This year proved yet again that this is the show where the industry meets and the networking is just top notch. It was amazing to see how many meetings and gatherings there were all over the show floor, in the lounges, at the lunch tables, heck any area that someone could sit down really. BUSINESS WAS BEING DONE! It was great to see. This show brought it out…
  • Last, my feet hurt. Time for universal rules that we can all wear sneakers or comfortable shoes. No more worry about fashion and political correctness. Let's focus on comfort!

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, September 10, 2012

As I head to Las Vegas this week, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on the GlassBuild America show floor. As well as I've gotten to know many of you on the phone or via email, nothing beats seeing each other in person. So, if you're in Las Vegas, please stop by Glass Magazine booth #1277 to say hi. From the welcome reception to the Glazing Executives Forum, this year’s show offers several networking opportunities that we can all use to get to know each other better. 

And speaking of getting to know each other better, I want to thank all of you who participated in the Glass Magazine Awards online voting program to determine the winners in the best installer, production supervisor, project manager and sales representative categories. Voter response was fantastic, and my hope is that this new people-centric program will continue to spotlight our industry’s best people in the years to come.

For those of you I won't see in Las Vegas, stay tuned to GlassMagazine.com this week for live coverage of the GlassBuild America trade show in the form of blogs, videos, photo galleries and more. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finally, after months and months of buildup, GlassBuild America is here. I have attended this show pretty much every year since I started in the industry (even when it was just the “glass show”). One of the taglines for the show is “the place where the industry meets,” and it is so true. Every facet of our world is represented. Heck, even press that usually ignore it for 362 days of the year cover it like crazy for three. It is where business gets done, innovation is on display and networking takes over. And it’s finally here…

Elsewhere from GBA…

  • From the show floor, I’ll have sporadic posts on my own blog, but the major recap will come next week. In the meantime, the coverage from Glass Magazine will be top notch (as always), along with the live tweets from show organizers at Twitter.com/GlassBuild. So whether you are attending or have to stay home (I have a few friends regretfully staying home to tend to major business items), you can still follow all the action online.
  • If you are coming and I haven’t met you yet, please by all means, if you see the chubby bald guy wearing a striped shirt and media vest, stop and say hi. That has happened in the past, and great friendships have come of it. My favorite instance: the classy and cool Milind Jhaveri of Technoform stopped me in my tracks a few years ago, somehow recognizing me from my picture, and I’ll always be grateful he did.
  • There will be many highlights of the week, but I am most excited about the “State of the Industry” panel at the Glazing Executives Forum. The panel will feature great folks with diverse opinions and insights on our world. It should be very interesting.
  • I'm also excited about Steve O’Halloren moderating a cool decorative glass session on Friday morning. That should be fun and informative. And of course, there's the Quanex cocktail party and seeing my friends from that company and the rest of the industry. There’s nothing out there like that event.
  • Aside from the show, there’s plenty of other news I want to hit but I don’t want it to get lost in the GlassBuild shuffle. So, I’ll save my takes on the Glass Magazine Award winners, the great news from my friends at RavenBrick, the latest acquisition from Grey Mountain, and of course, the latest economic news for future posts. Also, I'll want to cover this comment that was left on last week's post. Makes a great point:

"What? Not a single comment about our need for trained glaziers. I have commented before about our need to recruit and properly train our workforce. It is a need very few companies seem to want to invest in. Quality, safety and reliability depend on this."

No doubt that subject is a biggie, even if we don't get tons of comments on it.

  • See you on the floor!

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, September 4, 2012

Pretty amazing news broke this week that can be viewed as either good or bad for our industry: I was sent an article (thank you CW) about the “Best Job Opportunities of the Future” and do you know what ranked No. 2? And no, it wasn’t the glorious gig of being a marketing consultant/blogger; it was being a GLAZIER! This is amazing recognition for our industry. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that anyone outside our little world would notice us. So that is the good; we exist in the conscience of the world! The bad news is that to make this list, there has to be “opportunity,” and thanks to the difficulty of the job, there are openings. The other thing is something that many in our world are aware of: We have a severe lack of depth. So, this article can also be interpreted as saying we have a shortage of capable people.

Elsewhere…

  • I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Al Balik last week. Though I only had the extreme honor of meeting Al in person once, I have known and worked with members of his family for virtually my entire glass career. Great folks, and this is a tough loss. I do remember my talk with Al very clearly though. It was about a year ago, and we had a spirited discussion about decorative glass and the trends out there. What struck me was Al, even though he was in his mid-80s, was busting out ideas and concepts that were extremely cutting edge. There was no “old school” approach at all. It blew me away. So no doubt, his influence will be missed at GGI and the folks they serve. My condolences to his son Richard and the entire Balik family.
  • GlassBuild America is now a week away. I am so thrilled about how everything has come together for the show and the events surrounding it. The folks attending are going to benefit greatly from top-notch exhibits, innovations, education and networking. I'm just so pumped. My post next week will be from the show floor, and through the show, I’ll have blogs each night recapping the event.
  • The NFL kicks off this week, and I know my loyal readers want to know who I am picking, mostly because they’ll pick the opposite. (And those going to Vegas for the show I am sure will be betting on it!) So here it goes: your Super Bowl will be Baltimore vs. Chicago. Other playoff teams: AFC- New England, Denver, Houston, Tennessee, and the Steelers; NFC- Dallas, Green Bay, Atlanta, Seattle, and San Fran. Prediction to bet on: the Dolphins will not win a game this year. I hate that for my pal Manny, but that team is brutally bad.
  • Speaking of winning, Ohio beats Penn State. My pal and fellow alumnus Rodger Ruff of AGC predicted it, and I did not listen. (Shocking right, I took Penn State.) Now Ohio has a tough task ahead when it has to face New Mexico State, the alma mater of the very influential Viracon VP Garret Henson. I wonder if Garret will be giving the pre-game pep talk, as I know he's held in high regard by that team.
  • Shorter than normal post this week; believe me, we’ll make up for it over the next few weeks for sure.

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 28, 2012

Fall, or sweater weather as my wife calls it, is my favorite time of year. Crisp mornings, cool evenings, apple cider, falling leaves and high school football are some of my favorite things that come to mind when I think of time away from the business. 

When I think about fall in relation to business, I immediately think “Trade Show Season." Why? For well more than a decade, attending trade shows has become a part of my professional life. I call it "Trade Show Season" because my calendar is dominated by the GlassBuild America, glasstec, Vitrum and  WInDoor shows from August through November. And frankly, I really enjoy it.

Upon returning to my office after the first trade show I attended (I believe it was the iGw/FW show in Atlanta in 1999), I found a lanyard with my vendor badge attached to it in my luggage. Without much thought, I placed it on the doorknob on the back of my office door, not knowing that nearly 13 years of lanyards and badges would quickly accumulate there and become a daily reminder of Trade Show Season and the work associated with it.

 As an industry supplier, the goal of Trade Show Season (and I assume the same is true of all other suppliers) is to demonstrate what we have been working on over the past year, with the hope that we get slivers of time to educate clients and prospects about the benefits we have to offer and eventually make the sale.

Over the years, I have learned that the actual time spent at the shows is very small compared to the time spent preparing for and following up after the shows.  I am a strong believer in the old proverb, “failing to plan is a plan for failure,” so we dedicate many hours to every detail of our trade show efforts prior to the shows and then to following up with new prospects and existing clients after the show.

On a personal level, I enjoy attending shows not only to get another lanyard and name badge to hang on my door but to catch up with old friends as well. If you’re in Las Vegas for the Glassbuild America show, stop by our booth and say hello. I always have time to meet new friends.

Ron Crowl is president of FeneTech, the Aurora, Ohio, provider of software automation products and services to the glass, window and door fabrication industries. Write him at ron.crowl@fenetech.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.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Instead of starting with industry-related stuff this week, I’m leading off with the Lance Armstrong story. I am seriously conflicted here. On one hand, he could be a fraud because of doping. On the other hand, maybe he truly is innocent and is just giving up the fight. I do feel he is the victim of a witch hunt, and he has done a ton for cancer research.

I also cannot stand that our government wastes so much money chasing the Armstrongs and Clemens of the world. I think we have bigger problems than athletes taking performance-enhancing drugs. As for Armstrong, something just isn’t right here. He passed test after test for YEARS. He is being hung out to dry with no real proof. How is this right? Where is the smoking gun? Then again, why did he give up? In any case, this is a tough one, because he has worked hard on behalf of cancer research and other charitable causes. If he did cheat, however, how can you admire that?

Elsewhere…

  • News from the folks at Southern Aluminum Finishing on their succession planning: just smart business from really smart and classy people. I am big fan of the McClatchey family, and they do things the right way, in my opinion. This approach is just another example of such.
  • Also great news about one of my favorite people in the industry, Cameron Scripture of Viracon. I noticed he picked up a new gig within the company as western region architectural manager. Very cool; he will do quite well in that role as long as he isn't cast in some blockbuster picture with those movie star good looks!
  • Well, the Architecture Billings Index got better but was still underwater for July. I’d like to be done paying attention to these things, but I just can’t break my habit. I just hope they are wrong!
  • The weekly GlassBuild America update: the show is coming up quick, and the rush to register is on. In the past several weeks, I have hit on all the reasons why it is a must-attend event, so I won’t belabor the point other than to say, it is a MUST if you want to network and grow yourself and your business. Plain and simple. There’s still time, flights and hotels available. See you there.
  • Great article here on one of the major solar heavyweights that's starting to run into some serious trouble. The solar sector still has its positives (obviously what Guardian and Pythagoras are doing counts in that category), but there are some dark clouds too.
  • As I write this, Hurricane Isaac is bearing down on Florida and moving north. Hope everyone stays safe!!
  • So it is smack dab in the middle of Fantasy Football draft season. This week, people will be doing it up. I know my pal Scott Surma has done a bunch of drafts already, and I am still waiting on my buddy Cash to invite me to play again. And this year is the first one I can remember where three different guys could be #1 with Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster and LeSean McCoy all going atop the drafts. Last year, I took the year off from fantasy. This year, I am back…

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 20, 2012

"I like to think of sales as the ability to gracefully persuade, not manipulate, a person or persons into a win-win situation." - Bo Bennett

While listening to a local radio sports program the other day, I was struck by the attention to detail and strategy that Division 1 college coaches put into building an effective recruiting program. As I thought about how difficult it is for coaches to persuade talented recruits to come to their schools, it occurred to me that strong recruiting programs are essentially based on effective sales programs. And we, as sales organizations, can learn from them.

For example, the head coach of a major college sports program must have a highly detailed, multi-year recruiting plan with specific geographic areas and prospect classification that each assistant is responsible for.  Knowing their short- and long-term needs, the staff adjusts as necessary to build and maintain a strong lineup.  The recruiters know their school's strengths and weaknesses; they know their competitors; and they tailor their presentations and prioritize targets accordingly.

The coaching staff assesses prospective athletes and determines which athletes to pursue. Once they have scouted and prioritized those athletes, staff use mail, telephone, in-home visits and campus visits to stay in touch with the athlete, his family, his high school coach and others who influence him.  Often, the head coach will ‘close the deal.’ After signing the athlete, the staff stays in touch, pushes the athlete to get good grades and test scores, urges him to keep his personal life together, and eventually helps him adjust to college life.  While on campus, the coaching staff works to get the most out of the athlete, push him academically and help him plan for the future.

Of course, the staff loses out on some recruits and picks up others it didn’t anticipate.  Sometimes, the highly touted recruits don’t pan out, while less attractive athletes blossom.

The long-term key to recruiting success is a staff that builds strong relationships with everyone it comes in contact with. Meticulous planning, constant contact, and regular follow-up and progress reports are the hallmarks of a successful recruiting program.

Strong sales programs share these characteristics.

Everyone sells in a strong sales program, including the owner. The company has a highly detailed, multi-year plan with specific geographic areas and product specialties that each associate is responsible for. The business refocuses and reprioritizes its product/service line-up as sales grow or decline over time, or as the economy or sales conditions change.  A knowledgeable sales staff knows its strengths and weaknesses and those of its competitors, and tailors its pitch and calls accordingly.

Sales associates assess relationships with targets they choose to pursue.  Once they research and prioritize potential customers, the staff uses mail, email, telephone, in-office or in-home visits, etc., to build strong relationships and influence their target’s decisions about the company’s product/service offerings.  Maybe, the sales manager or owner ‘closes the deal’ when pursuing a project or cementing a relationship.  After the sale is made, staff members continue to work with the client to make sure everything goes well, thereby strengthening the relationship.

Of course, they don't always get the sale.  And sometimes, luck brings unexpected business their way.

Like the great recruiting programs, successful sales programs rely on building strong relationships with everyone the staff comes in contact with.  Sales success might come, or it might take awhile; but meticulous planning, constant positive contact with clients, and regular follow-up before, during and after the sale are hallmarks of the successful sales program.

"Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman - not the attitude of the prospect."
-W. Clement Stone

Rod Van Buskirk is the third-generation owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., with locations in Champaign and Springfield, Ill. A past NGA Chairman, Rod looks quarterly at the industry from the middle of nowhere, steals ideas from anyone he can and pretends to know what he’s talking about. Rod invites your comments as you are certainly smarter than he is.

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 20, 2012

Lots of people movement announced in the industry last week (Scott Hoover, John Rovi, Chris Grillot, to name three), and that is always exciting. But what's really interesting is the amount of sales management-related jobs that seem to be popping up. A quick look on LinkedIn or the National Glass Association's website reveals quite a few ads for companies looking for high-end sales professionals. The issue though is relocation: There are jobs but NOT where people are living right now, and that has become a real issue. Here are companies looking to upgrade or expand, but people just can’t--or won’t--go through the hassle/expense of the whole re-location gambit. And even if they wanted to, they can't because they're upside down on their current homes. So, while it is great to see the job movement that hit the news last week, there’s still a lot more that could happen if a few things would give. And if you are looking for employment and not using LinkedIn or the NGA’s website, you need to.

Elsewhere…

  • And speaking of new jobs, great news last week that Marc LaFrance of the DOE has a new one… far far far away in Paris at the International Energy Agency. Now those of you who know me, know I am not exactly a fan of how Marc conducted business at DOE (personally, I like him; professionally, not so much). So, the reason I am thrilled is maybe a new face and voice in the DOE will be a boost. (I’m lighting a candle for it as I type this.) It's a simple as that: Fresh blood, hopefully, will do us all good. And for Marc, a new post and new challenges hopefully will be good too.
  • GlassBuild America is now really close. I have been THRILLED in recent days to hear from so many who are coming to the show. The excitement is there, and that just makes my day. Why? Because the exhibitors this year are off the hook (good every year, I know), and they have so much to show and we all have so much to gain from them. The innovation and diverse products that will be on display are going to rule the day!
  • I’m also very pumped about the Glazing Executives Forum, where amazing industry people like Oliver Stepe of YKK AP, Garret Henson of Viracon, David Balik of GGI, Scott Clymire of United Architectural, Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning and Helen Sanders of SAGE will be among many other wonderful folks involved.
  • Saw the movie “Step Up Revolution” last week (my daughter is a dancer, so this is a must), and the best part was glass had a big role in the opening scene of the movie. We got a glass truck and several lites of heavy glass being painted during a performance scene. It was very cool. While everyone was watching the dancing, I was mesmerized by the glass. Man, I am an odd bird.
  • Last this week, the initial rankings for college football came out with USC as the preseason #1. I am not a fan of the Trojans, but that team is stacked. Alabama is #2 and LSU #3. Meanwhile, Michigan checked in at #8 but with a lone first place vote, which means Earnest Thompson of Guardian now must have a ballot in that poll! For my money, I like Wisconsin to win it all. And yes, now all of my Badgers friends have groaned that I put the kiss of death on them!

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.

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