glassblog

Monday, August 18, 2014

3D printing has changed architecture and design, allowing designers to visualize in true 3D how buildings or building components will appear. It is beginning to change construction, with 3D printers in the works that are large enough to print on the jobsite. And it has changed the way many in the glass industry work with glazing and project design.

“We can go from napkin sketch to full-scale 3D at light speed, a capability that is greatly appreciated by our clients,” says Mic Patterson, director of strategic development for Enclos Corp. (View a video of Patterson discussing how Enclos has incorporated 3D printing at its Advanced Technology Studio in Los Angeles.)

Now, a new technology could even replace the napkin sketch—a 3D pen that enables doodling in three dimensions, without paper or other supports.

Perhaps future design team meetings will include 3D sketches from everyone at the table.

Katy Devlin, Editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Does being very busy almost everywhere mean the industry is back and healthy? Was the industry ever really that healthy to begin with? Regardless of how you may feel about the second question, it’s the first question that needs to be examined. While many people report to me that their sales levels and backlogs are excellent, and the booming registration of GlassBuild America lead me to the conclusion that people are busier/happier than in the past, there’s still a nagging fear. That worry is couched in two areas: cash flow and the overall international economic conditions. Cash flow, as I have written here a few times, is still a challenge for many. There does not seem to be an easy fix, given that banks are still not providing that safety net that many companies were used to.

The overall economy still has issues and holes that are worrisome. This recent run is not built on a very solid foundation, and world (and in some cases domestic) volatility makes one very skittish. Regardless, this is the time to make it go. But keep an eye on all that is going on, so if the foundation cracks open, the fall may not hurt as much.

Elsewhere…

  • Some great reading in the most recent Glass Magazine. First off, major kudos to the three great industry pros in the G3 section who answered this month's question about expectations for GlassBuild. All three folks, Mike Wallace of Quality Metalcrafts, Lloyd Talbert of C.R. Laurence, and Alysa Hoffmeister of Dip-Tech gave thoughtful answers to the question and they all made a point to note that this show--the biggest and most important in our industry in North America--is a must to support. Companies like these and the hundreds others displaying in the show really GET IT.
  • Also my monthly award for best ad of the month was a tough one. Some excellent and creative work in the issue, but we can have only one winner and that goes to Kawneer for their smart “hole in the wall” piece. Very eye catching and well done! Love the picture and idea.
  • This very interesting and disturbing story on why some states are keeping the spread of solar panels down. This is surely not the direction our country needs to head!
  • An architectural message board I monitor had a wild thread this week. Actually, the thread started in 2009 and somehow was resurrected. The discussion was on annealed vs. tempered glass and the differences. Something we take for granted as a no brainer in our industry did garner some dialogue on this site. Even the great Bill Coady of Guardian jumped in and tried to educate, but discussion continued. In any case, the point here is what we take as simple may not be as such in other areas of the building product universe.
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been one of the most amazing grassroots charitable efforts I have ever seen. Basically people of all walks of life are challenged to donate or dump buckets of ice water over their heads. Most now are doing both to spread the word. To date, reportedly more than 15 million people have taken part. It is everywhere. The Atlantic wrote about why this process just exploded and provided more background if you are interested. This is a charity close to my family’s heart since our dad passed from this disease in 2001. My brother did the challenge (figures the smarter, more successful one of us led the way) and passed it on to my kids and me. We did it. And man it was cold. The evidence is my video of the week; please feel free to check it out. Also a thank you to the always-classy Mike Cully of United Plate Glass who did the challenge in honor of our dad.
  • Please, in the end, whether you donate to ALS or you have another charity or charities that you support, continue to do so. It is ALWAYS appreciated!

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 12, 2014

It was June 2008. Times were good. Sales and profits were up. Everybody was making money “while they slept." I attended my 1st meeting as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Glass Association. Rod Van Buskirk was the Chairman of the Board. Steve Mort was Chairman-Elect and Kevin McMahon was Treasure of the Board.

The Mortgage Crisis occurs in August 2008. Steve Mort becomes Chairman at GlassBuild America in September 2008. The NYSE plummets 778 points in October 2008. Mort challenges the NGA to make some tough cuts to survive the current economic downturn. All of the Board members begin paying their own travel expenses to the meetings. The January Board meeting is moved from a warm climate to Washington DC to save money. The Dow reaches its low of 6443 in March 2009. By August 2009 the economy is fully felt throughout the glass industry.

Kevin McMahon becomes Chairman at GlassBuild America in September 2009. Kevin had to deal with the tight economy as President of his own company and as Chairman of NGA. Furthermore, there was growing unrest among the Auto Glass Board members about other issues. Kevin had to manage those feelings and opinions. Eventually, all of the Auto Glass Directors served their term or resigned from the Board. It was a very tough year for Kevin. He is the greatest Chairman I served under.

Steve Burnett becomes Chairman at GlassBuild America in September 2010. Times are stabilizing and improving ever so slightly within the economy. The NGA is lean and efficient thanks to Steve Mort and Kevin McMahon. The NGA started the Window and Door Dealers Association (WDDA) and admitted its 1st representative, David Steele, to the Board. Steve Burnett keeps the Association rolling along on its path through the tough economy. Steve is blessed with a relatively calm year. The Board finally gets to have its winter meeting away from Washington DC. We go to San Diego and enjoy the “winter weather” there.

Chris Mammen becomes Chairman at GlassBuild America in September 2011. Times are continuing to improve. Four Board members, led by Chairman Mammen, make a surprise visit to NGA headquarters. The purpose is to see how the Association functions on a typical work day. The Staff is frightened by the visit. Eventually, most calm and accept the visit as a fact-finding trip. It’s another uneventful year for the Board. We go to Orlando for our winter meeting.

Bill Evans becomes Chairman at GlassBuild America in September 2012. Thankfully, for the industry, it was another calm year. GlassBuild is growing with more vendors/displayers. Attendance is improving as optimism about the economy grows. Jana Goodrich, the 1st female Board member in 20 years, joined the Board. I just kept the “ship sailing” while waiting for my successor to take the Chairman’s seat. 

Thankfully, Bob Brown assumes the Chairman’s role at GBA 2013.  Phil James, the President of the NGA for three decades, takes early retirement and Nicole Harris succeeds him as President. Phil did an excellent job of guiding, and building, the NGA throughout his tenure as President. Bob Brown orchestrates the transition. GlassBuild America 2014 is going to have more displayers and more attendees than any other GlassBuild during my term on the Board of Directors.

I have served under and with some great leaders while on the Board. They are all great. They made tough decisions, managed through crises, kept the faith, developed a new vision of the future, and continued the legacy. But the strongest ones have been Steve Mort, Kevin McMahon, and Bob Brown. They all encountered unexpected situations and handled each magnificently.

Bryan Bush will become Chairman at GBA 2014. He will lead the Board with a new President. He will be a great leader, and the NGA will flourish under his and Nicole’s leadership. Our industry is in very good hands. I will observe this from outside the Board as my term comes to a close.

Bill Evans is president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville, Tenn.

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 12, 2014

Recently the ranking of the top revenue producing architectural firms was released. The good news is that in 2013, total revenue grew at these firms from $10 billion to $11 billion. Obviously the uptick that our industry is seeing right now started on the boards of these groups last year. The #1 firm in the country, by revenue, in 2013 was not even close to the #2 firm. Bringing in more than $800 million in sales last year was Gensler. They doubled 2nd place CH2M Hill and 3rd place AECOM. Well-known names like HOK (8th) and Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (9th) also showed well. Nine of the top 10 were the same in 2013 as they were in 2012, which shows that those big players do have their ways of getting the work and holding their spots. Overall the growth is the best news of this story for sure.

Elsewhere…

  • Last week’s bird glass story surely hit home for many. I received some incredible and helpful feedback from great minds like Kerry Haglund and Frank D’Aprile among others. One of Kerry’s points was about the new law in place in Minnesota is that the stadium is basically skirting due to the time it was designed. (Also as Kerry pointed out, it was noted in Katy Devlin’s piece). Meanwhile Frank provided some excellent insight on the codes in various cities and things that we are all not paying attention to in this process.  Plus he left me with this excellent quote:

    “City folk love to encourage Mother Nature and her kin to visit their urban neighborhoods, while the very buildings in which they live may harm her."

    And while my issue was with the press aspect of the story, there’s no question we’re only touching the surface here. And with great minds out there on the case, this will be a problem that will be addressed well and hopefully solved in the long run.
  • Have to give props to Kevin Roth, Arbel Martin and the team from Vistamatic on their excellent new website. Believe me building or refreshing a website is not easy and these guys did a tremendous job with their new approach. Congrats!
  • Speaking of new sites, PPG also did an upgrade of their GlassNET site that was very strong and well done. It incorporates positive changes, including the fact that there’s more information, and it’s simpler to use than before, making this upgrade a winner. 
  • My weekly GlassBuild note… Have you registered yet? Made those plane reservations? Hotel? You are a month away. And a reminder, I will be on the floor in my bright yellow media vest (or looking like an airport worker as my brother Steve pegged it last year), so please stop me and say hi.
  • Last this week… if you have not seen Guardians of the Galaxy- give it a shot. I saw it and loved it. Funny, different and creative. Really worth the movie ticket that is 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.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A pretty significant story hit last week but  seemingly did not get much traction outside of its home market. A bankrupt solar manufacturer based in Pennsylvania won a $27 million judgment against a Chinese company that reneged on a pretty crucial deal. The story is pretty fascinating in that the bankrupt company had a chance to properly reorganize if the Chinese company did not run from their deal. Read the story here. The insight from this is being careful with who you are dealing with, especially when there’s so much at stake. And because of the foreign entities in this deal, who knows if the judgment will ever be paid. In the end, the bad thing is the solar manufacturer was actually being extremely responsible and trying to do the right thing, only to be thwarted by a company who, according to the court of law, did not come through on its commitment.

Elsewhere…

  • Can you believe it's August? My goodness this year is just flying by. Wow.
  • I was alerted to an article via the excellent Twitter feed of Conners Sales Group (@ConnersSales) that the Pittsburgh Convention Center has been upgraded from a Gold LEED Building to a Platinum LEED Building. The structure was certified Gold in 2003, and the story did not explain how or why this structure made the jump. For me that’s a new one. And I’d love to see how some of these buildings that were certified Gold and Platinum years ago look now with true energy targets—vs. results—to see if they really are that great. I guess anyone who reads this knows I am not a fan of LEED, and it's things like this that continue to make me question the way they do things. If someone has the insight on why and how this happens, and why it’s not a mainstream thing, please e mail me. I’d love to know and share.
  • The “Bird Glass” issue at the new Viking Stadium has gotten pretty newsworthy. When you have heavy hitters like the New York Times and Katy Devlin both weighing in on it, you know it’s big. My thoughts? It’s a PR job by the Audubon group to get their name in the paper and get more donations/support. Why else go public? The stadium is still a while away from being built, and I am sure with more discussion and dialogue a compromise could be worked out. But by coming out the way it did, it smacked of a powerplay to try and get the public to shame the builder into it. If this was closer to “go” time, I could see it, but it’s my guess that discussions were probably not that far along and this was used as a chance to hit the news. Maybe I’m wrong, but just a feeling. Oh, and in the end, I do believe that a compromise will happen. (And note, I do know we have great bird glass technology in this industry and want to see it used, just not thrilled with the way this one came down.)
  • So last this week, more GlassBuild America talk. I have to admit, being associated with the show gives me a unique perspective on it and also makes me biased. But I am what I am, so here goes. Right now, I am as excited as I have ever been about the event. I am hearing that pre-registration numbers are awesome and I know from talking to various folks around the industry that more are attending than have in the past. And people are coming with significant plans, either to find products, services, people or information that will help them in what is now becoming a healthy market. At the end of the day this show is OUR show. It’s an event that is a difference maker when it comes to your business and your career (it’s how most reps find new lines as an example). It’s the biggest and most impressive show you can attend in North America and it’s the one event where you can network, learn, find new products and services and do business at all levels all in one place. I think if you are not going this year you will not only be missing something epic, you will be in the minority 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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The problem of bird strikes on glass received a rare level of attention last week due to a controversy surrounding the $1 billion, glass-clad Minnesota Vikings stadium, currently under construction. Officials from the NFL team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said the organization would not spend an additional $1.1 million on bird-safe glass, despite concerns from the Minnesota Audubon Society that the stadium’s 200,000 square feet of glass could be a “death trap” for migrating birds.

According to a number of recent studies, between 400 million and 1 billion birds are killed annually in the United States from building impacts. In the Twin Cities, migratory birds from more than 125 species have died due to window impacts since 2007, according to the Audubon Society.

While the Vikings facility will follow “Lights Out” guidelines to protect birds at the stadium, officials said the budget would not allow for the additional expenditure of bird-safe glass. (Frustrating many in the debate is that the team’s refusal to expand the budget to prevent bird strikes comes just weeks after the team’s decision to expand the budget by $1.3 million for 1,200 additional televisions—on top of the 800 already included in the design—and for six more escalators.)  

It’s not that the designers of the building are eschewing environmental concerns. In fact, the opposite is the case. The stadium, which is expected to achieve LEED certification, is designed to take advantage of its transparent roof and walls to allow sunlight and natural heat into the facility, maximizing energy performance. “We think clear is the new retractable,” Bryan Trubey, spokesperson for architectural firm HKS, said during the initial design presentation in 2013. “The design reflects the true story of the Minnesota community with its international style driven by climatic response and energy conservation.”

The concerns over bird safety at the Vikings stadium shed greater light on the emerging conundrum of building green with glass—how to take advantage of the energy and environmental performance of glass while protecting birds.

A new LEED credit addresses bird-safe design measures, and several jurisdictions have instituted building requirements for bird-safe design criteria. (Interestingly, Minnesota was one of the jurisdictions that instituted bird-safe building rules for bonded buildings. However, the Vikings stadium, despite its public funding, was approved prior to the adoption of the bird-safe rules, and thus not obligated to comply.)

The glass industry offers numerous solutions that help prevent bird strikes—from more simple solutions such as fritting on glass to more complex bird-safe products, like glasses that appear clear to the human eye, but feature patterns visible to birds. The key is communicating the importance of using the available tools to architects and incorporating solutions into the design phase of the project—before it’s budgeted.

Katy Devlin, Editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our industry lost a unique and special person this month, a gentleman who did things his own way and did them extremely well. The passing of Al Shapiro, also known to many as “Active Al,” was a surprise and bummer to me. Al was a character through and through, but one who took legitimate interest in the lives of the people he was dealing with.

While he owned a few extremely successful operations, it was Active Glass that I dealt with. And despite being a nice guy, Al was unforgiving. He paid you fast (best around), so he expected to be first in line for everything. He rode me hard but also made sure that he took care of me and my company. He also had a huge heart. When my children were born, Al sent thoughtful gifts that we still have to this day. He always asked about everyone in my life as well. And while I didn’t communicate with Al much in the last several years because my life changed, when I ran into him, he was always as warm as ever- offering to give me as much business as I could handle (even if I wasn’t a fabricator anymore) and note that no one would pay me faster. Anyway, it was a shocking piece of news, and I am so sorry to see him go. My condolences to his family. Our industry and world lost a great one.

Elsewhere…

 

  • Are we as an industry in line for another battle? This past week the Urban Green Council took some shots at glass and its usage. Now what they said was not all wrong, in fact they made some good points about choosing materials wisely.  However, the title alone of “Urban Green Council Warns Against Glass Envelopes” does not portray us well. Especially in this short-attention-span society where most folks only read headlines. In any case it needs to be said that we’re still vulnerable and still not a product of choice. Oh, and my metal friends, there was a blast on you guys in there, too. So just a heads up, we once again have people taking shots…
  • Each month I read Glass Magazine and pick out the best ad of the issue. This month the kudos go to the gang at Quanex. Their ad for TriSeal was clean, sharp and bold. Good work with a really smart use of callout bubbles. It caught my eye for sure. Well done!
  • Also in Glass Magazine was a very powerful letter and picture to the editor by Joe Bruce of Guardian. I have known Joe for many years and he’s a tremendous guy. His letter on returnable racks and the cost of people discarding them was excellent and spot on. We can be our own worst enemy in this industry sometimes. Hopefully people will read Joe’s letter and be smarter and more respectful with other people’s property.
  • As you surely know, GlassBuild America is coming and I am starting to see more and more press releases on products that will be on the floor. One product that will catch people’s eye will be AGC’s Dragontrail. It is an ultra-thin glass that is mostly used in mobile devices and tablets but will also have expanded use in architectural applications. AGC will be doing a ball drop test in their booth showing this off, and it will be something to see. I believe it’s just a matter of time before “thin” glass starts to hit in many different applications… Good call by AGC to show it off at a show with the power and size of GlassBuild.
  • Last this week, the Architectural Billings Index continues to soar. I think from a sales standpoint things are solid out there. Not getting any complaints on that. Cash flow is a different story. It continues to be the bugaboo for many. Hopefully things will normalize on that end soon.

 

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, July 21, 2014

UPDATE (July 21, 2014):

In January 2009, I wrote this blog in response to a flood of emails I had received regarding a fake shipping scam targeted at small and mid-sized businesses that can cost companies upwards of $10,000, in addition to lost product and time. 

In the more than four years since publishing the blog originally, the post has received hundreds of comments from business owners worldwide that have been victims, or near-victims to these scammers. Several of these owners have offered a number of new red flags to help business owners spot these scams.

This blog update includes the new red flags and additional tips for business owners. Make sure your customer service and sales team is aware of the scam, so you catch on before you get caught. 

UPDATED: Red flags for fraud

  • Email orders with numerous typos and grammatical problems
  • Orders for large quantities product 
  • Orders that require long-distance shipping (often for products that could be easily sourced from a local supplier)
  • Orders that request use of a shipping company chosen only by the customer (unfamiliar companies that are not easily discovered in an Internet search)
  • Orders paid for with a credit card that has a different billing address than the shipping address
  • Orders from a Gmail, Yahoo or other free email account
  • Email orders with an overseas timestamp (often the timestamp doesn’t match the stated location of the purchaser)
  • Quotes for freight do not include a phone number
  • Orders through relay operator for the hearing impaired 


In August, we launched a Scam Alert page on GlassMagazine.com to alert readers of fraudulent ordering schemes, including scams using fake shipping companies. Since posting the warning page, I have received numerous e-mails and calls from small business owners and managers in and out of the industry who have been affected. The same scams that have plagued the glass industry have hit vinyl dealers, print shops and even ice cream truck suppliers. Many owners caught the scam in time. Others were not so lucky.

I don’t want to belabor the point—I have blogged and reported on these scams previously--but the best way, and seemingly the only way, to beat a scam is to stop it before it happens. Know their tactics. Know the red flags.

According to my scam sources (a.k.a., business owners that have been scammed or nearly scammed), this is how the fake shipping company scam usually works:

  • A customer contacts a shop via relay operator or e-mail to order a large quantity of product; in the glass industry, it’s usually 1/8-inch or ¼-inch annealed glass. (Red flags: The email exchanges are often littered with misspellings and poor grammar, and often come from a Gmail, Yahoo or similar free e-mail account.)

  • The customer wants to pay for the product with a credit card and wants to ship the order a large distance, sometimes the end destination is across the country, sometimes it’s on another continent. The purchasing credit card is usually stolen. (Red flags: Scammers usually place an order for products they could easily get from a local shop, and the credit card billing address doesn't match the shipping address.)

  • The customer says they want to use their preferred shipping company to transport the product. The customer asks the business to pay the delivery company directly and says they will send a check or money order the business to repay the delivery costs. (Red flag: Business owners have reported scammers request to use the shipping companies AGC Delivery International, Ox Direct Shippers or Cargo Trust Shipping Freight Co.)

  • After the business has paid the delivery company, the scammer’s check or money order won’t go through, leaving the business without the thousands of dollars of delivery costs and with wasted product.


“We almost got taken. We had a order for approximately $12,000.00 to be shipped to Ghana. $6000.00 of that was shipping to be paid to via money gram to Agc Delivery International,” one business owner told me in a recent email. "I did not start checking things out until the three cards they gave me were declined. I typed the delivery company and your site popped up.”

Visit the Scam Alert page to see the latest postings from other business owners.

If you are contacted by a scammer, tell your peers and tell us. We’ll anonymously post your scam stories, fraud identification tips and any other advice you have on our Scam Alert page to help warn other business owners. Leave a comment on this blog, or e-mail me directly.


Katy Devlin, Editor, Glass Magazine
 
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The World Cup of Glass final is coming up, but before that, let’s talk about some other winners: the folks who have made it to the finals of the Glass Magazine People Awards. These awards are truly the industry gold standard. Nominations come from the industry and voting is done by the industry. Winning here is a huge honor. Once again this year, amazing candidates from all over the country have been nominated.

I am familiar with all three finalists in the “Best Sales Representative” category, and picking a winner will be pretty impossible for me. I have known Dan Pompeo for a very long time and he is amazing—tons of energy and he always comes through. I have worked with Stacey Quesada of Glass Apps on a few occasions and her attention to detail and follow up is one of the best in my experience. I have always heard great things about Zach Passman, so seeing him on this list was no surprise at all. It's a tough one, but I will eventually pick someone, and everyone out there should do the same—for this category and the others as well. These folks are all winners in the fact they made it this far, and it will be fun to see who gets the nod for being the best in 2014! Voting ends July 31st.

Elsewhere....

  • So it’s the finals of the World Cup of Glass. Our three finalists are USA, Germany and Italy. Each won in their respective “group” over the last few weeks. Now they face each other. Four categories; points are: 3 for first, 2 for second, and 1 for third. Most points wins. Here goes:

Innovation:

USA 3
Germany 2
Italy 1

The United States actually gets lucky that it faces these two in this category. While the U.S. is strong in innovation, it's not dominant. But compared to the competition, it still takes this category.

Quality:

Germany 3
USA 2
Italy 1

Maybe it’s a myth, but I do subscribe to the theory that Germany is the home of the best quality products around.

Products:

USA  3
Italy 2
Germany 1

The United States dominates here, based on sheer product range and usage. Picking second was harder, but I went with Italy based on their decorative product lines.

Industry Support:

USA 3
Italy 2
Germany 1

I almost went with Italy for No. 1 because of how they really step up to support GlassBuild, but the Italian contingent is not that active at the trade or code level so there’s no way they could be first. 

Final Total:

USA 11
Germany 7
Italy 6

Final conclusion: This was a fun exercise to do. The one downer is that we’re not unified from a world standpoint when it comes to code and design. That is something that needs to be improved upon. I will say that it gets me excited that events like GlassBuild America bring ALL of these countries together on one floor, so you can see the greatness in action from all over!

  • Speaking of GlassBuild America, I am really excited about a few things, but the one callout I’d like to make this week is to the folks who are taking major sponsorship roles. These companies realize that they are supporting the industry and the industry's largest North American show, while also getting amazing brand recognition. So major props to Quanex, Bohle, Dip Tech, GGI, Hartung Glass, Kuraray America, Diamon-Fusion, YKK AP America, Guardian, SAPA, Dow Corning, FMI and Pilkington North America for stepping up. 
  • Last this week: A quick personal note. My nephew Josh, who has been in the industry now for several years including his current run at W.A. Wilson, got engaged over the weekend. Congrats to Josh and we’re thrilled that our family is getting a great new addition with Nicole!

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, July 14, 2014

As the soccer World Cup ends, our glass world cup competition still has two more steps to go. This week was the debut of the good ol' USA and they did not disappoint, but I have a feeling they will find the finals much tougher! For this round the foursome was the United States, Spain, Japan and Russia. Since it's been a few weeks a quick reminder on the categories for scoring: Innovation, Products, Quality and Industry Support.

For this round, the glaring omission of France really played out. When the tallies were added, Russia really was not ready for this tourney. While they have what is considered to be an awesome trade show, they’re still quite a bit behind in every other category at this point. Japan and Spain both had solid showings and may have done better in a different group. Spain, with its dominance on the decorative side and strong support of the industry showed well, and Japan, with major float players and some solid innovations, helped mask its limited industry support.

Meanwhile, the United States won the group because innovation is still strong, and industry support is significant, despite what many may think. The final totals: USA, 15; Spain, 10; Japan, 10; Russia, 5. So next week is the final. It will feature the United States, Germany and Italy. There is no question this will be a very difficult one to score with each country bringing so much into the process. 

Elsewhere…

  • A hearty congratulations to Steve O’Hollaren of ICD for passing his LEED Green Associates exam; that is NOT an easy test. Great work sir. Can’t wait to call you with lots of LEED-related questions!
  • While we’re patting people on the back, kudos also to Dip-Tech on the launch of their new blog/newsletter. The folks there obviously put a ton of time, thought and planning into it because it was a really sharp and organized effort. Something I look forward to receiving on a regular basis!
  • The Dodge Momentum index is up again for 3rd straight month. Overall, the indicators have been solid and momentum for sales has shown to be positive. The worry, I believe, continues to be cash flow. All in all though, summer is off to a solid start.
  • I think I was the last person in the U.S. to see the movie “Frozen,” and I enjoyed it, as it was typical Disney. But the reason I write this is that I read people have been waiting up to 6 hours to meet the “princesses” at the theme parks. SIX HOURS. It got me thinking: Is there anyone that I would wait 6 hours for, to just get to say hi. I mean if it was a 6-hour wait and you get some time with the person, then sure I could name a few, but just to shake a hand or get a picture? Not sure I can come up with a living person. 
  • Pretty cool case study I read recently on the social effect of “green” products. Two sets of hand sanitizer were laid out at a trade show. One was marked with one basic title. The other with a similar title, but noted it was “green.” So during the event the table was watched onsite and discreetly. When someone was standing at the table, the large majority went for the “green” product. When no one was working the table, the totals flipped the other way; many more went for the regular product. Goes to show you we still have a society that has people who say the right things and may publicly try to do, but in private still do what they are more comfortable with.

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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