From the Fabricator: Fearless Forecast
I hope everyone had a great set of holidays and is ready for a super year ahead. I have very positive feelings about 2014. I liked the way 2013 ended, with most companies busy and most regions seemingly in good shape economically. And I liked the forecasts, even though I know they are usually wrong. More than that, it’s just a feeling I have that we have very good things coming our way in the next year. And so to get it started, here are my five industry predictions for the next 12 months.
- There will be one major acquisition in the glass fabrication side of the business that will have the industry buzzing. Otherwise, 2014 will be light on the merger/acquisition side. But look out, 2015 will be crazy with them.
- Both GANA BEC and GlassBuild America will be hugely successful. And yes, I have worked or do work with both of these, so consider my bias. But I will say both are primed for big years. The BEC 2014 has a very strong agenda, and I have seen the plans for GlassBuild America. I promise you that you will be impressed and want to be there.
- A new green rating system will start to take hold. Right now LEED is beyond dominant and will continue to be the major player, but look out for one of the smaller organizations to break through. (More on that possibility below.)
- The code battles will continue, and I believe an unlikely ally (another industry) will join forces with the glass industry, giving us a stronger voice in the proceedings.
- The use of 4th surface low-E will continue to grow and become a much bigger player in the specification process.
I could go on and on, but this gives you a taste of what I see in my crystal (glass) bowl.
- I noted above that LEED will be challenged more significantly in the new year, and I truly believe that. Whether it's from its opponents who may be working off of misconceptions or desire to improve their own interests, or from better systems, I think it's going to happen. Want more flavor on it? Check out this story.
- During my break I was almost tempted to log on and blog when I saw the blurb about the NFRC seeking more commercial manufacturers to come on board to support the CMA process. Evidently, the commercial manufacturer has been slow to accept and jump on the NFRC’s program. That does not shock me at all, and I think the mountain here is very high to climb. They are doing some of the right things to improve their communication, but there’s still that nagging issue of its actual need. The NFRC has effectively (although this is debatable, too) made the case for need on the residential side; it’s still never come close to being successful on that effort on the commercial end of things.
- One forecast I really hope is accurate is the “Smart Glass” one, projecting $700 million in 2013. I am so into that space and hopeful for it. It truly is the disruptive force we need to keep moving our industry forward.
Some random notes from my time off:
- Those of you who fly, you have to love the Delta safety video. They took the most-ignored process on the plane, and went creative with it, and it's brilliant.
- I saw Saving Mr. Banks over the break. Great movie. And Emma Thompson is your lock for Best Actress Oscar.
- I also saw a great documentary on the group Journey and their new lead singer from the Philippines. They found him while searching YouTube, and this movie told the entire story. My bet is this will become a Disney movie soon; too amazing of a story not to.
- I'd like the Seattle Seahawks—my favorite team as a kid—to win the Super Bowl. I hope I’m not jinxing my friends in the Northwest with that pick, but I love Russell Wilson and really think he gets it done.
Stay warm folks... this winter blast is off the charts....
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.