From the Fabricator: The Hottest Product Line is...

To me there’s one trend that is dominating our industry, and it's probably not what you think. It’s a product line that fabricators are seeing as a great path to bottom-line success. It isn't anything to do with energy efficiency. That trend is major and constantly growing, with the utter importance of energy improving products on our industry receiving coverage here and throughout the media. But right now, that’s not the product segment that is seemingly growing at an insane clip. The hot mover is actually decorative glazing.

One look into the current issue of Glass Magazine tells the story. In the Top Glass Fabricators Products section, 13 of the 22 profiles are decorative related, with only three related to energy. Decorative glass allows fabricators to easily diversify business and help the bottom line. Add in smart suppliers—both from the paints and machinery side—and the entry into that world is not daunting at all.

With that said, do I wish that the pages of Glass Magazine were filled with new energy-related and innovative products? Sure. And I believe they exist, but they’re not as sexy from a promotional side as decorative, and the supply chain from the energy side is not as streamlined into the fabricator like the decorative suppliers are. Overall for me, I have been involved in decorative before it became hip, so it’s pretty amazing to see how it's absolutely taken off.

Elsewhere…

  • As I am known to do, I studied the ads in the current GM issue as well. Props to DFI for their very creative bridge ad. It’s memorable and different. And for many, makes us feel like we’re all in this adventure together.
  • Last week I talked about the BEC Technical meeting. This week, here is just a quick note on the overall conference scheduled for next month. A very strong agenda is in place; kudos to the excellent Jon Kimberlain of Dow Corning and his committee that put it together. From a glazier perspective, you just need to look at the afternoon session of day one and see the value in pieces on sealing, installation equipment, OSHA, codes and more. Day two features the celebrity talk with former Philly Eagles quarterback and current ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski. “Jaws” should be fun since he brings a boatload of energy to everything he does.
  • One of the former celeb keynotes at BEC was Mike Eurizone, the captain of the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1980. He mentioned in his presentation that, if his game winning shot went just one inch to the left, he’d be painting bridges in Boston now and not speaking to a bunch of glass people. I thought of him when the U.S. Women’s hockey team missed out on a gold medal by an inch when their empty net attempt hit the post. Heartbreaking for them. And yes, since both the U.S. Men and U.S. Women both lost to Canada, I will be singing “O Canada” in public, and on video in the coming months. Congrats to all of my friends up north on the wins!
  • One of those friends is Rich Porayko, who picked up a fantastic interim gig this past week as head of the Canadian Glass Association. Rich is a class act and excellent man, and the CGA tapped him to guide them through the process of finding a permanent executive director. I am confident Rich will do a great job for that organization and be a major asset to the new management that comes in. Plus I am jealous. I mean he’s running an organization for the entire country! That’s just awesome. Remember us little folk, eh Rich?

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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