From the Fabricator: A Tough Deal

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.


  • 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

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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