glassblog

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I recently received an email from Tim Casey at Jockimo telling me about a fascinating collaboration for his company: Solar Roadways. I think the developers explain it best in their now viral YouTube video, as “technology that replaces all roadways, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, tarmacs, bike paths, and outdoor recreation surfaces with solar panels. And not just lifeless, boring solar panels. Smart, micro-processing, interlocking, hexagonal, solar units.”

And, they are topped with glass. Jockimo, in conjunction with Solar Roadways, has developed a cast textured glass surface that can handle heavy traffic while allowing sunlight to pass through to solar cells beneath.

“It’s estimated that if all roads in America were converted to Solar Roadways, the country would generate three times the electricity we currently use,” according to developers.

This technology is still in its infancy. (The company is five days away from completing an already successful crowd sourcing campaign to bring Solar Roadways beyond the prototype stage.) But imagine the impact of just converting even just a fraction of our roadways (big box parking lots, perhaps?) into electricity-generating surfaces.

Perhaps the most innovative aspects of Solar Roadways are the “extras.” The panels stay slightly above freezing, melting any snow and ice. LED lights can easily be incorporated into the panels, allowing for any necessary surface signage (lane markings, warning signs, parking lot configurations, etc.). The surfaces are pressure sensitive, warning drivers of debris or even animals in the road ahead. And the roadways contain two corridors: one is a cable corridor, to replace the necessity of overhead power and telephone lines; the other is a water runoff corridor.

Could the future of our roads lie in solar panels?

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.
Monday, May 26, 2014

Huge news broke last week with the announcement of a new program and how it relates to you and your educational “must haves." Express Learning will be held on the floor at GlassBuild America. There have been education sessions in the past, but they were usually in a conference room a few floors above the exhibit hall. These sessions will be on the actual trade show floor and will be short, 20-minute sessions—the perfect length for learning. And did I mention it’s FREE? If you are an attendee or exhibitor at the show, you can come to as many sessions as you want, free of charge.

Some awesome subjects are on the docket as well—subjects that can make a significant difference in your business and approach, such as “Solving our Workers Shortage” and “Help Architects Help You.” “Solving our Workers Shortage,” should be front and center on everyone’s mind. This is basically a crisis right now, so any insight and education is a must.

I’ve always said those who don’t come to the show get left behind by their competitors. Now with this Express Learning program, it's even more crucial you attend and get involved.

Elsewhere…

  • An industry classic, Jim Roesing, announced his retirement this past week. President of Super Sky, Jim stepped down after leading that company since 1987, with 47 years total in the business. I had the honor of working for a short time with Jim, and it was a tremendous experience. This is a guy that changed the way the modern commercial skylight was developed and installed. He was a true pioneer. Plus he looks just like the most interesting man in the world (the one from the Dos Equis commercials), and easily can tell stories that would make him eligible for that title if it were real. Our industry will miss him for sure. Enjoy the retirement, Jim!
  • Katy Devlin's blog from last week on Las Vegas was excellent reading. The stories behind the whole City Center project would make an amazing book. I wish I had the time, money and talent because I’d love to do it. So much fodder—from the planning, the financing, the building, the problems, etc. It would read better than any thriller on the market today. Or, at least a fun book for construction geeks, like myself.
  • The Dodge Momentum Index had a nice jump in April after a couple of down months. I think people are now getting busy in every region. The worry now is two fold: finding workforce (as noted above) and dealing with cash flow. Both issues really have a serious way of dampening the enthusiasm of a busier stretch.
  • Last this week, I find myself rooting hard for the gang at the Green Building Initiative, and I believe you all should as well. I have been outspoken against LEED for its various issues, but I dislike nothing more than a monopoly for services or ratings. LEED right now is the biggest and baddest on the block, but the Green Building Initiative is making inroads. The Green Building Initiative had two interesting releases recently, one showing a diverse list of new projects that received their certifications, and a second comparing their cost on a project to that of LEED. The second is worth the read, especially when you see LEED’s cost in the six-figure range, while Green Building Initiative comes in at less than $10,000. Competition is a very good thing folks, let's hope this gets embraced because green building is only going to grow. We need good and logical options to rate and certify it. 

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, May 19, 2014

The Las Vegas economy and construction market is showing signs of new life, with unemployment on the decline, and new building on the rise. But as home building improves, and construction cranes begin to populate the strip in increasing numbers, I have to wonder if the rebounding Las Vegas has learned from the sins of its past?

The Great Recession hit Las Vegas hard. Very hard. In fact, Las Vegas’ economy during 2008 and 2009 was the fifth-worst among 150 metropolitan areas worldwide, according to a Brookings Institution and London School of Economics study, as reported in the Las Vegas Sun.

The ramifications of the city’s withered economy were brutal, particularly to the local construction industry. When the economy tanked, the Las Vegas Strip was littered with halted cranes, stalled projects, and abandoned plans. In 2007, an additional 51,000 hotel rooms were expected to come online by 2012. By 2009, only 19 percent of those rooms were on track to be completed.

Las Vegas is known for its overindulgence. But, that overindulgence stretched developers in the city to overbuild. In the rush to build, the quality of work suffered. (See a mid-recession glassblog, “All’s Quiet on the Vegas Strip” for details on both the stalled projects and construction problems).

The Harmon hotel tower is one of the most infamous examples of Las Vegas’ building boom, and subsequent bust. (Read a 2010 GreatGlazing feature to learn about the project itself. It is pretty spectacular from a glass point of view).

"More than anything, the Harmon, designed by the noted architects Foster & Partners, stands as a symbol of overconfidence and an overextended construction industry rushing to keep pace with a boom of building and profits that gripped Las Vegas 10 years ago: an era when few people could foresee a day of too many hotel rooms and gambling tables, of an economic downturn so severe it could keep tourists away," described Adam Nagourney in a 2013 New York Times article about the project.  

Last month, a judge approved the floor-by-floor demolition of the never-occupied Harmon—or, Las Vegas' most expensive billboard, as it has become known. (The only use of the $275 million building since its construction has been its high-profile advertising real estate, with giant banner ads hung across the front façade.)

The dramatic story behind the now notorious Harmon tower could occupy its own glassblog series, from its celebrated beginnings as the cornerstone of the iconic CityCenter project, to the discovery of major construction defects, to the release of findings that the tower was too unsafe to occupy, to the quagmire of legal challenges and financial problems, through the final decision to demolish.

The Harmon is perhaps Vegas’ greatest construction catastrophe of the Great Recession. But it is one of many, evident in the shells of unfinished buildings still lingering on the Strip that will “mar the skyline for years to come; their decay a testament of false hopes,” said columnist David G Schwartz in a 2013 Vegas Seven article. For more examples, see the $3 billion Fountainbleau, expected to be demolished before it was even completed; the unfinished Echelon (though word has it that project will be revived as part of a resort); and the dozen or so others listed here.

I am delighted to hear about the pick-up in the Vegas economy—it is good for construction, and good for glass. And it’s just in time for the industry’s largest show, GlassBuild America, where new products and building solutions can redirect for stronger, longer lasting construction and communities. A smarter, more sustainable building boom could keep the city's economy jumping for a long time to come.  

Devlin is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.
Monday, May 19, 2014

One area where the glass and glazing industry is a true leader is in hurricane glazing products. Time after time, when a hurricane hits, buildings that use hurricane protective glass and metal come through with flying colors. So it's no secret that this industry follows closely the annual hurricane forecasts put out by various weather agencies ahead of hurricane season starting on June 1.

Right now, the United States is on a record run with it being nine years since a major hurricane (one that is classified as a 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale) hit landfall. As an example, “Super Storm Sandy” last year was only a category 1. The last major hurricane was Wilma in 2005. For this year, the forecasts are once again calling for the season to be below average, but the experts are worried since this nine-year streak is now the longest on record since 1878.

Among the weather experts, there’s a gut feeling that our luck is about to run out and we may see that major hurricane this season. Given the absolute craziness of our current weather patterns, I for one would not rule that out. The clock starts in a few weeks; we’ll see if we once again dodge the major bullet, but if not, at least we know the products this industry provides will once again be doing their jobs well.

Elsewhere…

  • A friend of mine this week sent me a copy of the wildest specification they have ever seen:

"Items listed with no substitute manufacturers have been requested by Owner/Architect to match existing for continuity and/or future performance and maintenance standards or, because the owner just wants it that way.” 

Gotta love that last line. I was not told which product that this was for, but man I wish I had that sort of protection back in the time I was in manufacturing.

  • A major congratulations to Chris Dolan of Guardian Industries on his newest position at the company. Chris is now Director of Marketing- North America Flat Glass and the promotion is well deserved. Chris is the “MegaTron” of the industry (see my past fantasy football article) because of his ability to be in so many areas and do them all extremely well. He’ll absolutely do a great job with this new challenge!
  • Not only are the people at Google interested in the world of “glass,” but they’ve also developed a self-driving car. Seriously. After reading this article, I can tell you there’s no way I could ever sit in a vehicle and trust it the way Google expects you to. It’s a computer after all. And my luck would be, while the car was speeding down the road, the computer would get hung up like my home one does on random e-mails or websites. To me this may be scarier than anything else Google is developing.
  • Oh, and speaking of Google, if you have an account with them for Gmail or Youtube etc. you may want to check out this article about Google using your face and name in their ads. If you don’t want to be in them, the article does give you instructions on opting out.
  • If you are a manufacturer and you have not checked out Katy Devlin’s article on the new, serious wrinkles to LEED version 4, you need to do so. The issues she brings up in the piece will affect you and your business. You really do need to start understanding them.  
  • With Memorial Day next week let’s remember those men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the United States at home and abroad. And as always, please keep all veterans and currently serving military folks in your thoughts as the jobs they did and continue to do are truly heroic.
  • Lastly, great comments left on the blog last week, and thank you to everyone who left them. I appreciate you all taking the time and adding to the flavor of the blog. Please keep them coming!

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, May 12, 2014

I was fascinated this week about some energy efficient stats that the excellent John Wheaton posted on his twitter feed. The information made it pretty clear where our major issue is from an energy efficiency standpoint. Our problems are not as much with the buildings we are constructing now (though some are not good energy-wise), but with the existing building inventory that is outdated and guaranteed to be not even close to the energy standards that everyone wants/needs to achieve.

John posted stats from a conference he was attending, including: 93 percent of the current commercial building stock was constructed before 2003; and 74 percent before 1989! That is simply mind blowing. While many of those buildings have at least insulating glass (in the regions where it makes sense), many likely have outdated (or no) high performing glass, spacers and aluminum in them. So, while the push forward to build “better buildings” continues, we really need to examine the ones that are already up…

Elsewhere…

  • I was very happy for the fine folks at ICD on the announcement of the groundbreaking of a new facility. The Vockler family is pure class, and is flanked by great people like Steve O’Hollaren and Jim Butler, that just make them even better. This new step I am sure is very exciting for them and I know great things will come from it!
  • I do start to wonder what’s in the water in the Pacific Northwest. Every week I am congratulating someone from that area—Garibaldi, TGP, Hartung, ICD, NWI, Bill Coady, Rich Porayko, Chris Ketchum, Darand Davies, Washington Glass Association etc… What an area for solid companies and people.
  • Just a reminder on a great tool that I had to use this week for a friend. The Efficient Window Collaborative has a window selection tool on their website that is simply awesome. It’s great way to determine the best windows to buy for your home and the tool continues to become easier and easier to use.
  • Speaking of really helpful tools, for the first time I was able to use PPG’s “Glass eView,” and it was really strong. It offers lots of different options and uses. I was on there for a lot longer than I planned.
  • To me there’s nothing more frivolous in our economy than spending on political campaigns. While I realize it does help some aspects of the economy (TV Stations and Graphic Artists/Ad Agencies) the money spent is downright insane. In Michigan, it’s expected that $50 million will be spent on the senate campaign. $50 MILLION. Something is seriously wrong with this picture. I am sure 2016 Presidential campaign will break the BILLION dollar mark. And really, for what?  
  • Last this week… I got my new issue of Glass Magazine this week. Awesome as always. (And a special kudos on the graphic layout. Really impressive!) And, like I have been doing each month, I’m noting the ad in there that jumps out and impresses me. M3 Glass Technologies did it this month with a clean and catchy piece that made me stop and read. Nice job!

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, May 12, 2014

“Finding the really outstanding companies and staying with them through all the fluctuations of a gyrating market proved far more profitable to far more people than did the more colorful practice of trying to buy them cheap and sell them dear.” – Philip A. Fisher

It’s come to my attention that at least three commercial window manufacturers in my region are selling windows direct to general contractors and building owners. This is nothing new.

Many commercial window manufacturers are still recovering and are desperate to build back the volume they had pre-recession. Some commercial window manufacturers never did develop good sales teams and don’t understand the value of an effective window dealer network or how to build it. In each case the desperate manufacturers and their regional representatives try a time-worn quick fix—they sell direct to general contractors and building owners.

Here’s the typical pattern: Executives are hired by desperate manufacturers to help turn around a slow sales pattern. These inexperienced and hungry manufacturer’s executives know they need sales quickly. They and their reps get the brilliant idea to sell product direct to general contractors and building owners and the manufacturer lands some big jobs quick.

The manufacturers are delighted at first to get some jobs…they then see their sales plummet. The manufacturer’s national window dealers eventually find out about the manufacturer’s direct sale practices, so the dealers stop representing those manufacturers. The manufacturers then realize they do need the dealers to consistently generate sales, handle sales effectively within their regions, and guide the sale, purchase and installation process to completion. The manufacturer then stops selling direct and comes back to the dealers asking forgiveness. But it may be years before the manufacturer regains a presence in that marketplace. Which brings me to a business fable…

Once upon a time, long ago, in a prosperous United States, there were strong and respected fenestration manufacturers. Many of them were old, great companies, who developed great products that became widely used throughout the land. New manufacturers came along, and they copied the products of the old, great companies. But there was enough business for everyone, so the people built nice buildings and all were happy.

One thing these manufacturers had in common is they had great sales teams. These executives knew their products, understood sales cycles, fixed problems, and above all, they built dealer networks and worked closely with their dealers.

Yes, I know it sounds impossible, but the manufacturers of old took their dealers by the hand and trained them in the business. The dealers learned about the manufacturers’ products and services, and in turn the dealers sold and serviced the manufacturers’ products. In many cases, the manufacturers had high standards for who could become their dealers. Not just anyone could be a manufacturer’s dealer, and manufacturers awarded loyal dealers geographic territories to roam around in and sell. And all was good.

And then dark clouds covered the land. The old, great manufacturers changed. The newer manufacturers changed. Greed, inexperience, and fear blinded all the manufacturers. In their zeal to cut costs and look only at the short term profits, the manufacturers forgot how their sales teams controlled the industry and had built great dealer networks who brought them wonderful, consistent business. So it was then that the manufacturers cut their sales teams back, forgot how to build their business for the future, and cast their dealers adrift. And the manufacturers shrank, and became victims to the changing economy.

After many years, one of the manufacturers became tired of being small, having an erratic sales pattern, and unreliable dealers. This manufacturer learned of the past, prosperous years with consistent sales volume. And so the manufacturer decided to build back a strong sales team. They took the time to learn about dealers and build a loyal dealer network. Their dealers were each given a specific geography to cover. Those dealers were trained, and the manufacturer’s sales team worked hard to please the dealers. And the manufacturer became great again. Their dealer network shined and built the business for the future. The other manufacturers saw this, and began to follow the example. And so everyone became prosperous again, and joy reigned throughout the land. And they all lived happily ever after!

The Moral of the Story: Invest in your sales team. Carefully select strong dealers for your network. Train your dealers. Give your dealers geographic exclusivity. Build for the future. And live happily ever after.

“If you don't have my back when I'm struggling for success, you can’t be by my side when I eventually succeed.”– Rashida Rowe

Rod Van Buskirk is the 3rd generation owner of Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co. in Champaign & Springfield, Illinois. A past NGA Chairman, Rod looks 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, May 5, 2014

I think most people who know me, know that I do love recognizing people on this blog. I enjoy acknowledging those folks who deserve it and letting the world know what I know: These are good people! Well each year the folks from Glass Magazine do the “recognition” process better than anyone with their Glass Magazine Award People Categories. Getting the thumbs up with these awards is the industry's most prestigious honor, and now’s your chance to nominate those people who should be in the running. Nominations are open until May 15, so this is the time to nominate who you think is the best project manager, best production supervisor, best sales rep and best installer. After the finalists are named it will come down to the popular vote. But your best can’t win if they're not nominated; so get to it. 

Elsewhere…

Zurich Airport, from Rob Botman, Glassopolis
  • The airport piece I had last week hit home for a lot of folks and I even got pictures from one of our industry's most tuned in people. Rob Botman of Glassopolis shared shots from the Zurich Airport. Bright and clean, and a good use of glass floor to ceiling. So, folks as you travel, shoot some pictures at the airports you visit (and the good use of glass) and I’ll run them here. (As I figure out how to strategically place them of course!) Thank you. I just wish I was at Dulles to grab some shots.
  • Speaking of shots, Joe Carlos of Triview sent me one that depressed me. A picture giving me the news that gas is already way over $4 in California. That means, while most states will break the $4 mark this summer, California will probably top $5. That’s depressing.
  • Congrats to the fine folks at Technical Glass Products for winning the Seattle Magazine award for Manufacturer of the Year in the state of Washington. A well-deserved honor. I can tell from visiting there last year that TGP is in a class by itself when it comes to its plant and manufacturing operation. A big year for the team at TGP, too. First their beloved Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and now this!
  • I have no clue what “Foursquare” is, but no way willI ever use it after reading that the founder's wife stole a bib to run in the Boston Marathon. This story tells it better than I can. I just hate when people who don’t get what they want decide to cheat to get it.
  • California Chrome wins the Derby. Look out folks; we may have a Triple Crown winner for the first time since 1978.  The only horse that can stand in his way is Untapable. We'll see.
  • Last this week, it’s May. I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. Maybe partly since it still feels like winter in Michigan.

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, May 5, 2014

My father was a member of the G.I. Generation (1901 – 1924), and he realistically employed three generations of people. His customer base was, primarily, also three generations. I am a Baby Boomer (1946 – 1964), and employ and sell to four generations. The trick is being able to reach and communicate with each of these generations. Let’s define the generations. 

The Silent Generation (1924 – 1946), age 68 – 90, is still active in the workforce and is still buying glass and related goods. They get their information from newspapers, television and word-of-mouth. They use computers and Smart phones as tools, but trust information in print and from personal relationships. They are “Old School Traditional thinkers.” They are the great grandparents. 

The Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964), age 50 – 68, are very active in the workforce and often are at senior positions in their established companies. They get their information, primarily, from television and computers, with support from newspapers and smartphones. Some have teenage children, but most are grandparents. 

Generation X (1964 – 1982), age 32 – 50, are also very active in the workplace. They are “climbing the corporate ladder,” or building their businesses. Many are parents of young children. They get their information from computers and smartphones with little impact from newspapers and television. 

The Millennials (1982 – 2001), age 13 – 32, are still in school or relatively new to the workplace. There are a larger than ever number of Millennials living at home. The minority are parents and they, almost exclusively, get their information from smartphones. 

Communication with all of these groups involves two items: the message and how are you're delivering it. Tailor your message and its delivery method to each respective generation. The message doesn’t change. The emphasis is altered depending upon the target generation. 

In general, as employees, The Silent Generation and The Millennials are very similar. Both want to have fun at work.  For different reasons, both want to work limited hours. And also for different reasons, both generations tend to be short-term thinkers.  

As customers, The Silent Generation and The Millennials couldn’t be more different. Silenters buy as a reward to themselves or to help them adapt as they age. Silenters have lived for delayed gratification and now are reaping their reward. They buy things that are practical yet plush. Millennials are much more “me” oriented. They buy because it’s fashionable and want instant gratification. As a general rule, they are less interested in longevity of a product because they view many things as disposable. 

To me, as a salesperson and employer, The Baby Boomers and Generation X are very similar. As employees, they take a longer term view because they have responsibilities. As a general rule, they are both still working for achievement. Both generations are dependable as employees. They work until the job is done regardless of how long it takes. 

As customers, they are also very similar. As a general rule, the products these generations buy don’t have to be as cutting edge as Millennials, but more modern than The Silent Generation demands. Both use glass more than the other generations. Both want a good value. 

In summary, we interact with four generations. We all get in the habit of thinking everyone is like "me." Each generation has its own peculiarities. How do we communicate with each respective generation? The most important thing is just to be aware of the differences. The differences include how each thinks, how each communicates, what is important to each, and how they make employment or buying decisions.

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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

With the whole “Glass” debate happening thanks to Google, I've been taking a longer and harder look at where glass products are being used. One building area that uses glass extremely well is new and remodeled airports. I seriously think you could have your next trade conference inside Dulles Airport and just spend hours looking at all the glass—where it's used, as well as the multiple styles in play. Or you can go to Terminal B at Newark International, or the car rental center in Atlanta, among many others. Glass plays a massive role in this segment. Dulles, in particular, is truly impressive as it uses floor-to-ceiling glass and everything in between. Honestly, I think if you took the folks from the Patent and Trademark Office to Dulles (not far from their offices) and showed them the way that glass works, this whole effort would be done with.

On the whole Google note, feedback to my last post was excellent; thank you to all. But one specific shout out to reader Celia who brought the following comments to the table:

Interesting take on the Google glass issue; I didn't realize that it was such a hot item. What kind of effect do you think this would actually have on the glass industry if Google succeeded? Trademarking common words also came up recently in the news, regarding Candy Crush. The app creators have trademarked the word "Candy" in the European Union, although it was denied in the U.S. Also, Xavier Morales points out that "Apple," "Time," "Shell" and "Caterpillar" are trademarked common words. Apparently, sometimes, it's quite appropriate to "own" generic words.

On the issue of "effect" on the glass industry, I honestly am not sure. I don’t like our livelihood being owned by a company that seemingly owns so much already. But maybe this is much ado about nothing? On the second point, I did not realize—and it's pretty wild—that trademarking generic words is possible. All I know is every time I had to work with a trademark lawyer on anything it was painful and those were SPECIFIC materials and not generics!

Thank you Celia for the note and everyone else who commented both publicly and privately!

Elsewhere…

  • Don’t forget this Wednesday is the Mid Atlantic Glass Expo. It should be an excellent show as always!
  • An ugly Architectural Billings Index hit in March. This index baffles me. Sometimes I think it only exists to give me monthly fodder for my blog. The index in March was down below the break-even mark and it was attributed to possibly being affected by the horrible winter. Sorry; I don’t buy it. The bad winter is affecting work installing NOW, not 9-12 months from now or coming onto the books. Just a head scratcher for me…
  • A major congrats to good friend Tom O’Malley who is starting his own venture called Clover Architectural Products. Tom is insanely talented and I know he will do great things with this new company. He’s assembled a strong team and he’s hitting the ground running. Good luck Tom, and don’t forget us common Midwestern folks after you make it big!
  • A big acquisition hit last week when Cardinal bought Northeast Laminated. This one was accomplished far beneath my radar, that’s for sure, and it’s a great get by Cardinal. 
  • Last this week, have you noticed for no real particular reason gas prices are creeping up again? I think this is the year, sadly, that we break the $4 mark and stay there…  It is amazing what the oil companies get away 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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Glass Magazine Awards in the upcoming July issue provide an exceptional look at the product advancements the industry has developed, and the innovative and exciting ways architects are using those products in the field. However, at the root of these industry innovations and applications are the people that make them possible, which is why we are delighted to once again present the Glass Magazine Award People Categories: best installer, best production supervisor, best project manager, and best sales rep.

Nominations for the GMA people awards are due May 15. To recognize a stand-out industry employee, make your submission.   

The Glass Magazine editors will narrow the nominations to three finalists in each category, and the industry will decide the winners. The past two years of the program have seen thousands vote for these exceptional industry representatives.

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

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