glassblog

Monday, October 4, 2010

glasstec celebrated its 40th year and 21st show this year with the introduction of solarpeq 2010, International Trade Fair for Solar Production Equipment. solarpeq took place concurrently with glasstec, Sept. 28-Oct. 1, in Dusseldorf. A total of 1,274 exhibitors and about 45,000 trade visitors took part in both trade fairs. One-third of the visitors also were interested in the range of exhibits at solarpeq.

While exhibitors brought their innovations to the show, glass and glazing experts mostly agreed that there were more improvements than new machines that jumped out. As Dino Fenzi, president of Vitrum, aptly described: There are no "revolutionary" machines, but more "evolutionary" improvements.

There was the obvious emphasis on solar, as "most traditional glass suppliers packaged their low-iron glasses and TCO coatings for the solar market," said Mike Rupert, director, Technical Services, PPG Glass Business and Discovery Center, Pittsburgh. Decorative printing on glass was another emphasis, as suppliers of decorative glass machines were aplenty at the show. "Decorative glass seemed to dominate the halls at glasstec this year, even more so than two years ago," said Chris Mammen, president, M3 Glass Technologies, Irving, Texas. "Printed glass, printed interlayer, and painted glass mostly, but many other applications were also present," he said.

"Energy savings" and "sustainability" were the clear buzz words at the show. To meet new, government-mandated codes worldwide, glass and glazing companies are investing in triple glazing, some in vacuum glazing, said Russ Ebeid, Glass Group president, Guardian Industries Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich. Europe is using triple glazing, and the United States will as well, in a couple of years, he said. "Either could be a game changer."

What was your impression of the show?

Monday, October 4, 2010

We are just a few short weeks away from a moment that could have a massive effect on our business lives. Like no other time in my life, the mid-term elections are something to follow and hope that whatever the outcome, positive movement for business happens. It's seemingly every month that the ABI totals mention the icy cold credit markets, which is pretty much hampering a large part of our industry. Will the outcomes in November be able to get things to thaw? I hope so. Regardless--and sadly--we are headed for a very cold winter that's for sure. I do look forward to what the analysts and experts in our industry predict for 2011, and I'd expect to start seeing some of those comments soon.

Elsewhere...

  • Hey, did you see that construction spending went up 0.4 percent in August? Break out the champagne! The increase was led by government projects... you know like there's anything but government projects these days...
  • One of these years I'm gonna have to get to glasstec. Just reading all of the coverage makes it sound so unreal.
  • Saw at glasstec the announcement of a new warm-edge spacer technology. The material from Infinite Edge Technologies was founded by Eric Rapp and I think it's just tremendous to have Eric and family back in the day-to-day grind of our industry. I'm a big fan of the Rapp clan, and quite frankly when the Glass Hall of Fame opens, Eric Rapp needs to be a charter member. Best of luck guys! 

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Max Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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, September 27, 2010

Well, I'm sure people aren't clicking here this week to get my feelings on the new cast of Dancing with the Stars. No, I'd bet (and I know because of my e-mail traffic) that because of my past associations, they want to know how I feel on the return of Leon to the glass business. Well, I am going to possibly disappoint because I am taking a different tact.

Everyone and their mother (including mine, she's feisty about this issue!) has an opinion on Leon himself, but for me, there are two other parts to this deal. Rick Silverstein and Manny Valladares are partners in this thing and that's the huge key. Rick (or it "Richard" now? I've known the guy for 10 years and never once heard him called "Richard") is very well known and connected with the customer base in South Florida, while Manny is easily one of the most talented guys I have ever had the honor of working with. So, while the publicity comes from one side, the real meat comes from these guys.

Now, there is no doubt there are tons of other issues that will be at work here and this will be something to watch/monitor/comment on, but I think for now it will be interesting to sit back and see what tone is set and how the overall acceptance or possible lack thereof plays out. 

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Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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, September 27, 2010

But they are not without value. And despite their differences, most point upwards.

"[Solar market] forecasts tend to be wildly different from source to source and from quarter to quarter," says Patrick Barnds, market segment director, Energy, Guardian Industries. "After studying it for a few years now, the one thing that we can say with a high degree of certainty is that all the forecasts are probably wrong. There are just too many factors that have the potential to impact the growth rates over time. These include technical developments, government policy and incentives, industry capacity, the cost of power generation from existing sources (i.e. oil, gas, coal, nuclear, hydro-electric), etc."

That doesn't mean the glass industry shouldn't prepare for growth in the solar market, however. We still need to develop a forecast, Barnds says. "In fact, it's critical for our [Guardian] plant and asset planning purposes if we are going to invest ahead of demand and market needs."

Guardian, for example, expects the North American photovoltaic market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of between 23-31 percent from 2010 to 2015, according to Barnds. "From 2015 to 2020, we expect the CAGR to be closer to 33-35 percent. There will be some bumps along the way, and we don't expect the growth curve to be smooth. However, we believe that the averages are reasonable in any three to five-year period."

At PPG, Wayne Boor, manager, solar technology transfer, for the company's performance glazings business, said solar glazings could account for 10 to 20 percent of flat glass sales, if not more, by 2015.

And at GlassBuild America, Richard Voreis, CEO, Consulting Collaborative, reported PV worldwide installations could double by year-end 2012.

These are big numbers. As to how accurate they are, only time will tell. As Barnds points out, there are a lot of factors in play. Here in Colorado—where solar panels are becoming a more common sight—it's easy to see a future in which residential and commercial buildings are powered by the sun. But what are you seeing in your market? Are these forecasts in line with your expectations? 

The author is editor of Glass Magazine. Write her at jchase@glass.org.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Well, another GlassBuild is in the books. Overall, I thought the show was very positive. The vibe there did fall on the side of hopeful, and the buzz about the future was encouraging. Yes, there were some rough parts, like some slow and spotty crowds and some key people missing, but considering the climate we are in, I would easily deem the show a success. The people that came and walked the show gained from the new and exciting things they saw, and for the most part, the exhibitors should have gained from a focused attendee base, not just people using the show as an excuse to be in Vegas. The hope here is when we meet back up in Atlanta next year, we're talking about how much better things are than now. 

Elsewhere...

  • One theme that I spent time on was the fact that back in 2005 when things were rolling, did any of us sit back and say "Wow, this is great!" Chances are you didn't, so I think when times change again we'll be able to appreciate them more.
  • Vegas itself really is an amazing place... from the awesome architecture and design (and my goodness the interiors of the CityCenter were incredible) to just the cheese factor that is Vegas. Like hundreds of people watching the show outside of Treasure Island. Lip synched songs and fire I guess attracts 'em in. But the other wild thing is getting up at 4 a.m. to catch the 6 a.m. flight and seeing the hotel lobby and casino packed. That can only happen in Vegas.  

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Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day two of GlassBuild came through with bigger crowds and more enthusiasm. I felt day two was going to be the make or break of the show, and personally, the crowds being stronger puts this show in the "make" category. Now obviously, this is not a show to compare with the good ole days of 2005, but for the timing and place we are in the economy, it really was a positive showing.

Now on to what was seen and heard...

  • Always a great thrill to see Raj Goyal, now doing consulting for Technoform. A major class act and a credit to our industry for sure. And Technoform's booth for the second day in a row was jumping... Those guys are probably thrilled with the show so far.
  • Heard from many people that the GEF (Glazing Executives Forum) was super. Major kudos to Matt Rumbaugh and his team for the success.
  • I attended the GlassBuild reception for the very first time. This is my fifteenth show, and I never made it to a reception until now... It was jam packed and great food on hand. Man, I blew it missing the past 14.
  • Cool as a cucumber Jay Phillips of Guardian was everywhere on the floor. Guardian may not have had a booth, but Jay covered the real estate on the floor like he was riding one of those Segway motor scooters. He was everywhere.
  • Very thrilled to meet in person Newton Little of Ace Glass in Arkansas. Good man who donates a ton of time for the betterment of our industry.
  • Best business cards... Tom O'Malley of Doralco... just the coolest layout and very eye catching... I think I may have to ask him if I can borrow his design. These cards were the same width as a normal card but slightly shorter height; the key was the font, and design of the card was dynamic. 

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Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Day one on the show floor was surely a fun one for me. I hadn't been to GlassBuild for two years, so it was great to be back amidst the action. Overall, I thought the day was solid; the crowd came in waves and I saw some booths swamped with people. That said, I know some folks might have commented that it was slow or light, but I think for a first day when all was said and done, it was better than you think.

Seen and heard and experienced on the show floor.... Larry King or Page 6 style:

  • Before hitting the floor, I ran into Rick Friel of Cardinal. He was looking great, proving West Coast living must agree with him.
  • Best look of the day: the gang from PPG looking nattily clad in their very cool vests. Yes, the great Rob Struble strikes again with that idea. I need to beg him for one of those! 
  • Loved the GGI wide-open booth. Went over to say hi to my brother, but he was always entertaining someone.
  • No Starship Enterprise booth this year as no Oldcastle showing. Dang. 

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Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Evans Glass Co. has a longtime supplier that has changed names and ownership many times during the last 30 years. Their previous salesman lived in another city, yet called us and/or called upon us regularly. We developed a friendship. We knew about each others' hobbies, families and favorite sports teams. Their present salesman lives in the same community as our company. Yet he only calls upon us once a quarter or after we have contacted him for a price or to answer a question. Evans Glass Co. was important to the previous salesman. Evans Glass Co. is not important to the current salesman. The supplier is receiving less business as a result.

I cite this as an example. All business is conducted because of human relationships. Now let’s turn the table. How does Evans Glass Co., or your company, treat its customers? We must define who our best customers are.  Evans Glass Co. uses these guidelines:

  • Which customers give us repeat business for reasons other than low price?
  • Which customers give us the most referrals?

These are the only two judgments we use for a preferred customer classification. 

We pay close attention to these customers. We do not take them for granted. We determine their preferred method of communication and use it. For example, do they like telephone calls instead of e-mails? When we make it comfortable for the customer to buy from us, we eliminate competition.

We discover their likes, dislikes, hobbies, birthday, anniversary and pet peeves. A dozen Pro V1 before a golf tournament may be a good idea. A recommendation of a good restaurant at their vacation destination can help them remember you fondly. A birthday card is usually welcome. Send a get-well card to someone’s spouse when needed. Possibly the best way to keep the customer is to refer them business.

In this economic climate, it is imperative that we work smarter to keep our best customers. If your customer exercises regularly, don’t take doughnuts. Don’t take them to a tofu restaurant if they like meat and potatoes. All of these are very elementary, but often forgotten. I have been training to run 56 miles, yet we have a supplier that continues to bring doughnuts and pastries that go mostly uneaten. 

In summary, know your customers as people first,, customers second. If you know them as people first, the relationship will go well beyond that of customer-supplier. Appreciate them; communicate with them; help them grow; and they will help you grow.

—Bill Evans, president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville   

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, September 7, 2010

Everyone knows there's no more important gathering each year for glass industry professionals than GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo (Sept. 14-16 in Las Vegas). But with so much to do and only a few days to do it (after all, the show's in Vegas, and you've got to allow a little play time, right?), I thought I'd share my "Eight Wonders of the GlassBuild America 2010 Expo."

In no particular order, please step right up and gaze in amazement at:

1. Trends in decorative glass seminar: Led by industry favorite Bernard Lax (a natural wonder in his own right), this interactive panel discussion features three leading experts exploring how specialty glass is selected and perceived by each facet of the glass industry.

2. Fifth Annual NGA Glazing Executives Forum: One of our most popular events every year, the 2010 forum will again feature several interactive breakout sessions, dynamic speakers and a must-see economic forecast for the glazing industry.

3. Innovations Pavilion: Returning after the rousing success of its 2009 introduction, this year's pavilion will feature even more cutting-edge technologies and exhibiting companies.

4. Inaugural Window & Door Dealers Forum: Created exclusively by and for independent window and door dealers, this much-anticipated program is patterned after the Glazing Executives Forum and is hosted by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.

5. PV Seminar: Sure to be one of the most talked-about sessions of the week, this educational program will examine architectural and other technological considerations driving the fast-growing photovoltaic industry.

6. AAMA's FenestrationMasters Program: This exciting new online training module -- designed specifically for the window and door industry -- will be launched at GlassBuild America.

7. Business alliances -- I have several meetings already scheduled to "make our economy." How about you? Are you ready to close that mega-sale?

8. The exhibits! The exhibits! More than 1,000 booths will showcase the best and most cutting-edge glass industry products, services and designs. There's something new and exciting literally around every corner.

Remember, it's Vegas. It's fall. And it's the only event in North America this year where our entire industry will be under one roof. Need I say more?

There's still time to register. Don't miss out on this unrivaled opportunity to generate new business, expand your professional network and build your sales pipeline for the coming year. The 2010 GlassBuild America Expo begins one week from today!

The author is vice president of association services for the National Glass Association, McLean, Va. Write him at dwalker@glass.org.

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, September 6, 2010

The big GlassBuild America show is next week and my plan is to do a "live" blog at least two of the days. For those of you new to this blog, when I go to shows, I make observations and also cover it in a "Page 6" style. I am excited for the show and believe it will be a good one as the people attending are serious about business/education/networking, etc. Plus, I haven't been to a show in two years, so to get to catch up with so many people across the industry will be a treat.

Elsewhere...

Well, last week I started a new adventure in my life. Getting going at Vitro was fantastic and I can't help but be excited about the future there. People who read this blog weekly have followed my range of emotions from the good, bad and ugly- and there's been way too much of the last two... so it's really refreshing for some good. Now, hopefully the economy will also pitch in and we can start getting some good news there too. In any case I am pumped to be where I am at and I am really looking forward to getting to know the people here. 

Read more...

Perilstein is chief marketing officer for Vitro America, Memphis. Write him at mperilstein@vitro.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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