Max Perilstein's blog

We can debate the merits of programs like LEED until we’re all blue in the face. The bottom line, though, is the performance and sustainability of the building when all is said and done. And while the various green rating systems are pivoting and making efforts to evolve their programs into ensuring long-range success, there’s one process that guarantees it: the Net Zero building.

Slowly but surely Net Zero is taking off. It's important in the glass industry, because the process rewards the glass/glazing performance and basically will force those pesky HVAC guys to size their efforts correctly. Too many times we get blamed (unfairly I must add) for the oversizing of HVAC units because there’s no trust in fenestration. With Net Zero, we’re all working together and the playing field does level. There’s a ton to this process, and it's still pretty raw, but I do believe it will be in the mainstream sooner than many think.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of sustainability, one of the great champions of the effort in our industry is Mark Silverberg of Technoform. Last week he was named to the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee. Can’t get a better man than that to be a force in the effort!
  • The energy of the trade show/industry conference is the hottest in years. So far 2014 is showing a major uptick in attendance and excitement. A couple more regional shows are coming up to be aware of. The 27th Annual Mid Atlantic Glass Expo hits April 30th in Greenbelt, Md.  Then in Canada, the Canadian Glass Association's Glass Connections conference in Nova Scotia (would love to go, birthplace of the great Sidney Crosby) comes through on June 4-5. Both events will provide excellent learning and networking potential. And don’t forget about the granddaddy of them all, the biggest show in all of North America: GlassBuild America, in September in Vegas. That floor is filling up nicely, and it will be an incredible event not to be missed.
  • After a hiatus in doing interviews on the blog, we welcome that segment back. One area of the business that I am always fascinated by is switchable glass, specifically  liquid crystal and suspended particle products. These products are growing in usage thanks to the boom on the decorative glass side. It’s surely moving up from the “niche” category. So it was great to catch up with Anthony Branscum, director of architectural sales at Innovative Glass Corp. in New York, and talk with him about the growth of the product, some of misconceptions out there and more.

MP: What do you think is driving this positive direction and usage?

Anthony Branscum: I think it’s mainly because the products have come a long way and are now beyond the “Proof of Concept” stage. Architects around the country, and the world for that matter, are realizing the practical benefits of using these products in their designs. Perhaps more importantly, they have gained confidence that the technology will last when it gets out there. They have become educated consumers. 

MP: Speaking specifically on the liquid crystal product, there’s been talk recently in different circles about uneven performance and products failing. Do you think such talk is legitimate or is it being overblown?
 

AB: I have heard and read some of the same things you are alluding to. There’s a lot of posturing going on within the industry right now. Some suppliers of switchable glass are spending a lot of time bashing their competitors instead of talking about their own virtues. They believe it makes their product appear as if it’s “the best”, but what they’re really doing is hurting the industry at large. They’re creating a perception out there that the product won’t last.  It is simply not true.  When fabricated properly, one can expect many years of service from liquid crystal technology. Of course, there are companies that don’t produce a great product, but they are not the majority, and time will eventually run out on them.

MP: What should buyers do or look for to make sure they are dealing with the right people?

AB: They should make sure whoever they are dealing with can provide them a functioning sample. They should ask for a copy of the warranty. They should definitely ask for references and perhaps ask to see a job local to them where the glass has successfully been installed. If the vendor can’t satisfy these requests in a timely fashion, they should think twice about going too far with them. 

MP: You and your company have been in the switchable space for more than a decade. What are some of the biggest changes you have seen with the product offerings?

AB: The biggest change has been the advancement in the clarity of the LC films when they are in their clear state. The industry has come a long way in achieving better clarity. The second notable advancement would be the film widths. The product is available in wider widths than ever before. This helps satisfy most of the common architectural sizes we come across.

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.

Our industry lost a unique and special person this month, a gentleman who did things his own way and did them extremely well. The passing of Al Shapiro, also known to many as “Active Al,” was a surprise and bummer to me. Al was a character through and through, but one who took legitimate interest in the lives of the people he was dealing with.

While he owned a few extremely successful operations, it was Active Glass that I dealt with. And despite being a nice guy, Al was unforgiving. He paid you fast (best around), so he expected to be first in line for everything. He rode me hard but also made sure that he took care of me and my company. He also had a huge heart. When my children were born, Al sent thoughtful gifts that we still have to this day. He always asked about everyone in my life as well. And while I didn’t communicate with Al much in the last several years because my life changed, when I ran into him, he was always as warm as ever- offering to give me as much business as I could handle (even if I wasn’t a fabricator anymore) and note that no one would pay me faster. Anyway, it was a shocking piece of news, and I am so sorry to see him go. My condolences to his family. Our industry and world lost a great one.

Elsewhere…

 

  • Are we as an industry in line for another battle? This past week the Urban Green Council took some shots at glass and its usage. Now what they said was not all wrong, in fact they made some good points about choosing materials wisely.  However, the title alone of “Urban Green Council Warns Against Glass Envelopes” does not portray us well. Especially in this short-attention-span society where most folks only read headlines. In any case it needs to be said that we’re still vulnerable and still not a product of choice. Oh, and my metal friends, there was a blast on you guys in there, too. So just a heads up, we once again have people taking shots…
  • Each month I read Glass Magazine and pick out the best ad of the issue. This month the kudos go to the gang at Quanex. Their ad for TriSeal was clean, sharp and bold. Good work with a really smart use of callout bubbles. It caught my eye for sure. Well done!
  • Also in Glass Magazine was a very powerful letter and picture to the editor by Joe Bruce of Guardian. I have known Joe for many years and he’s a tremendous guy. His letter on returnable racks and the cost of people discarding them was excellent and spot on. We can be our own worst enemy in this industry sometimes. Hopefully people will read Joe’s letter and be smarter and more respectful with other people’s property.
  • As you surely know, GlassBuild America is coming and I am starting to see more and more press releases on products that will be on the floor. One product that will catch people’s eye will be AGC’s Dragontrail. It is an ultra-thin glass that is mostly used in mobile devices and tablets but will also have expanded use in architectural applications. AGC will be doing a ball drop test in their booth showing this off, and it will be something to see. I believe it’s just a matter of time before “thin” glass starts to hit in many different applications… Good call by AGC to show it off at a show with the power and size of GlassBuild.
  • Last this week, the Architectural Billings Index continues to soar. I think from a sales standpoint things are solid out there. Not getting any complaints on that. Cash flow is a different story. It continues to be the bugaboo for many. Hopefully things will normalize on that end soon.

 

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.

The World Cup of Glass final is coming up, but before that, let’s talk about some other winners: the folks who have made it to the finals of the Glass Magazine People Awards. These awards are truly the industry gold standard. Nominations come from the industry and voting is done by the industry. Winning here is a huge honor. Once again this year, amazing candidates from all over the country have been nominated.

I am familiar with all three finalists in the “Best Sales Representative” category, and picking a winner will be pretty impossible for me. I have known Dan Pompeo for a very long time and he is amazing—tons of energy and he always comes through. I have worked with Stacey Quesada of Glass Apps on a few occasions and her attention to detail and follow up is one of the best in my experience. I have always heard great things about Zach Passman, so seeing him on this list was no surprise at all. It's a tough one, but I will eventually pick someone, and everyone out there should do the same—for this category and the others as well. These folks are all winners in the fact they made it this far, and it will be fun to see who gets the nod for being the best in 2014! Voting ends July 31st.

Elsewhere....

  • So it’s the finals of the World Cup of Glass. Our three finalists are USA, Germany and Italy. Each won in their respective “group” over the last few weeks. Now they face each other. Four categories; points are: 3 for first, 2 for second, and 1 for third. Most points wins. Here goes:

Innovation:

USA 3
Germany 2
Italy 1

The United States actually gets lucky that it faces these two in this category. While the U.S. is strong in innovation, it's not dominant. But compared to the competition, it still takes this category.

Quality:

Germany 3
USA 2
Italy 1

Maybe it’s a myth, but I do subscribe to the theory that Germany is the home of the best quality products around.

Products:

USA  3
Italy 2
Germany 1

The United States dominates here, based on sheer product range and usage. Picking second was harder, but I went with Italy based on their decorative product lines.

Industry Support:

USA 3
Italy 2
Germany 1

I almost went with Italy for No. 1 because of how they really step up to support GlassBuild, but the Italian contingent is not that active at the trade or code level so there’s no way they could be first. 

Final Total:

USA 11
Germany 7
Italy 6

Final conclusion: This was a fun exercise to do. The one downer is that we’re not unified from a world standpoint when it comes to code and design. That is something that needs to be improved upon. I will say that it gets me excited that events like GlassBuild America bring ALL of these countries together on one floor, so you can see the greatness in action from all over!

  • Speaking of GlassBuild America, I am really excited about a few things, but the one callout I’d like to make this week is to the folks who are taking major sponsorship roles. These companies realize that they are supporting the industry and the industry's largest North American show, while also getting amazing brand recognition. So major props to Quanex, Bohle, Dip Tech, GGI, Hartung Glass, Kuraray America, Diamon-Fusion, YKK AP America, Guardian, SAPA, Dow Corning, FMI and Pilkington North America for stepping up. 
  • Last this week: A quick personal note. My nephew Josh, who has been in the industry now for several years including his current run at W.A. Wilson, got engaged over the weekend. Congrats to Josh and we’re thrilled that our family is getting a great new addition with Nicole!

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.

As the soccer World Cup ends, our glass world cup competition still has two more steps to go. This week was the debut of the good ol' USA and they did not disappoint, but I have a feeling they will find the finals much tougher! For this round the foursome was the United States, Spain, Japan and Russia. Since it's been a few weeks a quick reminder on the categories for scoring: Innovation, Products, Quality and Industry Support.

For this round, the glaring omission of France really played out. When the tallies were added, Russia really was not ready for this tourney. While they have what is considered to be an awesome trade show, they’re still quite a bit behind in every other category at this point. Japan and Spain both had solid showings and may have done better in a different group. Spain, with its dominance on the decorative side and strong support of the industry showed well, and Japan, with major float players and some solid innovations, helped mask its limited industry support.

Meanwhile, the United States won the group because innovation is still strong, and industry support is significant, despite what many may think. The final totals: USA, 15; Spain, 10; Japan, 10; Russia, 5. So next week is the final. It will feature the United States, Germany and Italy. There is no question this will be a very difficult one to score with each country bringing so much into the process. 

Elsewhere…

  • A hearty congratulations to Steve O’Hollaren of ICD for passing his LEED Green Associates exam; that is NOT an easy test. Great work sir. Can’t wait to call you with lots of LEED-related questions!
  • While we’re patting people on the back, kudos also to Dip-Tech on the launch of their new blog/newsletter. The folks there obviously put a ton of time, thought and planning into it because it was a really sharp and organized effort. Something I look forward to receiving on a regular basis!
  • The Dodge Momentum index is up again for 3rd straight month. Overall, the indicators have been solid and momentum for sales has shown to be positive. The worry, I believe, continues to be cash flow. All in all though, summer is off to a solid start.
  • I think I was the last person in the U.S. to see the movie “Frozen,” and I enjoyed it, as it was typical Disney. But the reason I write this is that I read people have been waiting up to 6 hours to meet the “princesses” at the theme parks. SIX HOURS. It got me thinking: Is there anyone that I would wait 6 hours for, to just get to say hi. I mean if it was a 6-hour wait and you get some time with the person, then sure I could name a few, but just to shake a hand or get a picture? Not sure I can come up with a living person. 
  • Pretty cool case study I read recently on the social effect of “green” products. Two sets of hand sanitizer were laid out at a trade show. One was marked with one basic title. The other with a similar title, but noted it was “green.” So during the event the table was watched onsite and discreetly. When someone was standing at the table, the large majority went for the “green” product. When no one was working the table, the totals flipped the other way; many more went for the regular product. Goes to show you we still have a society that has people who say the right things and may publicly try to do, but in private still do what they are more comfortable 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.

Before I get to the AIA review, I have to lead off with the gigantic story that broke late Thursday and was posted first on GlassMagazine.com: Cardinal Glass Industries is buying Catalina Tempering Inc. From a commercial side this is not big news. From the residential side this is earth shaking. Just a huge acquisition for Cardinal and now the second one in the last few months that has really made waves (first being the acquisition of Northeast Laminated in late April). Cardinal now has jumped in with two sharp, strategic moves and is signaling their intention to continue to be a force especially on the residential glass world. Catalina was a homegrown company that saw major success built by strategically placing plants near window manufacturers to supply them custom tempered. I don’t believe many people could have seen this sale coming; surely there were no major indications of such. The bottom line here is that Cardinal is making moves, and companies once thought to be “off the market” may actually not be…

Elsewhere…

Because of the size of the AIA recap, I am pushing Round 3 of the World Cup of Glass back a week…

  • AIA was a mixed bag. It is always great to see people and learn new things about the industry, products, and services. However the show itself was just not that good. Traffic was inconsistent and very light in some areas of the floor, and it’s apparent that the architects that were there have too many things to see and do during this show. I know some companies were pleased and others not so much. And no matter, it does not dampen my enthusiasm for the next big event in our world: GlassBuild America. That show is coming along nicely with huge new exhibitors, innovation, and probably the coolest education set up you can imagine.
  • As for the seen and visited part of the show… here goes:

It was good to visit Joe Erb while walking the floor; he’s always got a great insight or 100.

Walker Textures is really an impressive company. I know I always comment on their sartorial splendidness (Danik in a bow tie at this show—wow), but the fact of the matter is that this operation should be used as a case study for a group that really “gets it.” They are always evolving and innovating. Plus, it was super to get to chat with Ross Christie of Walker.

Speaking of innovation, I was very impressed with the Viracon App. It is a really a strong tool and will be used in the way that medium was designed.

It was a pleasure to run into Jerry Schwabauer of Azon—I had not seen him a while.

A cool product that was not really in our industry was the home elevators from Savaria. They do feature beautiful glass doors, though. Now I don’t think I’ll ever need or have a home elevator, but if I get one, this is what I’ll buy!

Guardian was at AIA in force, and as always, so hospitable to me. Amy Hennes is a class act, and getting to see the legend Brian Craft is always a pleasure. Brian’s healthy and looking great, and led a sold out seminar during the show.

I knew very little about Vetrotech Saint Gobain, but came away from their booth impressed. Getting hurricane-resistant approvals is no easy task, and they did it with their product.

Also impressive is the new unit glaze system from CRL/US Aluminum. I really appreciate Paul Daniels giving me a quick demo.

And I made a quick visit to see Sage. I was impressed by their new booth showing shapes, sizes, and new product advancements.

PPG was there as always. I got to chat with my favorite Jan Rogan, and visited with Glenn Miner as always. Rob Struble happened to be there, but I never got to talk with him as he was engaged with someone every single time I swung by. That to me may be my biggest regret of the show!

You can always count on YKK to have a buzz around their booth, and this year was no different.

I was also very very impressed with the team from tesa tape. They will be showing at GlassBuild for the first time this fall, and I think they will be a very popular destination for attendees to visit.

A lot of foreign companies were on the floor trying to get a foot in the market. Hopefully they realize that doing AIA is only one part of the mission to reach North America’s buyers.

  • Random other thoughts…

I blew it by not bringing my running gear. The temps were perfect and there were so many places to run. I downloaded the app and took “Uber” everywhere. The semi controversial car sharing service was a godsend for me. I know that those in the cab and transport industry hate them, but as a pure consumer, in an event like this where getting around is such a pain, it was the MVP of my time there.

  • Last this week, the World Cup of Soccer surely had our country enthused. I am wondering what happens in four years when the games are in Russia and the times of games aren’t as convenient to watch live. Still it’s been a fun tourney with still some great games to go.

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.

This past week our industry got news that I would say is “insanely great.” That term, usually associated with the greatness of Steve Jobs and his Apple products, can now apply to our world after Nicole Harris was named as the new president and CEO of the National Glass Association. This news should give everyone who cares about the current and future of our industry an extra pep in their step because there’s simply no one more qualified or ready to take the NGA and our glass world to new levels.

I have known Nicole for many years, and hold her in the highest regard. She is an absolute class act. I will never forget years and years ago my brother and I had dinner with Nicole and we were talking advertising ideas. Despite the fact we weren’t placing ads with her magazine at the time, she was still there brainstorming with us and actually helped us develop an amazingly memorable campaign. She surely did not have to, but did what was right. And I know going forward she will do what’s right for this industry. This is tremendous news, folks, plain and simple.

In a future blog, I will have some comments on outgoing NGA CEO Phil James and his legacy. His place in industry history is surely one to greatly respect.

Elsewhere…

  • This week is AIA in Chicago. Maybe I can get a picture or video of someone from our industry pleading for love from an architect. Seriously though, I am very interested to see how the show goes and the vibe. I plan to report on all of this in my next blog, which won’t run until after the July 4th holiday.
  • World Cup of Glass, week 2. I was alerted to a huge snub; France is not in my tournament. So while that country does boast a major player in the glass world, for this exercise, they’ll have to wait until I do the next edition of the World Cup of Glass. Also, the feedback I got regarding this was some of the best I have ever had. Thank you. OK, our next round is China, Italy, South Korea and Mexico. The result of this one was a shocker to me. I fully expected China to prevail, but alas they fell to the Italians in the end. Italy won the quality segment, finished 2nd in products and 2nd in industry support to take the day. While China does have products, their quality continues to be hampered by some bad actors, and innovation, at least originating, is not a strong suit, in my opinion. South Korea hung in there for being the home of some major interior switchable glass players; and Mexico has great supporters of this industry and quality on par with the best. The final breakdown was:

Italy 13

China 11

Korea 9

Mexico 7

So Italy joins Germany in the finals. In my next blog, we’ll have the match up of the United States, Russia, Spain and Japan.

  • Good news also this week on Thom Zaremba being appointed to the Canadian General Standards Board’s Glass Committee to help update the architectural glass standards there. Thom joins a strong group that will make sure the right glazing products are used in the right applications. No question adding someone of his experience and pedigree will be great for the effort!
  • I just heard about the retirement of one of our industry's most enjoyable people. Jim Stewart of Tremco hung 'em up recently. Jim is a great man and I will miss seeing him at industry events because he was always the one guy I could count on to greet me with a smile and hearty handshake. Enjoy the next phase of your life, my friend!
  • I watched the movie “Non Stop” on a flight this week and all I can say is…wow. Solid plot and creative writing. Good action movie. Liam Neeson playing that hero role works.
  • Just in time for the summer travel season, gas is rising, but so are airline prices. May had the largest one-month increase in 15 years! I noticed it as some routes I normally take I could not find a reasonable flight price at all. Very depressing, to say the least. And this trend looks to continue; the airlines expect flights to still be full, so I don’t see pricing going down or even staying flat for the time being.
  • As mentioned above, no blog from me again until after the 4th of July holiday. Hope everyone has a great and safe Independence Day!

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.

Week one of the World Cup of Glass is now underway. Here’s the set up: I selected 12 countries and broke them into three groups. Each week I’ll look at the four countries in that division and then decide on a winner. Then four weeks from now we’ll break down the final three. So, to kick it off, this week’s group is Germany, Finland, Canada, and Israel. (And if you are keeping score at home, as I know all of you are, the other two groups are USA, Russia, Spain and Japan; and China, Italy, Korea and Mexico).

The first group really has some serious players. Germany brings in the precision equipment that comes with so much respect, but how much have they done with regards to glass products and efficiency? Germany is also tremendous code wise (and I wish the United States would follow), as well as the host of the big glasstec show every other year. Finland is another machinery star. So many of us in this industry grew up on tempering ovens made there, plus Finland has the education side with Glass Processing Days (now Glass Performance Days). Canada is a favorite of mine because I love the people there; 99 percent of them are as classy and cool as they come, and there’s been some solid technology coming from the North. But really the strength there is being able to implement great stuff, not develop it. And Israel: a tiny country doing amazing things. Its flagships of solar and digital printing are really making serious waves. For the size of the country, I’d wager that no area does more with less.

Picking a winner from this group was brutal. What I did was award points (from 4 to 1) in each category, and the country with the most points won. The categories are:

  • Innovation: What have they developed and brought to the markets? Did they make a difference?
  • Quality: What do they produce or install? Is it top notch?
  • Products: Are the products mainstream? Something that now is a must have?
  • Industry support: Do they have the support of trade shows like GlassBuild and industry trades.  

And the final breakdown for this group was:

  1. Germany: 14
  2. Israel: 11
  3. Canada: 9
  4. Finland: 6

So Germany moves on. Its strength in innovation and quality was too much for the rest of the group to overcome. And this little project/series of mine was much more challenging than I thought! Fun, but really tougher than expected. If you have insights or opinions, feel free to share them. Next week, we do it again with group 2.

Elsewhere…

  • You all know I am not a big fan of Google, but this past week I had a video conference call using a Google+ hangout instead of Skype or GotoMeeting, and it was super. Great quality and sound. So there’s the first redeeming quality of the Google+ platform for you.
  • Did you know that this year is the 20th anniversary of the middle movie of the Mighty Ducks trilogy? Why is this relevant to our industry? Well a very well done oral history was published on it. As I am reading it, I learn one of the main characters in this story was Garrette Henson. Now my mind started to race. Could it be the same guy who’s the force behind Viracon’s sales success? I know he spells his name differently, but maybe he tweaked it for Hollywood. Plus the time frame makes sense and the shooting location of Minnesota makes me think we may have a Hollywood actor in our midst... Oh, and if you like oral histories, this is a good one.
  • Katy Devlin’s heads up on the lead paint rule for commercial needs to be taken very seriously. Believe me, I was there on the residential side when it launched, and it was an absolute boondoggle. 
  • Last this week, the Prada storefront “Great Glazing” that Glass Magazine profiled really looks amazing. That is one job I’d like to see in person because the pictures blow me away. I could only imagine how great it must look in real life. Congrats to all involved there.

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.

Later this week the World Cup kicks off and soccer fans from all around the world will be glued to their TVs and computers following the action. With all the hype around this event, it made me think: If we had a World Cup of the glass and glazing industry, what country would be the winner? Obviously because of homegrown bias, I would probably join many others and say the United States wins that sort of approach in a landslide. But does it? Is the United States that dominant when it comes to technology or efficiency improvements? How does it stack up versus Canada, Mexico, Germany and China (yes China). And obviously Finland, Italy, Japan, Spain and Israel are among countries really active in our industry, too.

So given all of that, which country is the best in our industry?  Over the next month, as the World Cup of soccer is playing out, I will be determining the World Cup of Glass. I’ll be using the parameters of innovation, quality, products and industry support as the guidelines. And let me know your thoughts, too--via e-mail is fine; I always love learning and I’ll appreciate the insights as I determine the champ. And yes, right now I am sure the Chinese contingent is preparing a protest that there’s no way I’d judge them fairly, but I promise I will!

Elsewhere…

  • As for the actual World Cup, I don’t know enough to say who will win, but I have friends from all over the world who have their rooting interests. And when those teams win, like my pal Joe Staffileno’s Italian team did a few years ago, the euphoria is real.
  • Congrats to my old friend and co-worker Bob Cummings on his new position at Hartung Glass. Bob is one of the best around, classy and hard working, and he’ll do great within that super organization.
  • I had to make a trip to Omaha this past weekend, and while preparing for it I looked at the weather and saw a forecast I had never seen before. It said “Mostly cloudy and humid, storms expected, with large hail, damaging winds, and a tornado.”  Ummm “…and a TORNADO”? That just blew my mind. Luckily that forecast was wrong, but never before did I actually see a forecast predicting one!
  • With Kuraray acquiring the DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions, will that signal the end of the name DuPont in our industry? Will we be living in an industry where the long-time classic names Solutia and DuPont don’t exist?
  • I have to admit I am very bummed that California Chrome did not win the Triple Crown. I am not sure I’ll see another Triple Crown winner in my lifetime.
  • Last this week, AIA is a couple of weeks away. This year it will be interesting to see how the show does. It is tough timing for sure. But it's in Chicago, a city everyone loves to visit, and the trade show scene is very hot right now. Funny thing for me is when I started to research the show, five of the seven largest booth spaces (not including AIA spaces) taken at the show are companies in the glass and window industry. I guess that never-ending desire to gain love and acceptance from the architect continues. I swear, when it comes to this scenario we as an industry act like the awkward boy in high school pining over the homecoming queen. And you know how those stories always turn out…

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.

Our industry made national news this week when "The Ledge” at Willis Tower in Chicago had a busted piece of glass. This now famous all-glass overlook suffered a breakage on its sacrificial layer, and to us glass people it's no big deal. But to the worldwide media, it was the opportunity for hysteria.

Usually the media only pays attention to us during ratings months when they do the classic—and overdone—investigative reports on mysterious glass breakages in your shower and patio table glass. So, this gave them something new to bring to the table and allow the mis-education to fester. After a couple of days, the folks writing the stories finally hit upon real experts to explain no one was in danger and so on, but by then it was too late. Maybe one of these days we’ll get proactive stories on things like our energy-efficient glass; dynamics; or hurricane-, safety- and fire-rated glazing. You know, products that make a REAL difference. I can dream, can’t I?

Elsewhere…

 

  • Thanks to the always classy James Wright of Glass Coatings and Concepts for some of the heads up on the above adventure. Always great to hear from you my friend!
  • The neatest story in a long time may be the one from Western Window Systems where one of their employees got company logo tattoos. Loyalty is tough anywhere in this world, so seeing someone care enough about the company he works for to make it permanent is a pretty cool thing.
  • Another industry retirement this past week. Phil Blizzard of YKK AP is hanging it up. Phil spent more than 30 years in the industry, and my interactions with him were always memorable. Simply, Phil is just a good guy. Enjoy your new life and catch lots of fish.
  • Check out this story about a giant bear taking a nap on a utility pole. It is surely clickable, because it’s not something you see every day!
  • Good luck this week to the folks in Canada at the Glass Connections Conference. From all indications, this show is primed to be fantastic, and I still remain bummed I’m unable to attend. Once again though, it continues the hot trend of trade shows and their effectiveness. 
  • On that note, registration is now open for GlassBuild America. Last week I noted the phenomenal new education set up, and this week the show is now open for business. With the floor loading up with innovative exhibitors from all over the world, it’s going to be epic!
  • Last this week, it’s now June. Soon we will be halfway through this year; it’s flying by for me. Maybe because we had no spring. Though I am thrilled to say I have not yet had to turn on my air conditioning. As someone who prefers to be cold than hot (theory being I can always add layers, love sweatshirts etc.), I usually jump to get the AC going. Now that I probably jinxed myself, it will be 90 here and when I do click the cold air on, it probably won’t work!

 

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.

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.

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