The Shower Doors & More One-Stop-Shop

Bethany Stough
March 28, 2016
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION : HERE'S AN IDEA...
Shower Doors & More employees in front of the company's new tempering furnace. Photo by Brooke Ashlyn.

Companies from all parts of the glass and glazing industry have implemented innovative, out-of-the-box ideas to improve business from the ground up. Here’s an Idea… showcases these sometimes small behind-the-scenes ideas that can make a big impact on a company’s bottom line. If you have an idea that you would like to share, contact Bethany Stough, bstough@glass.org.

Faced with rising demand and lengthening lead times, Larry and Page Giacin, owners of Shower Doors & More Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, decided to turn their shower door manufacturing facility into an all-in-one fabrication service shop—a rarity in the Florida market. “We want our customers to come to us for everything,” says Page Giacin. But, shower door companies in South Florida typically either fabricate or temper; if they offer both services, it’s done at two separate locations.

Since 2008, the construction market in Florida has been strong. But, as customer demand increased, Shower Doors & More waited up to 10 days for tempered glass to fill jobs. While it isn’t typical in Florida to be a one-stop shower door company, the Giacins had the volume to be able to invest in themselves, and differentiated their services to meet customer needs.

Shower Doors & More has been adding polishers, cutting tables, drills and beveling machinery since 2014, to further enhance its product line and increase convenience. Most recently, the Giacins installed a 96-inch by 144-inch Glaston tempering oven. The company tempers its own glass—alleviating wait times and quality concerns—and also offers tempering services to other glass shops.

The Giacins spent two years researching fabricating machinery and the details of their facility before purchasing. Initially, they asked their customers what was important in a fabrication and tempering facility, and the majority of respondents said accuracy. Taking this feedback, Larry and Page asked friends and colleagues what machinery was reliable, affordable, and turned out a great product.

“We visited several glass trade shows and interviewed a variety of sales reps. We traveled to Canada and toured facilities similar to our own. We listened to stories of both success and failure,” says Giacin.

Once the Giacins and their employees worked through all the kinks of installing new machinery, they began to explore tempering furnaces. “Each step must be researched with the understanding you can do it right or do it twice,” says Giacin.

The Giacins advise that the three main benefits of having all necessary, top-quality equipment under one roof are ease of operation, customer convenience and little lost time when something goes wrong. In the one-stop-shop setting, SDM has complete control over the quality of its products from start to finish, protecting their reputation and that of their customers.

“Now customers do not have to wait if something goes wrong. SDM fixes the problem and the customer can leave happy,” says Giacin. “Because shower doors are typically the last thing to go into new construction, when we can turn high-quality glass around in three days, our customers look good, and it rolls downhill.”

Stough is managing editor for Glass Magazine, GlassMagazine.com and e-glass weekly. Write her at bstough@glass.org.