Top 50 Glaziers 2016: The Market

An in depth, by the numbers look at the U.S. Glazing Market

A Decade of Sales Fluctuations

This chart depicts the percentage of Top 50 Glaziers experiencing year-over-year sales increases and decreases from 2005 to 2015. (Only companies that provided exact sales figures are included). The percentage of companies reporting gains in 2015 expanded slightly from 2014, from 71 percent to 77 percent, continuing the market’s growth trend. Glaziers have performed much better than during the 2009 to 2011 downturn, reporting four consecutive years of stronger growth. The percentage of companies reporting an increase in 2015, however, remains below the peak years of 2006 and 2007 when 82 percent and 91 percent of companies, respectively, reported y-o-y gains.


Change in sales for each company between 2014 and 2015
Of the companies reporting y-o-y sales increases, seven reported sales increases of 50 percent or more (indicated in white in the chart at right). Of those, three companies— Egan Company/ InterClad, Graboyes Commercial Window Co. and Palm Beach Glass Specialties Inc.—reported sales increases of 100 percent or more. Nine companies reported sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, and 19 companies saw sales increase 0 to 25 percent.

Of companies reporting y-o-y decreases, seven companies saw decreases of 10 percent or less. One company saw sales declines of greater than 25 percent.
How did bid levels in 2015 compare to the previous year?
In 2015, glaziers reported a strong uptick in bid levels, with 75 percent of Top 50 companies reporting an increase compared to 2014. No companies reported lower bid levels.
How did competition for projects in 2015 compare to the previous year?
Competition for projects remained mostly unchanged from 2014, with 63 percent of companies reporting levels were about the same in 2015, and only 31 percent reporting that competition had increased.
How did profit margins in 2015 compare to the previous year?
Profit margins were also on the rise—56 percent of companies reported higher margins, with only 8 percent reporting lower margins.

Which geographic markets offer the most growth potential in the coming year?
Survey respondents were asked to mark all regions that offered the most potential for growth. However, responses were mixed. A small plurality of respondents—29 percent—forecast the most growth in three regions, all along the coasts—in the Northeast, East Coast and West Coast. A slightly smaller number of respondents—24 percent—said the South offered the most growth potential, with 20 percent indicating the Southeast and the West. The regions with the fewest votes were the Midwest (13 percent), the Northwest (11 percent) and the Southwest (9 percent).

The Labor Shortage

Contract glaziers continue to face a labor shortage. More than half of Top 50 Glaziers reported increased difficulty in finding workers in 2015 compared to 2014, with another 25 percent reporting that they had the same difficulty finding workers compared to the previous year. While Top 50 Glaziers reported challenges filling a range of positions, the most difficult position to fill was glazier (50 percent), followed by project manager (26 percent).

“Finding skilled installation labor continues to be a challenge,” says Kevin LaPoint, vice president, Commercial Glass & Entrance Divisions, H.J. Martin and Son Inc., ranked the No. 34 Top 50 Glazier.

With a lack of qualified labor, many companies focused on hiring more unskilled workers and training them in-house.

“It was, and still is, a challenge to find qualified resources to supplement internal training and development, which has limited our ability to target certain projects,” says Thomas Cornellier, chief financial officer, building development, for TSI Corp., ranked No. 15.

“Finding skilled Installers is our biggest challenge by far,” says Ted Derby, business development, No. 23/24 LCG Facades. “We have started our own in-house training program where qualified employees volunteer their time to learn the skills needed for our specific requirements.”

Despite the challenges in finding workers, most Top 50 Glaziers managed to add employees in 2015. Fifty-nine percent of Top 50 Glaziers reported higher numbers of total employees in 2015, compared to 2014. Only 9 percent reported lower numbers of total employees.


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The Market

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Katy Devlin is editor for Glass Magazine. E-mail Katy at