glassblog

Monday, December 9, 2019

David Vermeulen

I was recently turned onto a podcast called The Rewatchables, which features a round table discussion of movies the hosts can’t seem to stop watching. This show is insightful without being boring, and the cast is hilarious. Recently I listened to an episode where they broke down the 80s classic, “Top Gun.” Like most people, I believed that I already had a pretty good take on the movie. But the podcast made me look at “Top Gun” in an entirely new light.

In The Rewatchables, they analyze the movies by using a consistent series of prompts that guide the team as they explore ambiguous themes and topics. For example, when they looked at “Top Gun” the categories included, “Moments of Unintentional Comedy,” “What Aged the Best/Worst,” and “Apex Mountain” where they ask, “is this the actor’s best work … the peak of his or her career?”

It got me thinking about using a similar method for our industry. Granted, discussing the “Best Overacting” doesn’t necessarily translate to your business, unless you count employees “calling in sick” on a sunny Friday or Monday. But maybe we could use similar methods to deep dive into any problem, not just movies. For example, most companies probably have one product that got them to where they are today—their Apex Mountain. But will that same product remain the top seller? Or do they need to continually innovate and find the next pinnacle of success? Technical Glass Products does just that. We have an in-house design and engineering team that works with architects and designers to consistently push the boundaries of design; always moving towards our next Apex Mountain. For example, when TGP worked with the architects for the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing, we developed custom fire-rated aluminum capped frames—the Fireframes Aluminum Series. The frames allowed for large expanses of fire-rated glazing with sleek sightlines to visually complement the exterior non-fire-rated curtain wall designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Fire-rated systems that visually complement non-fire-rated systems was something new to the industry, and we got there by challenging the status quo and asking the right questions.

The Rewatchables’ practice of self-reflection and innovation can be expanded to include other prompts. For example, let’s look at “What hasn’t aged well?” In Top Gun, Maverick pursued a woman who spurned him into the ladies room of a bar. As discussed in the podcast, that wouldn’t fly today (pardon the pun) and wasn’t a good idea at any time. Following this line of thinking, are there practices you do in your company that you should revisit?

Another prompt the podcast asks is “Unanswerable Questions.” In The Rewatchables, a panel member posed the question, “Is there really any chemistry between Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis?” which led to a host of different theories. In our world, this type of open dialogue reminds you that there are no wrong answers—a vital bit of advice when brainstorming new ideas.

So if you feel the need, the need for speed … or increased efficiency, code compliancy or any other vital new offering from your company, try looking at things through an entirely new lens. Challenge yourself to ask different questions and watch what happens. And, if you want to see some other classic movies through a different lens, like “Dazed and Confused” and “Shawshank Redemption,” check out The Rewatchables podcast.

David Vermeulen is the national sales manager for Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. TGP works closely with architects, designers and other building professionals, providing them with the state-of-the-art products, service and support to maximize design aesthetics and safety in commercial and institutional buildings around the world. Contact him at 800/426-0279.

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, December 9, 2019

The year’s end always brings “best of” lists and in our world, there are usually best building and project lists usually put out by architectural trade magazines. I went in search of those articles, found a few, and have to say I’m pretty bummed on the selections that some of the pubs made for “best” of the year. It was almost like they should name it “craziest” design of the year instead of best. Instead of those lists, here’s my top five buildings, in no order, of the year! (I am assuming these all were completed in 2019, and this is not a “formal” contest, though I am seriously tempted to start one!)

181 Fremont from Hartung Glass and Vitro
Beautiful building—classic!

NDIS Building from Glassworks Australia and Pleotint Suntuitive
Jaw dropping use of glass and frit. 

SAP HQ in Frankfurt from Guardian Glass
Unique, and the glass looks fabulous.

Maurice Richard Arena in Montreal from Walker Glass
Love the cool look of the etch look—just stops you in your tracks.

Federal Office Building in Miramar, Florida, by Viracon
So much to look at here, and it’s all stunning. 


Yes, it’s obvious I like buildings with glass, and these all do a great job utilizing it!

I’m sure I am missing others and if I catch them, I’ll post next week on my last blog of the year!

Elsewhere…

  • Next week I will crown the 2019 Glass Industry MVP, and also name the runners up. Incredible candidates this year and thanks to all who reached out to nominate.
  • Speaking of MVP, congrats to past MVP Tracy Rogers on his new position at Consolidated Glass Holdings. That was exciting to see and now maybe I can get Tracy to start reading this blog once in a while.
  • Quick economic update: the latest webinar that I took in was from FMI and they too followed some of the same methodology that others this fall have. They also show the slow down coming soon in our segment but clearing into mid- next year. They did show positive health overall on the non-residential side, but their residential forecast was ugly. So that may not be good news for the commercial interest side in 2021/2022. We will see. The one thing they mentioned that others did not play up is the U.S. Presidential election and what the offshoot of that may be.
  • One of my all-time favorite speakers is Mike Burk. He is responsible for one of the most memorable speeches ever given at BEC and every time out he never disappoints. I’m excited he’ll be doing the next “Thirsty Thursday” this week. Mike is handling “Preventing Scratches and Edge Damage” on 12/12 at 1 p.m. ET. Click here and sign up now. 
  • Really excited about the upcoming resources from the NGA. Check these topics out: crucial subjects getting covered here.

·  Heavy Glass Door Design Guide, 20th anniversary edition 

· Top 10 Items Commonly Missing from Fenestration System Shop Drawings 

· Safety Guidelines for Deglazing Structural Silicone 

· Design Considerations for Use of Sealants/Adhesives with Coated Glass and Adhesives Compatibility 

· New abbreviated Thermal Stress in Heat-Treated Spandrel 

· Marking and Labeling 

· Protective Glazing 101 AIA presentation 

  • I saw on social media that my pal Andrew Haring of the NGA had a tour of the new football stadium in L.A. That place will be epic, and I was jealous he got some first-hand visibility of that structure. Speaking of new stadiums and tours, I am sincerely hoping that I’ll get to see the Vegas stadium when GlassBuild America comes to town in the fall. Love seeing how these mammoth projects come together!
  • Last this week and also on the sports end, I saw that Steve Cohen is buying the New York Mets. It has to be the Steve Cohen at Vitro who is a friend of mine, right? Steve if it’s you, I am ready to go to work for the Mets… assistant to the Assistant GM? That’s all me. Steve, call me… 

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein 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, December 2, 2019

Do you recognize this scenario? An employee armed with pen and paper wanders through the warehouse checking supplies. If supplies are low, the employee returns to the office inputting an order via telephone, email or fax. Valuable time is lost jeopardizing delivery dates.

This dangerous scenario occurs in small- and medium-sized glass companies throughout North America. It highlights bottlenecks to the overall success of your company. Bottlenecks in a glass factory can delay orders, idle employees, frustrate customers, and/or disrupt the entire process, including costing you time and money.  

For example, paper orders, tracking via spreadsheets, communication, optimization and planning are bottlenecks experienced by some small- and medium-sized glass companies as they struggle to survive and grow. Most bottlenecks, including these, can be solved by smarter solutions including software.  

Smarter facilities, run by smarter software solutions, are enabled by digitalization and automation through all aspects of the company, including communication with customers, suppliers and partners. Digitalization and automation are prerequisites for creating a truly “smart factory” of the future based on software. 

With advancements in technology, the development of the “smart factory,” and changes in consumer behavior, companies are finding the need to adapt an ever-increasing challenge. These challenges are actually opportunities for your company. Breaking routine, rethinking processes, and adapting/adopting new procedures presents opportunities, where smarter software solutions can be employed. Software solutions can control as much or as little of your factory as you want. Finding that balance allows software, when configured correctly based on the goals of your company, to flexibly meet your factory’s needs today, and grow with you into the future. 

Smarter software solutions are integrated, flexible, comprehensive, and malleable. They untangle bottlenecks, make printed order files outdated, manage inventory, enable better communication, optimize production workflows, ensure better delivery reliability, and make all processes easier and more efficient. When your company is more efficient, you can realize other benefits, such as reduced printing costs, decreased environmental impact, improved workplace and public image, possible rebates and reduced taxes, increased business opportunities with green-friendly companies, and sustainability.  

Profitability is rooted in your value chain, its speed, the ability to solve sudden problems, and how well all the components talk with one another in case a breakdown takes place. By employing an integrated software solution, you can guarantee materials management, purchasing, quote creation, manage inquiries, order processing, production flexibility, delivery capability, and much more.  

If you are looking to grow your business or keep up with current demand, have you thought how smarter software solutions can help reduce bottlenecks and grow your business into a thriving enterprise? 

Chris Kammer is the marketing lead for A+W Software North America. A+W Software provides software solutions for flat glass business of any size with any production environment. Its glass software is the intelligent backbone of your business. The company also supplies a full-integrated software solution for window, door, and roller shutter manufacturing, where all commercial and technical processes are under your control. Kammer can be reached at chris.kammer@a-w.com and 1.847.220.5237.

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, December 2, 2019

And down the stretch we come, with just one month left in 2019! I cannot believe how fast this year seemed to go. A bunch of quick hits this week vs. big stories so here we go…

Registration is now open for BEC 2020. This year the event is in Nashville, and the early schedule is incredible. Topics that are crucial for the glazing contracting community are on tap. This year the schedule is different than past years. DO NOT skip the second day, as it’s loaded with content. More on that schedule and its specifics to come. In the meantime get registered today HERE

  • One more note on BEC. One of the keynotes was revealed, and it’s Joe Puishys, president and CEO of Apogee Enterprises. Joe spoke a few years ago and was absolutely awesome. It will be great to have him back again! I am serious when I say it’s worth going to BEC just to see Joe, let alone everything else you get while there.
  • The annual Vanceva World of Colors contest is up and running again. This is one of my favorite competitions because it brings in some of the most amazing projects using decorative laminated glass. The deadline to enter is end of February. More info can be found HERE
  • Good news from the latest Architectural Billings Index.  October brought in a score of 52.9, which was the best one in a while. New project inquiries also came in very strong. This was a nice bounce back after a few so-so months. The red flags still remain as the Northeast and Midwest still posted sluggish individual numbers.

Congrats time…

  • To my old friends and co-workers Dan Danese and Bob Cummings who both secured great new positions in the last few weeks. Dan was named Commercial Products Director at American Insulated Glass while Bob was promoted to President and CEO of Consolidated Glass Holdings. Both will do tremendous jobs and are fantastic supporters of our industry. Very good news!
  • And one more… congratulations go to Mike Wothe on his appointment of President at Western Window Systems. Fabulous guy and strong company- really good combo there!
  • Cool website here at www.glassgadget.com from Showcase Installations. Neat items (mostly for the shower installer) that can really be a huge help on efficiency and safety. I especially like the truck rack safety tool. I saw it modeled on a Facebook post and was impressed by its simplicity while offering that extra level of safety. Good stuff and well done by the team here!
  • Last this week. Did you know that 49 billion robocalls a year are made to phones all over the world? That number blows me away. Really an incredible waste of people’s time and resources and with so many of those scams (the biggest one right now is the “affordable health care” one). You can only imagine how many people are getting ripped off. I’ve always lamented the fact that so much brain power and talent is used for the wrong reasons and this is yet another example.

Max Perilstein 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, November 18, 2019

Project management is many things. The term project management is a broad category. It can be defined and manifested in many ways. There are key aspects and processes to the role of project management that need to be executed in order to achieve success. Project management in one company differs from that of another, yet there should be some common ground, some similarities, across all of project management in the AEC industry. 

All companies bigger than the ability or availability of an individual owner, or group of owners, to manage at the project level, are dependent on project management to determine the success of their projects, their profits, quality, and ultimately, the success of failure of their client relationships. That’s right; everything intersects at the project manager level and in the project operational domain. The success of project management determines the future growth, size, scalability, and health of the organization.

Project managers are the gatekeepers of each company’s clients, values, projects, profits and quality. This should produce a sober reality on making clear their roles and responsibilities. This is easy to say, and difficult to do.

Project management involves both quantitative and qualitative skills and attributes. This includes “hard” skills and “soft” skills. The things we are trained for in school, the operational tools we learn to support project management tasks like scheduling, budgeting, accounting systems, CRM platforms, and more, ultimately do not determine  successful project management. Tools help support and define the work. But the success of project management, is produced from a proper mindset, knowledge of the work, a solution orientation, solid discipline and accountability, and the tools to support.

Here's a high-level view of some key aspects to project management. This is not an exhaustive list, but a few basic areas of impact.

Communication 

This is one differentiator. Clear, concise, timely, polite, professional, appropriate communication. The means of communication is contextual to the need or client preference; email, phone, letters, instant messaging, texting, DM’s, WebEx, Skype, face-to-face, and other. All forms; and it must be timely; concurrent; “real time”. Tools and platforms used in our companies should support communication in the best manner possible.

Scope and contract management

We’ve got to remember the project scope and make sure to benchmark to it. Knowing when to shift and when to draw the line on scope creep is key to maintaining profitability while building a strong client relationship. Trust is the key. Build trust.

Document management

Keeping track of documents, timing, logging documents, updating our teams, etc.; this includes things like ASI’s, CSK’s, bulletins, addendums, BIM updates, owner changes, and on and on.

Earned Value Tracking (EVT)

EVT is about measuring the real progress of our work as it relates to the budget. The goal of EVT is to estimate as accurately as possible, the percent complete on the project—the spent amount—vs. the budget we must work with.

Schedule management, milestones, submittals

If we don’t establish a schedule, we won’t succeed. The schedule typically drives everything. Creating benchmarks and milestones along the way, allows us to stay on track. Schedules never appear to be realistic in the delegated design space by the time the project gets released, but we must start somewhere. I’ve yet to see a single schedule maintained exactly, except perhaps the “turnkey” moment when the owner is handed the keys to open and occupy the building.

Meetings

Project meetings, design-review meetings, huddles, post-project review meetings and kick-off meetings all serve to create collaboration. We must share in each other’s reality—ours and our client’s—to drive awareness, stay aligned, and maintain milestones. We’ve got to be aware of business and people dynamics and manage them, business to business and human to human items and H2H items.

As we approach the end of the year, we should all ask ourselves how we can improve project management in 2020 and beyond.

P.S.: I was in Nashville Nov. 8, 9 and 10. Book your trip to the BEC as soon as you can. It’s going to be EPIC. Bring the energy.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at jwheaton@wheatonsprague.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Word Press @JohnLWheaton1.

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, November 18, 2019

This year, I had the opportunity to participate in a leadership conference—and yes, it happened to be geared towards women working the construction industry. However, I would say that the key takeaways I got from this two-day conference and networking event would benefit not just women, but anybody in our industry.

One topic that I found very insightful dealt with career advice for construction industry professionals. The panel was moderated by Rachel Birnboim, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate at Perkins Eastman. The two panelists were Mary-Jean Eastman, FAIA, vice chair at Perkins Eastman and managing principal of the NYC Studio, and Barbara Mullenex, AIA, managing principal at Perkins Eastman’s Washington, D.C., studio. The panelists tailored their responses for different stages in one’s career:

Early career

Generally speaking, this is someone in their early 20s to early 30s. Whether you work for an architecture or engineering firm, general contractor, subcontractor or product manufacturer, the focus should be on getting the technical aspects of your job down pat. This is where you do the grunt work, nerd-out on information and practice. Sometimes during this early phase, people are tempted to go into project management right away, but you run a real risk of hitting a ceiling in your career because not having the technical training makes you less credible. So, while this can be tedious and requires patience, it is necessary.

Mid-career

Generally speaking, this is someone in their early 30s to mid-40s. They have the technical foundation and are probably contemplating moving up into management or leadership positions. This is also a time where some professionals are either starting families or raising young children. During this time, the panelists advised to “be nice to yourself.” Doing so will help in avoiding burnout, which is a risk at this stage. Seek out work-life balance in the best way that suits you, because it is different from one person to the next. For women especially, we feel the pressure—whether its societal or self-inflicted—to “have it all.” What I learned is that it is possible to have it all—but not all at one. Don’t be too hard on yourself because it could happen at different times. So, make your plans, set your goals, but take it one day at a time, one year at a time. Make adjustments if you need to.

Senior level

Generally speaking, this is someone in their mid-40s, -50s, or older. At this stage, you may have a few people, several people or whole teams under your charge. This would be a good time to understand and hone in on what the characteristics of a good leader are. Take stock of the characteristics you have already, and work on the ones that need further development. There are leadership courses you can take, books you can read or videos you can watch on this topic. We live in a time where information is literally at our fingertips, so let’s take advantage of that.

If there are opportunities for you to participate in industry conferences or events, take it. Get yourself out there! Stay involved. Not only can you learn valuable lessons from different leaders and innovators in our field, but you can make great connections and friendships with other professionals. Never underestimate the power of shared experiences!

Diana San Diego is vice president of marketing for Safti First. Contact her at dianas@safti.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, November 18, 2019

At the end of last month Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote a pretty fascinating blog post. The post was headlined “Buildings are Bad for the Climate,” and he went deep into the issues he sees the traditional building causing our world going forward. It was deep dive that went in a few different directions. It offered some of his solutions and approaches, which was nice compared to the typical article of this nature that just would “hit and run” the facts of the situation. I think it’s worth a read. Plus, he did call out glass, but in a very positive way, in my opinion, with this line:

“I’m aware of some promising technologies that could help buildings use energy more efficiently. I’m intrigued by windows that use so-called smart glass, which automatically turns darker when the room needs to be cooler, and lighter when it needs to be warmer.”

Now, as someone who has used this space many times to talk about the dynamic glass technologies, I absolutely got a charge out of this. It was truly nice to see at least one of our product lines get a positive push from someone as respected and well-known as Gates. What happens next with this approach remains to be seen. Gates really didn’t push more on this article because at the same time as it came out, he was in the news cycle for his wealth and taxes, part of the ongoing presidential primary season. So, hopefully that passes and we see this expand and extend into where glass can truly make a difference. It is surely one to watch.

Elsewhere…

  • Does your company temper glass? If so, make sure your plant leadership is on the Thirsty Thursday webinar this week. This one features John Kent representing the Safety Glazing Certification Council and he’s bringing everyone up to speed on changes to the process. Note that in mid-2019, SGCC implemented a new lab-training exam that will become mandatory in 2020. This may impact your facility so click here and sign up. 
  • Passing major kudos on to the Daubmann family and their My Shower Door operation. They have really continued to outkick the coverage constantly in their approach and now added a Manufacturer of the Year award and great letter from United States Senator Rick Scott to boot. Love the recognition that they have been able to garner and the good will they bring. Plus, Keith Daubmann is a “Stoolie” so that gives me extra incentive to like him! Congrats!
  • While I am passing out the props, great news from Salem Distributing on the naming of two fabulous people to vice president slots. Mike Rosato and David Anderson both got the nod for the West and East Coasts, respectively. I like both of these guys a ton. I have only known Mike for a short while and he’s always impressed me. Meanwhile, I go way back with David and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that he’s excelling at Salem. Makes the day. Congrats Mike and David and to Salem for the inspired choices.
  • Good economic and forecast info is now available through the talented Nick St. Denis and KM&R. The glass and glazing quarterly review is out and you can get it and be added to the lists by clicking this link. Nick does nice work and this is very helpful in keeping abreast of the various economic moves out there.
  • Great news from two great people in our world. Super reps Lindsay and Dustin Price welcomed a new member to the family this week. Max Andrew Price was born on Nov. 12. Obviously, I love that name and congrats to Lindsay and Dustin on their awesome and growing family!
  • Last this week: this is the last post before the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. hits. Unless something crazy happens, I won’t be back in this space until the week of Dec. 1. As I have written here pretty much every year, Thanksgiving is easily my most favorite holiday. I love everything about it, and I love that it gives us a chance to reflect and thank those that mean so much to us. It goes without saying that I am thankful to those of you who read and support this blog week in and week out. I truly appreciate it. I sincerely hope everyone out there has a wonderful holiday and you can enjoy the time with your family and friends. 

Max Perilstein 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, November 11, 2019

“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” sounds great, and I’m not one for presumptions. However. If I am honest, I’m guilty. I judge some things positively, and others negatively, but I have noticed these days my judgement is routinely related to websites.

You’ve seen the Instagram vs. Reality memes, right? Perhaps earlier generations recall when Sprite famously said, “Image is nothing.” How can a marketing campaign with the most recognizable athletes say, “Image is nothing,” and why are we concerned with presenting an image better than reality? This got me thinking, how much truth remains in this idiom? If we aren’t going to judge on appearances, we wouldn’t use resources that tailor images, which is literally a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Whether right or wrong, image appears to be significant in commerce. After all, there is another saying, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Though the glass industry may trail tech trends, glass businesses will also be judged by the way they present themselves, and especially online. If your webpage was built in 1995 or even 2005, do not expect it to be appropriate today; instead, think to yourself, is it reflecting an image I want? With my limited experiences, I can tell you disastrous websites are more easily recalled than nicely designed ones.

I’m technically a millennial, and as part of the generation that’s primed to steer the ship, I promise you we millennials will move on quickly from an archaic webpage. Many of us never needed Encyclopedia Britannica to find a few paragraphs relevant to our quest; there were always faster ways to find the information we needed; we’re also accustomed to speed. We in the industry must remember, we are all looking to catch someone’s eye in business because, without partners, there is no business. If we’re planning to attract fresh talent or new opportunities, an image can spark new ideas, and in today’s world you better move quickly.  

Maybe you’re thinking, why does this matter, we don’t need an updated image or social platforms. I vividly remember that when I came onboard DeGorter Inc. 13 years ago, my big idea was to update our logo. I got a lesson from the two previous generations, my father and my grandfather, on how businesses cover expenses and determining what provided real value. But I won the battle, and I’ll tell you how; by asking, what happens when decision-makers are replaced by someone with different expectations? I explained I wanted to update our image to present a company keeping up with modern trends. My Dad had a similar conversation with his father over software to replace paper ledgers. They both agreed change is necessary, so we changed, because if you’re not using the tools of today’s world or meeting today’s expectations, you’re less relevant than those who are. And you better believe you’re being judged.

Ending on a high note, and to spark ideas from those I think are on the right path, find below a few Instagram handles to check out. Be sure make a profile for your business if you don’t have one: yes, I’m talking to you!

#jcmoag, #woontechglass, #bendheimglass, #andrewpearsonglass, #nathanallanglassstudios, #galaxy_glass_stone, #fireratedglass, #myshowerdoor

Check out instagram.com/woontechglass/ for a well-curated Instagram.

Pete deGorter is vice president of DeGorter Inc. Contact him at pete@degorter.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, November 11, 2019

And here we go: it is officially now Glass Industry MVP season, so next month I’ll release our winner and runners up, but here is where I give the background on this process and also salute those recognized in the past. 

For those new to this blog, each year as the calendar wraps up, I announce the winner and runners up of my industry MVP award. This recognition is something I created back in 2013 to show my appreciation for those folks and companies who are always pushing for the best in our industry. What I am looking at is people and companies that are active in the industry at the trade and technical levels. Folks that are always promoting glass and glazing and are constantly hustling to push the greatness of what we do to the forefront.

As a look back, here are the wonderful people who have been recognized previously in this program and pretty much all of them are still very active in advancing the glass world. 

Past Industry MVP’s

  • 2013 Tracy Rogers
  • 2014 C.R. Laurence
  • 2015 Jon Kimberlain
  • 2016 Chuck Knickerbocker
  • 2017 Joe Erb
  • 2018 Nathalie Thibault 

Previous Runners Up

2013

  • Dr. Tom Culp
  • Mark Silverberg
  • Ed Zaucha
  • Mic Patterson
  • Oliver Stepe
  • Dr. Helen Sanders
  • Scott Thomsen 

2014

  • John Wheaton
  • Rick Wright
  • Tom O’Malley
  • Bernard Lax 

2015

  • Walker Glass
  • Garret Henson
  • Dip Tech
  • Kris Vockler

2016

  • Mike Albert
  • Thom Zaremba 
  • Urmilla Jokhu-Sowell
  • SAPA

2017

  • GCI Consultants
  • Darijo Babic
  • Cathie Saroka

2018

  • Felix Munson
  • Jeff Haber
  • Glenn Miner/Rob Struble
  • Greg Oehlers 

Now over the next month, I’ll be looking at our world to see who’s next and if you have any recommendations or nominees please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

Elsewhere…

  • We are now fully into construction industry economic forecast season. Between now and the end of the year, more and more data will be released on what the analysts are seeing in their crystal balls. Glass Magazine had a recap of the Dodge release that you can read here if you missed it. In the meantime, I was on the annual ConstructConnect webcast and they’re looking at a slight decrease on the nonresidential side in 2020 with a bounce back in 2021. That is similar to what we heard at GlassBuild America and from other experts out there. Still more details to come, but it continues to look like we need to be smart and proactive with regards to where our business landscape is concerned.
  • One way to be smart? Get involved with events to advance yourself and company. On the fabrication side, I am dumbfounded by the amount of companies who are tempering and insulating glass but yet do not attend the NGA Annual Conference. How can you battle in a challenging world without the knowledge that is presented at events like that one? It’s amazing. Anyway, if you have an interest, check out this link and if you want more insight contact me.
  • I’ve mentioned John Wheaton’s blog before, but I guess if I am on the path of pushing people to be “smart” a good start is checking out John’s posts. He’s got a gift: quick and interesting posts that are extremely helpful. Funny looking above at 2014 where John was a runner up in my MVP that year and knowing he could easily win the award yearly given his dedication to the causes. In any case, if you haven’t checked his work out, please do.
  • Next week, I’ll have a take on our industry getting some good notice in what was otherwise a rough—but true in a lot of cases—opinion piece. 

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein 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, November 4, 2019

Last week I mentioned preferring old-fashioned approaches to new technology, and it dawned on me that I needed to clarify that. I am old fashioned or even the “get off my lawn” sort of guy at home. But in the workplace, give me all of the innovation you can get.

When I was at glasstec in Germany last year, I was so blown away by the automation and technology and that feeling continued at GPAD earlier this year. Seeing the high-performance machinery working at the highest of levels and the visibility that it afforded the company, well I was on board. And I still am. I think that is an area that many need to look at as we head into some tougher sledding. More automation and more efficiency is crucial. And with the fear of “what happens when it goes down” minimized by the technology itself, well, I can’t see any reasons not to make the jump. Obviously, this takes investment but it’s absolutely worth it.

So, I may not have a fancy thermostat in my house and no Alexa to shut the lights off on demand, but if I ever have a say in outfitting a fabrication plant, it will have serious automation in it!

Elsewhere….

  • When I started Sole Source I was traveling to New Jersey often for client work. On those trips, I would pass this massive monstrosity on the side of the highway. Local folks told me one day it will be a mall, or a water park, or a convention center or something. Well that hulking structure finally came to life this week with the opening of the three-million-square-foot Mega Mall, The American Dream—I hope it does well and was worth the wait! Hat tip to my pal Ted Bleecker for the heads up on Twitter that this thing opened, and congrats to him and everyone else who has products on it: there's a good video here showing the overview.
  • Really cool collaboration announcement with Guardian Glass and the University of Michigan Taubman College getting together looking at advanced glass materials. Obviously I love it for a bunch of reasons: it’s in my backyard—so maybe I’ll get a heads up on breakthroughs!—but more importantly, it could bring serious new data into our world to allow us to keep advancing the needs of the marketplace. Kudos to everyone involved on this and I look forward to the updates in the future!
  • Another very cool glass mention in pop culture; just started watching the TV show “Ozark,” and in the very first episode the star of the show Jason Bateman actually dips into talking about glass performance in a high-rise office he’s looking at. Loved it. I’m three episodes in on it now and so far not bad. But hey, any show that pays respect to high-performance insulating glass units is a winner for me.
  • Friends in Indianapolis: would love insight on this one. The iconic gold reflective glass building in downtown is getting rid of that gold glass. I think we are going to see a lot more of this in the next decade, as the heavily reflective but poorly performing glass jobs installed in the mid 70s to mid 80s need to get energy facelifts badly. The article on it just noted the gold glass would be replaced by “transparent” glass. Obviously we know it’s not going to be straight clear, but good for whomever is involved in this one. I hope it goes great so we can see more of these needed retrofits!
  • Last this week: the California wildfire situation is not good, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. My thoughts and prayers to all out there in the path of these events. It’s frightening and I can only hope the weather can somehow cooperate and get some rain and cooling to try and keep this under control. 

Read on for links and video of the week...

Max Perilstein 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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