glassblog

Monday, January 25, 2016

Once again, Glass Magazine will recognize North American glass fabricators in its annual Top Glass Fabricators report, and it's time to nominate your company. The April 2016 issue of Glass Magazine will feature the Top Glass Fabricators Special Report, which offers a view of the glass fabrication market based on fabricator profiles and industry statistics.

For the second year in a row, the report will also feature a handful of recently completed projects, spotlighting the Feats of Fabrication that made them possible. 

Glass fabricators include those companies that have stand-alone fabrication plants in the United States or Canada that service our industry. The list does not include float glass manufacturers that also have fabrication capabilities at their locations. It also does not cover fabricators of strictly specialty glass, such as fire-rated. 

We want to feature the glass industry's achievements. In order for us to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information, we rely on direct submissions from the glass fabrication industry. If your company should be included in the Top Glass Fabricators report, please complete the Top Glass Fabricators survey by Wednesday, Feb. 3. And feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.

Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at bstough@glass.org.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Mother Nature flexed her muscles for the first time in 2016 with the massive snowstorm crushing a healthy portion of the eastern United States. Storms like these can sometimes have an effect on the economic performance of the industry depending on how long the event lasts and the cities it hits. We’ll see next month when the Architectural Billings Index and Dodge Momentum Index come out. Both metrics came in positive for the month of December, which was obviously good news. On the ABI, two main takeaways: first, the overall 2015 was pretty much equal with 2014’s performance, which should lock in a solid 2016 actual performance for the industry; second, the new projects inquiry number was very high, giving some confidence to the rosy predictions for 2017. But, that was all done before we had the correction to the stock market, so aside from seeing if there’s any storm-related declines, watching to see if positivity on the new project inquiry side will be key.

Elsewhere…

  • Another fear is the cratering cost of oil. If you read this blog (thank you), you know I usually mention gas prices—especially when they seem abnormally high or whenever prices get raised for the flimsiest reasons. (Like someone at a refinery having the flu!) However, we’re now on the opposite side of the spectrum with prices too low. Yes, it’s amazing to fill up so cheaply, but it’s actually economically unhealthy by a lot. So there’s got to be a happy medium, and for whatever reason we rarely can get to it.  By the way, I saw a graphic that really threw me: a bucket of chicken from KFC right now costs more than a barrel of oil. Never thought that comparison would ever happen!
  • Interesting move by PPG corporate as they are getting rid of voicemail systems. From an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Instead of being prompted to leave a message when no one at PPG picks up, a recording informs callers that the person they are trying to reach is unavailable and that they should call back later or “try an alternative method to correspond.”

Wow. I'm at that point where I remember when voicemails were first introduced; now they are obsolete. Anyway, this new move is on the landline corporate office only as far as I know. And I have to assume those with cell phones will always have voicemail working.

  • From time to time when someone launches a new website or I come across one I have not previously seen, I mention it here. This time around, props to the folks at MyGlassTruck for their excellent upgraded site. I never thought you could make a glass rack truck look like a super model, but they did. Beautiful visual and informative site.  Congrats to Rustin Cassaway, Michael Frett and the team there for a job well done.
  • Very interesting story here on mold at the Winnipeg IGA Stadium. You read this and you seriously have to wonder if the designers had any idea where this stadium was going OR if they even knew what they were doing. Then again, you also wonder did the proper materials get value engineered out? In any case, just a baffling situation that won’t be easy to fix. 
  • Just a heads up, we are one month away from GANA BEC. Should be a good conference with some interesting speakers. For me, I look forward to hearing the “Innovation in the Industry” piece from Kai-Uwe Bergmann from BIG Architectural. Love that insight. Plus, baseball legend Johnny Bench is speaking, and being an old school sports guy, that should be neat.
  • Last this week, if you are an NBA fan and you have not had the opportunity to see Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors in person yet, do yourself a favor and try and catch him. Truly an amazing player with the sweetest, and smoothest shot I have ever seen. 

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.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Whenever someone new joins our industry I usually tell them that they are here for life. For whatever reason, glass and glazing has an amazing pull to keep folks around, albeit in different jobs for different companies, but still, same industry. Now there’s been some exceptions, incredible people like Tony Clark and Scott Surma were able to pull themselves away from this world and do extremely well in other industry realms. But in the end, the pull here is real. Why do I bring this up? Because an excellent blog post by Glass Magazine’s Bethany Stough was dead on. If you are not in this industry you care about the new or remodeled buildings differently. Basically when you are an outsider and that new store or doctor’s office opens, you are happy about the new options or the convenience. But when you are in this industry, you are focused on what glass did they choose, what metal system, who supplied it, who sourced it and more. Only those of us in the industry can understand the feeling and NEED to bend down in front of total strangers to look for a logo on tempered glass, or a spacer marking on an insulated storefront. So Bethany, great piece, welcome back (and CONGRATS!), and I’m pretty sure you are here in this industry for the long run.

Elsewhere…

  • The industry lost an absolute icon last week with the passing of Ed Berkowitz. Ed was a great person, class act and excellent businessman. His impact on the industry will always be felt because he positively influenced so many and his son Arthur has carried on the class approach that the Berkowitz family has had for generations. I count myself as fortunate to have been able to chat with Ed on a couple of occasions. He truly will be missed. Continued thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and company.
  • Pretty brutal week on the stock market and fears of a recession are out there. The initial feeling for many is this is part of a “correction” and things will settle. If you attended the Glazing Executive Forum at GlassBuild America this past fall you would’ve heard economist Jeff Dietrich talk about the coming corrective actions to the market. So at this point I am going with that… and I am making every effort to not look at the stock market numbers.
  • At this point, I am assuming no one in this industry won Powerball? For my fellow road warriors I felt like I had a moment almost as good as winning Powerball this week. I had an empty seat next to me on a long flight. That never happens… 
  • And speaking of flying, I was not aware that there’s now a new “class” of seats being sold. Welcome to “last class,” which will be a step below coach and really no frills. So the experience of flight is already difficult, tiring, frustrating, etc… and now we’ve somehow found a way to make it worse. Yikes. However I did find one article that made some points about how this could be a good thing… so there’s that. 

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.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Back in September, construction began on a medical clinic near my home. Around the same time, I started a three-month maternity leave from my job at the National Glass Association. Every week of my leave, I drove past the construction site on my way to the grocery store, noting the progress and getting more and more excited about the clinic as it came together. Granted, part of my excitement was due to the fact that this clinic would be the future home of my son's pediatrician, shortening a quick 10-minute drive to a lovely 5-minute walk (it's that close!). But, although I perhaps should not have been considering things like the project's general contractor, the new construction economy in my city, the safety and security precautions on the jobsite, or what companies would supply the products for the planned all-glass entrance, while taking leave from the job where considering these things is part of life, I was. And I found all of it exciting, each and every time I passed.

It's not an issue of being unable to unplug from my job. (I thoroughly enjoyed focusing on other aspects of my life for three months.) But, it's an issue—or a benefit—of possessing an understanding and appreciation of an industry that was foreign to me until I joined the NGA—three years ago this month. Three years of immersing myself in the glass industry has given me a fresh perspective on construction, the U.S. building economy, glass and glazing products, and in particular, all of the people who make up this industry and keep it flourishing.

I am thrilled to be back among these people, working to share their contributions to the industry and help them thrive in today's business climate. As we enter into a new year, there are both challenges and opportunities ahead, and all of us here at the NGA and Glass Magazine look forward to supporting you as the year unfolds. In 2016 and beyond, please tell us how your company is growing, how it's innovating, the great ideas you have and the projects you contribute to. If you have thoughts on how we can better serve you through the content we publish and the education we provide, please contact us. 

Personally, I am waiting with baited breath for the clinic's glass facade installation, along with the countless other innovative glass projects that will come online this year. And you can bet I'll include the completed clinic project—and many others—as a Great Glazing later this year. Here's to you, glass industry, for giving me a new-found appreciation for commercial glass. And here's to 2016, may it be a profitable and successful year for you all.

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine. Contact her at bstough@glass.org.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The new year is off and running so it’s time for me to take a jump into the deep end and present to you my fearless predictions for 2016! This was a very difficult list to compile as things are more fluid in our industry than ever, and you have the frustrating stock market issues hanging out there, which could derail some positivity. But that said, here goes…

 

  1. Go Big or Go Home. This was always what I would call a mini trend. Architects have been known to desire to go as big as they can (opening wise) and for years they would push the envelope in North America as far as they could. Sometimes they would get what they want, sometimes not. Now that game is changing. Between the growth and push by folks like AGNORA and the recent oversize upgrades by Viracon, the approach of going bigger on sizes is a reality. Add in the foreign influence that always is willing and able to provide oversize material, and you have a full-fledged trend on your hands. 2016 will see a lot of this.
  2. Security Focused. No question we live in a scary world right now. I don’t think there’s ever been a time that we’ve all had to worry about security the way we have to now. Glass is a big part in the protection effort. Security glass is now more available than ever and being used in more applications than just federal buildings and high-risk areas. Schools are getting specific security-based glass applications and more and more businesses are choosing these options for their workers comfort and safety.
  3. Greenfielding is back and new players emerge. I think 2016 will see a few greenfield locations from established fabricators. There’s some very ripe markets that can use more fabricators and I have a feeling that you will see new plants pop up in 2016 with familiar names. Meanwhile, there’s quite a few players overseas looking to come to North America to set up shop, and I have a feeling they may choose to greenfield instead of buying someone established, though I am not totally convinced of that. But I do think you will see new players in North America in 2016 in one form or fashion.
  4. Codes and Certifications. I think the NACC takes off; it's too important for the industry not to. I also think individual certifications of installers also grow. We as an industry need to have that to show that we have the craftsmen and workmanship that is expected. On the code side, it’s been pretty quiet, so something tells me there’s going to be an issue coming up. It makes me think of a horror movie--just when things get really calm is when the monster jumps out with a chainsaw. Thankfully I am confident that folks like Dr. Tom Culp will be there to protect us…
  5. More focus on birds. Yes, I know this was on my 2015 list, but this is simply both a growth area and a meaningful process to protect wildlife. With more companies getting into the field, and more designers realizing what is happening, this grows in stature again. 

As always these are my opinions and thoughts and I always welcome yours, privately or publicly. So feel free to reach out.

Elsewhere…

  • Those of you who know me know I love lists and info. And I have to say that the infographics being put out by the folks at SaveOnEnergy.com are amazing. Here’s one they posted about EnergyStar, with who’s getting certified and where. It’s an incredible setup and worth your time.  
  • During the holidays, my family got me a FitBit. Really neat little apparatus that can tell me that I never sleep at night and need to take a ton more steps. But seriously though, it’s a cool piece and I am into it. But a question for any of you who got one recently: was it absolutely impossible for you to get it out of the packaging? I’ve never experienced anything like trying to get that thing loose. 
  • Last this week, the movie “13 Hours” comes out this coming Friday. The book was absolutely fantastic. Will Hollywood ruin the movie? I hope not, but I always get a feeling that it will happen. If the great Steven Spielberg can ruin a book (like he did with “Munich”), than it can happen anywhere.

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, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2016. It should be a very interesting year in both our industry and world with so much happening, including a Presidential election that looks to be like nothing we’ve ever seen before.

But before we move forward, it’s time to take a glance back at the predictions I made for 2015.

 

  •  Prediction: Instead of one big acquisition in our industry, I am predicting several smaller ones, maybe along the lines of five or six this year. I do think one sale will be someone who no one expected would sell.

    Result: I was half right. One sale no one would expect would surely be C.R. Laurence Co. to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. But the level of smaller sales did not happen. And, surely the CRL one was bigger than big.
  • Prediction: The “Bird Safe” revolution for glass will grow with more and more architects starting to ask for it.

    Result: Nailed it. It’s a growing area, and thanks to products that launched in this segment from Walker Glass and Pleotint Suntuitive, that process will continue.
  • Prediction: With North America now loaded with more digital printers for glass than ever, 2015 will be the year where its usage in several industry segments takes off.

    Result: The term “take off” was not accurate. The usage grew and did it at a solid pace, but not as off the charts as I expected. It’s still an area to monitor.
  • Prediction: At least two major companies return to participate heavily in GlassBuild America. With the show being a premier attraction, some companies who have skipped will realize they can’t miss it again.

    Result: The show was incredible, and the return of many impact companies and players to the floor and education was exciting. From what I can see, 2016 (in Las Vegas in October) will be even better.
  • Prediction: The glass shortage will have an effect, but the transportation issues will be even worse. These are items that the industry will have to be very creative and proactive to deal with.

    Result: Getting trucks was a challenge, and the companies who heeded the advice of being proactive and using communication had an easier time navigating a challenging landscape. These issues are not going away either.

 Overall: Not bad. Better than my football predictions… I’ll have my 2016 predictions next week!

Elsewhere…

  • We lost a good industry person and good man over the holidays. Tony Oliver passed away in December. I worked with Tony at Arch and he was a tremendous man. He was a sales guy, but surely not the typical one. Fun, unique, cool guy. Condolences to his friends and family.
  • I covered the Section 179 issue during the year. Before the end of the year, we got great news that the 179 deduction was officially raised to $500,000 and also made permanent. This is tremendous news for business and for many in our industry who supported this effort, especially David Dillmeier of Dillmeier Enterprises who brought this to my attention.
  • I assume many of you may flew somewhere during the holidays, and there are the road warriors in our industry that fly a lot. I think all of us can put together a list of best and worst airports. Recently such a list was created, and I can agree with some of the worst.

    Here are the bottom five:

 5- Northwest Regional Arkansas- Fayetteville- I have never flown in and out of here—the only one on this list I haven’t visited.

 4- O’Hare- Chicago- Absolutely. I try and avoid this airport with everything in my being.

 3- Dulles- Washington, D.C.- You know I’ve never had an issue here. It’s not a great airport but I think there’s many worse. Hope I didn’t jinx myself. I also may be biased since I love all the glass used here.

 2- LaGuardia- New York City- No question. It’s old; there’s nowhere to sit or eat; it’s expensive; and every flight is late.

 1- Newark Liberty- Newark, New Jersey- This is absolutely the right call in saying it’s the worst. Whether you are flying into or flying out of, your flight is never on time. Half of the place is usually out of order, and if you get stuck flying out of a terminal going through remodeling, enjoy that seat on the floor for three hours.

In the end I’m stunned LAX is not on this list. The same with Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

In a few weeks I am going to do my own rankings of “best” airports, and then put it out there to vote within the industry. I’m curious to see what other opinions are.

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.