glassblog

Monday, September 25, 2017

 

“Great, he’s late again. What am I going to do about this? If I don’t do something quickly he will think this is ok, not to mention the other employees. On the other hand, if I am too stern with him he’ll quit. I’m already struggling to keep up and it took me forever to find and train him.”

If this isn’t a conversation that has played out in your mind as a manager, leader or owner in the glass business, then consider yourself fortunate.

The ongoing struggle to find quality employees is an issue that is plaguing trade services across the board, and the glazing industry is no exception. So, how do we offset this issue and make the glass and glazing industry appealing? This is a question I’ve asked glaziers, company owners and association board members. The answers are rarely consistent, except that no one has this figured out.

I don’t either, but here are three simple changes that helped me recruit and retain employees.

  1. It is incredibly important to start by improving the culture of the business. You want to have a culture of positive vibes and a fun atmosphere. The reality is, no one wants to work in a negative, dreadful work environment, and if they do, you probably don’t want them working for you.

  2. After you have established the culture, rolling out an employee-referral program works. Where better for people to hear about how amazing it is to work at your company than from the current employees? Be smart about this and add stipulations that include requiring the new hire to work for three or six months before the referral payment is made.

  3. Another option that can have an immediate impact industry-wide is to encourage your employees to post work-related photos on their social media accounts. Once you have permission from your clients, showing off the pride of the finished product is an amazing thing, whether it’s a finished shower enclosure, commercial storefront, or a crew in a bucket 10 stories up. This can immediately spark interest in the social circles of your employees, likely creating a broader hiring pool for your company as well as the entire industry.

Branding the glazing industry as exciting and fun helps everyone. There’s really not a downside to creating a positive buzz around our trade. Taking ownership of this task can change your business and our industry for the better.

Dustin Anderson is president of Anderson Glass, a glass shop located in Waco, Texas. Contact him at dustin.anderson@andersonglasstexas.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, September 25, 2017

There was big news that came out of GlassBuild, but all that was going on in the world may have overshadowed it. The announcement that the GANA/NGA discussions have moved to the next level with each organization’s boards unanimously approving a move to combine the two organizations is of gigantic importance. Plain and simple, folks, this is huge and crucial for our industry. To put it into sports terms, the hot trend in the NBA is the building of “super teams” and the combo of GANA and NGA is exactly that for the glass industry. The best attributes of both can combine to offer one defined and strong voice for our industry. This move also will give a clean slate to those of you not involved: this is your chance to start fresh, get involved, have your voice heard.  

Over the next few months you will be hearing a ton more on this, and if you are a member of GANA you will be asked to vote on it. That vote is unlike any other you’ve been asked to cast, so please keep an eye out for it. I am one of the few people out there who has extensive experience with BOTH organizations. I can tell you that the strengths of each match up perfectly, and the combination will be extremely beneficial from the sides of technical, advocacy, education, information and events. I am absolutely open to discussing this with anyone who has any questions, so feel free to contact me. This is a great step for our world, and I salute the boards of both groups for continuing this process.

Elsewhere…

  • Last week, I mentioned the end of show/event season, but I missed a couple of note. If you are in Florida, the Oct. 4 Glass+Metal Symposium is absolutely worthwhile. I am excited to be attending that for the first time ever. Then in November is Greenbuild. I am on record of not being a fan with regards to the expo, and I’ll keep to that. Also in November, the Glass+Interiors Symposium and with the interior space so hot, this one will be interesting for sure. Overall, my focus though is on BEC next March. With the way time is flying, that will be here in a snap.

  • I’ve been excited to see more folks in our industry jump on various forms of social media, the latest being DeGorter with a very enjoyable Instagram feed. Please follow Pete deGorter, who is doing a nice job with sharing some fabulous images that really reach the inner glass geek in me. 

  • The latest Architectural Billings Index is out and once again it’s in the plus territory. There is no doubt this index has been on a heck of a roll and specifically the nonresidential side is really encouraging. I will admit I am trying to contain my giddiness. I had a good friend and co-worker mention to me in the past that these indexes can sometimes not mimic real life. But so far, all indications are positive, so I am staying on my happy course here.

  • Very interesting news on the San Francisco football stadium and the possibility of them looking to add some sort of shading because the one side of the field bakes in the hot California sun. I’m continually blown away about outdoor stadiums failing the orientation test and knowing where the sun will be hitting during various events and times. It’s incredible what $1 billion doesn’t cover these days.

  • Last, check out my video of the week. I mentioned on my previous post about Guardian Glass and their video roll out at GlassBuild. It’s really an impressive and fun piece featuring what I consider the best production value (aside from being a glass geek I am an ex-TV producer who still misses that business) I have ever seen from our industry. Again, kudos to all involved.

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, September 18, 2017

GlassBuild America 2017 is now complete and I can honestly say this year's event was unlike any of the others I have attended. The weather scenario surely played an unexpected role in how things would unfold. In the end, I think the experience was more positive than many could have expected when the forecast targeted Atlanta for the day before the show opened (and the day most people would arrive).

There were great stories of people who were so determined to get there they had to rebook flights multiple times or had to fly to cities near Atlanta and drive in. But once attendees arrived, they were greeted with two great days of weather and a jam-packed floor that raised the bar once again in regards to exhibits and product offerings.

Thank you to all who attended and exhibited. Your efforts were truly appreciated and I hope you benefit greatly from it.   

So, now to my annual look at the things I liked and noticed and the people I ran into along the way:

Note that I was not as active on the floor as I have been in the past because I spent a lot of time at the Window & Door Dealer Days. While that took me away from some of the action, I learned a ton there and was blown away by the content and collaboration.

There is no doubt that oversized and interior glass is hot right now. I was impressed by the focus on those categories from the product, component and machinery side. Speaking of machinery, each year seeing the advancements really gets me going. Glass equipment both from fabricating and installation keeps getting smarter and faster. I also liked the concentration on safety with regards to the installation equipment being shown. 

In terms of booths, exhibitors are not messing around. They take this event seriously and their exhibits show it. Some are more artistic or graphically pleasing incorporating product (Vitro, Guardian, Lisec, Bohle, M3, HHH, Quanex), while others come straight at you with their wares, cutting to the chase (IGE, C.R. Laurence, Matodi, Gardner). But in the end, it was truly an impressive display of approaches to brand and product.

For me, the networking is always the key and being able to catch up with the best and brightest in our world is quite frankly a thrill. I got to spend time pre-show with Rob Struble of Vitro and I still hope his marketing acumen will rub off on me someday. It was great to spend a few minutes with Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural, and then to be able to see his amazing product in action at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium was very cool. I only get to see Rob Botman and Jordan Richards from Glassopolis once per year, so I try to take advantage of that, plus I loved that they brought out one of their classic campaigns for their booth background. Well done, men! 

I mention this every year, but even if I only get to spend 30 seconds with the brilliant PR/Marketing/Communication gurus Rich Porayko and Heather West, I am grateful. It was great to see Dan Polling from Schott, and he still could pass for a double for actor James Franco. I love getting time with Mike Synon and Terry Hessom from HHH. Though, Mike always had a line of people waiting to see him, so next year I’ll have to make an appointment. I am glad Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass made it over for the show, and it is always cool to see what’s popping in his world. That guy does great things for our industry.

I was happy to get a few minutes with Darijo Babic of Guardian; his energy and passion for the craft is top notch. And on the subject of top notch and Guardian, I have always had that respect for Chris Dolan and it was good to see him and spend some time. The video and product release that Chris and the gang had was extremely impressive. The production value was off the charts. Serious kudos to everyone who had a part in that effort.

Chris Fronsoe from ICD was among one of the folks who had to drive in from a regional airport, and yet despite the length of trip and adventure, he still was the best-dressed person at the show. I’m always delighted to visit with the great Shelly Farmer of SC Railing.  She introduced me to Scott Rowe of Rowe Fenestration, and that was appreciated greatly. Good guy and was pretty cool of him to tweet out a picture of us on the floor--loved the use of social media! I also met the impressive duo of Jessica Olander and Katie Tarka. They manage the Connecticut and Massachusetts Glass Dealers and I loved how active they were in trying to learn more for their membership and help those groups advance. 

Finally, social media was a big star of the show. More and more people continue to use it and the communication from it became more important with the need to get out information, timing etc. I was honored to be asked to do an Express Learning session on social media, and it was admittedly one of the neater things I have gotten to do in my business life. I can now cross off “speak at GlassBuild” from the bucket list!

So we now look forward to the 2018 show and there’s a lot to expect. I’ll hit on that next week and I’ll also cover the exciting news of GANA and NGA. That is HUGE and great news for our world.

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, September 18, 2017

There was a sense of optimistic uncertainty as GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo opened its doors just a day after Hurricane Irma, then downgraded to a tropical depression, moved through western Georgia and into Alabama. Uncertainty coupled with determination to make the event—no matter the circumstances—worthwhile for exhibitors and attendees. And while the storm caused travel delays and forced some attendees to stay home, the event served as a prime display of the current strength of the North American glass and glazing industry. Exhibitors filled the floor with new advancements and innovations, and attendees came looking to invest.  

“What was shaping up to be the second largest GlassBuild in its history, was thrown a curve ball when first Hurricane Harvey hit in Texas, and then Hurricane Irma hit Florida and Georgia just days before the show. Not surprisingly, those events took a toll on the exhibits and attendance number, but the industry’s resilience and passion made sure the show was far from a wash out,” show organizers said in a statement. The event hosted 458 exhibiting companies occupying 180,395 net square feet on the show floor, and just under 6,000 attendees. 

Check out daily news from the show floor, and listen to industry voices discuss successes and challenges.

GlassBuild America 2017 Opens

GlassBuild America Offers Learning Resources, Extended Hours on Day Two

GlassBuild Closes Strong on Day Three

 

 

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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ours is an industry ready to step up. Never has this been more apparent than this week, as the country reflects on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and as Hurricane Irma, now a tropical storm, continues to make its mark on the southern United States.

Time and time again, the building community has looked to the glass industry to develop better performing, safer products that can stand up to unexpected disasters, whether environmental or man-made. And, time and time again, the glass industry has answered that call, making improvements and introducing products designed to protect property and, more importantly, save lives.

The first major shift toward protective glazing products came in 1992, after Hurricane Andrew roared across southern Florida as a Category 5 storm. The hurricane caused an estimated $26.5 billion in damage, killed 23 and displaced nearly a quarter-million people in the United States alone, and the building industry looked to the glass and fenestration industries to make sure that same destruction from wind-borne debris could not happen again. “In 1992, Hurricane Andrew changed the way the industry looked at fenestration systems,” said Joe Schiavone, director of sales for C.R. Laurence Co., crl-arch.com, in an April article about impact glazing systems.

The next push for protective glazing came after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995, and then again after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. After these terror events, the industry was asked to bring live-saving product improvements to buildings outside of hurricane areas. “We were behind as a nation in regard to [blast systems], but now it would be in the forefront of our industry,” said Andy Canter, president of Ridgeview Glass in an article from June 2017. “We had to learn the requirements of such systems, from engineering through installation, overnight, to meet the changing needs of construction.”

The glass and glazing industry has stepped up to make buildings safer in the United States, and this week makes that clear. The destruction Hurricane Irma caused this week across Florida, where the toughest of hurricane codes have been implemented, would surely have been worse without the correct installation of hurricane-impact glazing.  As the region recovers from the storm, the building community will take stock of how structures performed and will bring fresh challenges to glass and glazing companies to keep making products better. And the industry, once again, will step up. 

Katy Devlin is editor in chief of Glass Magazine. Contact her at kdevlin@glass.org. Follow Glass Magazine on Twitter.

Monday, September 11, 2017

GlassBuild America is finally here, though it’s under very unique and special circumstances thanks to Hurricane Irma. Because the forecasted path of the storm included Atlanta (for a few days, but as of the 5 p.m. update on 9/10, it does not), it’s made the run up to the show much different than normal. Instead of people studying the exhibitor lists, making meeting plans, and cleaning up their work at home before departing, they are monitoring the weather trying to determine what exactly is expected for the area. So obviously with the damage that this hurricane has already done, and the fresh images in our minds from Harvey in Texas, there are some folks who have decided to stay back.

I probably have not handled people cancelling well. It’s mostly because I love this show (full disclosure, I do work for the show), and I know how hard everyone works all year long to get ready. And just as important, I know first-hand the incredible commitment the exhibitors make to do this event. I obviously want the best experience possible for all involved. Trust me, I am not frustrated with the people deciding not to come; I respect those decisions to stay back but my angst is all about the overall situation. (Weather + Timing = Awful) In the end, I need to keep perspective. This storm is doing massive life-changing damage and that is surely more meaningful of my energy, thoughts, prayers and support. The show will go on this week, and it will be back in Vegas in 2018 ready again, as always, to be that crucial part to our industry.

If you are not able to attend or had to cancel, please follow along on social media. You can follow GlassBuild on their Facebook and Twitter feeds. Also, Glass Magazine and Window and Door Magazine will have continuous coverage on social media. In addition, there will be many other media outlets at the show and providing coverage as well. You can still stay connected. Plus, I may do a Periscope or Tweet-storm myself.

Here’s a quick list to connect: 

If you are coming to the show, please download the GlassBuild America app. If you have downloaded in the past, you need to delete those versions and download the new one Click here for more info.

Some pre-show thoughts from the tradeshow floor, I am really impressed by the overall size. It is the biggest and most impressive tradeshow floor I have seen in many years. In some past years, I could zip from end-to-end pretty quickly; that will not be the case this year. I was also impressed by some of the exhibits as they were coming together. Once again, the creativity going into this has been strong. The annual Best in Show competition will be tough on the judges!  

I also loved seeing so many of the loyal companies who come here year after year in support of the industry. I know I will miss some (and I am sorry), but people like FeneTech, C.R. Laurence, Guardian, Bohle, MyGlassTruck, HHH Tempering, Vitro, Forel, GGI and IGE are here. Then there’s a ton of companies that I have always either read about or saw at other events that are showing this time. And last, we have folks that are back here after a few years away. It’s a very interesting and diverse floor.

I am here and ready. The weather for the first day may be windy and rainy, but after that it looks positive and I am excited to see what happens. Next week, I will have my complete recap including my favorites and people who I ran into and sadly may have missed.

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, September 4, 2017

GlassBuild America is the epicenter for glass industry education. Don’t take my word for it; ask industry enthusiast and expert—and all around good guy—Max Perilstein. Manufacturers and glass professionals alike attend to see what’s new, to size each other up, reconnect with colleagues, and to learn. We learn about your needs, you learn about our offering, and whether  it adds value to your business. Together we strategize how to collaborate, leveraging each others' strengths to tackle projects per the spec and by the budget, ultimately increasing profitability. 

GlassBuild America takes the education element to the next level by offering Express Learning sessions. These brief, yet informative segments address the key business and product trends affecting your company.

I was honored to have Glass Magazine invite C.R. Laurence to give a presentation on glass railings in the Express Learning Theater. Glass railings present our industry with a problematic gray area in terms of code compliance and misinterpretations. We’re not taking it lightly, and are flying in two of our heavy hitters for the event. Chris Hanstad collaborated directly with the International Code Council to spearhead the first-and-only ICC-approved base shoe system for glass guardrails. Paul Daniels has 30 years of glass industry experience under his belt, and has helped (literally) write the book for GANA standards. Both are CSI, CDT certified, and will demystify code compliance. We will address the areas that put your projects, your reputation, your company, and the life and safety of people at risk.

The presentation will cover everything you need to know to enter and compete in the glass railings market:

  • Impact of 2015 IBC updates
  • Testing standards and load requirements
  • Dry glazing vs.  wet glazing
  • Laminated glass edge considerations
  • Cap rail requirements
  • Interlayer types and benefits/concerns
  • Role of the ICC and ICC-ES evaluation reports

Join us on day two of  GlassBuild America, Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m., in the Express Learning Theater. If you can’t make it to the show, follow @GlassMag on Twitter for a live stream. Join the conversation by tagging @CRLaurence and using hashtags #ExpressLearning and #GlassBuild. See you in Atlanta!

Andrew Haring is vice president of marketing for C.R. Laurence Co.-U.S. Aluminum. Contact him at andrew_haring@crlaurence.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, September 4, 2017

Here at FeneTech, we’re engineers by trade, but we wouldn’t be the company we are if we weren’t also dreamers. We’re currently working to turn one such dream into reality. Dream along with us.

Imagine that as a glass fabricator or a window manufacturer

  • Your machinery could tell you when to plan scheduled downtime maintenance in real-time.
  • All machinery in your plant, regardless of manufacturer, communicated in the same exact way, eliminating the need for proprietary interfaces.
  • You have the ability to receive alerts and alarms from this centralized system so that you can manage by exception rather than by monitoring everything individually.
  • Your ERP system could dynamically adjust your plant capacity and lead times based on real-time machine performance, not theoretical assumptions that once set are rarely changed.
  • Your ERP system could automatically create and issue purchase orders for needed machine parts in a just-in-time fashion.
  • Environmental conditions in your plant could be monitored and alerts provided as necessary based on temperatures, humidity or other variables.

As a machinery manufacturer

  • You could view the operational status of all your machinery in the field by customer or by product type.
  • You could proactively schedule service calls based on real-time, in-the-field analysis of machinery.
  • You could proactively schedule the shipment of required machine parts and eliminate “rush” orders.
  • Your machinery could send you alerts when it is being operated outside of warranty conditions.

As a components manufacturer or supplier

  • You could easily see the inventory levels of all the materials you supply by region or customer.
  • You could easily see the forecasted requirements of the materials you supply by region or customer.
  • You could proactively schedule the shipment of materials to customers based on this data.
  • By analyzing real-world, real-time forecasts, you could see the future.

The way to turn these visions into reality is to develop a baseline communication standard that will allow all machinery, software and suppliers to talk the same language. FeneTech is taking the initiative to lead an industry standard that we’re calling FENml. FENml (fenestration manufacturing language) provides the backbone for these dreams and the foundation for bringing to life the concepts of the Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0.

FeneTech is hosting informational meetings on this initiative at GlassBuild America in Atlanta on September 12 and 13. Please contact us for details and register to attend.

Join us and share in the excitement of turning this dream into reality.

Ron Crowl is president of FeneTech Inc. Contact him at ron.crowl@fenetech.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, September 4, 2017

My thoughts are still with everyone affected and disrupted by Hurricane Harvey. I’m in awe over the amount of rain and damage the storm did in such a short time. Now we have Irma churning out at sea that may come our way next. After a few quieter years, it looks like hurricane seasons are back. For those who are in recovery mode, and those who may be in the path of the next storm or storms, hang in there. And if you have not donated to any of the Houston campaigns out there, please consider it. The recovery for many is going to take a very long time and they’ll need all the help they can get.

Elsewhere…

  • I’m a month behind in my Glass Magazine reviews, so this is a look at the August issue that features the sharp black and white photos on the cover. Obviously, the main push is a fantastic and thorough preview of GlassBuild America. That area is a must review for all participants. There are also excellent pieces in the issue from David Vermeulen of TGP and Matt Johnson of the Gary Law Firm. Plus, the piece on prismatic glass was intriguing to me. Check it all out. Once again, worth your time.
  • The ad of the month was a tough one because this issue was loaded. But the winner was Pulp Studio and the “Perception vs. Reality” piece. It was a smart use of art, text and theme. Props to Bernard Lax and team on that one.
  • Another note on GlassBuild America, the last day, which provides the amazing opportunity to see me speak on social media, will also feature the end-of-show reception/party. That event will be a good way to blow off some steam and also win some great prizes. Overall, I am expecting three fabulous days at the show and can’t wait to see everyone there!
  • The glass industry had a quick hit on a great documentary recently. In the ESPN 30 for 30 “What Carter Lost,” there was a brief archived clip of the signage of Oak Cliff Glass & Mirror from 1988. Not sure if that sign or location still exists, but cool to see since Oak Cliff Glass & Mirror is one of the better known brands in the glazing community in Texas. I’m such a glass geek that a sign from a company fires me up.
  • Recently, I wrote about some marketing maneuvers in our industry I was not a fan of. Another one is using the entire square footage of the actual building space to promote where the glass was installed, not the actual openings. They don’t mention the actual usage of glass square footage, so it’s a way to float a big number out there that truly isn’t associated with the actual material supplied and installed. Basically, if I supplied a door lite to the AT&T Stadium in Dallas, I could write a PR that notes my glass went into this amazing 3 million-square-foot project (even though the actual glass was only one opening, probably 16 square feet). Hopefully people are smart enough to read through these sort of games, but you never know.
  • Last this week, the battle for gaining quality workers continues, and I saw a new approach that caught my eye. A window company here in Michigan is giving away $500 Amazon gift cards just for interviewing! I have to assume there’s some sort of catch, but I gotta think they’ll surely get some people in the door. No doubt it’s tough to find people, so desperate times call for some desperate measures.

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.