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 They untangle bottlenecks, make printed order files outdated, manage inventory, enable better communication, optimize production workflows, ensure better delivery reliability, and make all processes easier and more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 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 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

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.