From the Fabricator: 2018 Trends and More

2018 is now rolling along and we’ve flown right by the midway point of January, so I better get my trends/predictions out for the year. They are…

  1. Trucking 
    Trucking at all levels will be an even bigger challenge. Getting truckloads has been difficult for the last several years because of the lack of equipment, drivers and companies. That will continue. But now at the fabricator and glazier level, there are Department of Transportation rules in effect that could disrupt the way things are usually done. New restrictions on hours and more accurate logging is already changing the way the logistic world plays out and the trickle-down effect will be delay of materials and less flexibility on jobsite deliveries.

  2. Big and sophisticated
    Big and sophisticated are achievable. In the past, the specs would call for materials that were either too large for most fabricators or too difficult to be cost effective. Those days are over. Suppliers have adapted. Now glaziers and glass shops are realizing they can get virtually whatever they want glass wise.

  3. Security glass
    Security glass goes wild. Dang it I am putting this on here until it happens. 2018 will be the year.

  4. Private equity
    Private equity in and out. 2017 saw a few new private equity players invest in the glass industry. I am betting that 2018 will see an existing one leave, most likely selling to another PE firm or a company from overseas.

  5. Association merger
    The merger of NGA and GANA will go through and be great in the end. Yes, I am a proponent of the merger. I heard from a dear friend this week that he was not and his reasons why. There is a fear that there’s still a lot to be known on how this deal will look in the end, but I am extremely confident, knowing the players on both sides the way I do, that it is going to come out fine. I love that there is a dialogue and that needs to continue for the good of our industry and the success of a combined entity that features one unified voice.


  • If you are coming to GANA BEC (you really should), then get your hotel reservations done asap. That week in Vegas has some other action happening and the room rates GANA secured are excellent (trust me I studied it). Deadline is Feb. 1, so book it now while you are thinking about it. Learn more and register here.

  • For my fellow road warriors, we need to get legislation passed for at least one outlet on the night table next to your hotel room bed. This week I had a hotel where the only outlet near the bed was behind it and low to the floor. It was not fun trying to plug the phone in. Yes, I am spoiled, but no way I am alone in wanting this!

  • From the times change file, I watched Saturday Night Fever for the first time in probably 30 years. Wow, talk about a movie that could never be done in these times. Amazingly politically incorrect (I’m not PC, but this was off the charts), and in many cases disturbing and vile. I had only remembered the great Bee Gees music. The re-watch was painful.

  • Last this week, a call for thoughts and prayers for George Sultage of Vitro. George posted word on Linkedin about a pretty serious health crisis he is having and, quite frankly, can use all of the positivity we can muster. George is a great guy, respected and popular with all he interacts with. Hang in there George; we as an industry are behind you!

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 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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