From the Fabricator: Busy Month Ahead and Mixed Forecasts

It’s nearly October and it looks to be an extremely busy month. The business climate is very positive right now, and optimism may be at its highest level in several years, leaving everyone at varying levels of “hectic.” Though, I have to admit, I can’t get “don’t repeat the mistakes of the past” out of my mind. Hopefully lessons were truly learned from earlier years.

Several trade shows are also happening, all at the end of the month. The two main shows are Greenbuild in New Orleans and glasstec in Germany. In my estimation, Greenbuild has not been a good show for a while. The lack of floor traffic, exacerbated by minimal quality of said traffic, is a big issue. But since there is a hope of an architect sighting at Greenbuild, people will still exhibit and attend. Given the way business is going right now, Greenbuild should have a good show, but we will see and I’ll wait to hear from those who will be attending.

Across the ocean in Germany is the largest glass show in the world, glasstec.  And for the first time ever, I am attending. From everything I have heard and read, this show is beyond belief. I can’t wait to see it for myself and then report back to all of you. If you are going to glasstec, let me know. It would be great to run into friendly faces while navigating that monster of a multiple-hall set up.


  • October also happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while I despise the NFL’s blatant “Pinkwashing” of this effort, I do believe in supporting it where I can, and believe it has a need. It was very cool to see what the folks at Dip-Tech are doing by creating a special breast cancer awareness sample for their customers’ sample kits. It’s a tremendous idea to cross their product with a noble charitable effort. Great idea to raise awareness in a truly creative way.
  • Time for my ad of the month in Glass Magazine. The latest issue, with a focus on decorative, was tremendous, by the way. We have some seriously talented companies in this industry. Anyway, the ad award for the month goes to GLG Canada for their neat and informative piece on where their glass handling machines can fit into the glass and glazing world. Very eye catching and well done!
  • The Glass Magazine People Award winners were announced in that issue as well. Major congratulations to all of the winners. A special shout out to Dan Pompeo who took the title in what I’d have to assume to be a very competitive Best Sales Rep category. I have known Dan for years and he’s a terrific person all the way around. So happy for him to get this award, but also credit and props should go to his wife, Stacey, who happens to be pretty awesome, too!
  • Mixed results on the various monthly forecasting reports…

The Architectural Billings Index continues to be strong though down just a bit from the previous month. So far the past indicators of the ABI have held true. The biggest months in 2013 were the July/August/September combo and that forecast held in the 9-12 month window. But I know many of you will say of this forecast that even a clock is right twice a day; did they just get lucky? Possibly. I can’t rule that out, but for now I’ll take it. 

On the flip side, McGraw Hill’s latest report showed a sharp decline from the previous month though the analysts expected the decline given some of the projects that were incorporated into the previous month's totals. Still, no one wants to see anything with the word “decline” in it. Heading into the winter months it will be very interesting to see how this all continues to progress.

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.


Login to post comments