From the Fabricator: Challenges on the Road

The overall business atmosphere is good news/bad news right now. On the good side is a continued positive trend with regards to market conditions, though some regions have hit some soft spots recently, I’m not very worried about that. The area of challenge and concern is two-fold. Between manufacturing issues at one level of our industry and the impact of the run of natural disasters we just experienced, receiving and shipping product is an adventure. I am always stressing communication as a good rule, and I usually really hammer on it when things tighten, so now more than ever making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial. While I have confidence that the needed products can still be purchased, my fear on the trucking and transportation side continues to grow. That side of the world was already thin and now more and more the available carriers are being rightfully called into duty to help those recover from the hurricanes in the last two months. This is going to be a bumpy ride for sure, so again, be proactive and communicate and work closely with everyone up and down the chain for best results.

Elsewhere…

  • When I gave my presentation on social media at GlassBuild America, one of the bigger items I hit on was the use of LinkedIn. Interestingly, that was a sore point for many that commented to me afterwards. My push is that LinkedIn is a must for business and personal. It is a legitimatizing factor, especially when you are trying to build a business or personal brand. But I could see where some took issue. For a few years, LinkedIn lost control, began over emailing with recaps and group news that were not relevant at all. Also as LinkedIn became worldwide, pushes from all over the globe started to fill in and for many those connections or potential connections were also not a major need. If this were 2013, I’d never recommend it. However, in the past two years LinkedIn has really cleaned up its process. You have control over the emails you get and they are not going above and beyond that. The global push has calmed as well. So now it is what it was really meant to be: a very good place to make connections and learn new things and I think you’d agree both of those are pretty good attributes. 

  • The run of 2018 forecasts from the bigger firms will be coming out over the next four to six weeks or so. One of them will be from Construct Connect and their Chief Economist Alex Carrick did a Q&A as a preview. This was an interesting read. He doesn’t see it a rosy as others, which should make these upcoming presentations very interesting. He also covers hurricane effects, etc. 

  • Glass Magazine review time. A few main pieces to check out: the Carl Tompkins article on the “Top 10 Most Common Problems” in the work place is crucial for any manager. The Cam Marston piece on the “Multi Generational Workplace” is excellent and just still bums me out that his speech at GlassBuild was missed by so many. Great insight! Also, the winners of the Glass Magazine Awards are recognized and there are some really impressive projects there. Plus, kudos to YKK AP on the back page story for their investment in our youth. Classy as always, and I come to expect that from Mike Turner and the team there. 

  • The ad of the month was tough as I try to not award the same exact ad twice, so that knocked out a good handful. The winner this month was Assa Abloy and their “Clear Direction” piece, which was a simple layout with their panic front and center and the hot office trend of tons of glass behind it. I don’t know the folks who designed this one, so if you do, pass on my congrats on a job well done!

  • Last this week, just a programming note. No post for next week unless some major news breaks. I’ll be back in my familiar spots for the week of 10/15 and with the end of the year gaining on us…. get ready…. It’s Glass Industry MVP season. Who will take home that insanely prestigious honor?

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.

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