From the Fabricator: Looking Back Before Looking Ahead

Each year I start my blog posts with a look back at previous predictions and then forward with ones for the new year. 2018 has great potential for all involved, and I am excited for all that is coming down the pike. I’ll hit more on the year ahead next week. For now, let’s look back.

In January of 2017, I made the following predictions. Let’s see how I did.

#1- More Unitized. Honestly, I think I nailed this. Unitized is the hottest segment on the framing side and not cooling off soon. (Speaking of unitized, get to BEC. A great discussion is scheduled on this subject there.)

#2- Net Zero growth. I am going to say I got this half right. It grew, but not nearly as much as I thought. I am bummed that more structures continue to fall for the folly that is LEED and not NetZero.

#3- Security, Again. I predicted in 2016 and was wrong. I brought it back in 2017 and was wrong again. It just did not take off like I expected. I am half tempted to put it on the 2018 list again. It’s going to happen. Someday.

#4- Deals and Acquisitions. I think this was an easy win thanks to Apogee buying EFCO along with some other smaller, but still important, deals.

#5- A new social push. I got this one wrong. Maybe because the industry is so busy the advancement in the social media world was light. Or maybe we are really an old-school industry. Either way, the big push was not there.

In the end, I think I did ok, but I am determined to get them all correct in 2018! Check back next week for my trends and predictions post for the year ahead.


  • Before we get too deep into January, it’s time for my monthly Glass Magazine review. The December issue with the amazing cover photo of the team from Giroux Glass in LA handling some seriously heavy materials. The overall theme of this excellent issue was handling and safety. Those are HUGE subjects that affect us all, so very worthwhile reading inside. There were some seriously good HR resources in there. Please check out Katy Devlin’s piece at the front of the magazine on a “near miss;” a very meaningful and helpful article, and my heart was beating way too fast during the start of it. In addition, one of my pet issues, the OSHA Silica Rules are covered as well. All in all, if you are not reading these issues, you are missing out…

  • Ad of the Month is going to double as a plea from me. The ad for BEC in March with keynote speaker Jeff Havens gets my nod. The ad is delivering a message on the generational workplace and it does it quite effectively. And quite frankly, BEC is the event that you need to be at to continue to stay ahead of the trends while keeping your network strong. If you are doing BEC in the spring and GlassBuild in the fall, you are doing it right. In any case, nice ad on the speaker and what he’ll cover. If you want to learn more and register for BEC, click here.

  • The NGA-GANA combination continues to proceed. If you are a GANA member and have not voted, please do so. There is still time and it is worth the few minutes. As I have stated here previously, I believe this deal is a very good one and I am excited about what is next. Also, if you are an NGA member I believe you have a vote to handle as well. So folks, get to the ballot boxes!

  • It was a big week for fellow Glass Magazine blogger Gareth Francey of Bohle America. He and Bohle purchased the shower door hardware manufacturer Portals. Exciting deal for both sides and I am happy for Gareth and team as they continue to grow in the space. So far, all of the deals announced in 2018 are looking very promising for both the folks involved and segments they serve.

  • Last, congrats to my friend Lewis McAllister of Coral Glass on his Crimson Tide winning the National Title. I don’t know anyone else who lives for Alabama football like Lewis, so I am thrilled for him. ROLL TIDE!

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