From the Fabricator: Positive Index

Last week I wrote about the expectations for a strong second half of the year. That post brought some reaction my way from a cross section of people. Some have had solid years to date, and others are hoping that my prediction here isn’t as bad as my sports ones. The positive news for all was that this week another metric came through to continue the push. The Dodge Momentum Index was up yet again and it’s now nearing a 10-year high.  This is now five straight months on the plus side, and while the increases on each report are not huge, they are still going in the right direction. Now let’s have that translate to the day-to-day for those that need it!

Elsewhere....

  • Attention glazing contractor friends, there is an excellent “Thirsty Thursday” webinar coming up on July 19 on the top 10 things to look for when negotiating glazing contracts. This is presented by the NGA and is a member-only benefit. If you are a member sign up; if you’re not, you should be joining so you don’t miss incredible education like this. The great Courtney Little of ACE Glass will be the presenter so you know this will be good!

  • Something I never thought of but found very cool: the tallest buildings ever to be conventionally demolished. Who knew someone kept such stats on this approach. And I was surprised not seeing the one hotel in Las Vegas that was taken down a few years ago (the City Center one that never opened) on the list. Interesting stuff! 

Big 3 interview

Nathalie Thibault, architectural sales director, Prelco

One of the reasons I decided to do this series was to learn more from people smarter than me. This week, that theme absolutely applies with Nathalie. Her approach and intelligence are off the charts and, as you’ll find out below, she’s always pushing for more. 

You are very active within the industry and the trade associations including major board positions now and in the past. You are very knowledgeable with our world. What do you think are some of the key challenges we face as an industry and how do we address them?

I believe the number one challenge that we are facing is the globalization of our industry. We must adapt to various standards, higher expectations, worldwide competition and complex logistics.

The wide variety and complexity of products and their different combinations is also increasingly difficult to manage. We see more and more combinations of various high-performance low-E, several layers of glass and patterns and colors on a single unit! That complexity makes it very difficult to ensure consistency. And, to add to this, the expectations on the required timeline for production are almost the same as if it were simple products. That is why education to all stakeholders in the construction and glass industry should be our number one priority.

Another major challenge that we are facing is finding labor. Knowledgeable resources are getting very scarce and manpower is also extremely difficult to find. Our industry will need to work on attracting young and passionate professionals.

As I have told you in person, I have always been a fan of your company. Prelco is very diverse with products and segments, so I am curious, how do you stay focused when you are dealing with so many different worlds?

A company really needs a strong vision to be able to achieve that kind of diversification. We had to look at our business model on a few occasions to realign our efforts and prioritize certain segments in which we operate. Some segments are changing extremely fast as well, which requires us to adapt rapidly. There were times where we had to abandon certain efforts in order to focus on the segments where we really wish to become real leaders. However, I must say that, in the end, it is that same diversification that has benefited the company throughout the years and allowed it to get through slower economic cycles.

Did I read correctly that you are now studying for your MBA. I am curious with all you already know in the business arena, what is driving you to get more education?

I have indeed begun my master’s degree in strategy and innovation over a year ago. I decided to pursue these studies because I felt that I needed to push my managing skills a notch further. I believe that having a good theoretical understanding of today’s business environment is likely to provide me with the necessary tools to strategize and innovate appropriately in our rapidly changing world. It has been a very interesting journey so far, and it made me expand my horizons beyond the glass manufacturing sector.

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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