From the Fabricator: Potential Roadblocks Ahead

A few weeks ago, I was extremely honored to give the keynote address at the Texas Glass Association Glass Conference II. It really was a wonderful experience as the folks from great state of Texas are some of the best around. They are truly classy and hospitable to the end.

The theme of my hour-long presentation was “State of the Industry” where I spent around 30 minutes on economic forecasts and then the rest on trends, concepts, events, and conclusions. On the forecast side I pulled data from 11 different sources and went through many different segments and applications. The main takeaway I provided after all of this research was that there is a softening of the markets coming our way. It doesn’t look like it will be a long stretch and there’s no indicators that show the weaknesses being as bad as 2008-2009, but it was interesting for me to get into all of the data and see this is what we have coming.

Basically, there will be some lighter volumes into 2020, with things improving towards the end of next year and into 2021. One of the things I told the attendees was to look at technology and innovation now instead of later. If you can improve yourself or your operation now—meaning efficiencies, etc.—this is the time to do it.  Don’t wait until next year, that is for sure. 

The event overall was fantastic. Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass had an incredible presentation on the workforce of today and how to reach them. He’s become a very polished and natural speaker—he’s more than just a TV star these days. In addition, I really enjoyed what Nathan McKenna of Vitro and Erica Couch of Tri-Star delivered in their spots. Great stuff all the way around. Kudos to Felix Munson, Sam Hill, and everyone at the TGA for a job well done!


  • I did also talk about the Architectural Billings Index and was waiting to see if we were back in the black this month after our first down month in two years. Sure enough, we climbed into positive territory, with a reading barely at 50.5. I had a feeling it would pop up from its low number in the previous month and now I see it treading water for a while. 
  • Glass Magazine review time: the issue has “Protector” on the very snazzy cover and is the May 2019 edition. The main theme is Glass & Metals 401: Guide to Protective Glazing. With how important this segment is in our world right now, I strongly recommend you grab the issue or check it out online as the info in here is absolutely fabulous and necessary. 
  • Ad of the month goes to C.R. Laurence. “The Building Envelope Simplified” was an excellent ad piece that truly shows the power of glass and smartly showed where CRL’s contributions were. The picture and callouts did the heavy lifting and impressed me. Kudos to the minds behind that one.
  • I never fly in or out of JFK in NYC, but I may have to make an exception someday to get to the new TWA hotel there. Looks incredibly cool!
  • Last this week, another GlassBuild plug from me. Don’t click away, read on please. Have you registered yet? Have you gotten the hotel taken care of? If not do it now—we have now passed Memorial Day and we all know this summer will fly by. There’s a ton of good pieces in the works for the show and you will need to be there and especially if you are looking to the advice I laid out at the top of the post. You have to be there. Any questions on it, please reach out to me!

Read on for links and video of the week...


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