glassblog

Monday, June 24, 2019

It’s time once again for a social media news roundup! Here is a summary of the biggest moves being made in the social media world this summer, and how they could impact your business.

Instagram

The image-sharing platform has long tried to make it easy for users to toggle back and forth between accounts. But now, Instagram is simplifying things even more for those with multiple accounts by allowing them to connect them all and use one login for all those accounts with the same password. This means, no more setting up new email addresses for additional Instagram accounts! This is great news for social media managers at companies that manage accounts for different divisions or regions.

Twitter

If you have noticed more-spammy-than-usual ads on Twitter, you can blame a test the company has been running in some users’ timelines. Twitter is showing more ads to users to boost ad revenue, but its targeting seems to be off. Plus, users have reported a spike in offensive or junky ads, including ones promoting gambling—which is against the user agreement for ad sales. If your company is running a Twitter ad campaign, consider holding off further ones until this gets worked out.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has been acquiring companies lately, including one called Drawbridge. Drawbridge, according to Crunchbase, “helps companies better understand their customers using machine learning. It addresses user-focused issues like customer experience, digital security, and risk detection.” LinkedIn seeks to use these to their advantage by better targeting professionals on LinkedIn with opportunities. If you manage your company’s LinkedIn page, maybe this development will work to improve LinkedIn’s targeting to drive traffic to your online presence.

Facebook

Some big changes could be coming to the social media giant—a redesign is coming over the next few years, making Facebook more family and friend-focused, and less business-centric. This could mean the audience your company enjoys reaching may become less accessible down the road. According to Social Media Today, to stay in front of Facebook users’ faces, you might consider starting a company “group” rather than maintaining just a company page.

Meryl Williams is the Communications Coordinator for AAMA. She produces national and regional newsletters, writes editorial content and helps lead AAMA’s social media outreach, including the Socially Speaking blog. She has seven years of professional communications experience in both journalism and public relations. 

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. 

Monday, June 24, 2019

We kick off this week with the latest Glass Magazine review and it’s a favorite of mine because it combines the “Top Glazier” issue with an awesome custom GlassBuild cover. Good stuff right off the bat! Because the focus is the Top 50 Glaziers this is a jam-packed edition with everything you could possibly want data and detail wise. Also inside this issue- a tremendous article from Greg Oehlers along with a great piece on workforce development. Great insights and should not be missed.

Meanwhile ad of the month was tough because this is a popular issue, there’s a lot more ads, but the winner is my friends from Bohle America. Gareth Francey designed a piece that got me to stop and look. That is always a big key for me ad wise. Really easy on the eyes and interests me for more info. Well done and congrats!

Before I get to this week’s interview, just a couple of quick notes:

1)    Long time industry leader Ron Parker is leading a charge to defeat ALS. Here is more info on how you can help!

Ride to Defeat ALS will be held on Saturday, July 20, at Mt. Angel, Oregon. If you would like to donate to support those living with ALS and their families, please click here.

Each and every donation will:

  • fund a treatment of ALS, as well as research for finding a cure
  • provide hands-on support to local families during their journey with ALS
  • raise awareness for a disease that is not rare and occurs every 90 minutes in the U.S.

Your gift to this worthy cause is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law

2)    No blog post next week since it’s leading into the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. Hope everyone celebrating and has a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Big 3 Interview

Monique Salas, National Healthcare Business Development Manager, SageGlass

This was a fun one for me as Monique brought totally different skill sets to our industry—she was in pharmaceuticals—and she is a must follow/connect on LinkedIn. In addition as those of you who read this blog consistently know I am huge cheerleader on dynamic glass, so the fact that Monique has an incredible understanding and approach with it, was driving force to do these three questions.

You have extensive experience in the dynamic glass space. There is great confidence that this space will continue to have significant growth. Aside from the fact you sell it, why are you so bullish on these products?

I have a sincere desire to make spaces cleaner and more beautiful. Our living and healing spaces are very important for our mental and physical health. Natural light is a significant component that aids overall wellness. Starting in the late 70s, researchers started to study the impact of natural light on patients. Overwhelmingly, patients exposed to natural light began to heal faster, require less medication and report increased comfort in the presence of natural light. Smart glass now offers the missing element and I find that incredibly exciting. A façade that changes without disruption of color or uniformity on the exterior, yet provides thermal comfort and greater satisfaction for occupants inside. It is a winning combo that meets the needs of the design community, building owners and most importantly, patients. 

Imagine if you will, you walk into a hospital and in the lobby, there are no blinds or curtains. Yet, the welcome staff is not interrupted by glare or heat. It sounds silly, but these are real solutions to increase productivity and thermal comfort. Now, take it a step further and imagine you are a patient in a hospital room with little or no mobility. You want to see outside, but that would depend on your nurse coming in to adjust your blinds of curtains. This could be several minutes or even hours away, depending on how many patients they oversee.

In my opinion, this can be solved in designing spaces with smart glass intelligence. I have had the unique ability to sell in both spaces, thermochromic and electrochromic. Thermochromic being a passive technology that operates on radiant heat; electrochromic an active technology that allows occupants to override with a control, such as an app or wall device. I have come to respect each type or now believe that they should be used in collaboration.

Thermochromic in common spaces, where control is not necessary—lobbies, hallways, and prescription pick up. An electrochromic in-patient room, giving the patients the ability to use an app to control their own thermal comfort. I hope leaders in both subcategories will start to work together on projects to meet the needs of the client. To me, it is not a one size fits all, but a true deep dive into the building delivering evidenced based designs fusing thermochromic and electrochromic.

I’m a big fan of yours for a bunch of reasons but maybe the biggest is you have a sincere desire to constantly be giving back. Where did this value come from and why should we as a society be doing more of this?

First off, that is very kind; thank you, that means the world to me. I would say that there are many contributors ranging from experiencing the adversity of a mixed raced background to the lessons of gratitude and kindness instilled in me by my grandfather who passed away when I was 10. I started off my career in a non-profit and quite frankly wanted to “change the world.” I don’t think it is uncommon for young college graduates to have these ideals. The reality is the burden of education debt often command paths. Living in the Bay Area on a non-profit income is very difficult, if not impossible. In such, I made a conscious choice to exit and enter into a profit generating space. However, the agreement I made with myself is to not abandon my desire to impact the world positively.

We can all do something for someone. This includes the Earth we live on and all of the inhabitants that exist together. Recently, I have made attempts to help save the monarch butterfly population with the simple act of dedicating space in my yard for the plants they enjoy. These are the types of activities, if done by several of us, can reinvigorate an entire population of butterflies. It is birthed in the philosophy of acting locally but think globally. I believe that many people have a sincere desire to do something but feel overwhelmed on the various choices of “volunteerism” and the commitment therein. The truth is, we can all do small acts that can help us feel like we are making a difference. Because at the end of our lives, we are not going to be happy with how much money we made. We are going to remember the lives we impacted and the differences we made. 

You have been associated with the health care world for a great portion of your professional career, so I have to ask which professional is more challenging to work with, the doctor or the architect?

Ha! This is a great question and hilarious! architects for sure. In my time in the pharmaceutical industry I had to work closely with physicians to help meet the needs of their patient populations. Therein, there was a clear connection to medication and outcomes. By that I mean, if your patient has an elevated A1C [indicating high blood sugar level] and I have the leading diabetes medication on the market, there are clear evidenced- based connections for our dialogue and collaboration. However, we are not quite there with the design community and smart glass. Even though, the data exists on natural light and we have shifted into evidenced-based design as a standard, resistance remains widespread largely due to color. I have heard from many architects that they believe smart glass is just too dark. 

The reality is that the rendering never includes blinds or curtains. Architects demo a beautiful picture that is not realistic. In reality, blinds and/or curtains are typically down when the occupants have inhabited the space, which equals little or no access to natural light, resulting a dark or artificially lit space. I hope that more architects will start to apply a larger lens when thinking of designing with smart glass in SD or DD. Money can actually be saved with using smart glass earlier; results being smaller HVAC systems, blind reduction/elimination and spaces can be reimagined to produced better outcomes. I am hopeful that architects with start to see smart glass in the same way physicians see medication; as a tool toward provide wellness.

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. 

Monday, June 17, 2019

David VermeulenIf you haven’t been to Seattle in the summer, you should. It’ll kick your visions of hippies drinking coffee in the rain to the curb. Eighty-degree weather, sun until well past 8 p.m., mountains, trees, water, ferries – the list goes on. It’s so stunning, you might not even notice our grunge scene, plaid shirts and famed movie single sites. Not convinced? Just look at these pictures. As a transplant from Michigan, perhaps I appreciate the views more than most Washingtonians. But locals say the summers are what allow them to survive the rest of the year.

In all seriousness, if pioneering glass artist Dale Chihuly’s “Glass House” exhibit isn’t enough to convince you to visit Seattle, the city should definitely be on your list as a glass pro after Olson Kundig’s recent Space Needle renovation. Yes, the iconic Needle is a tourist attraction that’s plastered on half the logos in the city. But it’s also a remarkable example of glass’ ability to reinvent buildings.

We talk a lot about what glass does for us—how it lets in light, can improve our views and even protect us from fires. It meets such basic occupant wellbeing needs that it’s easy to overlook its wow factor. With the Space Needle right in our own backyard, its potential has been hard to miss. In a classic example of “it’s hard to make time to sightsee in your own city,” I haven’t been to the Needle since before the renovation—I’ll be making a trip out soon, and TGP customers are frequently making trips out. But living just 30 miles away, it’s been fun to follow along with the progress and now the success.

Glass wasn’t just used to restore the building. It’s now one of the reasons visitors come to see the icon. This industry win is a super-hot topic in the glass space, and the press, in my opinion, is well deserved. Let’s give some major props to the building and design team, including Herzog Glass. Here’s a recap of what they accomplished, sometimes by doing near insane feats like this.

Up on the 500-foot level observation deck, visitors can now look out across the city through floor-to-ceiling glass wall panels that tilt out towards the city. They can even lean back against the clear walls on glass benches. The uninterrupted 360-degree view of the city is certainly impressive without the building’s old wire caging barricade, but so is the fact that 1.3 million people visit the Needle each year and put their trust in the glass. I did a little research and found that the glass panels and transparent benches were designed “like reinforced concrete.” I don’t have all the details at my fingertips, but I think we can all say the engineering feat is as impressive as the views.  

And then, of course, there’s the world’s first—and for the moment, only—revolving glass floor, the “Loupe.” It also sits at the 500-foot level, giving visitors a chance to look down at the city below. Glass floors have really come into their own over the last decade, and this one does not disappoint. I encourage you to dig into the details at some point, but to recap, the result is a mix of structural glass, high-strength interlayers, sacrificial lites, low-iron glass, custom frits and a design tested for more than 100 pounds/square foot and 600-pount point loads.

Views and an awesome installation aside, what’s the coolest thing about the Space Needle? For the moment, when you research the icon, it’s the glass that people are talking about. It’s a trend that seems to be growing. Chicago has the TILT. CN Tower has the glass floor. Now Seattle has the Needle and its Loupe.

What’s your favorite example of how glass technology was used to reinvent or create an icon?

David Vermeulen is the national sales manager for Technical Glass Products (TGP), a supplier of fire-rated glass and framing systems, and other specialty architectural glazing. TGP works closely with architects, designers and other building professionals, providing them with the state-of-the-art products, service and support to maximize design aesthetics and safety in commercial and institutional buildings around the world. Contact him at 800/426-0279.

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.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Plenty of rundowns came my way about the AIA show and the majority of reports were that it was not very good for the exhibitor. That’s never a surprise since AIA is not ever geared to take care of or support the folks on the floor, but this year I think it may push people off the bus finally. Our industry desires architects the way I desire pizza—intensely—but when you are spending six figures for minimal return, it may be time to recalculate the approach. AIA next year is in Los Angeles, which has people tempted, but I just can’t see it being any better because the show model is what it is, and always will be.

For additional perspective this very good recap, along with very helpful insight, from Mark Mitchell is worth checking out.

Elsewhere…

  • The agenda is out for the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild and it is dynamite. Aside from the yearly economist talk, there’s an awesome pair of presentations- “A New Type of Glazier: From Glass Company to Building Enclosure Expert” and “Labor Power Hour: Engage Your Front Line to Increase Your Bottom Line”—both of these sessions will be worth the price of admission and then some. Seriously look hard at this: link is here.
  • If you are exhibiting at GlassBuild, make sure you check the last email you received from the show and take advantage of the free webinar on “Increasing Brand Awareness & Driving Qualified Booth Traffic” —it is a fabulous session and worth your time.
  • Personnel news: an old friend lands in a new spot. The great Bob Cummings has taken over the role of vice president of architectural sales and marketing for Consolidated Glass Holdings. Bob is one of those guys that everyone loves. Not likes. Loves. So, I am sure there are many thrilled folks out there especially having him back in the fabrication side of our industry. Congrats to Bob on the new gig and it will be nice to have him back in the mix at all of our events!
  • At the end of the month the bi-annual Glass Performance Days will take place in Finland. This event is the international home for excellent technical insight for the glass world and features education in many different ways and settings over its time period. In addition, a major award will be presented, the Jorma Vitkala Award of Merit will be handed out during the opening reception and there’s a ton of very good and interesting candidates up for it. Click here for more details on the award and the nominees. Personally, I’d love to see Ren Bartoe win it as a fitting cap on his epic career in the business but there’s no bad candidate on the list.
  • Last this week, I was on an excellent webinar about travel security with regards to electronics. Learned amazing insights on the dangers in USB ports and airport boarding passes along with other dos and don’ts—shred boarding passes and luggage tags when done, the bar code contains a ton of info on you. The moderator also put up a slide of the riskiest airports with regards to Wi-Fi and data. Heads up, here they are:

5) Newark: having spent so much time there in my life, this does not surprise me.

4) Southwest Florida, Ft. Myers: shocking at first but then you think, snowbirds could be great targets.

3) Houston Hobby: I have never flown in or out of there, so no idea.

2) John Wayne: whoa pardner—the Duke would not be happy with his name on a “risk list” like this.

1) San Diego! This stuns me. I love San Diego, and I love that airport, so it’s amazing that your data and privacy may be more in play there anywhere else.

Fellow road warriors, be aware when you are in these airports—use your VPN to stay safe!

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. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

“What is the top question you hear from architects?” This is a question I have asked glass and glazing companies for several years when attending industry trade shows. The responses normally cover topics such as oversized glass use, aesthetics, cost or performance, and the products to fill those needs.

However, the responses to that question were different during the the 2019 AIA Architecture Expo, held June 6-7 in Las Vegas. While issues such as energy and thermal efficiency were always a part of the conversation, glass and glazing companies report that architects now more than ever seem to be asking for solutions on a per-project basis—engineered niche products—and the glass and glazing industry is rising to the challenge.

“We’re focused on the types of buildings architects are designing, asking, ‘what are you designing for,’ and then finding the right solutions, marrying materials with other product lines architects can design to,” says Colin Brosmer, vice president of sales for Kawneer.

This year’s AIA Expo showcased the industry’s major strides in finding the connection points between people and products. No matter what question architects have for glass and glazing companies, its response is to foster more conversations and training opportunities, then collaboratively engineer product solutions for connecting performance, aesthetics and cost, according to exhibitors.

Jacob Kasbrick, regional architectural manager for Guardian Glass, notes the regionality of architectural needs, and how to meet them as they change. Namely, the company’s SunGuard product line continues to expand with new coatings to meet codes and ordinances related to solar heat gain, reflectivity and visible light transmittance, which vary region by region. “We’re working with architects to navigate these shifting issues from region to region,” Kasbrick says. “It seems simple but taking architects to your plant is a great way to help them understand the product, how it’s made and what it does. It helps them with the vocabulary and knowing what they need.”

Several exhibitors indicated their effort to improve and expand current products, while also pushing messaging to improve their reach with architects, and better educate architects on product capabilities, on and off the show floor.

“We’re working on value-added and customizable tweaks to our products, to offer architects high-performance alternatives to traditional glazing methods,” says Michael Cintani, product manager, Mapes. The company showcased the Mapes SpanPanel for spandrel and floor lines and the Mapes R+, able to achieve R30. “The challenge now is to educate architects on our products and their possibilities. We need more conversations,” he says.

Tubelite hosts Lunch and Learns for AIA continuing education credit in order to educate architects on glazing systems, regional requirements and codes. In response to conversations with architects and other customers, the company launched a new hurricane impact door designed for Wind Zone 3 compliance. “Architects tend to design for Miami-Dade even in places beyond Miami-Dade County, where this testing isn’t required. This adds unnecessary expense and limits design capabilities,” says Tom Mifflin, product manager. “This door expands hardware and glazing options, opening design possibilities while still meeting large missile impact testing.”

While not everyone had a direct response to the number one topic architects are asking about, most had a response to this question: “How can the industry better serve the design community?”

The responses always called for more communication and more connection between all parts of the supply chain. Seemingly, some gaps between this industry and its ability to reach architects are closing, but the next frontier in designing and building for the future is making connections using technology and fostering transparency, exhibitor sources say.

“The point is not to push products on customers just to sell them. It’s to find solutions that actually work for each project,” says Danik Dancause, marketing operations manager for Walker Glass Co. In order to do this, “information has to be shared to help solve design issues. Ask the right questions, rely on architectural reps.”

The American Institute of Architects will be offering an online sales team training course this summer, to help manufacturers’ reps better understand and sell to architects. “Our research [from the sales rep training] shows that on one hand, manufacturers’ reps don’t think architects value them, and, on the other, architects view manufacturers’ reps as vital to their business,” says John Crosby, managing director, AIA. “The focus for manufacturers should be on a consultative relationship, rather than a transactional sales approach.”

On the trade show floor, “architects want to see, touch and feel products—we know this,” says Crosby. “We also know that architects can be overwhelmed by the expo. If they’re compressed by the show floor experience, what are we—AIA and exhibitors—doing wrong? Give them a reason to be in your booth and want to be there, to engage. They want to know what’s new and what they need.”

This is a growth opportunity for the glass and glazing industry, to continue building relationships and communicate vital product knowledge with architects. Exhibitors and industry companies can accomplish this through “technology, unique engagements and a customized experience,” says Crosby.

Brosmer calls for more technology and digitization as well, in order to improve supply chain communication and output. “A big opportunity for the industry is becoming more efficient from design to delivery. A way to do that is digitizing the supply chain, connecting one stage to the next,” he says. “Now we have a lot of passing off of documents, recreating documents and work, lots of questions. But how do you connect and understand the connection points of a project? Digitizing would get us there.”

Like with engineered product solutions, along with technology, finding and maintaining connection points throughout the supply chain requires more communication and openness. “Consumer buying habits with instant product information and purchasing options from retailers like Amazon are transferring to the B2B world,” says Steve Schohan, marketing manager, YKK AP America. “Sharing about what makes us great makes us more reachable. We can build on each other and improve each other.”

Read about the NGA's presence at the AIA Architecture Expo.
See coverage of the show on Twitter. 

Bethany Stough is managing editor of Glass Magazine and content manager for the National Glass Association. Contact her at bstough@glass.org. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Some very good technical information hitting the streets over the last few weeks, and with holidays and vacations, you may not have seen them all so I figured I would do a quick roundup for you. Surely worthwhile information to be had. 

  • Trex Commercial Products had a fantastic release,  “Three Glazing Myths Debunked,” which was very impressive. The team there did a nice job addressing some big issues on the railing side and they did it in a sharp and concise way. Well done! 

  • Meanwhile the National Glass Association released three new Glazing Informational Bulletins (GIBS) that are all complimentary! These GIB’s were developed by your peers in the industry, an incredible list of talent that is for sure, and was led by my reigning Industry MVP Nathalie Thibault of Prelco Inc. The subjects were systematic updates to the “Recommended Applications for Heat-Treated Glass” and “Approximate Weight of Interlayer Used in Laminated Architectural Flat Glass” along with a new release, “Thermal Stress in Heat Treated Spandrel Glass.” The last one has gained notoriety thanks to some incidents in the field, so having a GIB at the ready is only making us better as an industry. Kudos to everyone involved and thank you for volunteering your time and knowledge. To get these docs along with tons of other technical pieces, click here.  

  • NGA also announced the launch of its new Glass & Glazing Academy, an online portal that will be working in combo with the fine folks from Architectural Record. This is a huge addition for our industry and credit to Andrew Haring and his team at NGA for spearheading it. More info can be found here

  • Obviously things are happening all the time in our world and keeping up with them can be a challenge. So do yourself a favor and make plans now to get to events like Fall Conference in Toledo (Register before 6/15 and save $150!) or GlassBuild America in Atlanta. Don’t get left behind! 

Elsewhere… 

  • The annual AIA show was last week in Vegas and I was not there. I’m looking forward to hearing feedback on it and anything relevant I’ll share here next week. 

 

Big 3 Interview: Joanne Funyak, Vitro Architectural Glass 

So now it’s time for the kick off my summer interview season. I am very excited about the folks I have lined up and I’m still chasing a few. If you get an e-mail from me asking, please give it a consideration!  

The format is this: I ask three questions to folks I have chosen who I think have some interesting backgrounds and approaches. Also, I try to choose people that may not get the regular publicity that others get.  

To kick things off I interviewed Joanne Funyak of Vitro Architectural Glass. I have been a fan of Joanne’s for a long time but I had absolutely no idea of her incredible background and I am glad she escaped the chemical side to be in the glass world. Our industry is better for it! 

Max: In reading your LinkedIn page I was fascinated by some of the positions you held at PPG (and then Vitro) before you ended up on the glass side of things. You spent a ton of time in chemicals and coatings before you landed in the glass world. What have been the biggest differences in working with glass and glazing vs. your previous roles? 

Joanne: They are quite similar, especially the metal coatings and glass side for building products. The value/supply chain starts with the project architect looking at performance and aesthetics. Then it goes down the chain to general contractors to fabricators/metal coaters to the material supplier. Due to those similarities, my experience in metal coatings and glass made my role as ppg’s construction market team manager a little easier.  

When it comes to the products, it’s the same; performance and aesthetics. When I made the transition from coatings to glass though I thought to myself “How difficult can glass be?” It’s just melted sand. In coatings we had thousands of formulas for different applications. We made coatings for what we called cradle to grave. We made coatings for baby swings to caskets and everything in between (golf balls, washers & dryers, Harley Davidson, etc). So glass had to be so simple, right? Boy was I surprised! 

What are the some of the biggest glass and glazing trends going right now in your opinion?  

Right now, jumbo [over-sized] glass is a major trend. The addition of our jumbo coater in Wichita Falls which can produce our Solarban [low-emissivity] coated glass has positioned Vitro well to serve this market. One of the main purposes of this jumbo coater is to provide more efficient yields to our Vitro Certified Network Members. Architects are also designing with larger vision glass units which this will service. However, caution must be taken when designing on things such as wind load, thermal stress and cost to handle the weight and size of such large units. 

Other areas that are trending include decorative, or printing on, glass and bird avoidance to name a few.  

If you could have dinner with 3 other people, whether they are currently dead or alive, who would they be and why? 

Well of course my dad, He passed away 5 years ago, and I miss him dearly. 

Someone from the pioneer days. I often wonder as I watch old movies of how they survived, how they determined which terrain to travel, land to homestead, etc. How did they survive the heat during those hot, dry summer months, and cold during those freezing winter months? I think to myself if I had to go back to those days, could I do it?  

And I think Mario Lemieux would be one. I have been a Penguin season ticket holder for 30 years. I met him once in an airport but only to say thank you. I respect what he has done as a player, owner and community leader.  

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. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

For many glass manufacturers, the AIA National Convention is an event that is permanently fixed on their calendars.  Whether it’s to exhibit, walk the show, network, join tours, participate in seminars, explore a new city or all of the above, this once-a-year event is truly something that the industry looks forward to.

AIA, past and present
This year’s convention in Las Vegas will be my 13th AIA Convention.  I still remember my first AIA Convention in Los Angeles back in 2006.  I really did not know what to expect, as I had just started with Safti First a few months previous.  At least it was in a familiar city, since I spent a good amount of time in LA while I was attending Loyola Marymount University. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the size and scope of the show.  I was very “green” to the glass industry, and construction in general.  

As Safti First continued to exhibit at the show year after year, it became less overwhelming.  Certainly, years of experience in the job made it easier.  However, it was also the connections I’ve made with other exhibitors, manufacturers and architects – all in different stages in their career – that have helped me the most.  Which is why I sometimes feel like the AIA Convention is a reunion of sorts where I can catch up with colleagues from other industries.  It’s our opportunity to discuss things happening in our industry, make speculations on construction forecasts, talk about recent product launches, and compare notes on how to better educate and reach architects. 

Safti First’s trade show team at last year’s AIA Expo in
New York (From left: Jennifer Hom, Mike Augustine,
Diana San Diego and Tim Nass).

How to have a successful AIA
For us, we’ve found that having a successful trade show starts with planning.  As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”  Tradeshows can be a significant investment in time and money.  It’s your chance to be in front of your audience amidst 650-plus exhibitors in a 200,000-square-foot space (at least that is the size AIA projects for Las Vegas).  When planning for the show, we go through our checklist of what needs to be ordered, sent, etc. for the booth.  We also prepare our pre-show email to let everyone know where we are and what we are doing.  We hone our message and set appointments with architects, industry publications and with others that we want to conduct a meeting with. 

In the last couple of years, we’ve taken it a step further by not just exhibiting, but by participating as an educational provider.  After all, architects attending the show are there to complete their credits and learn about new innovations on the products that they specify. 

Following-up on the leads and contacts that you’ve made is also very important.  At Safti First, we have a post-tradeshow protocol that we follow every time we exhibit.  Doing this consistently has increased our success rate for getting specified – whether through the firm’s master spec or specific projects that they are working on. 

Of course, there are many other strategies that you can use.  Whether you are a seasoned trade show veteran or just starting out, AIA has a ton of resources available designed to help ensure a successful show. See some of their resources here.   

Hope you find this information helpful, and I look forward to meeting you in Las Vegas!  Safti First will be at booth 7413. 

Diana San Diego is vice president of marketing for Safti First. Contact her at dianas@safti.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.

Monday, June 3, 2019

This post is a special one; they’ll be no other news or links in it, so if anything breaks, I’ll share on next post or via social media. The goal of this post is to follow what the headline says,"Gone but not Forgotten." It dawned on me after Doug Nelson passed away a few weeks ago that we pay homage to the person who passes and then we move on—we rarely if ever look back and remember those folks who made a difference in our world. So, I decided that with this post I’d start to change that approach.

I want to look back at a few folks who are no longer with us and remind/educate the readers of what they did to advance our universe. They all played significant roles in the glass and glazing industry and while they may be gone; in my mind they are not and will not be forgotten.

I’m remembering two incredible technical guys, one manufacturers rep who set the bar very high and two fabrication leaders who left us a legacy that thankfully continues still today.

Greg Carney

Greg Carney is probably the one guy who’s no longer with us that still gets spoken about the most. So many folks at the trade level had deep and meaningful relationships with Greg that his name and memory are brought up on many occasions. Greg was the technical conscience of our industry. He was passionate about the products and the people and the approaches that were developed and perfected through the 90s. Many technical standards Greg led remain in place today. Personally, I miss him a ton; he was fun, unique and caring and was not afraid of the fight. I hope that we keep invoking his name and theories for many more years to come.

Lowell Rager

Lowell Rager was not as industry popular as Greg—not many people were—but Lowell was the personification of pure class. He was a technical mastermind and was a guy who saw the huge future of soft coat low-emissivity when so many of us were still trying to figure it out. He was ahead of pretty much every technical curve despite finishing his career for a company that only sold tinted glass. I just loved how cool Lowell would be under any condition. He deflected heavy compliments to him the same way he smoothly dealt with any jobsite complaints. He was class to the end.

Dave Helterbran

I saw Lindsay Price recently at the Texas Glass Association event and it immediately had me thinking about her dad Dave Helterbran. Dave was awesome. I knew Dave as one of the best manufacturers reps in the U.S., one that immediately added legitimacy to your product when he added it to his company’s line card. Every time I ran into him, he had a warm smile on his face and encouraging words, even if things weren’t going great. Dave battled and beat cancer and then somehow got the West Nile disease and beat that too. Eventually he couldn’t outrun the health issues but during that entire time, he kept plugging away and fighting. I’ll never forget that because I don’t think I’d have the strength to fight on the way Dave did. In addition Dave had massive fan club of people who really legitimately loved the guy and, honestly, I think the feeling was probably mutual.

Jim Dwyer and John Mammen

Last ones to mention this time around are fathers of two sons who to this day carry on the amazing class and style that their fathers were known for. I’m speaking of Jim Dwyer and John Mammen. Both were incredible people, top notch businessmen who did things the right way and they both brought sons into the business—John Dwyer and Syracuse Glass and Chris Mammen at M3 Glass Technologies—who are carrying on the same sincere approaches today. As an industry we are lucky that the lessons from Jim Dwyer and John Mammen are continuing and I am personally glad that I can call John and Chris friends of mine. 

In the end I wrote this because I don’t want these folks to be forgotten by the industry at large. There are others who may have passed that I did not mention, and there are quite a few industry titans on that list. Take a few minutes today and think about someone who passed who made a difference in our industry and do right by them. I know I am inspired to do so daily.

Thank you for reading through this non-traditional post, next week I’ll be back with my traditional insight and details.

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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The quality level of all manufactured goods assembled and delivered in the curtain wall supply chain flow downhill from design and engineering decision-making, whether good or bad. The assembled system of products that is a “curtain wall system” applied uniquely to each building type and layout is only as good as the decision-making that is input throughout design and engineering, regardless of how well the quality of glass, metal, sealants, thermal breaks and other components perform or adhere to specification. That’s why the decision-making supply chain is so important.

There are two basic elements to a supply chain: the decisions that feed into it, and the materials that make it up. Much is discussed and defined in the material supply chain. Conversely, little is done often in the clarity, definition, operating procedures, limits and boundaries in the decision-making supply chain.

Decision-making in the supply chain
These decision-making elements of the supply chain are delivered as a service and as intellectual capital to the project team members, while goods and products are produced in the design, engineering, and project management process. We think, often without appropriate self-awareness, that since much of this is made up of what we think of as “soft skills” (which are really “hard” and have everything to do with success) that we can’t define and govern them.

Taking responsibility for decisions
So much of this aspect is left to chance and good will. We hear phrases like “well I have no control over the architect” or “I’m at the mercy of the owner on this one.” Not true. We have the opportunity to control ourselves, our company behavior and approach, our processes and to define with clarity what each person and business in the decision-making supply chain is expected to be responsible for. We can define accountabilities, procedures, chain of command obligations, and how decisions will be made and approved. These things are too important and there’s too much at stake to leave it to chance.

Getting on the same page
We should do all that we can to treat decision-making, decision processes, milestones, submittal reviews, operational procedures, scope definitions, design criteria, submittal processes, design meetings and other instruments of service or expression of intellectual capital in the same manner by which we define material specifications and tolerances in the material supply chain. 

This means sharing standards, communication platforms and protocols, QC lists, product specs, decision-making protocol, and similar areas, getting design professionals on all sides, including those at the vendors and suppliers, on the same page and under the same set of standards.

Most breakdowns on projects, in customer service, and in creating a quality product, occur in the area of communication. If there’s a lack of clarity, there will be a problem.

Defining decision-making processes is a good thing. When decision-making fails, and it will at various points along the way, we should confront it, mitigate it, manage it, reveal it, use it as a time to learn and adjust, and then move on to better outcomes.

Nothing should be taken for granted. Everything is best done in a collaborative manner, with professional candor, with as much clarity as can be created, and with accountability on all sides. Let’s not throw stuff over the wall and leave outcomes to chance.

John Wheaton is the founder & co-owner of Wheaton & Sprague Engineering, Inc., also known as Wheaton Sprague Building Envelope. The firm provides full service design, engineering and consulting services for the curtain wall/building envelope/building enclosure industry, and works at “Creating Structure” for clients. He can be reached at jwheaton@wheatonsprague.com and on Twitter, Instagram and Word Press @JohnLWheaton1.

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.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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!

Elsewhere…

  • 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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