Max Perilstein's blog

We can debate the merits of programs like LEED until we’re all blue in the face. The bottom line, though, is the performance and sustainability of the building when all is said and done. And while the various green rating systems are pivoting and making efforts to evolve their programs into ensuring long-range success, there’s one process that guarantees it: the Net Zero building.

Slowly but surely Net Zero is taking off. It's important in the glass industry, because the process rewards the glass/glazing performance and basically will force those pesky HVAC guys to size their efforts correctly. Too many times we get blamed (unfairly I must add) for the oversizing of HVAC units because there’s no trust in fenestration. With Net Zero, we’re all working together and the playing field does level. There’s a ton to this process, and it's still pretty raw, but I do believe it will be in the mainstream sooner than many think.

Elsewhere…

  • Speaking of sustainability, one of the great champions of the effort in our industry is Mark Silverberg of Technoform. Last week he was named to the AAMA Sustainability Steering Committee. Can’t get a better man than that to be a force in the effort!
  • The energy of the trade show/industry conference is the hottest in years. So far 2014 is showing a major uptick in attendance and excitement. A couple more regional shows are coming up to be aware of. The 27th Annual Mid Atlantic Glass Expo hits April 30th in Greenbelt, Md.  Then in Canada, the Canadian Glass Association's Glass Connections conference in Nova Scotia (would love to go, birthplace of the great Sidney Crosby) comes through on June 4-5. Both events will provide excellent learning and networking potential. And don’t forget about the granddaddy of them all, the biggest show in all of North America: GlassBuild America, in September in Vegas. That floor is filling up nicely, and it will be an incredible event not to be missed.
  • After a hiatus in doing interviews on the blog, we welcome that segment back. One area of the business that I am always fascinated by is switchable glass, specifically  liquid crystal and suspended particle products. These products are growing in usage thanks to the boom on the decorative glass side. It’s surely moving up from the “niche” category. So it was great to catch up with Anthony Branscum, director of architectural sales at Innovative Glass Corp. in New York, and talk with him about the growth of the product, some of misconceptions out there and more.

MP: What do you think is driving this positive direction and usage?

Anthony Branscum: I think it’s mainly because the products have come a long way and are now beyond the “Proof of Concept” stage. Architects around the country, and the world for that matter, are realizing the practical benefits of using these products in their designs. Perhaps more importantly, they have gained confidence that the technology will last when it gets out there. They have become educated consumers. 

MP: Speaking specifically on the liquid crystal product, there’s been talk recently in different circles about uneven performance and products failing. Do you think such talk is legitimate or is it being overblown?
 

AB: I have heard and read some of the same things you are alluding to. There’s a lot of posturing going on within the industry right now. Some suppliers of switchable glass are spending a lot of time bashing their competitors instead of talking about their own virtues. They believe it makes their product appear as if it’s “the best”, but what they’re really doing is hurting the industry at large. They’re creating a perception out there that the product won’t last.  It is simply not true.  When fabricated properly, one can expect many years of service from liquid crystal technology. Of course, there are companies that don’t produce a great product, but they are not the majority, and time will eventually run out on them.

MP: What should buyers do or look for to make sure they are dealing with the right people?

AB: They should make sure whoever they are dealing with can provide them a functioning sample. They should ask for a copy of the warranty. They should definitely ask for references and perhaps ask to see a job local to them where the glass has successfully been installed. If the vendor can’t satisfy these requests in a timely fashion, they should think twice about going too far with them. 

MP: You and your company have been in the switchable space for more than a decade. What are some of the biggest changes you have seen with the product offerings?

AB: The biggest change has been the advancement in the clarity of the LC films when they are in their clear state. The industry has come a long way in achieving better clarity. The second notable advancement would be the film widths. The product is available in wider widths than ever before. This helps satisfy most of the common architectural sizes we come across.

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 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.

The news of the newly integrated GlassBuild America and the Glass Association of North America Fall Conference was released this week and simply said, it’s awesome. Yes, for folks that aren’t big fans of change, it is different. BUT, it is a good different in being a smart and streamlined event that makes the most of everyone’s very valuable time. The incredible volunteers and their committees will still have the time they need to do the work for the industry and also be involved in the show. But more importantly, this is YOUR chance to get involved and have your voice heard. If you are coming to GlassBuild and you are involved in the fabrication side of the business, you owe it to yourself and business to attend the technical sessions so you can stay abreast of what is happening in our world and have an impact.

I talked with a fabricator from the Northwest that normally would not attend the Fall Conference. Because it's combined and integrated into GlassBuild, that company will attend and finally see and hear what is happening all around them and their business. Good things are happening in our industry and the GlassBuild-Fall Conference combo is certainly one of them.

Elsewhere…

  • Three updates from past stories and trends…
    • The Glass Connections event in Canada I spoke of previously was a big success. My good friend, the extremely talented Rich Porayko, wrote an in-depth recap. Check it out.
    • The trend of jumbo sizes continues. We’ve seen the news via Viracon, and Vitro and now a jumbo coater is coming to my home state courtesy of Guardian. The folks there announced that their Carleton, Michigan location would be the home for the oversized machinery. I have been lucky enough to tour that facility and its adjacent Science & Technology Building and I hopefully will get an invite once the new coater is up. Will be fun to see!
    • Railings. I have talked about some of the great companies in that world, their folks, and also noting the code pieces as well. This week, news of a formidable combo was released with Q-railing and Bohle America partnering up on distribution in the United States. This will surely push that segment even more with the reach and product offerings both companies possess.
  • Wrapping up this week, the monthly Glass Magazine review: the Top 50 Glazier edition. First and foremost, major kudos to Cory Thacker and team for a jaw dropping design. Very sharp and classy.
  • The issue itself is jam packed with detail and info on the glazing side. So much intelligence to take in, including interesting looks at some of the companies on the list, the markets, and solutions for the community. I also loved Katy Devlin’s look back to 1992. Neat! Overall, this issue was really well done and a must read.
  • The ad of the month plays into a theme I mentioned above: railings. C.R. Laurence gets the nod this month with its railing-focused ad. Normally I don’t like a ton of text, but this ad made it work and the images on the page stood out so much that made it a winner for me. Kudos to Andrew Haring and his team on a job well done!

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.

Starting this week out on a somber note, with condolences to the Mammen family and everyone at M3 Glass Technologies on the passing of John Mammen. The industry was made better because of people like John. My good friend Scott Surma really summed it up perfectly in a note to me by saying: “Class act, wonderfully sincere, good man.” There is no doubt about that. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Mammen and the rest of the folks who have a huge hole in their life now that John has passed.  

Elsewhere…

  • Those who have heard me speak know I am very bullish on office interior space. This week the Twitter feed of Kawneer linked to a very good piece on the 2017 trends for office interiors that’s worth the read. Daylight continues to be something people want and glass is surely the best vehicle to make that happen.
  • And speaking of something people want in an office space, wellness and comfort are big keys. This article takes a deep dive into it.
  • On the flip side of the office-related article, the first semi-negative article on the new Apple HQ hit the wires this week. And while it’s not negative about the beauty and amazing products inside, it does take issue with the location and expanse. Quite frankly, it’s an interesting and rare take on a structure and location that has been universally praised. 
  • The 2017 AIA and Committee on the Environment Top 10 building awards were recently announced and I always love to see what makes the cut. Some amazing structures and truly important moves for our world with the way the buildings are built. Congrats to the gang at Guardian that supplied glass to three of the top 10. Well done! Now this is the sort of effort that I like from AIA.
  • I have been meaning to note that registration for GlassBuild America is now open, so you might as well get registered and go grab that hotel room while you are at it. I am obviously biased, but I expect a tremendous show and if you truly want to grow yourself, your business, and have a voice in the industry, you need to be there! 
  • Last this week, do you ever wonder what concerns architects and designers when things are really busy out there? Based on the run of Architectural Billings Indexes, things are good, but a recent webinar gave the rundown on what keeps that world up at night. They are:
    • Political wrangling on administration proposals
    • Low oil prices stall energy projects
    • Uncertain global economic and political situation
    • Competition still intense despite everyone being busy
    • Workforce shortages growing
    • Uncertainty on infrastructure funding proposals

Interesting list. The competition one was fascinating to me as in the glass and glazing industry no one ever lets up. Busy or not, it’s always intense. The workforce shortage one also caught my eye because so many qualified people lost jobs during the recession and I think many landed in places like curtain wall manufacturers and are happy there and not willing to go back to a traditional design firm. 

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.

 

I know I have talked at length about the AIA show over the last few weeks, but one more item came up and I honestly could not resist sharing it here and commenting. On the front of the AIA Expo 2018 website there was a statistic that simply blew me away.

“90% of attendees say the Architecture Expo is one of their top 5 best conference experiences.”  

Inside the link, it clarified the statement more in case you thought they were comparing AIA vs. another show.

“90% of attendees say one of their top 5 best experiences at the event is visiting with exhibitors.”

Now, let’s think about this one for a minute. 90 percent of attendees said the expo part of the AIA show is one of their top FIVE experiences while there. So, the question is how was the survey laid out? Only five choices? And how many other experiences at an event like this are there? Education, tours, networking are three for sure. This isn’t Disney where there’s 100 things all going on at once. The centerpiece of the conference is the actual show, so you would think that this would be important. And it also makes you think about the 10 percent who DID NOT find this to be “top 5.” I would love to see what items that group picked.

In any case, I found the stat to be flat out bizarre. And while I know some exhibitors had a good show in 2017, the majority did not. But, fear not, those who had a negative time in Orlando: the attendees, 90 percent of them, consider you a “top 5 experience.”

Elsewhere…

  • Staying on the topic of shows, the past two weeks saw major international shows that are growing with North American companies being involved, in particular, the FIT show in the United Kingdom and the China Glass Expo held in Beijing. From the reports I got, both were well attended and positive with regards to the overall industry economy and with regards to the North American market. It was exciting to hear from Gerhard Reichert whose company launched their WorldSpacer at both events with great success. I love hearing about new products and the push behind them and doing back-to-back shows in the UK and China is no easy feat. Nice work Gerhard and team!
  • The NACC has a pretty cool webinar coming up at the end of the month. It is Project Installation from All Points of View, featuring a glazing contractor, consultant, and quality manager as they take a technical look at all that goes into installing on a project. The webinar is scheduled for June 28. For more information, you can visit naccprogram.com
  • Last this week, I want to congratulate all of the folks out there that have children and family members graduating high school or college right now. Very exciting times, and I wish only best for our latest batch of youngsters hitting the next steps of the world. Normally I rarely say anything on my wife or kids, so please roll with me as today I am going all in, as my daughter Natalie is graduating from high school this week. We are truly blessed to have her, and I am so excited as she wraps up one story and gets ready to start another one this fall at a college in South Carolina. Aside from being an awesome kid, Natalie also has a very major spot in my glass industry-writing career. My very first trade magazine article for the industry (a few years before I started this blog) focused on how companies name their products (long live “Jade Ice”), and I used the process my wife and I had in coming up with Natalie’s name as a part of the piece. So you could say Natalie was an integral part of me writing and taking on this role. Almost 18 years later, I’m still going. Anyway, I love you Natalie and I know you will do incredible things in your life!

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.

This week I have another run of quick hits for you from forecasts, to great resources, to personnel stuff and more. Time to get caught up on this great variety of information. 

  • First up, the monthly Architectural Billings Index was released and it stayed in the positive yet again. Though it was a lower score than last month (50.9 down from 54.3), the new project index and new design contract totals both went up. Quite frankly, this overall index is looking rather positive right now and even the guy who tracks for the AIA is pretty excited. Look at his quote:

“Probably even better news for the construction outlook is that new project work coming into architecture firms has seen exceptionally strong growth so far this year,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. “In fact, new project activity has pushed up project backlogs at architecture firms to their highest level since the design market began its recovery earlier this decade.”

So, the trend continues to be our friend.

  • On a similar note, do you know what also says things are going well at the architect level? When the biggest firm in the world shows that they’ve added 1,000 architects in the last two years. A thousand! This link covers that and also introduces you to the rest of the top 20 firms. 
  • I was reminded during the TGA event a few weeks ago of an excellent resource that is always being updated: The World of Glass Map. This is a superb insight. Check it out and bookmark it. 
  • It was great to see the name of an old friend and tremendous man in the news this past week with HHH naming Terry Hessom vice president of operations. Terry is one of the greatest people I know and also an extremely talented person. I can remember back when we worked together (eons ago) and he was working nights and I was in inside sales. Now he’s a big-time VP and I’m a blogger…. Haha. Anyway, congrats to Terry and HHH!!
  • Fun link for those of us who pay attention to buildings and the adventures that sometimes happen. The top 25 Architectural Fails, and yes, my old time pals, the John Hancock building DID make the list at #21. 
  • One building that will probably never make a fail list but will be talked about forever is the new Apple Campus. I have read and watched a ton on it over the last few years and even was quoted in a story in the Times of Israel about the construction in 2015. But now it’s ready to go, and this article is probably the best one I have read taking a deep look at all there. 
  • I mentioned Burhans Glass a few weeks ago for their work on Instagram… so this time I need to mention Glass Magazine… if you are on Instagram and want to see amazing projects in all of their glory, please follow them at “glassmagazinenga.”
  • Last this week, we are in a stretch now with Memorial Day, Canada Day and Independence Day and I hope that everyone reading this does take the time to maybe step away from the daily grind and take a moment of reflection for all that was accomplished in our world. We don’t get to this moment in time without the efforts and sacrifices of the men and women that made it happen. Let’s honor them, not only now, but always.

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.

I’m just back from the Texas Glass Association conference I mentioned last week, and it was truly a memorable one for me. I really enjoyed the opportunity, and I think for a first-time event it was an absolute hit. I was so excited to run into people I had not seen in years. Kelly Townsend of Trulite is an old friend and seeing him looking healthy and strong was a day maker for me. Visiting with former co-worker Jack Wickstrom, now of Tristar, was fun as well. Meeting new people also charged me up. One example was Craig Garner of Hartung: good and interesting guy. Another was Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass. This guy is unreal, a breath of fresh air to our industry and the way we do things. I plan on doing more with Dustin as time goes on. Plus, he’s got a pretty cool video series that can only help raise our profile (see my Video of the Week for one of them).

The key of the conference was learning. Greg Oehlers of Tristar did not disappoint, with a truly entertaining and informative session that included his prediction that 4th surface low-Es and Argon will be growing and be more crucial products on the commercial side in the coming years. That was surely something that caught my attention. Also, his talk on inconsistent code officials is something I may have to revisit in the future. Meanwhile, seeing younger sharp presenters like Yuwadee Senamontree of Guardian and David Linhart of Vitro gave me some serious hope about the future of our industry. We need that youth, intelligence and energy! And it goes without saying the presentation that Nicole Harris provided on “Building a New Glass Industry” was strong and important. There is so much happening from the industry level and getting more insight and communication amongst all parties is something that will have to continue to grow for us to be our best. Bottom line is: conferences like these are extremely helpful in educating and building a better world for us. It was an honor to be involved in the process.

Elsewhere…

  • Every month I review Glass Magazine and I note various stories and details that I believe stand out. The May issue, like its predecessors, is loaded, but features one article that you have to read if you are in the position of trying to recruit for your workforce. Bethany Stough did a fabulous job pulling together real-life examples and giving very crucial tips in trying to help you build your workforce in the article Creative Recruitment. It is the most serious challenge our industry faces: getting people to work with us. This article really is a resource that every executive and HR person needs to see. 
  • The May issue also featured an excellent cover story on collaboration and all that goes into it, as well as very good quick pieces on codes, tough customers, sales techniques and more. I am constantly amazed at what Katy Devlin and her team do every month, and they keep topping my expectations! The work they do brings great value to the reader and the industry and deserves all the attention we can give it.
  • In the same issue, for my “ad of the month,” tt’s Viracon with the “Bigger View” piece. The graphic they placed caught my eye: good use of wording and font size. And it was also the minimal amount of text that allowed the reader to enjoy the ad and take in the message. I have no clue who to specifically give kudos to at Viracon, so hopefully one of the folks there will pass on the credit. Nice work! 
  • Last this week, I mentioned two weeks ago about new greenfields coming to our industry and one of the many I am following was announced. Aldora is opening in Atlanta. Given the major consolidation that market has seen over the years, the move looks to be a good one and moving into a building that once housed a very respected fabricator is surely not a bad play.

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.

After only commenting on two main items in my previous post, this week I have a bunch of quick subjects to talk about. Time continues to fly as we are already in the middle of May. Unbelievable.

First off, a lot of show and conference news and insights…

  • I am excited about being in Waco, Texas, this week to speak at the Texas Glass Association Glass Conference. To be on included with Nicole Harris, President of NGA; the legend Greg Oehlers of Tri Star; David Linhart from Vitro; and Yuwadee Senamontree of Guardian is quite the honor. This really will be an excellent opportunity for attendees (and me as well) to learn about what’s going on in our world on several different levels. Plus, I love the great state of Texas and have never had a bad time there.
  • Another conference that is coming up that I unfortunately can’t attend is the annual Glass Connections Conference, held in Burnaby, British Columbia. If you are nearby or interested in growing your knowledge on some important glass and glazing subjects, consider attending. The educational slate is very strong with dives into some of the biggest issues and growing trends our industry has going. One such subject is Bird Friendly Glass, and I’ve mentioned here a few times the great work people like Walker Glass do on that end. Getting more insight out in conferences like this is huge. More info can be found here
  • And of course, coming this fall, the always must-attend Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America. More on that as the weeks go by, but this past week the agenda for that event was released and worth the review. The “Solution Sessions” are the huge key, given the subjects they cover and what you can learn and take back to your day-to-day operation. 
  • Finally on this subject, a conference/meeting that was just completed that really impressed me. The Insulated Glass Certification Council had its meeting, and it was the first one I have ever attended in all my years, despite always being involved with operations with all units IGCC certified. The meeting was very impressive. Incredible technical minds in the room with discussions that were more innovative and forward-thinking than what I see from the traditional technical meeting. It was a breath of fresh air really to experience what was happening there, seeing that this group is working into the future. And kudos to my pal Joe Erb of Quanex. He basically ran a major portion of the meeting as the chair, and he was like a great orchestra maestro with keeping everything going from all angles of the room. Good stuff!

Other items to catch up on…

  • If you are in the retail part of the glass business, you know the Angie’s List and Home Advisor names pretty well. Chances are they’ve called you a hundred times to work with them and you surely see their ads. Now the two will be merging (so less salespeople bugging you), and it will be interesting to see how the new entity works. I was not a big fan of Angie’s List. I always said if there was an “Angie’s List” to review the real Angie’s List they’d get a poor one. We’ll see if combining services will move the needle at all in the very challenging world of catching consumer eyeballs.
  • I was very happy to hear my long-time friend and former co-worker Dave Gillikin landed a new  gig at Advanced Glazing. Great hire for them and I think a super spot for Dave. Dave is among the handful of people who has known me basically from when I started in this world and actually will still talk to me on occasion. Haha. Congrats to Dave and Advanced Glazing. Good combo!
  • Last this week, I try to always point out other blogs and the value they bring to you. If you missed Andrew Chatfield’s entry last week on glassblog, please go back and check it out. An excellent code compliance piece with focus on railing installations. Railings are one of those “hot” items that I see out there, and the confusion on glass usage is real. Andrew did a nice job in breaking it all down

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.

Only two subjects this week: the proposed EFCO acquisition and AIA recap.

EFCO Acquisition

For the last few months, I have been hinting towards a “big deal” in our industry and at the start of [last] week, one of the deals I have been tracking—Apogee's purchase of EFCO—appears to have finally come together.

Way back in 2007, this blog broke the EFCO-Pella deal, and I’ve always paid close attention to what was happening at that company. When I heard more than a year ago that Pella was selling EFCO, I was not surprised. The fit never seemed to take the way people envisioned. As this latest deal started to come together, the information and misinformation was flying at record speed. I knew several months ago who the players were, and all had good reason to try and acquire EFCO and add them to their operations. In the end, Apogee, which has been aggressive on the buying front, won out and adds another interesting piece to a very-well-put-together puzzle. An already strong company got stronger.

Out of the gate I don’t see much changing, especially as the market is very busy right now. But I have to assume as things settle down the product lines that repeat within the overall Apogee world will get a long look to reach more efficiency. And I think this will force other competitors to raise their game, meaning the acquisitions are not over.

Another angle here is Apogee's stock. If you follow Apogee’s stock, you know it’s been a little bit of a roller coaster ride as of late. Things were carrying along very nicely for a while, and then they had a very rough day on April 13, when the stock dropped from $58 to $50. Evidently some investors expected a better outlook for next year. Slowly but surely in the last month the stock has been climbing back, but there’s no question that the analysts and markets are paying attention, and a deal like this can only help in that process. For many in our industry, this is a process that many have no concept of, because publicly traded companies are not common in our world. Every move made here is watched a lot more than the typical private company.

I have to note that, unlike 2007 when I was younger, immature, and considered myself bulletproof, I simply don’t break news like a pending acquisition on here anymore. But because of my connection to the past deal, and knowing what I knew, people inside of the deal started to contact me to tell me wrong information to throw me off the trail. I took it as an honor that a transaction worth a couple hundred million had people worried about an industry consultant with a blog. Pretty cool, right? Obviously, I was saddened that people I respect would go out of their way to outright lie to me for the purpose of throwing me off, but hey, it is what it is. They had to do what they thought was best.

In the end, a major acquisition is basically done, and there are more in the pipeline that can rival this one. Plus, get ready for some new greenfields that are in the works. too. Bottom line: there is a lot of action in the market right now. 

AIA

The feedback came in waves last week, and the majority of the responses were the same: the architects are simply not walking the floor or visiting the exhibits. And that is not new. This has been the case for years. Yet exhibitors are always there, and one reason is because AIA has a great way of always having a “carrot” of a great location for the future. In previous years, people looked past terrible shows because Washington, D.C., or Philly were coming up. And this year is no different with New York being the 2018 site. It is a shame that so much money and so many resources get wasted this way, but for many that dream of hitting it big with an architect on the show floor overshadows all else.

Don’t get me wrong, I love trade events and shows. And AIA serves a purpose for networking and growth, just not for reaching architects. The exhibit portion of that show will never show up on a list of “what an architect wants.” I can only imagine taking a show budget and using it on direct appeal approaches instead of three days of waiting around.

Overall the attitude of the vendors on the floor and the rare decision makers that visited were that the positive trends we keep reporting are real. I love to hear that. As we know everything can change quickly, especially in a world filled with turmoil, but so far so good. 

Last, if you feel differently about the AIA show, I’d love to hear about it. I enjoy the opinions of others and always want to learn!

Next week, I’m back with the normal format blog, including a show in Canada that is worth the effort to visit, a technical meeting that blew me away, and much more!

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.

Editor’s Note: Next week’s From the Fabricator post will include a complete recap of and reaction to Apogee’s acquisition of EFCO, announced today

As many in our industry gathered in Orlando for the AIA show, my thoughts wandered over to a subject that I have covered a few times here: the seemingly age-old question of how to attract more people to our industry. It frustrates me to no end that young people would rather have a dead-end job in a gigantic company than an opportunity to learn and grow in an industry that would truly embrace them.

Evidently, we are not alone in dealing with this issue, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is touring the country having “listening” sessions with different business leaders. The goal is to get ideas to make skilled trades and the less popular industry segments attractive to the workforce they need to survive and thrive. Ideas that have come from some of these sessions include promotional campaigns from an industry standpoint and public demonstrations (at malls and other busy retail areas) of what the industries are about.

Two things to consider here: 1) We as an industry need to come together and build a campaign to promote ourselves and all the good that we do. Hopefully the talks with NGA and GANA lead to an agreement because one strong voice there would surely help. 2) Other industries are stepping up, so not only will we be competing with the “sexy” businesses, but also other trades similar to ours.

I will be curious what the U.S. Chamber reports back when their tour is done. If anything of relevance comes out I’ll surely break it out here. In the meantime, we need to consider the situation and be prepared to do what we can to attract the next generation of people to us.

Elsewhere…

  • The AIA show. I’ll have some more thoughts on my next post as I have not gotten a lot of feedback in yet (writing Sunday). It looked busy and loud (Guardian did a great periscope of a presentation, but the music from a booth nearby was blaring). I will note it is always interesting to see which glass and glazing companies exhibit there. Some make sense and, quite frankly, some do not. But the dogged desire to get to see a real, live, breathing, architect in the flesh for 12 seconds can be pretty tough to pass up…
  • The latest Glass Magazine review. This is the issue that has the guide to specifications that I mentioned last week. That is outstanding. Some other pieces to surely read. Good reminder/best practices article from Marco Terry on “Seven Tricks to Improve Cash Flow.” I am a fan of Pete de Gorter and he has a very level-headed look at steps to take when buying equipment. I think that is very relevant since it feels like everyone in the industry right now is looking or buying some sort of equipment. And as always, whenever Joe Schiavone of CRL writes, I’m reading it. In this issue, he broke down the Florida Building Code and impact products. There’s all of that and much more; check it out!
  • Best ad of the month was a tough one, but I am going with SageGlass as I thought they took an interesting approach with their ad. Usually the dynamic guys focus on the product and what it does, but this ad was about the installation. Different focus and it made me stop and read. Kudos to the gang there!
  • Last this week, the news that ESPN was letting go of more than 100 people was all over social media during the week. There were many theories on ESPN making major cuts, but the biggest one that people rarely mentioned was that the network got too fat. Too many people, too many ventures, the focus was all over the place. We see it in our industry all the time. When times are good people sometimes expand for expansion’s sake and not with a plan. We should always be challenging everything we do, and if we diversify it’s with a plan and approach in mind. I think that’s where ESPN lost its way and quite frankly they may still have more cutting to do.

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.

This coming week is the annual AIA show, and for the first time in a while I will not be attending.  My time spent at that event has lessened over the years, but I still liked to go to see what was new and get a feel for the attitude on the floor. Since I won’t be there, I ask you, my loyal readers, to please drop me a line and let me know what you thought of the event and if there was anything newsworthy. I truly appreciate the help!
 

Elsewhere…

  • The latest Architectural Billings Index finished the first quarter with a major flourish. The index came in at 54.3, which is a massive score in the scheme of the way they track things. So the enthusiasm and the action coming from the architectural community is obviously on a roll right now. Let’s keep riding that train.
  • Speaking of architects, Glass Magazine has an incredible online guide to “Glazing Specifications,” and I think it’s one of the best things that talented team has ever done. There is an entire in-depth six-part series of documents, and I am still going through them. But I wanted to point out their “Glass and Metals 201” as a great example of the sort of information and insight at your fingertips. Carve out some time (like I am) to check them all out.
  • And one more Glass Magazine related note: the most prestigious honors that our industry has, the Glass Magazine Awards, are back again and the process for submittals in several categories is now open. There are some very interesting categories that will surely bring a lot of great recognition to deserving companies and people. Please take a look and get your submittals in.
  • Last week on the glassblog, a new writer made his debut. Gareth Francey of Bohle America had his first posting, and I thought it was an excellent piece. Welcome to the wild and wonderful world of blogging, Gareth!
  • Congrats to Brad Thurman on his move to GGI. I have known Brad a very long time and he’s one of the most intelligent guys in our industry. He’s a super person and he’ll be great in his new position there for sure.
  • I am not a New York City type of guy at all, but I do really admire the constant pace of construction there and the basic evolution. One example is what they have done with Times Square. Making it a pedestrian-only area was obviously a brilliant idea and this link gives you a ton of before and after shots. If you look hard enough, you can see one of the coolest items at Times Square: the Ruby Red glass stairs at TKTS that the fine folks at Walker Glass and AGNORA worked on. As a glass geek, that’s surely a favorite for me.
  • Last this week, I read an article recently that noted 3D printers are able to make glass. Right now they do it with some form of liquid that can be shaped into very intricate things. I think we are safe on the traditional flat glass side; I don’t see 3D printers making high-performance low-E any time soon. But my goodness, anything seems possible anymore.

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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