Sunday, November 12, 2017

Start of the MVP Process

As I mentioned on my last post, it is Glass Industry MVP Season… so the first step is looking back at the past before noting who is going to be recognized this year. I have been acknowledging people as “leaders” in one form or another since 2007, but the formal declaration of MVP started in 2013.  The past winners were:
2013- Tracy Rogers
2014- CR Laurence
2015- Jon Kimberlain
2016- Chuck Knickerbocker
Each year there’s usually 5-7 runners up and as you can tell from above it can be an individual or a company as the winner.  The race so far in 2017 has been incredibly difficult.  So many remarkable people who work hard for their companies and also give back to the industry.  And there are some companies as a whole that collectively care a ton about making our space a better place.  So choosing gets more and challenging every year.  Overall I have recognized a total of 35 people since 2007 and 5 are no longer in the industry, including sadly the late great Greg Carney.  So who’s on tap for this year?  It’s coming soon….

Elsewhere…

--  If you are a glazier, take the time to check out and complete this survey on an industry-changing initiative, the development of the first certification program for glazing technician personnel.  Seriously this is an important piece to get your feedback.

I’m light on glass industry related stuff this week, so in some other areas that interest me…

--  In this world of ugly news and despicable human behavior there are some truly first class people.  One of them is Marine Veteran Rob Jones.  Rob lost both of legs in Afghanistan in 2010 but that has not stopped him from doing what I would consider super human tasks to raise awareness and money for veterans causes.  The most recent was running (with prosthetics) 31 marathons in 31 cities in 31 days. A lot of us travel a ton in this industry and just doing several cities a week can wear you down, now can you imagine running a marathon at each?  The guy is amazing.  Anyway this article is one of many that gives some insight to Rob- who I have been so fortunate to meet thanks to his work with veteran charity the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes which actually has a glass industry connection as it’s run by former NGA VP David Walker.  Check it out and be thankful we still have great people in our universe.

--  Back on to another list… this time the Top 10 Most “Sprawling” Cities according to the website Smart Growth America.  And quite frankly I was stunned by some of these cities that made the list… as according to the study too much growth is not good. Honestly I am not sure if I understand or agree but here goes…

1.     Hickory, NC
2.     Atlanta, GA
3.     Clarksville, TN-KY
4.     Prescott, AZ
5.     Nashville, TN
6.     Baton Rouge, LA
7.     Inland Empire, CA
8.     Greenville, SC
9.     Augusta, GA-SC
10. Kingsport, TN-VA

The complete study is here for those of you interested in this sort of thing.

--  Las Vegas launched a self-driving shuttle and on its first day it got into an accident.  Evidently it was the human driver in another car that was at fault, but still I just can’t feel any trust or faith in this sort of arrangement.  Too many things can go wrong and I am really amazed at the time, money and effort that are going into this technology.

--  Last this week… is it me or is the amount of spam e-mail going up dramatically?  I go into my spam folders every other day or so to just make sure I am not missing something and I am flat out amazed at the volume in there.  Most of it is really obvious spam, but where I really feel bad is for those less sophisticated on e-mail who probably get this junk in their main folder and fall for a scam or two. 

LINKS of the WEEK

Every day there’s a ton of bad news in the media- so  aside from Rob Jones mentioned above- how about a good news story?  Guy buys apartment complex and lets single moms & their families live there for free.

Yet another stupid angle from the iPhone X.  I really hope they still make a normal iPhone when I am ready for an upgrade.

Funny story on a hippo escape and immediate return

VIDEO of the WEEK

This piece from the Price is Right went viral when the contestant made a very conservative decision…


Sunday, November 05, 2017

Bring on the Forecasts

This past week the first of the 2018 construction economic forecasts were released and there was tepid optimism with regards to the non-residential side of the business.  Basically some of the analysts are pushing a small increase on the commercial side, not exceeding 5% overall.  The residential side though has some more bullish predictions with a potential for double-digit growth in ‘18.  Now keep in mind this is just one of many forecasts that will be coming out in the next 8-12 weeks, so a lot can and will change.  I like to take it all in and then see what I can come up with a consensus.  Plus my favorite ones are not out yet, so that’s a big one for me to wait on.  So sit tight as numbers are going to be coming out constantly with results probably all over the board.  In any case with regards to this release and its small growth, I will take a positive forecast any way it is delivered!

Elsewhere…

--  Continued from last week and my review of the most recent Glass Magazine…. The ad of the month… I do try and spread the kudos around but if a company who’s gotten my recognition before comes out with a new ad and its worthy, I have to give it props.  So the winner for this issue is Guardian Glass with their “Fall in Love” ad that carries on the video campaign they debuted at GlassBuild.  Loved the ad and because I was a big fan of the video I thought it was sharp they continued the campaign in print.  Well done!

--  The newest Apple iPhone is out and this review was a blistering putdown of the product.  I must say the author brought up a ton of good points- worth the read if you are looking to purchase. 

--  Ok construction geeks- what are 5 major changes coming to the jobsite?  Good article here and personally I am really into what the next generation tools would be.  With the on-going struggle for a solid (or in some cases any) work force, advancing the tools to potentially do more and do it more efficiently is huge.

--  Greenbuild is this week.  I am not a fan and I’ve made that known several times over the years.  The show this year may be decent because it’s in Boston (great city) and combined with the ABX event but in the end I don’t expect exhibitors to find any great success unfortunately.

--  Normally if I see a quote like this one I worry:

             “…Midtown doesn’t need any more glass”


--  Last this week… it is Glass Industry MVP season… yes my yearly award is now here so soon you’ll have your nominees and then the winner (who’s life will dramatically change for the better-lol) will be announced in my last scheduled post of 2017 in December.  Once again there’s a ton of great candidates and like I do with the ad reviews I try not to repeat with people nominated, but this year I may have to….

LINKS of the WEEK

We used to be able to do a lot of things as kids… but riding in a plastic pool on the roof a car was not one of them.

Score one for the Canadian beavers!

There are a handful of issues with this story of a man locked in a beer cooler all night…

VIDEO of the WEEK

Some months these blooper reels are great.  This month its so so… but that also may be my quirky sense of humor at play.  Judge for yourself…


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lots of Light but with Dark Frames

I’m a big trend guy and one that I have been following closely is the interior office space.  A lot has been covered with regards to the increase in glass usage but I’ve been surprised by the framing choices.  Dark is in.  So black, dark bronze or even a custom coated choice that trends darker are starting to pick up more attention vs. the traditional mill/satin look.  In Europe the darker look has been the play for a while, but its interesting to see that its now hit North America.  In the end I don’t really care what color the framing is as long as glass is being used.  We have a great building product that is surely not just for the exterior of the office building anymore.

Elsewhere…

--  Building off last weeks note on the Silica Rule, OSHA did put out a new memo on the process but it’s still not that simple, streamlined piece we need for the industry.  I am still gathering info and if you or your company are doing anything with regards to this please considering sharing with me so not only I can learn but I can share with the readers too.

--  Have you seen the NGA-GANA FAQ’s?  They give some excellent insight into the process.  This is such an important move for the industry- I am just excited to see it continue on the right path!

--  Time for this months Glass Magazine review… I loved the look, layout and copy with the GlassBuild review.  It captured so much of the flavor of the event.  Glass Magazine has been very active with articles on the workforce and this issue has a dandy on workforce development that featured a ton of best practices examples.  This sort of content is so incredibly valuable if you are running a business.  Add in the rest of the issue that had insights on codes, unitized and technology (among other articles) and this was a fabulous issue for insight and education!

--  The ad of the month I will hit on next weeks post.

--  Last week I noted the Amazon HQ2 competition.  Well 238 cities applied for it and now the predictions are starting to fly on which city may win… Moody’s came out with their top 10… and since I love lists… here’s who they think with some comments from me:

1. Austin, TX  - Hot city, everyone seemingly loves Austin these days that’s for sure.
2. Atlanta, GA- They have the space but that bad traffic will now get even worse.
3. Philadelphia, PA- This is surprising to me, it won’t be cheap or easy to be here with the size that Amazon wants- but great location in the east.
4. Rochester, NY – I know a manufacturers rep who would have a field day with this
5. Pittsburgh, PA – My old hometown has grown like crazy since I left- and now in the running for this?  I must’ve been the one holding the Steel City back.
6. New York City, NY- I will be stunned if this happens
7. Miami, FL- And stunned here as well- great weather but a nightmare to ship from
8. Portland, OR- Why?  HQ1 is in Seattle, why would they come down the road for HQ2?
9. Boston, MA – Great location and food but similar to my thoughts on NY- would be a stunner.
10. Salt Lake City, UT- Great place but seemingly too far west if you want to spread out HQ’s.

My prediction?  I think it’s going to be Dallas with Atlanta a major possibility.  We will see…. And we’ll also see how this new HQ affects all of the other businesses in that area that utilizes the same workforce.

LINKS of the WEEK

This was an incredible story- women lost at sea for 5 months!!!  Hopefully it gets some play in the news, but knowing our media it won’t.

This is the worst idea ever. Ever.


VIDEO of the WEEK

I found these top 10 fails on Wheel of Fortune quite humorous.  But I know if I ever went on this show I’d probably miss major easy ones too!


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Crowd Sourcing the Silica Rule

Do you know about the Silica rule?  Do you know that the Silica Rule is now about to be enforced after a 30-day delay?  If you are a glazier, you need to get familiar with it, but the issue as I see it is the information and direction on how this rule affects our world and what we all need to do is murky.  There’s not a great approach that I could find that we all could read from and follow.  I’m thinking “checklist” There’s various information from OSHA out there but specific insights to the glass industry is missing.  Glass Magazine has some info to follow as a very good start but I’d like to ask for insight from all of you.  What is your game plan for handling this rule?  What are best practices you can share?  This is a major change to how a glazier works… so insight we can share would be good for the industry as a whole.  I am digging more into this and I know others are well, so I’ll share whatever I find. 

Elsewhere….

--  Last week I noted about GlassBuild’s awesome microsite that has tons of video and content.  One item not on there is this excellent presentation by Building Industry Advisors.  This was a deep economic look at the market place with tons of stats and insights.  Mike Collins was one of the key speakers on here and he is always very interesting. 

--  Well the Architectural Billings Index (ABI) finally had a down result ending a strong 7-month run.  The total was 49.1, which fell beneath the break even of the 50 mark.  New project inquiries stayed strong and positive though at 59.  The analysts’ feel like this is just a quick blip and the index will be positive again next month… so we will keep watching the overall process…

--  Props to Stephanie Staub at the Architectural Glass Institute for the support they showed at an incredible program in Philadelphia called “Merge.”  This was a very cool event that brought design students and new to the industry installers together to build a structure together.  Things like this are crucial to get more young people into our industry and excited about the future.   Several industry companies donated time and materials to this effort to make it a success.  Thank you to all involved. 

--  You may have heard Amazon is looking for a 2nd headquarters and cities all over the US want a shot at this.  Right now the biggest benefactor is ad agencies in each town who are being retained to do flashy campaigns pushing the merits of their city.   Watch the one for Detroit if you want (in my video of the week)- it’s stunningly good.  Overall it’s fascinating the awesome power Amazon has… I seriously think they could make most of these municipalities do absolutely anything for them…

--  Last this week… if you are Jerry Seinfeld fan check out his latest special on Netflix.  It’s called Jerry Before Seinfeld and its funny and fantastic.

LINKS of the WEEK

I love this article on UPS drivers and dogs- my UPS driver loves ours...

A meth vs donut mix up leads to settlement…

Stealing millions in… fajitas? 

VIDEO of the WEEK

Kudos to whomever put this Detroit pitch video together for trying to attract Amazon.  It really is incredible…


Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Must See Site

This past week a very cool microsite was released featuring a ton of content from GlassBuild America.  The site has 12 Express Learning presentations on it along with videos from the floor and forums.  The Glazing Executive Forum video includes the economic forecast piece as well as state of the industry and 25 years of Top 50 Glaziers.  Plus this site has the keynote address from Cam Marston too.  This really is an incredible treasure of information and insight.  So if you were at the show but couldn’t see everything, you can now catch it and if the weather kept you away, now you can see some of what you missed.  Check it out! 

Elsewhere…

--  As if we don’t have enough to worry about with supply and logistics comes an article on a shortage of sand.  Unreal.   We’ll have to monitor this one because this could affect glass making on global basis.

--  While I was off from blogging last week the industry had a great addition… Lindsay and Dustin Price welcomed baby Alex Olivia to the world.  A beautiful baby girl born to seriously awesome parents!  I am so happy for Lindsay and Dustin and wish them the best… enjoy it all now you two, blink and Alex will be off to college.

--  I was able to attend the Glass + Metal Symposium and while there I was taken aback (positively) by a video played by Jeff Rigot of Viracon.  It was a very well done piece talking about glass usage and the Viracon employee used throughout the video was none other than Cameron Scripture!  I have been telling people forever that Cameron has movie star good looks and obviously the producers of the video agreed!  I really now can say I knew him before he went “Hollywood.”

--  The latest Dodge Momentum Index was down again last month, which continues a mini negative trend on that metric.  The analysts are not ready to call this a downturn in the marketplace but it does bear watching.  The market right now does have some soft spots to it for sure.  I am very curious to see if this gets revised up or where next month comes in as traditionally October in many parts of the US is a very big month with a lot of focus on getting jobs going before the days of winter snow arrive.

--  I think any time I see a link on the new Apple Campus and it shows glass I am all in.  This one is onethat stopped me in my tracks.  Love seeing the way glass is used here and throughout.

--  I did see the sad news of David Stark passing away.  I had a few interactions with David as he was developing products in the Vacuum IG world.  He surely brought and an amazing energy and passion to that space and his efforts and insights will be missed.

--  Last this week… Two new mixed-use skyscrapers are coming toMiami.  So a question to my friends down there- have we reached the point of massive saturation?  I am stunned that these places can go up and units sold.  The architecture and glass will be pretty cool on the one described and shown in this story.

LINKS of the WEEK

As a road warrior I must say I am impressed… and I also will say I have never seen anything like this!

Who was Mr. Monopoly behind the Equifax guys during Senate hearings.  This was good!  And by the way is Equifax a mess or what?

Can someone explain to me how a family could forget a 3 year old in a maze and not call til the next morning?  Gotta be more to this…

VIDEO of the WEEK

It is always awesome to hear from Steve Bouchard of Glass Distributors… and this time he sent me a great link for the video of the week!  It’s an older video but it holds up well as the Manning brothers are hilarious…