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…




Sunday, October 01, 2017

Challenges on the Road

The overall business atmosphere is good news/bad news right now.  On the good is a continued positive trend with regards to market conditions, though some regions have hit some soft spots recently, I’m not very worried about that.  The area of challenge and concern is the two fold.  Between manufacturing issues at one level of our industry and the impact of the run of natural disasters we just experienced getting and shipping product is an adventure. I am always stressing communication as a good rule and I usually really hammer on it when things tighten, so now more than ever making sure everyone is on the same page is crucial.  While I have confidence that the needed products can still be purchased my fear on the trucking and transportation side continues to grow.  That side of the world was already thin and now more and more the available carriers are being rightfully called into duty to help those recover from the hurricanes in the last 2 months.  This is going to be a bumpy ride for sure, so again, be proactive and communicate and work closely with everyone up and down the chain for best results.

Elsewhere…

--  When I gave my presentation on social media at GlassBuild America one of the bigger items I hit on was the use of LinkedIn.  Interestingly many that commented to me afterwards that was a sore point.  My push is that LinkedIn is a must for a business and personal.  It is a legitimatizing factor- especially when you are trying to build a business or personal brand.  But I could see where some took issue.  For a few years LinkedIn lost control, began over e-mailing you with recaps and group news that were not relevant at all.  Also as LinkedIn became world wide, pushes from all over the globe started to fill in and for many those connections or potential connections were also not a major need.  If this were 2013 I’d never recommend it.  However in the past 2 years LinkedIn has really cleaned up its process.  You have control over the e-mails you get and they are not going above and beyond that.  The global push has calmed as well.  So now it is what it was really meant to be, a very good place to make connections and learn new things and I think you’d agree both of those are pretty good attributes. 

--  The run of 2018 forecasts from the bigger firms will be coming out over the next 4-6 weeks or so.  One of them will be from Construct Connect and their Chief Economist Alex Carrick did a Q&A as a preview.  This was an interesting read- he doesn’t see it a rosy as others, which should make these upcoming presentations very interesting.  He also covers hurricane effects etc. 

--  Glass Magazine review time… a few main pieces to check out… the Carl Tompkins article on the “Top 10 Most Common Problems” in the work place is crucial for any manager.  The Cam Marston piece on the “Multi Generational Workplace” is excellent and just still bums me out that his speech at GlassBuild was missed by so many.  Great insight!  Also the winners of the Glass Magazine Awards are recognized and there are some really impressive projects there.  Plus kudos to YKK AP on the back page story for their investment in our youth.  Classy as always and I come to expect that from Mike Turner and the team there.

--  The ad of the month was tough as I try to not award the same exact ad twice- so that knocked out a good handful.  The winner this month was Assa Abloy and their “Clear Direction” piece-which was a simple layout with their panic front and center and the hot office trend of tons of glass behind it.  I don’t know the folks who designed this one- so if you do, pass on my congrats on a job well done!

--  Last this week… just a programming note. No post for next week unless some major news breaks.  I’ll be back in my familiar spots for the week of 10/15 and with the end of the year gaining on us…. get ready…. It’s Glass Industry MVP season… who will take home that insanely prestigious honor???

LINKS of the WEEK

Ok this is sickening.  And this is my main airport.  Ugh. Come on people, we gotta be better.

My gosh if we tried this approach with glass installed we’d get killed.  This story just cracks me up.

How about we finish with some good news… Groom saves child from drowning moments before his wedding was to begin.  Nice!

VIDEO of the WEEK

You may have seen the Lawrence O’Donnell freak out video (anchor who couldn’t stop the hammering) recently.  Well there have been a few others over the years and someone put them on YouTube.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Next Step on the Big News

There was big news that came out of GlassBuild but all that was going on in the world may have overshadowed it.  The announcement that the GANA-NGA discussions have moved to the next level with each organizations boards unanimously approving a move to combine the two organizations is of gigantic importance.  Plain and simple folks this is huge and crucial for our industry.  To put it into sports terms, the hot trend in the NBA is the building of “super teams” and the combo of GANA and NGA is exactly that for the glass industry.  The best attributes of both combined to offer one defined and strong voice for our industry.  This move also will give a clean slate to those of you not involved- this is your chance to start fresh, get involved, have your voice heard.   Over the next few months you will be hearing a ton more on this and if you are a member of GANA you will be asked to vote on it.  That vote is unlike any other you’ve been ask to cast, so please keep an eye out for it.  I am one of the few people out there who has extensive experience with BOTH organizations.  I can tell you that the strengths of each match up perfectly and the combination will be extremely beneficial from the sides of technical, advocacy, education, information and events.  I am absolutely also open to discussing this with anyone who has any questions, so feel free to contact me.  This is a great step for our world and I salute the boards of both groups for continuing this process.

Elsewhere…

--  Last week I mentioned the end of show/event season but I missed a couple of note.  If you are in Florida the October 4th Glass+Metal Symposium is absolutely worthwhile.  I am excited to be attending that for the first time ever.  Then in November is Greenbuild.  I am on record of not being a fan with regards to the expo and I’ll keep to that.  Also in November the Glass+Interiors Symposium and with the interior space so hot, this one will be interesting for sure.  Overall my focus though is on BEC next March.  With the way time is flying, that will be here in a snap.

--  I’ve been excited to see more folks in our industry jump on various forms of social media, the latest being deGorter with a very enjoyable instagram feed.  Pete deGorter is doing a nice job with that sharing some fabulous images that really reach the inner glass geek in me. 

--  The latest Architectural Billings Index is out and once again it’s in the plus territory.  There is no doubt this index has been on a heck of a roll and specifically the non-residential side is really encouraging.   I will admit I am trying to contain my giddiness.  I had a good friend and co-worker mention to me in the past that these indexes can sometimes not mimic real life.  But so far all indications are positive, so I am staying on my happy course here.

--  Very interesting news on the San Francisco football stadium and the possibility of them looking to add some sort of shading because the one side of the field bakes in the hot California sun.  I’m continually blown away about outdoor stadiums failing the orientation test and knowing where the sun will be hitting during various events and times.  Its incredible what 1 billion dollars doesn’t cover these days.

--  Last… check out my video of the week… I mentioned on my previous post about Guardian Glass and their video roll out at GlassBuild.  It’s really an impressive and fun piece featuring what I consider the best production value (aside from being a glass geek I am an ex TV producer who still misses that business) I have ever seen from our industry.  Again kudos to all involved.

LINKS of the WEEK

I am a bird friendly guy but I am also a solar guy- so this story is tough to deal with.

I think this was a setup- no way it was organic.  6 women all pick the same exact dress to wear at a wedding?  No way.

This could be very good for the future of our society!

BONUS VIDEO of the WEEK

The link to a super Guardian Glass video is above….
For this area… a plane crash and the pilot walks away.  Looks like the tree was key in saving his life.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

GlassBuild 2017 Recap

GlassBuild America 2017 is now complete and I can honestly say this was pretty much unlike any of the others I have attended.  The weather scenario surely played an unexpected role in how things would unfold.  In the end I think the experience was more positive than many could have expected when the forecast targeted Atlanta for the day before the show opened (and the day most people would arrive)

There were great stories of people who were so determined to get there they had to rebook flights multiple times or had to fly to cities near Atlanta and drive in.  But once attendees arrived they were greeted with eventually 2 great days of weather and a jam-packed floor that raised the bar once again in regards to exhibits and product offerings.

Thank you to all who attended and exhibited- your efforts were truly appreciated and I hope you benefit greatly from it.   

So now to my annual look at the things I liked and noticed and the people I ran into along the way.

Note that I was not as active on the floor as I was on the past because I spent a lot of time at the Window & Door Dealer Days.  While that took me away from some of the action, I learned a ton there and was blown away by the content and collaboration.

There is no doubt that oversized and interior glass is hot right now.  I was impressed by the focus on those categories from the product, component, and machinery side.   Speaking of machinery, each year seeing the advancements really gets me going.  Glass equipment both from fabricating and installation keeps getting smarter and faster.  I also liked the concentration on safety with regards to the installation equipment being shown. 

Booth wise exhibitors are not messing around- they take this event seriously and their exhibits show it.  Some are more artistic or graphically pleasing incorporating product (Vitro, Guardian, Lisec, Bohle, M3, HHH, Quanex) while others come straight at you with their wares- cutting to the chase.  (IGE, CR Laurence, Matodi, Gardner)  But in the end it was truly an impressive display of approaches to brand and product.

For me the networking is always the key and being able to catch up with the best and brightest in our world is quite frankly a thrill.  I got to spend time pre show with Rob Struble of Vitro and I still hope his marketing acumen will rub off on me someday.  It was great to spend a few minutes with Tom O’Malley of Clover Architectural, and then to be able to see his amazing product in action at the new Mercedes Benz Stadium next store was very cool.  I only get to see Rob Botman and Jordan Richards from Glassopolis once per year, so I try to take advantage of that- plus I loved that they brought out one of their classic campaigns for their booth background- well done men! 

I mention this every year but even if I only get to spend 30 seconds with the brilliant PR/Marketing/Communication gurus Rich Porayko and Heather West, I am grateful.  It was great to see Dan Polling from Schott and he still could pass for a double for actor James Franco.  I love getting time with Mike Synon and Terry Hessom from HHH.  Though Mike always had a line of people waiting to see him, so next year I’ll have to make an appointment.  I am glad Dustin Anderson of Anderson Glass made it over for the show and it is always cool to see what’s popping in his world- that guy does great for our industry.

I was happy to get a few minutes with Darijo Babic of Guardian, his energy and passion for the craft is top notch.  And on the subject of top notch and Guardian, I have always had that respect for Chris Dolan and it was good to see him and spend some time.  The video and product release that Chris and the gang had was extremely impressive- the production value was off the charts- serious kudos to everyone who had a part in that effort.

Chris Fronsoe from ICD was among one of the folks who ended having to drive in from a regional airport and yet despite the length of trip and adventure, he still was the best-dressed person at the show. I’m always delighted to visit with the great Shelly Farmer of SC Railing.  She introduced me to Scott Rowe of Rowe Fenestration and that was appreciated greatly- good guy and was pretty cool of him to tweet out a picture of us on the floor- loved the use of social media!  I also met the impressive duo of Jessica Olander and Katie Tarka- they manage the Connecticut and Massachusetts Glass Dealers and I loved how active they were in trying to learn more for their membership and help those groups advance. 

Last- social media was a big star of the show, more and more people continue to use it and the communication from it became more important with the need to get out information, timing etc.  I was honored to be asked to do an Express Learning session on it and it was admittedly one of the neater things I have gotten to do in my business life.  I can now cross off “speak at GlassBuild” from the bucket list!

So we now look forward to 2018 show and meeting wise… and there’s a lot to expect- I’ll hit on that next week and I’ll also cover the exciting news of GANA and NGA as well.  That is HUGE and great news for our world.

LINKS of the WEEK

Selfies can spread lice?  Ugh- warn your teens!

I am fascinated by the Tesla vehicle.  And this story only adds to it.

Got this one submitted to me and its another angle from the hurricane- hogging much needed parking spaces in a garage

VIDEO of the WEEK

If this movie is half as good as the trailer- look out.  Wow.  “All the Money in the World” is the story of J. Paul Getty.