Saturday, January 19, 2019

Predictions for 2019

Time for my fearless predictions for 2019…

1.     I may as well get this one out of the way early… Security Glass will continue to grow in 2019.  Yes it’s on my list every year but I am still convinced additional growth is on the horizon.  School security is priority like never before.  More and more private businesses are upgrading and government and municipal are pretty much locked in with desires to go heavier on security. 
2.     Look at Lifting.  The days of glaziers trying to use old fashioned muscle to install and move glass are dying.  The days of installers having to share various equipment to glaze are also coming to an end.  Like never before lifting apparatus is everywhere and its advanced amazingly over the years.  Just visit GlassBuild and be in awe.  I am a big fan of this sector and its importance to our industry.
3.     Speaking of important- the Robot Revolution is here. I predict the usage of robots and automation at the fabricator level will jump quite a bit as the year ends and many fabricators will enter 2020 with a new look and approach to production.  Included is this are terms like IoT and Internet 4.0.  Get ready; innovation is coming fast and furious.
4.     Deals are not done.  Many companies who are thinking about selling are staring into the future and thinking- “this needs to be the year I sell” because we really don’t know what 2020 is going to bring from an economic side.  I see a bunch of smaller deals but we’ve got a doozy or two coming our way and the rumors are absolutely wild.
5.     Talent on the move.  I think there’s a ton of talent in our industry and I have a feeling that we are going to see some of the best folks we have transitioning either into promotions at their current company or moving on to new ones. Any business owner who’s looking to take a leading position going forward has to be looking at making a run at some of the talent out there.

So we will see how these come out… I am always curious on what my dear readers think so feel free to reach out to me and share!  Would love to have the conversation…


--  One of my favorite things each year is when it’s announced that the employees of Viracon donated a huge sum to charity.  Once again they’ve blown me away.  It was announced last week that the incredible team at there donated $116,000 to the United Way.  Kudos to everyone at Viracon and special props to Carla Kern who heads this effort up every year.  Awesome stuff!!

--  The deal on the Project Managers Reference Manual for members of NGA is an absolute steal.  Must buy.  And if you are not a member of NGA, you should join to take advantage of things like this!  For more info…

--  Additional note on Project Managers… I am honored to head up a panel at BEC in March on training of Project Managers.  We have 2 incredible industry brains on the panel in Brian Fillipiak of Alliance Glazing and Paul Robinson of Pioneer Glazing, as well as Neil Opfer, a professor in the construction school at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  All I can say is in my initial talks with these guys; it’s been an incredible learning experience on their best practices and ideas to keep improving our world.  I think I may just moderate by introducing them and then sitting back and watching them go.   Get registered for BEC today!

--  Great cartoon given to me by my friend Scott Goodman… really sums up our world sometimes:

--  Last this week… for those of you going to the Annual Conference- I sincerely hope to see you there.  My schedule is pretty messy so I may not be there for long or at all depending on how things break.  I am bummed because this will be one the best conferences ever… enjoy and I look forward to hearing about all of the details.


The headline is a winner all by itself.

Simply incredible way to lose weight!


Skipping VIDEO of the WEEK this post… we’ll hopefully return next week!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2018 Prediction Results

So before we can really look into 2019, time to take a look back at 2018.  Did my predictions come close or did I fail like I do when I try to pick winners in sporting events… let’s take a look.

1.     Trucking will be a bigger challenge:  Well I believe it was tough… but was it a bigger challenge and did the DOT rules change anything?  I am not sure. I know it’s a constant battle but not sure it cratered the way I thought.
2.     Going Big- I felt the sophisticated glazing would be in style and in 2018 it was.  No matter how challenging the project it could be done and there were multiple avenues to get it done.
3.     Security Glass goes wild- I had this in 2017.  I had it in 2018.  Believe me I am putting on the list next week for 2019.  It was a better year for security glass especially in the school segment.  Sadly the need is there.
4.     Private Equity in and out- I thought we’d have some exits along with new players.  No exits but plenty of new and aggressive PE’s are on the scene now.  So ½ right here.
5.     NGA and GANA merge and be great in the end- The merge formalized and slowly but surely the unified voice is really finding its footing.  This was a massive undertaking and I am still extremely confident that it’s going to be a great thing.  So far so good with streamlined efforts in place and this will only continue to evolve and improve.
So I was not too far off overall… better than my pick for the Super Bowl this year… the Carolina Panthers.  Oops.  Anyway next week we’ll have my predictions on 2019….


--  I had a lot of reaction to my overall economic look for this year and into 2020.  Most of the reaction was that the positive indicators are outweighing the negative.  So that was very good to hear.  We’ll keep on it.  Still I think we’re going to see a dip in the next ABI and I’ll be then curious to see a trend develops.

--  NGA Annual Conference is coming up fast!  Have you looked at it or made arrangements yet?  The keynote speech by Lisa Rammig is an absolute must see. Staying ahead of codes, guidelines, and the technical movements in our world is crucial too.  Click the link and be there!

--  I came across an older article about trends in smart hotels and there’s some specific areas that effect our world- specifically the modular building (which I have noted many times)  It will be fascinating to see how that and some of these other trends take off…

--  Last this week… this story on the pay comparison betweenbeing an architect and managing a fast food joint was noteworthy.  I am sure many in the architectural profession were not happy with the comparison, as they believe themselves to be beyond fast food management.  Still it also shows that it’s a competitive world out there for talent and some jobs do pay quite a bit more than you think.


--  Kind of an interesting story on some High School happenings between Principal and Officer.  Sadly the story leaves out a major question… but then again it’s the USA Today which has woefully become an absolute joke of a newspaper.

--  This is what our world has come to….


BUT....There are good people in this world.  This video shows it… people banding together to save someone in serious peril.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Kicking Off 2019

Well we’ve made it 2019 and its time to talk about what I see business wise for the upcoming months.    Overall I am taking a positive outlook, I am hopeful that 2019 features a more even keeled performance than 2018.  For many last year was a tale of two seasons- the first half not great, followed by a strong finish.  This year should have a more consistent performance and be a year with a slight amount of growth.  Backlogs are filled at the glazing contractor side and the metrics I follow for 2019 are all looking up.  The big worry is what’s coming in 2020.  That’s where there’s some concern.  Normally at this point in the cycle you can start to see what is heading our way and the initial view does show some choppy waters.  Residential and auto futures are looking softer for 2020 and that is usually a signal that commercial weakening could follow right behind. If that is the case, we could see an uneven 2020.   I will note that it is still very far off and things can and do change quickly- but for now, I have a little pessimism in my bones for 2020, but I’ll keep monitoring and updating here.  Over the next few weeks I am going to do my prediction review from last year and offer my new ones for 2019… so stay tuned with more to come. 

Oh and no matter what the predictions or markets say please check out Katy Devlin’s blog on “How to Recession-proof Your Business.”  Tremendously helpful piece. 


--  As an add to the above the last Architectural Billings Index was a monster, finishing up at 54.7, which was a nice gain over the previous month and the barely breaking even score of 50.4.  However I have a feeling though that the next release on 1/23 will be the first one in the last 14 months under the break even number.  We’ll see…

--  Glass Magazine review time… December issue with the team from Steel Encounters on the cover moving glass.  The issue was dedicated to handling equipment so those articles were fascinating to me- so much advancement in that area.  Also I love any time my pal Joe Schiavone of CR Laurence writes and he has a great piece in there co-written with Brian Stratton of Linetec.  Well done!  Also check out Bryan Bush’s backlog calculator article- extremely informative.

--  Ad of the month was a tough one again… good mix of ads from handling folks along with others trying to get their messages across.  My winner for this month is Midwest Wholesale Hardware.  I liked the bold approach with the font, use of color and layout.  Congrats to the folks there on this smart approach!

--  During the holidays I saw a lot of ads for, which is a fitness application, built into a wall mirror…. Found that very interesting.  Anyone else see it- anyone have one of these yet?  TV makes it looks very easy and makes the mirror look good- who knows this could drive more mirror business some day…

--  Design Build and Project Management… good article here on the process involved.

--  Last this week… just a sincere thank you from my entire family for the thoughts and prayers shared to us upon the passing of our mother, Ettie Perilstein.   It was a tough week but the support shown by so many of our friends in this great industry truly was meaningful and greatly appreciated.  Thank you.


Wow- a parrot goes to town with ordering from Alexa!

This would freak me out big time… the cat or doggie door can surely allow others in…

More Florida stories and with both my kids living there in 2019, I’ll really have to pay more attention…


There was a list on YouTube- the top 10 most anticipated movies for 2019.  And stunningly “Rocketman” which is a biopic about Elton John was NOT on there… I can’t wait to see it and will be curious to see if it is better than “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Here’s the preview…

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Honoring Mom

I have been writing and posting this blog pretty much every Sunday since 2005.  I have always noted it was therapeutic for me to do so… so today, this one absolutely is… and its not specifically about glass but it is about someone who had a major influence on a few of us in this industry.  I dedicate this post to my Mom.  She passed away early this morning at the age of 85.  She read this blog every week and even though she had little idea of some of the things I talked about here, she loyally read it.  Kind of the “Mom” thing to do right? 
My mom was the strength and support behind my Dad when he started a new glass business in the 70’s.  He started it when interest rates were rocketing and not exactly the best economy.  My mom was the strength and support behind my sister and brother who joined with my dad to build that business. And she was there for me too when years later I went into the business.  So I guess if any of us drive you crazy, you can point to her influence that pushed us here.
The incredible growth and following success in business that my brother led us to had fingerprints on it from both our parents, but I think it was my Mom’s qualities of strength and toughness that allowed us to survive and then thrive.  I always believed, and still do, that my mom was a “hockey player” in that she was incredibly resilient.  The woman was like a piece of the best bomb resistant glass out there- she could take the best blast of whatever hit her (Cancer, Sicknesses, premature passings etc) and handle it with amazing grace, all while bouncing back usually in an incredible amount of time.  (Like the hockey player who could loose a mouthful of teeth but still be out on the ice next shift) 
So today is tough day and a big loss.  It’s the first Sunday blog she won’t read from me but I know she’d want me and my brother, and sister along with our kids and grandkids to be strong and battle through it like she always did.  We love you and we will miss you Mom… and yes I will miss my most loyal reader. 

Thank you.
My Mom Ettie taking a look at a few of her favorites including her awesome great grand-daughter this past November