Sunday, February 26, 2012

Post Mortem

There’s no doubt that the Trainor story was a huge event in our world. The emotion and fallout was and continues to be intense. The news of their closure was a surprise more from the fact that it was a ceasing of operations and not a Chapter 11 re-organization where they would stay operating. So it was that finality that was the knockout punch. As for the emotions and feedback from the industry, the biggest thing is the welfare of the employees. My heart goes out to those folks, all of whom had been pumping along and then BAM its over. No last paycheck, no benefits. Just over. You’d have to be a very cold person to not feel terrible there and hope that those guys and gals can find new employment elsewhere in our world. Surely there are some talented people now available. In any case talking to some of the folks caught up in this is heartbreaking and I hope for only the best for them.

Now onto the business side of this where the reaction was swift too. There were excellent, well thought-out comments left on my blog last week about that side of it. Eventually I see the Trainor case becoming a case study because there are teachable moments here from a business standpoint. You have all of the factors in place, family dynamics, multiple locations, industry prominence, misjudged expansions into markets and products (the decorative and solar were great angles, just wrong time, place and focus) and much more. All of that plays out in the big picture of things.

So yet again we start another era in our industry as we have a bunch of times in the last few years. And while I am very positive about our future and there are a lot of very good things happening in our world, there’s still the worry and malaise that hangs over us. Bottom line… I hope we are continuing to learn from these events, and gaining the knowledge that will make us stronger and smarter as people, companies and industry as a whole.


-- Pretty big story popped late Thursday and into Friday that Serious Materials was closing the famous Chicago plant that they took over a few years ago. (The plant that featured a sit in, made national news and eventually had a visit from Vice President Biden when it reopened.) That closing is now delayed but we had some interesting moments leading up to it. The story here is a remarkable read about what happened. In any case this one will bear watching because it will be fascinating to see who possibly steps up in this.

-- Congrats to the awesome Carol Land of the Glass Association of North America as she celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend. Carol is one of my all time favorites and I am thrilled for her and her husband for hitting this awesome milestone!

-- Last week the AABC Energy Management Guideline for building owners, design professionals, commissioning authorities, and energy management professionals came out. (That was a mouthful eh?) Once again it shows a weakness in how our industry is perceived. 256 pages in all and it covers everything under the sun building product wise that can help the building save money and be efficient with the exception of glass/windows. Nothing on improving the window as a way for better efficiency but hey if you want info on low flush toilets, its in here. H/T and thanks to Chris Ketchum of RavenBrick on this one, I would’ve never have seen it otherwise.

-- Last this week, a great marketing read via link that was tweeted out by Guardian’s Earnest Thompson. It’s how cars get their names and as anyone who has had to name products knows, it’s not easy or fun. This story reminds me about a lunch I had once with the legend of Ford Glass and Visteon Mr. Lowell Rager, when the “Versalux” line of products were announced. At that lunch I heard about the demise of the greatest glass name ever “Jade Ice” and the launch of the line of names that sounded like vacuum cleaners or dishwashers. No matter how it may sound, some things just fit better than others and from this article Earnest sent shows it’s an issue all over.


-- NFL legend Troy Aikman sees some cracks in the massive wall that is the popularity of the NFL. He may be on to something…

-- Scamming the scammers… no one is clean in this story.

Not sure what is worse on this link- the overall story, the writing, or the inane comments. It’s a journalism train wreck!


Once again my brother dug back into his video vault for this one. Flight of the Conchords are a very creative group and this song fits that. It’s funny and raunchy and has 24 million views on Youtube, so my bro is not the only one who thinks its worthy.

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