Sunday, July 28, 2013

Prepping for the future

The Affordable Care Act, known in some circles as “ObamaCare” is certainly a program that every business owner needs to understand.  This past week, I was enlightened greatly after a tremendous presentation as a part of the Glass Management Institute.  Susan McKay and Matt Johnson of the The Gary Law Group presented in one hour as much of this gigantic program that they could and it was really mind blowing.  The amount of work that will be needed to be done when this act is fully implemented looks to be insanely large.  The amount of uncertainty from now until that happens is beyond belief.  As a business owner you are truly stuck in the middle of the road, not preparing will leave you in deep trouble, but preparing and possibly seeing actions delayed or change would surely be inefficient.  Needless to say if you have not dug into this yet, you need to.  And yes I know this is a hot potato politically, but this thing is coming down the pike, so you need to be prepared.

Also if you have not looked at the Glass Management Institute for learning, then you absolutely are missing out.  Now that the warm up act (me) is over, the real pros have taken over and the remaining three sessions (Business Forecasting, Leadership, and Legal/Contracts) on the schedule promise to be top notch.  In any case, with issues like the Affordable Care Act, knowledge truly is power…


--  Tough few weeks for our industry as two excellent men involved with our world passed away.  Merv Murphy was a staple in Detroit and a class act all the way around. “Murph” treated everyone well, knew all of the ins and outs of the industry and deeply cared about every organization he was involved with- especially the Glazing Contractors Association.  We also lost Alec Spielberg, the former President of Kentucky Mirror and Glass.  Mr. Spielberg built a tremendous company that is respected far and wide.  I never met Mr. Spielberg, but always-heard great things about him from everyone I worked with that were in direct contact.  My thoughts and prayers go out to both families during this difficult time.

--  Thank you to Mandy Marxen of Gardner Glass Products for her comment on my last blog… I need to go see Pacific Rim… especially if that movie does break tons of glass… I appreciate the comment too!

--  Stumbled across an excellent blog over the last 2 weeks… Steve Watts the VP at Walters and Wolf keeps one at  Excellent and interesting content… gotta get him signed up to blog at Glass Magazine too and join the incredible stable there.

--  We are 6 weeks from the opening of GlassBuild America and excitement is building.  Love the exhibitors that have signed up, can’t wait to see some neat new technology and I am pumped for the seminars and forums.  There’s a great mix of people involved to make this, like always, the premier industry event.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be breaking it down.  Oh and if you haven’t booked your hotel room yet, go ahead and get that done before the blocks close out.

--  The Architectural Billings Index continues to stay positive… can this nice rush of a busy season be real?  Can it be sustainable?  After my last blog I got several notes from glaziers and fabricators who noted they are busy… real busy.  Hopefully we are truly headed in the right direction.

--  Last this week… is it me or has summer just flown right by?  If you go by the sports world calendar it sure has… The NHL schedule came out last week, the NBA schedule comes out this week and the NFL is in training camp… college football kicks off in 4 weeks.  Unreal.


--  I have showed stuff like this a bunch of times.. when schools don’t set great educational examples.. here’s another one…

--  This guy is the most connected person on LinkedIn… I can only imagine how many endorsement e-mails he gets!  Shame is I thought Scott Surma was the most connected there…

--  I am speechless on this one…


What to do when a bear attacks… thanks to local TV news… this is actually somewhat comical and creative, two things missing from local news today.  Guessing most viewers would be thrown by the irreverent tone though.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Award Winners!

I was very excited to see the latest round of Glass Magazine Awards announced and more deserving companies get recognized.  These are the industries most prestigious awards and there’s no doubt the judges must of had a very difficult time choosing.  A couple of winners I wanted to recognize…  the Most Innovative Energy Efficient Glass Project really excited me because the mix of products and companies was “interesting” to me, but then knowing that the tremendous people from Architectural Glass & Aluminum were involved made sense.  Whatever they touch usually does turn to gold... or in this case- green.  Was happy to see the folks from Pleotint win Most Innovative Commercial Window.  You know me I bang the drum hard for dynamic glazing and yet another piece of evidence that this product segment is going to be very hot. 

I must also say that the Shower Enclosure winner from Met-tec was pretty mind blowing.  That is one very intense shower set up.  When GGI’s new website launched, I noted the great look right here on the blog, nice to see the judges agreeing with me.  I had not seen PPG’s Visualizer yet, so that is now on my list of things to do.   Overall our industry really looked great here, so a hearty congrats to all of the winners… jobs well done!! 


There’s still the people portion of the awards to come and you can vote on them now.  This year I am not familiar with any of the folks with the exception of one, so I’ll be reading all of the bios and making my decisions soon.  Please take a few minutes and go vote, these are obviously deserving candidates who were nominated and then made the cut to the best three in their categories.  Congrats to everyone who made it to this point!

Last week I noted how positive things seemed to be out there and some of the reports backed me up… great job addition for construction and best construction spending since September of 2009. Keep it going!

The bad side is surely the worry that our industry does have a severe lack of skilled labor.  Between companies cutting back during the slow period and the fact that what we do is very difficult (and dangerous in some points) we do have a massive worry out there on the horizon.  One that I have chatted about on here a few times but sadly one that does not have an easy answer.

I did go see “Man of Steel” recently… and I thought it was “OK”- a little too long and too much un-needed pieces for my liking.  But once again I do have to laugh that every time one of these hero movies visits a town (in the movie), the local glaziers have to rejoice because they break every piece of glass around.  So whomever is the glass guy in Smallville, KS.. what a great business you would have!

Last this week… Just a programming note- no blog next week from me… going to give my fingers a rest.  See you again week of July 28th, unless major news breaks of course…


Deep fried everything…. Including bacon…

The Cleveland Browns obituary story....  Not sure if I was the team I’d be thrilled with his crack about being let down.

More tough times with the Chinese stock market.  Worth watching to see if and when this affects North America.


It’s summer… and time for many folks to hit the road for a getaway... so why not remember with a trailer to a classic movie.. VACATION!!

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Positive Weeks and Times

EDITORS NOTE: A portion of this blog is the same as last week.  My blog gets picked up by e glass weekly from Glass Magazine and a good amount of my readership see it there only, and with the holiday last week, they did not grab the last edition.  So I added some new pieces, including fresh links and video but some of the subjects are the same.  THANK YOU for reading!

The Architectural Billings Index did bounce back in May after a very bad April, which for many observers is a major positive.  Add that with a very positive business attitude right now (most people are saying they are very busy and doing well) and you have a nice little moment happening.  Hopefully it lasts for a very long while.  I know we are not close to the “good ole days” but we are surely in a better place than we have been.  Let’s keep it going!


--  As you may have heard by now the big ASHRAE meeting happened a couple of weeks ago and after more than 70 letters from the industry and interested observers the task committee decided to delay any actions.  So they will take this all in and really should, given all of the consensus at play here, make the right call to not go forward with their plans to limit the use of glass.  The industry came through this time, which is quite exciting to say the least.  Hopefully now there is nothing that gets in the way of the right call being made by this committee.

--  The Wall Street Journal had a nice little piece on Guardian and their new relationship with Koch Brothers.  Always good when our industry can be placed in a positive light.  It’s online if you have a subscription to the WSJ, otherwise, you’ll have to wait til the paywall comes down.

--  Congrats to Oldcastle Building Envelope, they recently picked up an award for their advertising of their BIM product.  It was a great campaign and they deserved it.  I have picked on Oldcastle in the past, but I have also been complimentary when applicable and this is surely the case.

--  For those of you who run or exercise with music… great song to add to your playlist… “We Own It” by 2Chainz and Wiz Khalifa.  It’s from the latest Fast and Furious movie and it’s a great piece.

--  Yes in the same blog I just noted that business is good, the industry has consensus, complimented Oldcastle and recommended a tune by a guy named “2Chainz”.  I am guessing the world will be ending tomorrow for sure.  Ha Ha.

--  I am starting to get excited for the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America.  The State of the Industry panel is coming together and I will tell you this, it is going to be a blockbuster.  Really strong leaders speaking on the subjects that affect this world every day from all-different walks of our industry life.  More info coming soon, but needless to say, you will want to be there for this session!

--  Last this week, on Tuesday, I celebrate my 2nd anniversary on my own.  Thank you to everyone who supported and continues this adventure.  My family and I will are and will always be grateful.


-- As a great friend of mine said on this link- “Pass the Pop Tarts, I’ll bring the Milk” and you know what…. Absolutely… just crazy workouts out there.

--  For the fellow travel warriors out there… fun top 10 list about flight attendants.  The Diet Coke one was a shocker for me.

--  This one is a pretty mind blowing quick piece as a son rats out his Mom.  (Right thing to do- but yet odd)


Thank you to old friend Scott Hoover for this week’s video… a very cool first pitch from a rhythmic gymnast.  Not sure if Scott taught her this or not, but its awesome!