Sunday, June 25, 2017

Communication is Key

For the majority of the industry things are really rolling but with that comes bumps in the road and that latest challenge is trucking availability.  The transportation issue has not been very smooth for years but in the last month it has gotten worse thanks to float plant issues and a seasonal shortage in available drivers and equipment. The best way how to deal with this and basically most adventures we have these days is with increased proactive communication and planning.  Be active is communicating with your supplier, make smart and realistic plans and communicate with the rest of the customers in your supply chain.  And make sure that everyone is also communicating with his or her stakeholders too.  The more you can do this the better off you and your company will be.  Really at the end of the day in this current setting communication is so crucial.  And the fine folks at the end of the line- the glaziers & glass shops- get crushed with crazy requests and moving timelines…. So do all you can to make their lives easier… communicate to the fullest!


--  When I mention about being busy I can also point to the latest Architectural Billings Index… up yet again in May and also reaching highs for the year on both the index and new product inquiry number.  This all continues to match up with the forecasts going forward… let’s keep it going and get after it while its all good….

--  I went to see Wonder Woman (solid movie) and I was probably the only one in the theater who absolutely geeked out when Wonder Woman held up a piece of digitally printed glass featuring an old picture!  That was so cool… I wonder if the producers got the idea from GGI’s Harlem Hospital job… that was the first thing I thought of.

--  Did you know that the word “Spandrel” has a biological meaning?  I was stunned when someone sent me this link… for you fellow glass nerds check it out.

--  This Fall aside from GlassBuild here there are two other events to mark on your schedule to get to or support.  The Glass + Metal Symposium in September and then Glass Interiors Symposium in November offer excellent learning and networking opportunities.  I will be for sure at the Glass + Metal one and I’m looking forward to it.  To learn more click their names above.

--  At these shows you probably won’t find any fake architects… yes a fake architect who actually did quite a bit work before it was uncovered was recently in the news.  Amazing story… and a twist as the code name for the investigation into this came from a legendary “Seinfeld” plot….

--  Last this week a heads up… no blog for me next week…. With Canada Day and Independence Day coming I’ll be skipping that week and will return to this space the week of July 9th… unless of course major news breaks and if it does I’ll post here and for sure I’ll post on twitter at @maxpsolesource.  So for my friends in Canada and the US I hope you and yours have a great holiday!


--  I hate Robocalls (not as much as I hate fireworks but a close) and so it’s good to see someone going down for this…

--  I’m not sure I understand the need for t his “record” as no normal person would ever do it.

--  I think I can speak for many road warriors… this was a nasty practical joke! 


Short quick video of a guy who has great soccer skills… put to good use in the market….

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Streamlined and Smart

The newly integrated format with GlassBuild America and the GANA Fall Conference was released this week and simply said- it’s awesome.  Yes for folks that aren’t big fans of change, it is different, BUT, it is a good different in being a smart and streamlined event that makes the most of everyone’s very valuable time.  The incredible volunteers and their committees will still have the time they need to do the work for the industry and also be involved in the show- but more importantly this is YOUR chance to get involved and have your voice heard.  If you are coming to GlassBuild and you are involved in the fabrication side of the business you owe it to yourself and business to attend the technical sessions so you can stay abreast of what is happening our world and have an impact.
It’s exciting times… I talked with a fabricator from the Northwest that normally would not attend the Fall Conference but since its combined and integrated into GlassBuild that company will attend and finally see and hear what is happening all around them and their business.  Good things are happening in our industry and the GlassBuild-Fall Conference combo is certainly one of them.


Three updates from past stories and trends…

--  The Glass Connections event in Canada I spoke of previously was a big success.  My good friend, the extremely talented Rich Porayko had an in-depth recap HERE.  Check it out.

--  The trend of jumbo sizes continues… we’ve seen the news via Viracon, and Vitro and now a jumbo coater is coming to my home state courtesy of Guardian.  The folks there announced that their Carleton, Michigan location would be the home for the oversized machinery.  I have been lucky enough to tour that facility and its adjacent Science & Technology Building and I hopefully will get an invite once the new coater is up- will be fun to see!

--  Last of the three angles previously hit on… Railings.  I have talked about some of the great companies in that world, their folks, and also noting the code pieces as well.  This week news of a formidable combo was released with Q-railing and Bohle America partnering up on distribution in the US.  This will surely push that segment even more with the reach and product offerings both companies possess.

--  Wrapping up this week…  the monthly Glass Magazine review… the Top 50 Glazier edition.  First and foremost major kudos to Beth Moorman and team for a jaw dropping design.  Very sharp and classy.   

--  The issue itself is jam packed with detail and info on the glazing side. So much intelligence to take in… including interesting looks at some of the companies on the list, the markets, and solutions for the community.  I also loved Katy Devlin’s look back to 1992.  Neat! Overall this issue was really well done and a must read.

--  The ad of the month plays into a theme I mentioned above… railings… CR Laurence gets the nod this month with their railing focused ad.  Normally I don’t like a ton of text, but this ad made it work and the images on the page stood out so much that made it a winner for me.  Kudos to Andrew Haring his team on a job well done!


As an Ohio Bobcat myself, I’ve never seen one of my brothers do this…lol

Incredible story of a criminal doppelgänger


With one child going to college this fall and another next year this movie appeals to me… may have to try this…

Sunday, June 11, 2017

John Mammen

Starting this week out on a somber note, with condolences to the Mammen family and everyone at M3 Glass Technologies on the passing of John Mammen.  The industry was made better because of people like John.  My good friend Scott Surma really summed it up perfectly in a note to me by saying: “Class act, wonderfully sincere, good man.”  There is no doubt about that.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Mammen and the rest of the folks who have a huge hole in their life now that John has passed. 


--  Those who have heard me speak know I am very bullish on office interior space.  This week the twitter feed of Kawneer linked out a very good piece on the 2017 trends for office interiors… surely worth the read.  Daylight continues to be something people want and glass is surely the best vehicle to make that happen.

--  And speaking of something people want in an office space… wellness and comfort are big keys.  This article takes a deep dive into it.

--  On the flip side of office related article, the first semi-negative article on the new Apple HQ hit the wires this week.  And while it’s not negative about the beauty and amazing products inside, it does take issue with the location and expanse.  Quite frankly it’s an interesting and rare take on a structure and location that has been universally praised. 

--  The 2017 AIA and Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top 10 building awards were recently announced and I always love to see what makes the cut.  Some amazing structures and truly important moves for our world with the way the buildings are built.  Congrats to the gang at Guardian that supplied glass to 3 of the top 10.  Well done!  Now this is the sort of effort that I like from AIA….

--  I have been meaning to note that registration for GlassBuild America is now open… so you may as well get registered and go grab that hotel room while you are at it.  I am obviously biased but I expect a tremendous show and if you truly want to grow yourself, your business, and have a voice in the industry- you need to be there! 

--  Last this week… do you ever wonder what concerns Architects and Designers when things are really busy out there?  Based on the run of Architectural Billings Indexes things are good, but a recent webinar gave the rundown on what keeps that world up at night… they are:

  • Political wrangling on administration proposals
  • Low oil prices stall energy projects
  • Uncertain global economic and political situation
  • Competition still intense despite everyone being busy
  • Workforce shortages growing
  • Uncertainty on infrastructure funding proposals

Interesting list- the competition one was fascinating to me as in the glass and glazing industry no one ever lets up.  Busy or not it’s always intense.  The workforce shortage one also caught my eye because so many qualified people lost jobs during the recession and I think many landed in places like curtain wall manufacturers and are happy there and not willing to go back to a traditional design firm. 


Ok this is a Russian intervention that gets me mad.  Don’t mess with Chocolate!

There are a lot of issues with this one… waste, lack of trust, confusion… unreal.

I’m a huge dog guy (have 4 of them) and this story seems a bit off.  Hard to believe this is healthy for dog or neighborhood.


I’ve been on my fair share of water slides… but this is amazing…. Wow!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The 90% Rule

I know I have talked at length about the AIA show over the last few weeks but one more item came up and I honestly could not resist sharing it here and commenting.  On the front of the AIA Expo 2018 website there was a statistic that simply blew me away.  It is:

“90% of attendees say the Architecture Expo is one of their top 5 best conference experiences” 

Inside the link it clarified the statement more in case you thought they were comparing AIA vs. another show. 

“90% of attendees say one of their top 5 best experiences at the event is visiting with exhibitors.”

Now lets think about this one for a minute. 90% of attendees said the expo part of the AIA show is one of their top FIVE experiences while there.  SO the question is how was the survey laid out- only 5 choices?  And how many other experiences at an event like this are there?  Education, Tours, Networking are three for sure.  This isn’t Disney where there’s 100 things all going on at once.  The centerpiece of the conference is the actual show, so you would think that this would be important.  And it also makes you think about the 10% who DID NOT find this to be “top 5” – I would love to see what items that group picked.
In any case I found the stat to be flat out bizarre.  And while I know some exhibitors had a good show in 2017, the majority did not.  But fear not those who had a negative time in Orlando… the attendees…90% of them… consider you a “top 5 experience”


--  Staying on the topic of shows, the past 2 weeks saw major international shows that are growing with North Americas being involved.  The FIT show in the United Kingdom and the China Glass Expo held in Beijing.  From the reports I got, both were well attended and positive with regards to the overall industry economy and with regards to the North American market.  It was exciting to hear from Gerhard Reichert whose company launched their WorldSpacer at both events with great success.  I love hearing about new products and the push behind them and doing back-to-back shows in the UK and China is no easy feat- so nice work Gerhard and team!

--  REMINDER- June 5th is the deadline for the Glass Magazine awards!  If you have a great project, product, or feat of fabrication time is almost up to get these efforts submitted.  Here is the link… do it today so you can be in the race to be honored with the most prestigious recognition our industry has going.

--  And while I am reminder mode… the NACC has a pretty cool webinar coming up at the end of the month.  It is Project Installation from All Points of View- featuring a glazing contractor, consultant, and quality manager as they take a technical look at all that goes into installing on a project.  The webinar is scheduled for June 28th- for more information you can visit

--  Last this week… I want to congratulate all of the folks out there that have children and family members graduating high school or college right now.  Very exciting times and I wish only best for our latest batch of youngsters hitting the next steps of the world.  Normally I rarely say anything on my wife or kids, so please roll with me as today I am going all in, as my daughter Natalie is graduating from High School this week.  We are truly blessed to have her and I am so excited as she wraps up one story and gets ready to start another one this fall at college in South Carolina.  Aside from being an awesome kid, Natalie also has a very major spot in my glass industry-writing career.  My very first trade magazine article for the industry- a few years before I started this blog- focused on how companies name their products (long live “Jade Ice”) and I used the process my wife and I had in coming up with Natalie’s name as a part of the piece.  So you could say Natalie was an integral part of me writing and taking this role on and almost 18 years later, I’m still going.  Anyway- I love you Natalie and I know you will do incredible things in your life!


 Absolutely I have done this before… always read the descriptions closely before you buy online!

I’m a very big truth in labeling person with regards to food products, so I think the manufacturer has some culpability here but I also think the person suing is wrong too.

I mentioned my daughter Natalie above- she is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs.  And thisstory surely would get her fired up.


And here they are the news bloopers from May… some legitimate good ones here.