Sunday, August 27, 2017

Challenges Ahead on Supply

A lot of news, but first and foremost, my thoughts are out to everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.  That was/is a challenging storm and hoping for only the best for those in its path today and going forward.
Now on to the glass world and its been a tough one on the float side.  The market is relatively busy right now save for some soft spots here and there, so the need for glass is pretty high.  Unfortunately some events at the float level have me very concerned about capacity and so thus comes the warning.  (Katy Devlin had a fantastic take on it HERE) Glass is tight now and going to get tighter.  This is the time to get as organized as you can and understand your supply chains and the future orders you need to fill.  Proactivity is a must.  This is also a massive reason on why you need to attend GlassBuild America in a few weeks because if you are not networking and communicating you will be left behind.  I will be monitoring this glass supply issue and will continue to report when relevant.  And yes I know I am more reactionary than others out there, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.


--  A few weeks ago I mentioned another big glass deal was coming and that happened publicly last week with Glass Dynamics being sold to Press Glass.  Obviously the interesting angle here is the parent company of Press is in Europe so this is a new player having a location the North American fab market.  Press has a great reputation in the areas they are already in, so there’s a positive from the market standpoint.

--  Congrats to Martin Bracamonte on his new position as President of IGE Glass Technologies.  Michael Spellman built a strong team over there and he’ll obviously still be involved but adding Martin as the President was an excellent move- he’s a good and talented person.

--  And while I am in the congratulatory mood, props to the folks at Conners Sales.  They launched a fabulous new website last week.  Really impressive work and great examples of the lines they represent.

--  The latest Architectural Billings Index was released this week and once again it was in the positive- that’s now 6 straight months on the good side of the ledger and overall a pretty amazing run over the last 2+ years.  All of the other indexes that are tracked (regional and new inquiries) were up as well.

--  I’m a big “Smart roads” guy and look forward to seeing ifand how this works.  The next area for testing is in Kansas City along with two other to be determined sites.  Really curious to see how this holds up in climate like KC…

--  Last this week, College Football is now back… can’t wait…. One of the first college games of the year will be held at the new stadium in Atlanta. (Which you can view close up when you attend GlassBuild)  Architectural Digest got a tour and broke itall down….


--  Naming your baby “Eclipse” Ugh.  I guess in 2024 that kid will have its day in the spotlight again.

--  This is brilliant- gamers are very sharp and good to see their skills going to something very meaningful.

Driving a BBQ Grill.  And the Grill is on.  And the driver decides its time for a smoke.  Youcan guess what is next.


Sinkhole happens in China.  Then a few minutes later a guy on his scooter comes by…. Uh oh

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The GlassBuild Primer

With GlassBuild America only 3 weeks away I wanted to dedicate this weeks post to the show.  So this won’t be my typical posting… we’ll return to normal next week. 
In any case with regards to GlassBuild this is usually the time that many make their final decision on whether or not to attend.  I know mostly everyone is very busy, but if you want to improve yourself and your business, you will make the call to be in Atlanta on September 12th to the 14th.  Here are few reasons why…

Overall Education:
This is a one-stop wonderland for everything you want to know with regards to product, equipment, services and more.    Below I will break out a few channels where you can gain critical knowledge and insights. There is something for everyone no matter what end of the business you are in.

Glazing Executive Forum:
The collaboration here is incredible.  For a glazier this is invaluable.  Also the economic forecast and the state of the industry pieces are very helpful.  Plus a special 25 years of Top 50 Glazier survey review will be quite interesting.

Express Learning:
These 20-minute sessions are perfect for quick on the go information and with every speaker easily accessible you can always reach out for more later.  There are great topics and speakers scheduled and I’m looking forward to sessions hosted by CR Laurence, Quanex, YKK and GED.  Also I am humbled and honored to have a spot speaking on Thursday, a dream come true for me to speak at the show!

Cam Marston:
Keynote speaker open to all attendees.  Those who saw him in the past raved about the lessons he brought.  Well worth your time.   His talk on the multi-generational work place is something that is fresh and important to grasp and understand. 

Packed floor with also a large attendee based expected means tons of potential connections all in one place.  It is simply the best opportunity to meet suppliers and customers and get to know potential targets on both.

In Booth Demonstrations: 
This is something that you get by walking the floor.  There’s always demonstrations happening and you learn as you go.  I know the team from Bohle America will have a ton happening and newcomers to the show like Glass Renu promise to impress with hands on demonstrations that will surely give you ideas and angles for your business.

Last but not least there’s the machinery angle.  Every player in our world will be represented and they all come with their best foot forward.  GlassBuild unfairly gets a rap that it’s more of a machinery show than anything else.  But that’s not exactly the case.  The reason people think that is the machinery guys come with amazing exhibits and machines tuned up and working.  Its eye catching and impressive.  I fully expect those booths to be very busy because right now it seems like every one is looking to replace and/or expand what they have.  This includes glazing installation equipment all the way to fabrication machinery.  It’s all there….

In the end I know you are busy.  Every one is for the most part.  And the thought of spending a day or two out of the office is frightening.  But this event brings the best of the best out in our industry and supplies you with the information and networking that makes you better.  I believe that is surely worth your time! 

If you have any questions or need more insight on the show, please reach out to me… I am always glad to help!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Glass = Healthy!

The glass industry was back in the spotlight in an indirect manner recently with a report on healthier buildings and what the occupants really want from their structures going forward.  The top choice in regards to health was enhanced air quality or ventilation.  But right after that were products that enhance thermal comfort and better lighting/daylighting exposure.  Obviously those are major glass related sort of angles and something as an industry we are in a very strong position to supply.  I do chuckle somewhat because those features are not new to our industry, there’s many companies who push that approach quite a bit, but it goes to show you that at some level there’s still an old fashioned approach to building going on.  With a heavier focus on healthier buildings will come a larger use of glazing products that make a difference.  By the way close behind in the poll (5th) were products that enhance tenant moods and while that could be virtually anything, my thought is that is a great place to slide in decorative interior glass since that surely beats old fashioned fabric partitions.  In any case this is a positive poll for the products we manufacture, fabricate and install…


--  Heads up on two e-mail fronts… 1st… beware any e-mails offering you e-mail lists from people attending GlassBuild America.  These are scams and the lists are not legitimate or safe.  While some names on these lists will work, many others will not, and many names on the list have the ability to set off black listing functions within your bulk e-mail service.  So I would advise you to avoid.

--  Also out there are e-mails with a virus link that seemingly comes from a friend of yours and it comes with a friendlier greeting than in the past.  It will say something like “this you can appreciate” so it gives off a safe vibe, but proceed with caution before clicking the link.  Look at the rest of the e-mail and most importantly look at the actual address from the sender.  The sending name may say your friends name but the return e-mail address will not.  At that point delete.  Never click any link or download any attachment if you are not totally sure of its legitimacy. 

--  Kudos to the teams at Guardian, JE Berkowitz, EFCO and Forno Enterprises on a fantastic school rebuild in New York.  This state-of-the-art school was rebuilt after the original building was destroyed by a tropical storm.    I am a big fan of school construction especially when it uses smart approaches with regards to things like energy and security.  In this case energy and that daylighting (as noted above is a big thing) carried the day.  Nice work all.

--  Last this week… Good guy and friend Thomas Lee of Lee & Cates Glass was nice enough to send along an update to a story I had a while back on the Tesla electric car… the latest test showed almost 700 miles on one charge.  Slowly but surely the electric car play is getting more interesting.


--  How can one overflowing toilet shut down a portion of an airport?

--  Interesting read on being a Butler at the Plaza Hotel.  I don’t think I’ll ever encounter one of these since I am usually at a Hampton…

--  Really bizarre story of couple buying a “street” in San Fran.  Man the real estate adventures out there are crazy!


I’m not sure this was as funny as the anchors made it seem… but still funny if you are dog lover.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Remembering Russ

As most of you surely know by now, former Guardian leader Russ Ebeid passed away at the age of 77.  Russ was a unique man, a powerful man, and someone who I had tremendous respect for.  Russ was a major key in the incredible growth of Guardian and his impact on the companies that worked with Guardian was huge as well.  He was not afraid to share his thoughts with customers and industry observers with the goal of improving the overall lot.  He told it as he saw it and clearly laid out his cards each and every time.  At least that’s how I saw and experienced it.  I didn’t spend a ton of time with Russ but I was fortunate enough to have a relationship with him that allowed me to pick his brain on occasion and gain insights that were incredibly valuable.  When I was at a major transition point in my professional life I went to see Russ.  He was behind his “famous” table that as always was devoid of paper or clutter (how I wish I could do that!)  I ran through my plan and he laid out his opinions straight to me.  He told me that the road ahead was probably going to be pretty rocky but I needed go forward with my approach because it was going to be for the best in the long run.  He was completely right (like he seemingly always was) and I will always remember and appreciate that conversation. I am sure I am one of many people who were blessed to get insight, advice, direction, and a push from Russ.  I’m not alone in being grateful that is for sure.  The world lost a great person last week and he will truly be missed.
My thoughts and condolences go to the Ebeid family and all of the friends and co-workers that knew and loved him. 


--  Big week in the industry for deals with two done and another one soon to be announced.  The ones that did go public, Ferro buying Dip Tech and Trex adding SC Railing were very interesting.  Dip Tech in a very short time became an extremely active industry player.  I will always appreciate that and hope that Ferro continues to support those efforts.  On the other deal, SC Railing has grown dramatically with some of my favorite talents doing the super work there and I’d assume this new arrangement will only enhance that set up. 

--  GlassBuild America is now coming up on a month away!  Have you registered?  Got hotels?  If not… do it.  Do it now. 

--  At GlassBuild there are always events that add to the value of being in town.  One such meet up is a pretty important informational session that Fenetech is putting on 9/12 and 9/13.  They are going talk about the IoT (Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0 and the communication standard that we will need for our industry.  You may not think you need to know about this stuff but if you are a fabricator you will want to learn because this is an area that could make a difference in your plant.  This is just a jumping off point and I give massive kudos to Fenetech for taking a lead here.  More will follow but I say get on board now. 

--  Big moves on the Architectural Glass and Metal Technician (AGMT) Certification Program…, the folks developing it Administrative Management Systems, (AMS), held a meeting in Chicago recently to work on the basic design for a program, one that will provide validation of glaziers’ fundamental knowledge and skills.    This is an area that brings quite a bit of debate from all sides of the industry and with this effort growing, if you are for it, now’s the time to get involved.  If you are against, be prepared because its gaining steam.  This program looks like a nice combo with the NACC program that certifies companies in the glazing world.  Bottom line if it improves what we do in the field and how we are perceived I am a fan. 


Now I have a legit excuse not to work out

Build a house for you and ALL of your friends….


The best news bloopers for the month of July…. Some good, some not, but always a fun watch.