Eye Openers

We are putting the finishing touches on the USGlass Contract Glazing Issue, which goes to press this week. The February issue includes our list of top contract glaziers in the country. Along with the largest sales volumes, we track a number of other metrics, as well, and there’s one we are adding this year that is truly eye-opening. When you see the issue, you’ll notice we also track number of locations, employees and length of time in business. And every other year, we include the results of our massive contract glazier survey. We have tracked the top-20 companies for years. This past year, we have expanded the list to track… Read More »

Carpe Anno

So here we find ourselves in 2016. Wasn’t it just yesterday we were hoarding water and batteries in anticipation of Y2K? Not this year, my friends. Call this year whatever you want–the year of the millennial, the year of the angry voter, or the Chinese calendar’s year of the monkey–but I know the truth. This glorious 2016 that rose into being four days ago, is the year of glass. Let me explain. They say that 90 percent of the solution is understanding the problem, and our industry is finally there in a number of areas. We finally understand that we must meet the design challenges that architects and design professionals… Read More »

Good Tidings

Well it’s almost Christmas, a joyous (though often stressful) time. And to add to that joy and stress, we are vacating the offices we’ve had for the last 19 years and moving. More stress, hopefully followed by joy. More on that next time though, because here are my picks for some of the top stories of the year: The sale of C.R. Laurence (CRL) to Oldcastle Building Envelop®(OBE). This may have been the deal of the decade, let alone the year, as OBE chose its acquisition targets with skill and strategy. And its acquisition of CRL is akin to Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise or the Muppets in… Read More »

Wow Wow Wow

You know how it is when you studied something, got ready for it, knew what to expect and believed you could handle the challenge? You know how it is when you move from being intellectually prepared to actually going through it? You think you can handle it, and you’ve trained for it. And then you have got to do it. Or try to anyway. Well that’s me this month. Let me explain. Our Keycomm offices are scheduled to move over Christmas week. We’ve been here a long time and I would not say we’ve outgrown our space but we’ve outgrown its configuration. And we’re at the limit of what re-configuring… Read More »

Saying it isn’t So

The caller on the phone sounded exasperated. I just wasn’t giving him what he wanted and we both knew it. He had tried several times and in different ways to get me to go in the direction he wanted to pursue. But I was trying to have none of it. “Okay,” he said with a long sigh, “let’s try it this way. Let’s say, hypothetically, there was a glass shortage, what would the possible cause of such a shortage be?” Ah, I thought, there it is—the hypothetical question. Reporters love ‘em, politicians run from them and I well, okay, sure, I’ll bite. “Well when there is a glass shortage, and… Read More »

Jack Hammered It

What a treat it was to spend time with Jack Welch last week in Reno.

“Debbie, Debbie, did they tell you?” were the first words he said to me. “Are you the one who did it? Did they call you? I told them to call you and tell you. Did they?” The questioner was none other than business rock star Jack Welch, and no, whoever “they” were hadn’t called me or told me anything. He and his wife, Suzy (who is a force of nature in her own right) had just stepped off their airplane and into a van with yours truly. “Uh-oh,” I thought, “here we go.” I’d been in their presence about 30 seconds and had already messed something up for sure. I will… Read More »

Our Friend Paul

You’ll notice that right below me here is Paul Bieber’s blog for the day, and it’s full of his usual, practical advice and helpful thoughts. Well, today our friend Paul could use some of your helpful thoughts and good wishes himself. He was operated on this morning for a recently diagnosed case of colon cancer and, by the time you read this, he should be beginning his road to recovery. If you know Paul, you know he is one of the most positive people on the face of the planet—a good businessman with a great family and strong faith. When I called him yesterday to tell him what I had… Read More »

Five Take-Aways from GBA

The GlassBuild (GBA) show has existed, in some form or another, since the mid-’70s. Its name, focus and venues have changed and continue to evolve, but one thing is for sure: it’s a great place to see your industry colleagues and take a look at some of the newest products. In addition to catching up with friends and compatriots, it’s also a good “looking glass” into the future. Here are my top five trends from GBA: Automation Nation: The robotics seen in Europe for the past 10 years are finally making their way to the United States, particularly in the area of glass handling. Automated efficiencies will reduce the number of workers needed… Read More »

Six Degrees of GBA

The show included a number of impressive scans.

There’s a scene toward the end of the movie Footloose where the townspeople just can’t take it anymore. Their years of decorum and propriety collapse into a frenzy of pent up energy and action. Joyous dance explodes from every corner of the small town of Beaumont, Anywhere USA. Eyes are open, lives are changed, freedom reigns. Well, this week’s Glassbuild America show in Atlanta has such a wave of exploding energy that I swear I saw Kevin Bacon dancing in the aisles. The glass industry is back and the energetic flow of business being done was palpable. “If you are not making money in the glass industry right now, you… Read More »

Glass in Full Glory?

Saint Peter

I saw something last month that really bothered me—so much so that my mind keeps coming back to it over and over again. I try to put it out of my head, but it’s haunting me and I just can’t shake it, because I need your help to fix it. Let me explain. I was fortunate to take two great trips this summer—the first one through some great cities in Europe, which included fulfilling a lifelong desire to visit Vatican City. The second was the annual trip my sister and I (the two crazy aunts) take with their nephew Kevin (who, of course is perfect in every way) every year—but more… Read More »