From New Normal to Next Normal

The good news is … that everyone is busy. Everyone I spoke with last week told me how busy with work they were. That’s the good news. There could be bad news though, based on the reason for the good. Is everyone busy because of all the work they could not accomplish during the height of the stay-at-home orders? Are they busy because lay-offs and downsizing have reduced the amount of human capacity available to accomplish said work? Well, there seems to be a bit of that, but not as much as was expected. For the most part, companies are just happily, joyfully overworked. Though the COVID-19 crisis will have… Read More »

Flack to the Future

KMR, the parent company USGlass magazine, just completed a very interesting research project about the technologies contract glazing companies plan to embrace in the future. It’s quite telling and detailed in more depth in the June issue of USGlass magazine. The study looks at a series of technologies, many of which have been identified as crucial to the future success of contract glaziers. Here’s a breakdown of those technologies and how many have adopted them already: Technology in Use by Contract Glaziers Technology Adopted Modeling software 23% Internet of Things 20% 3D printing 19% Robotics 15% Smart PPE Wearable technologies (i.e. exoskeletons) 11% Drones 9% Virtual reality 6% Artificial intelligence… Read More »


The speed of it is the amazing thing. In just nine weeks, almost everything about our collective and individual realities has changed. A science fiction movie plot has become our reality. Yet, unlike a movie plot, the ending is still being written. When we finally glimpse this story’s closing credits, much will be changed. The COVID-19 crisis will launch, advance or hasten a number of those changes. Here’s my list of the ones that will impact the glass industry the most: Out of Touch: The ability to enter and exit a building or room without touching any surface (except your feet to floor) will become standard. The use of smart… Read More »

Stop, Hook and Listen

I started this blog yesterday afternoon and was just putting the finishing touches on it today, when I stopped to listen to something that hooked me in immediately. Then I tore up my blog. (Well, actually, I put it away for another day.) The reason for the change in plans is because I listened to the podcast our editorial director Tara Taffera had just completed with Paul Morris, president of Jack Morris Auto Glass in Memphis, Tenn. You might know Paul and, if you go back a bit, you may have known his dad, Jack. Paul, an attorney who also runs the company that was his father’s namesake, has done… Read More »

Heart of Glass

People are the heroes of the COVID-19 health crisis we are living through right now. The news is full of them—the medical personnel risking their lives, the first responders, the neighbors helping neighbors—they are heroes all for their bravery, initiative and tenacity. And not to take a single thing from or in any way diminish these most courageous of individuals, glass is an inanimate kind hero in this crisis, too. Time and time again during these past few weeks we have seen what glass has been able to give us that otherwise would have been lost to this virus …. The granddaughter joyously showing her grandfather her newly-placed engagement ring… Read More »

What We Are Doing

It’s funny how simple, throw-away sentences like “Hope you are well” or “How are you?” have taken on a new and much deeper meaning in light of the pandemic that has gripped us. COVID-19 sprung into our daily lives like the plot of the most twisted of sci-fi movies. It’s here and it’s all of ours to deal with. I hope you are well and stay healthy. I am not going to add to what you’re already dealing with, beyond reiterating how much we want to help you get through this and emerge whole on the other side of it. Our weapon in this war is accurate information, and here’s… Read More »

BEC: An Eventful Event

The Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference, held early last week, will prove to be one of its most memorable editions. The 24-year old conference departed Vegas and landed in Music City USA for the first time. Its notable debut there was peppered with increasing concern about the spreading coronavirus, which kept some attendees from shaking hands or standing too close to each other. And then there was the nearby tornado that jolted attendees awake and out of their hotel rooms early Tuesday morning. I recognize that it may seem trivial to focus on the conference when 24 people lost their lives in the tornado Tuesday morning and that there are… Read More »

The Top in Technology

Well, alas, our look back at the last decade—the 10s— is coming to an end. So far we’ve tackled the top glass business stories of the decade and the top contract glazing stories of the same. It’s been a bit of pressure, a bit of fun and a bit of nostalgia to look back and choose among all the changes that took place during the past ten years. Just a reminder that these stories are my take on the biggest ones, pulled from my memory, our archives and statistics. Though they represent my opinion only, they are built from a lifetime in the glass information business. The Top Glass Industry… Read More »

Quite the Decade for Contract Glaziers

Last week, we took a look at the biggest business stories in the glass and metal industry in the past decade. This week, let’s take a look at the biggest contract glazing stories of the 2010s. Before we go there, just a reminder that these stories are my take on the biggest ones, pulled from my memory, our archives and statistics. Though they represent my opinion only, they are built from a lifetime in the glass information business. Here they are: “Top Five Contract Glazing Stories of the Decade 2010-2019.” The Internationalization of the Contract Glazing Business 2010-2019 The Great Recession that seeped into the beginning of the decade made… Read More »

The Decade’s Top Five

This month is not only the start of a new year, but a new decade. It’s come upon us before we have even figured out what to name the last one—the tens? The teens? The Roaring Twenties are about to be replaced by a whole new set of 2020s. As 2019 ended, many people and organizations (including ours) focused on the biggest stories of the year. So I thought, instead, I would reflect upon the biggest stories of the last decade. I had quite a cadre of events to pick from as I searched my memory, our archives and statistics to come up with the top five. The picks represent… Read More »

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