Volume 33, Number 4, April 1998

Dear USG - 4/98

Letters to the Editor

Readers' Choice Awards Key

Dear USGlass,

Thank you for the beautiful plaque you made for us for winning a Readers' Choice Award. It now occupies a prominent place in our office for all our customers to see. You hit the most important aspect of business today— "exceptional products and services." Too many manufacturers today seem to base their company culture on doing the bare minimum.

Thank you again for the honor.

Robert K. Lieding
F. Barkow, Inc.
Milwaukee, WI
Note: Readers, get ready to vote for this year's winners next month.

AGRSS Correction

USGlass,

Thank you for publishing your recent article regarding our industry-wide initiative to establish Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS). Your coverage of our committee activity will help build awareness and support of our goal to promote consumer safety. However, there is a significant correction that must be made. The headline and first sentence incorrectly states that the committee was formed by the Independent Glass Association (IGA). In fact, the committee was formed independently of any trade association, company or group. The committee is an independent, ad hoc committee comprised of all automotive glass replacement industry interests.

To clarify, it is the goal of the committee to come to a consensus on standards that promote consumer safety as a totally independent group. We feel this is the only way to effectively move forward. Although we invite full participation of industry trade associations such as IGA and NGA, AGRSS must have the power and freedom to work independently of any specific group interest. In this way, we can have confidence that the result of our work will be safety standards that are representative of the AGR industry.

Carl Jolliff
AGRSS
Peoria, IL
Editor's Note: The article was written early in the committee formation process before an independent committee was established. Since that time, members of all facets of the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, suppliers and associations, have come together to complete this worthwhile endeavor under ANSI rules (see USGlass, March 1998, Industry News).

Consumer Reports Article

Dear USGlass,

Bravo, I agree 100 percent with the points brought out in your article (see USGlass, February 1998, page 4).

Please see below the letter I sent to the Consumer Reports editor by fax, to which I never received a reply.

I regret that the glass shop mentioned in the article did not return phone calls to Consumer Reports at the time to justify its prices.

Dennis R. Tremblay
Northeast Glass & Aluminum, Inc.
Littleton, NH

Dear Consumer Reports,

State Farm Insurance spokesman Mr. Hurst did not give you all the details about the insurer's nationwide agreements with glass shops.

State Farm sent an "Offer and Acceptance" agreement to all glass shops in the nation, which stated what it would pay us to service its customer's glass needs. This agreement could not be modified in any way per State Farm.

The agreement also requires glass shops to invoice the work through a middle man who charges us per invoice a service charge and we have to honor all warranty work nationwide that is performed by others at no charge.

State Farm eliminated many jobs in its claims department with substantial savings to its bottom line without lowering the cost of insurance premiums. So now I ask you, who is hiking the price of insurance premiums?

Regarding retail prices, this is, for better or worse, the free enterprise system that allows this country to be the global leader.

I fear the end results of the large insurance companies' demands upon the independent glass shops will be insurance company owned service providers mandated to be used by us, the insureds.

Dennis R Tremblay
Northeast Glass & Aluminum, Inc.
Littleton, NH

Clarification on Testing

Dear USGlass,

In his article, Bullet-Proof Glass–Fact or Fantasy (see USGlass, January 1998, pp. 32-33), Barry White perpetuates a common misunderstanding.

Being tested to an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard does not require using the testing services of UL. In other words, there is a difference between being certified to a UL standard and being certified by UL's commercial laboratory.

In the case of UL 752, there are other highly qualified accredited laboratories that can provide all the testing and quarterly follow-up factory inspection services required for a certification.

Properly written standards test protocols that can be executed by experienced test engineers in a properly equipped and accredited laboratory. For example, the Warnock Hersey (WHI) Certification Mark may also be used to show conformity to the requirements of UL 752 and participation in a quarterly factory follow-up inspection program.

Alan B. Dittrich, Ph.D.
Intertek Testing Services
Andover, MA

Insights From A "Dinosaur"

Dear USGlass,

It seems like only yesterday that my then-boss, Jimmy (Humboldt) Lowenthal, had me telephone Lyle Hill to ask if he would "show me how to measure a -inch glass storefront" at Scandinavian Design in the Oakbrook Mall. At the time I was still trying to figure out the difference between 1/8-inch float glass, standard window glass, plate glass, and D/S window glass. Not to mention that all those little vertical lines on the wooden ruler Jimmy gave me sure were confusing.

Lyle Hill comes to my rescue. He meets me at the job site, shows me how to read a rule (suggesting I get a 25-foot tape for back up), orders the -inch tempered glass, and then delivers it to the job site so the Humboldt glazing crew can complete the installation.

Up until two years ago I would grab my current copy of USGlass and quickly turn to the classifieds. One time after scanning those help wanted ads only to recognize they were placed by my present employer, Midwest Glass Co., I just threw the darn copy of USGlass on the floor. Lo and behold, what do I see on the back page but a picture of Lyle R. Hill.

Since then I no longer jump to the help wanted area of my USGlass until I check out what Lyle "The Coach" Hill has to say. Twenty years later and this guy does not look any different nor change one bit. He is still on top of the glass and glazing industry, offers to help others whenever he can, and provides a sense of humor that has no real ending.

So, here I am, still moving like a dinosaur calling on Midwest Glass Co. clients. Seeing how Lyle Hill has not aged but has progressed to becoming "The Coach" of our business, I stopped to think, What have I really learned about our industry over these past years?

In my observation, the glass and glazing industry has so many clients calling every day and willing to pay for the present level of workmanship/service that most company owners don't make time to improve such performances.

Ron Damask
Midwest Glass Company
Chicago, IL

Thank You

Dear USGlass,

This letter is written in response to Copper Sales, Inc.'s recent honor of being chosen by the readers of USGlass for a Reader's Choice Award in the Metal Bending Suppliers category.

Customer satisfaction and service is truly the primary focus of everyone in our company. Offering a finished product that we are proud to call UNA-CLAD and willing to stand behind follows a close second. From reception to sales to project management, the needs of the customer are top priority. In production, quality is of the utmost importance.

I was proud to share this award with our employees. An honor of this nature is one that enforces the belief of each person in this company that their efforts matter, and provides the motivation to continue to strive for excellence on behalf of our customer base.

Rest assured that Copper Sales will not rest on our laurels. We will continue to strive to satisfy the needs of our customers and to offer innovative solutions and uncompromising quality to the metal building product marketplace.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the readers of USGlass and ultimately our customers for the honor. Your selection solidifies our road to quality and service. It is perhaps the road less traveled, but without a doubt, the most satisfying for all.

Mike Wallace
Copper Sales, Inc.
Anoka, MN

USG

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