Volume 35, Number 3, March 2000
Industry Offers Congrats for Revamped USGlass
I just finished looking through the new issue. All I can say is WOW. You should be commended. The look is fantastic. I like the bigger pages and feel of it. The content, which has always been above the competition, is now superior. In all honesty, without sucking up, I am very impressed and proud to be involved in the small way I am.
Once again the entire crew at USGlass should pat yourselves on the back. Well done!
PDC Glass of Michigan
I just received your January issue and wanted to tell you congratulations on the new
format. It really looks nice. Were constantly in the process of upgrading and
revamping the image of our clients, so I can appreciate the work that went into this
Federal Way, Wash.
Send in the Clowns?
In your Readem and Weep article (see Issue at Hand, July 1998 USGlass, page 4), you commented on the abysmal comparison of costs for glass compared to lumber, gypsum, cement and metals. Your assessment of what the industry is doing to itself is on target. Most, if not all, of the float manufacturers are well aware of whats wrong, but their marketing departments could use the sting of a well-placed two-by-four to resolve the problem. With the booming construction business and float plants running at over 95 percent capacity, the industry is in an awful earnings cycle; a totally absurd situation!
Responsible business owners should demand reasonable earnings to pay for expansion, for attracting and keeping quality personnel, and replacing equipment. But this is not happening. Despite there being deep, practical thinkers sprinkled among the industry, the parade we call the glass industry is being led by what I refer to as Regional Clowns.
Clowns? I offer up those distributor/fabricators who, while playing up to a higher image, have no sense of responsibility for our industry, employees, or the communities in which theyre located. Their primary representation is a cheap price with marginal products. Not all regions have these Clowns, but their influence often extends well beyond their service area.
Clowns scoff at competitors that invest in the infrastructure of exceptional people who are able to offer technical advice and who attempt to sell the benefits of quality and service to customers. Clowns laugh at competitors that have invested in quality fabricating equipment, decent benefits and pay necessary to attract and keep quality personnel so the customer is well cared for.
Clowns know they have an edge. They dont have all that unnecessary overhead to support the intellectual requirements customers need; they leave that to their quality competitors, and then undermine the price. They have another weapon: FEAR is on the side of the Clown ... the inherent fear owners have, that if I dont use his cheap price for quoting, my competitor will; then Ill be out a job. How about the float manufacturers fear: I know this Clown is irresponsible and bad for the industry, but how can I pass up his business when I need to add volume to make up for these crappy margins?
Sadly, the Clown gets too much attention from customers for their price, and from manufacturers for their ability to sell product. How is the industrys standard of return ever to improve if the Clown continues to drive the market?
Clowns should be recognized for the cancer they are to this industry! The responsible business leaders of this industry must urge float manufacturers to respond accordingly. The new generation of performance products is a truly exciting marketing opportunity for the future. Manufacturers have made giant investments in research, plants and equipment for these products. If manufacturers want to preserve some assurance of a reasonable return, they should insure the product is available only to those who demonstrate a competent infrastructure is in place to properly and intellectually represent their product to the consumer. Maybe then the winds of change for the glass industry will begin to carry the pleasant whiff of integrity.
CCGA Continues Efforts at Columbine High School
I wanted to take a moment to say Happy Holidays and thanks for all your support of the Colorado Contract Glazing Association (CCGA) over the past few years. This past year has been incredible as far as the growth of the organization goes. The Rocky Moun-tain region continues to have a tremendous amount of new business and we are actually starting to see improving margins. We have just elected our new board of directors and I believe we have some of the best talent in the country. We hope to make your Glass Expo Rocky Mountain in 2001 a resounding success.
I also wanted to thank you for the kind words you put in your magazine about our group (see September 1999 USGlass, page 4) and I wanted to give you an update of our continuing efforts for Columbine High School. This week the CCGA board unanimously voted to donate $31,000 to the Healing of People Everywhere fund (HOPE). This is a fund that has been put together by the parents of the victims at Columbine to demolish the library area and enclose it in a glass atrium. This money will also go toward construction of a new library for the school. The overall goal of HOPE is to raise $3,100,000 for this project. We feel this will happen much faster than they imagine. These are the funds that CCGA member companies and suppliers donated back from the rebuilding effort this past summer.
I will continue to forward you updates concerning this program.
Joel D. Watson
In the February 2000 issue of USGlass, two photos were mistakenly transposed. The photo that appeared with the Kawneer story (page 63) belongs to the EFCO story on page 64 and vice versa. We regret the error.
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