Volume 39, Issue 10, October 2004

GANAPerspectives

Something for Everyone
Supplier Opportunities to Help Lead the Industry
by Ashley M. Charest

While the Glass Association of North America (GANA) has long been known for its valuable resources to the building envelope contractors and glass fabrication industries, GANA also offers membership benefits to companies that supply the industry.

Networking
At the various GANA events, suppliers are given the opportunity to network with their current customers and meet future clients during the technical sessions, general education sessions, tours, golf events and evening receptions.

“Our company has been a member of the GANA tempering division and its predecessor, the Glass Tempering Association, since 1972,” said Tom Noe, director of customer service and systems engineering for Glasstech Inc. “Our participation in the association puts us into regular contact with our customers and provides us with a platform to introduce ourselves and our products to the industry at large. GANA helps us stay current with and contribute to the evolving industry glass standards, allowing us, as a supplier, to know what we should be responding to.”

Technical Committees
GANA’s supplier members also play an important role in technical activities. As a result of their broad knowledge of product, equipment and industry fabrication capabilities, supplier members play a vital role in activities such as identifying issues for the industry, developing language for industry standards and creating Glass Informational Bulletins. 

“As a supplier to the glass industry, membership in GANA has provided us with excellent opportunities to interact with our customer base,” said Ren Bartoe of Vesuvius McDanel.

“The division format facilitates the glass manufacturers, fabricators and suppliers as they can focus on common interests and meet with peers sharing a similar discipline. As a GANA member company, we have had the opportunity to participate and contribute on committees, and to make presentations at the annual educational seminars. Additionally, GANA holds biannual meetings that give suppliers access to a concentration of the technological and market leaders in the North American glass industry.”

Education
Association activities play a major role in providing educational opportunities to any industry. In the glass and glazing industry, GANA supplier members provide the leadership efforts in the development and presentation of numerous educational programs. Ranging from upper management programs at Glass Week, to project manager training at the Contract Glazing Educational Conference and production supervisor and line worker training at the Glass Fabrication Educational Seminars, supplier members have opportunities to provide generic updates about new products, technology advancements and recommended fabrication and installation practices. 

GANA supplier members also benefit through industry exposure in association resources. “The Member Profiles section of our website is one of its most frequently used resources,” said Brian Pitman, GANA director of marketing and communications. “Suppliers see the member profiles as another outstanding opportunity to provide information about the products, equipment and services they provide.” 

Resources
All GANA members are allowed to purchase technical manuals at the member price. This resource allows suppliers to refer their customers to credible industry-consensus documents. In addition, a “members’ only” website is available where documents are developed, division minutes are housed and the most recent issues of the Safety Bulletins and Glass Reflections, GANA’s electronic newsletter, are available for download.

“Without question, supplier members of GANA are seen as the leaders in their field,” said Stan Smith, executive vice president of GANA. “I can’t imagine a company attempting to provide their materials, equipment or services to this industry without being a member of the trade associations that serve their customers.” 

If your company is not a member of GANA, we invite you to come to Glass Week 2005 in Orlando, Fla., February 5-10, 2005, or the Building Envelope Contractors Conference in Las Vegas, February 20-22, 2005, and see the opportunities that association participation offers. To learn more, visit our website at www.glasswebsite.com. 


USG

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