Volume 43, Issue 9 - September 2008

Company News

Who Are These Guys? Glassopolis and Its
Goals for Specialty Glass Distribution

The company made a big splash in the glass industry when it first released its spread in the July USGlass, but Glassopolis revealed little about itself beyond a yen for eyecatching advertising and a promise to provide fast quotes and delivery of specialty glass. Both counts raised a number of questions from members of the industry as to the background of this new distributor.

Glassopolis is, in fact, the new U.S. brand for specialty glass provider Pro- Science in Toronto, and was recently founded with the intention of easing the distribution process for glazing contractors working with fire-rated, lead x-ray, anti-reflective or other specialty glass glass products. Pro- Science, which is owned by a privately held investment group of individuals from the glass industry, operates and invests in glass products and technology companies. It is parent company to the likes of TecniGlas, ProScience Glass Shop, Designer Glass Co. and others. ProScience also has investments in nanotechnology, advanced polymers, building products, software, and commercial real estate.

Through market research, the new specialty glass distributor set out to identify a number of common problems glass contractors encounter when sourcing specialty glass. In response, Glassopolis reports that it has aimed to tailor its services to the needs of both contractors and manufacturers. For example, the company chose to use a central warehouse to eliminate the need for a middleman, cutting down on both cost and delivery time, and adopted flexible payment terms so contractors weren’t forced to forego jobs because of credit issues. They also assembled a team of code experts equipped with the knowledge to provide fast, accurate responses to glazing contractors’ questions. In addition, the company works with multiple manufacturers, so contractors have product options and are not squeezed by sole-source products.

“Most specialty glass comes from manufacturers who are inherently product focused, not customer focused. Our role is to be completely customer service driven in the distribution of specialty glass,” says Jordan Richards, president of Glassopolis. “Glazing contractors often have to jump through too many hoops to get the glass they need. We provide a one-stop specialty glass solution that not only provides contractors access to a wide selection of specialty glass products, but ultimately gives them the competitive edge through quick, knowledgeable service.” ❙❙➤ www.glassopolis.com

 

Glaston to Focus on Architectural
Glass; Closes Other Line

 

Glaston Corp. announced on July 30 that its subsidiary Tamglass Glass Processing will close its working machine and special automotive glass business and in turn enhance its architectural glass business. The closure will affect approximately 30 staff, according to a company press release.

According to Agneta Selroos, corporate communications and IR manager, the subsidiary is the company’s only unit that actually processes glass rather than supplying the glass processing machines. In January the group had decided that Tamglass Glass Processing was not a “core business” and had announced it would review “future strategic options.”

The July announcement came on the heels of an earlier announcement that the subsidiary’s losses had “significantly burdened the first quarter financial results for the Corporation and Tamglass Glass Processing has continued to operate in the red.”

Selroos reports that the closure “is in line with Glaston’s strategy:
• Glaston is the architectural value chain integrator, supported by the emerging solar energy market. Architectural is the base for profitable growth for Glaston.

• Appliances and automotive: focus on margin and cash flow.”

Bohle Opens
U.S. Subsidiary
The Bohle Group, a Germany-based manufacturer and supplier of tools, machines and accessories for glass processing and finishing, is now represented in North America with its own subsidiary. Bohle America Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., marks the group’s fourteenth location worldwide. It will be responsible for developing the customer base in the United States and for providing services to these customers. Until now, customers in North America were served by the Export Department in Germany and distribution of products to those customers was handled by wholesalers on location. ❙❙➤ www.bohle.de

USG
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