Volume 49, Issue 3 - March 2014

The Big List

USGlass Magazine’s Annual Look at the Nation’s Biggest Contract Glaziers


As you read through this edition of USGlass magazine’s list of top contract glaziers, take a look and see how contract glaziers throughout the country are faring; you might be surprised. Many companies reported increases in backlog and sales; others were impacted more negatively by the market in 2013.

In the following pages, you’ll find not only a look at the industry’s biggest players, but also several accompanying stories about working in today’s contract glazing environment, recent trends, and more. The information listed in this section is derived from a number of sources, including submissions from the companies themselves, industry interviews, as well as our own estimates. Annual sales listed include volume for both commercial and residential work only. The backlog change refers to the increases or decreases in reserved projects from 2012 to 21013. This is included only when provided by the company. When not available, annual commercial sales were estimated.*

#1 Permasteelisa North America Corp. Windsor, Conn.
http://www.permasteelisagroup.com
COO: Claudio Daniele, chief operating officer
Years in business: 23
Number of employees: 1000+
Locations: 6 U.S., 47 International
2013 annual sales: $202 million*

#2 Harmon Inc. Bloomington, Minn.
http://www.harmoninc.com
President/CEO: Brad Austin
Years in business: 59
Number of employees: 560
Locations: 14
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual commercial sales: $197 million
Backlog change? Increased

#3 Walters & Wolf Fremont, Calif.
http://www.waltersandwolf.com
President/CEO: Randy Wolf
Years in business: 36
Number of employees: 506
Locations: 5
2013 annual commercial sales: $178.9 million

#4 Enclos Corp. Eagan, Minn.
http://www.enclos.com
President/CEO: Gregg Sage
Years in business: 37
Number of employees: 400
Locations: 16
% commercial work: 80
% residential work: 20
2013 annual commercial sales: $173.4 million
Backlog change? Decreased 4 percent

#5 W&W Glass LLC Nanuet, N.Y.
http://www.wwglass.com
Managing partners: Jeff Haber, Mike Haber, Scott Haber and Howard Haber
Years in business: 36
Number of employees: 175
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $100 million
Backlog change? Increased by 25 percent

#6 Gamma North America (formerly Gamma Windows and Walls International Inc.) Concord, Ontario
http://www.gammainternational.org
President/CEO: Jim Mitchell
Years in business: 40+
Number of employees: 460
Locations: 8
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $89.5 million
Backlog change: Increased 25 percent

#7 Architectural Glass & Aluminum Livermore, Calif.
http://www.aga-ca.com
President/CEO: John Buckler
Years in business: 42
Number of employees: 200
Locations: 3
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual commercial sales: $82 million
Backlog change? Increased 38 percent

#8 Karas & Karas Glass Co. Boston, Mass.
http://www.karasglass.com
President/CEO: Joseph Karas
Years in business: 90
Number of employees: 91
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $52.6 million
Backlog change? Increased 7.4 percent

#9 Massey’s Plate Glass and Aluminum Inc. Branford, Conn.
http://www.masseysglass.com
President/CEO: Robert J. Massey Jr.,
Years in business: 41
Number of employees: 125+
Locations: 3
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $52 million
Backlog change? Increased

#10 TSI/Exterior Wall Systems Inc. Upper Marlboro, Md.
http://www.tsicorporations.com
President/CEO: Victor Cornellier
Years in business: 37
Number of employees: 105
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 85
% residential work: 15
2013 annual sales: $50.4 million
Backlog change? Increased 3 percent

#11 seele Inc. New York, N.Y.
http://www.seele.com
President/CEO: Christoph Unmann
Years in business: 13
Number of employees: 40
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual commercial sales: $45 million
Backlog change? Decreased by 48 percent

#12 Admiral Glass & Mirror Houston, Texas
www.admiralglass.net
President/CEO: Roger Putz
Years in business: 29
Number of employees: 365
Locations: 2
2013 annual sales: $46 million*

#13 Architectural Wall Systems Co. West Des Moines, Iowa
http://www.archwall.com
President/CEO: Mike Cunningham
Years in business: 22
Number of employees: 130
Locations: 2
2013 annual commercial sales: $44 million*

#14 Crown Corr Inc. Gary, Ind.
http://www.crowncorr.com
President/CEO: Rich Pellar
Years in business: 54
Number of employees: 150
Locations: 3
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $37 million
Backlog change? Increased 15 percent

#15 Ajay Glass Co. Canandaigua, N.Y.
www.ajayglass.net
President/CEO: Steve Stathopoulos, president; Demetrios Stathopoulos, CEO
Years in business: 55
Number of employees: 130
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $35.5 million
Backlog change? Increased 1 percent

#16 Cherry Hill Glass Co. Inc. Branford, Conn.
http://www.cherryhillglass.com
President/CEO: Kevin O’Neill, president
Years in business: 23
Number of employees: 85
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 95
% residential work: 5
2013 total annual sales: $31 million
Backlog change? Increased 5 percent

#17 SPS Corp. Apex, N.C.
http://www.spscorporation.com
President/CEO: Mike Russo, president/CEO; Christopher J. Craney, owner/CFO
Years in business: 32
Number of employees: 104
Locations: 2
2013 annual sales: $30 million
Backlog change? Decreased 15 percent

#18 Heinaman Contract Glazing Lake Forest, Calif.
http://www.heinaman.net
President/CEO: John Heinaman, chairman/CEO; Tom Howhannesian, president.
Years in business: 26
Number of employees: 90
Locations: 2
2013 annual sales: $30 million*

#19 National Enclosure Company LLC Pontiac, Mich.
http://www.nationalenclosure.com
President/CEO: David Sauld, president
Years in business: 4.5
Number of employees: 100
Locations: 4
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $29.9 million
Backlog change? Decreased 27 percent

#20 - Tie
Progress Glass San Francisco, Calif.
http://www.progressglass.com
President/CEO: Tom Burkard
Y ears in business: 75
Number of employees: 105
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 80
% residential work: 20
2013 total annual sales: $26 million
Backlog change? Decreased by 20 percent

Champion Metal & Glass Inc. Hauppauge, N.Y.
http://www.championmetalglass.com
President/CEO: Ali Ghahremani
Years in business: 20
Number of employees: 124
Locations: 1
2013 annual sales: $26 million
Backlog change? Increased by 15 percent

#21 LCG Facades Salt Lake City, Utah
http://www.lcgfacades.com
President/CEO: Gary Dabb
Years in business: 7
Number of employees: 135 Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $24 million
Backlog change? Increased by 10 percent

#22 – Tie
Giroux Glass Inc. Los Angeles, Calif.

http://www.girouxglass.com
President/CEO: Anne-Merelie Murrell, CEO; Robert Bruckhammer, president.
Years in business: 68
Number of employees: 107
Locations: 4
% commercial work: 77
% residential work: 23
2013 total annual sales: $23 million
Backlog change? Increased by 50 percent

Egan Co. d/b/a/ InterClad Plymouth, Minn.
http://www.eganco.com
President/CEO: James Malecha
Years in business: 15 Number of employees: 75
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $23 Million
Backlog change? Increased by 15 percent

R&R Window Contractors Inc. Easthampton, Mass.
http://www.rrwindow.com
President/CEO: Roger A. Fuller
Years in business: 36
Number of employees: 97
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $23 million
Backlog change? Remained the same.

#23 Alexander Metals Inc. Nashville, Tenn.
http://www.alexandermetalsinc.com
President/CEO: Alec T. Estes
Years in business: 22
Number of employees: 97
Locations: 1
2013 annual sales: $22.4 million
Backlog change? Increased 13 percent

#24 TEPCO Contract Glazing Inc. Dallas, Texas
http://www.tepcoglass.com
President/CEO: William C. Keen, PE
Y ears in business: 32
Number of employees: 90+
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $19 million
Backlog change? Increased by 25 percent

#25 Koch Corp. Louisville, Ky.
http://www.kochcorporation.com
President/CEO: Benjamin Feinn
Years in business: 78
Number of employees: 74
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $16.7 million
Backlog change? Increased by 30 percent

#26 Modern Mirror & Glass Co. Roseville, Mich.
http://www.modernglass.net
President/CEO: Paula Zeoli
Years in business: 69
Number of employees: 75
Locations: 1
2013 annual sales: $16 million

#27 - Tie
Aragon Construction Inc. Montclair, Calif.

http://www.aragonconstruction.com
President/CEO: Joe Aragon
Years in business: 13
Number of employees: 80-90
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $15.5 million
Backlog change? Increased by 68 percent

Metropolitan Glass Inc. Denver, Colo.
http://www.metroglass.com
President/CEO: Michael Smith
Years in business: 50
Number of employees: 75
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $15.5 million
Backlog change? Same

#28 Juba Aluminum Products Co. Inc. Concord, N.C.
http://www.jubaproducts.com
President/CEO: Janna J. Riley, president; John Juba, CEO
Years in business: 21
Number of employees: 100
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $15 million
Backlog change? Slight increase.

#29 Crawford-Tracey Corp Deerfield Beach, Florida
http://www.crawfordtracey.com
President/CEO: Raymond Crawford
Years in business: 58
Number of employees: 75
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 85
% residential work: 15
2013 total annual sales: $12.1 million
Backlog change? Increased by 60 percent

#30 Specified Systems Inc. Canonsburg, Pa.
http://www.specifiedsystems.com
President/CEO: William K. Wilson
Years in business: 22
Number of employees: 29
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 98
% residential work: 2
2013 total annual sales: $11.5 million
Backlog change? Decreased by 6 percent

#31 ACE Glass Construction Corp. Little Rock, Ark.
http://www.aceglass.net
President/CEO: Courtney Little
Years in business: 28
Number of employees: 80
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 87
% commercial residential: 13
2013 total annual sales: $11.4 million
Backlog Change? Increased by 15 percent

#32 – Tie
Hale Glass Inc. Placentia, Calif.

http://www.haleglass.com
President/CEO: Gloria Hale
Years in business: 36
Number of employees: 52
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $11 million
Backlog change? Increased by 102 percent

Bacon & Van Buskirk Champaign, Ill.
http://www.bvbglass.com
President/CEO: Rod Van Buskirk
Years in business: 77
Number of employees: 49
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 75
% residential work: 25
2013 total annual sales: $11 million
Backlog change? Increased by 10 percent

#33 Window Consultants Inc. Owings Mills, Md.
http://www.window-consultants.com
President/CEO: Steve Downing
Years in business: 24
Number of employees: 20
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $9.5 million
Backlog change? Decreased 20 percent

#34 Curtis Glass Company Troy, Mich.
http://www.curtisglass.com
President/CEO: Robert D. Luscombe
Years in business: 27
Number of employees: 30
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $9 million
Backlog change? Increased 10 percent

#35 Key Glass LLC Bradenton, Fla.
http://www.keyglass.com
President/CEO: Greg Burkhart
Years in business: 22
Number of employees: 40
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 90
% residential work: 10
2013 total annual sales: $8.1 million
Backlog change? Increased 60 percent

#36 Palm Beach Glass Specialties Inc. West Palm Beach, Fla.
http://www.pbglass.com
President/CEO: Jodie Kenney
Years in business: 26
Number of employees: 32
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 60
% residential work: 40
2013 total annual sales: $7.8 million
Backlog change? Increased by 10 percent

#37 Forno Enterprises Inc. Trout Creek, N.Y.
http://www.fornoenterprises.com
President/CEO: Mike Spaccaforno
Years in business: 26
Number of employees: 24
Locations: 1
% commercial work: 99
% residential work: 1
2013 total annual sales: $7.5 million
Backlog change? Increased by 25 percent

#38 Glasstra Aluminum Inc. Catano, Puerto Rico
http://www.glasstra.com
President/CEO: Jose Manuel Trapote
Years in business: 35
Number of employees: 52
Locations: 2
% commercial work: 100
2013 annual sales: $5.2 million
Backlog change? Increased 20 percent


Growth Opportunity: With Retail Sales on the Rise, Storefront Products Adapt to New Demands

Consumers are ready to start shopping again, forecasts indicate, meaning architects, too, are back shopping—for materials that allow them to create glass storefront products.

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 4.1-percent increase in sales for 2014, up from 3.7 percent growth in 2013. As a result, of this growth, store construction is finally ready to turn the corner, following steep declines from 2008 through 2010, according to Robert Murray, vice president of economic affairs for McGraw Hill Construction. Murray predicts a 17-percent gain in retail construction in 2014 from 2013, with the start of some outlet mall projects and projects from a few major retailers, but extreme discounters seeing much of the rise.

“As the economy improves, retailers are investing more money in construction, both with new stores and remodeling existing stores,” agrees Elizabeth Cotton, product manager, storefronts, entrances and framing, for Kawneer Co. Inc. in Norcross, Ga.

“With a strengthening economy and measurable growth in most construction sectors, we have observed a considerable increase in the demand for storefront systems,” adds Gerald Hendrick, president of C.R. Laurence’s U.S. Aluminum division in Waxahachie, Texas. “We’re seeing an influx in new budgets and project starts, which is encouraging for the entire industry.”

Jack Williams, director of product marketing for EFCO Corp. in Monett, Mo., cautions, however, that while retail construction appears to be forecasted to increase on a national scale, “we are seeing this demand vary regionally across the United States.” Williams notes, “retail is only one piece of our storefront business however, as a portion of our storefront is ‘pulled through’ on projects that feature our other product lines. Based on both of those segments, we feel we will continue to enjoy strong storefront demand in 2014.”

To accommodate the increased demand, Hendrick explains that his company has doubled its manufacturing capacity, expanding its production footprints on both coasts and in the Midwest. He adds, “We’re seeing more and more glazing contractors expand their businesses into the storefront market.”

Cotton sees that new projects tend toward outdoor malls versus enclosed malls, which, she says, “forces retailers to be more aware of their brand image, thus adding to the need for customization. These factors are driving an increase in the demand for storefront products. Retailers want high-performing products that deliver a clean look and let in a lot of light, but still fit within their budget. Storefront products are an excellent fit for these applications.”

Hendrick elaborates. “Storefront upgrades historically have served as one of the most economical and effective ways to revamp and rebrand a building front,” he says. “For interior applications and regions where air and water infiltration aren’t primary concerns, owners and architects have increasingly opted for the contemporary design aesthetics of all glass storefronts. The increased desire for unobstructed views and open concept designs also has led to broader demand for bi-folding glass walls and stacking partition systems that can ultimately disappear when open.”

Many of these outdoor malls are selecting a glass system to help bring in natural light. According to information from McGraw Hill Construction’s Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report 2013, decreasing energy usage is one of the biggest benefits driving green in the retail sector. The company’s Dodge report as of October 2013 saw a $1 billion or 5-percent increase in green activity in the retail sector compared to the prior year.

To meet this demand, manufacturers are rolling out new high-performance thermal storefront products, among others.

On a smaller scale, some glass storefronts are seeking to seriously shake up the way retailers use their glass by giving window shopping an entirely new meaning. Case in point: in November 2013, Westfield Labs, the San Francisco-based arm of the shopping center developer Westfield Group, partnered with eBay Inc. to unveil three digital storefronts at Westfield San Francisco Centre. Consumers were invited to touch and interact with digital storefronts to select and purchase more than 100 products. Visitors were invited to walk up to each digital storefront window, touch the glass and begin shopping. After shoppers selected items they could proceed directly to checkout by pushing the order to their mobile phone and paying with PayPal or using a guest checkout with credit or debit card. Sony, one of the three featured retailers, showcased its technology innovation by powering all three digital shorefronts with its projection hardware.

Glass that begs the user to “touch, don’t look” remains a small niche today, but is growing by leaps and bounds—and swipes (see December 2013 USGlass, page 40).

“This area of retail has been steadily growing for a couple years now,” says Karmen Nim, operations assistant for Screen Solutions International, a Rocklin, Calif.-based manufacturer of custom projection surfaces and touch screen displays. “We get daily requests for samples and quotes from retailers large and small. A few years ago, we worked with Macy’s and Tommy Hilfiger on a storefront window project in New York and Chicago. Since then, we have worked with many retailers to launch their first digital storefronts with touch films and projected images.”

Retailers are making use of rear projection and anti-glare films to display images that attract attention and offer a new way to interact with foot traffic, Nim explains. It’s a niche that’s taking the explosive growth of online sales and combining it with good old fashioned foot traffic in a way from which the glazing industry stands to benefit.

—Megan Headley


Build a Better Wall
Collaboration Brings Breakthrough Curtainwall Technology to Life

Sometimes all it takes is team work to bring an idea to fruition. Such was the case when it came to the development of the new BISEM Vacuum Wall™, the first successfully tested vacuum-insulated, high-performance thermal curtainwall system. BISEM-USA worked collaboratively with both Dow Corning and Guardian Industries on the project. All three groups say it’s the first structurally glazed unitized curtainwall in North America using vacuum insulation technology to undergo industry-recognized and accepted independent performance testing for air and water resistance, and structural, seismic and thermal performance.

“The next generation of building envelopes will drive how energy efficient buildings are designed,” says Nick Bagatelos, president of BISEM-USA and Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems. “My company does not have the resources or expertise to develop new building materials. However, since [we are] nimble and adept at curtainwall design, I can rapidly adapt new building materials into complete working systems.”

But he could not do it alone.

“Collaboration is the key to success,” says Bagatelos of the project, which began almost a year ago. “The largest challenge is usually associated with the difficulty of large corporations to make rapid decisions and spend R&D funds early in product development,” he says. “My company was able to facilitate a test in half the time it would take for Dow Corning or Guardian and, since the costs were shared, each of us was able to avoid a considerable percentage of the cost.”

Piece by Piece

The collaboration began when Dow Corning sales representative Chris Combs introduced Bagatelos to the company’s new Architectural Insulation Module, which features its Vacuum Insulation Panel (VIP).

Stanley Yee, a facade design and construction specialist with Dow Corning, explains that the AIMs are the glass spandrels on the curtainwall itself.

“These provide increased thermal performance characteristics within a slim profile. The unitized curtainwall system was designed to accommodate a triple-glazed unit so the AIMs fit into the glazing pocket. The glass and the AIMs were structurally glazed with 983 shop-applied structural sealant,” says Yee. “The recently launched DefendAir 200 fluid applied air-water barrier was used to coat the plywood on the test chamber. Being in a seismic zone (and testing to account for it), the Silicone Transition System (STS) was used as a the transition flashing between the curtainwall and the mockup chamber, with 791 completing the link between the DefendAir 200 and the STS.”

Part of the project included the development of a prototype.

“We began the process with our core system that has a hearty thermal break and has an integral UL-approved wiring system,” says Bagatelos. “We redesigned elements of the system to accommodate the exceptional performance values of the vacuum insulated glass and panels. This involved cutting several new dies, working with regional fabricators to build the glass units, and working with a certified testing lab to qualify all of the testing procedures.”

Having selected the insulation technology for the wall spandrel, Bagatelos next looked to Guardian Industries for complementary vision glass options. Guardian developed a prototype for the system combining its vacuum-insulating glass (VIG) product with SunGuard SuperNeutral® 68 low-E glass coating to meet the challenging requirements of commercial high-performance wall installations. The VIG product is currently under development and Guardian has plans to commercialize it in the future.

Up for a Test
Next the curtainwall was developed through a system approach, providing thermal performance and also meeting industry established performance criteria for air- and water-resistance, and structural and seismic performance. BISEM contracted with Architectural Testing Inc. to conduct performance testing on the vacuum wall system mockup. Actual structural tests and validated thermal modeling confirmed that the curtainwall would remain in place on the building for both specifically prescribed and overload conditions, without over deflecting, while also providing a complete envelope that defends against air and water infiltration and can meet stringent thermal performance goals. The system was tested in accordance with the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 501.

Bagatelos says tests are usually surprising, “so I don’t think we learned anything special during the test procedure. What we do learn every test is how to install the system correctly. Tests usually show mistakes that were made in design, fabrication and erection. We are diligent about using these lessons learned.”

“As with all new technologies, early adopters face the risk of the unknown— and construction specifiers can be a risk-averse group,” says Charlie Zimmer, Dow Corning’s global program manager for high performance insulation. “With a tested, proven solution, the risk is minimized.”

Collaboratively designing and testing with technologies backed by proven, warranted performance led to a fully integrated solution, according to Chris Dolan, director of commercial glass marketing for Guardian Industries.

“Collaboration is what the industry needs,” Dolan says. “Working together helps mitigate risk.”

He continues, “The opportunity to partner with BISEM was Guardian’s first attempt at a VIG product for a commercial application. This required resources dedicated to ensure the appropriate prototype was produced. The VIG prototype was produced at Guardian’s Science & Technology Center.”

According to Dolan, SunGuard SN 68 allowed the VIG prototype to meet expected thermal performance, exceeding energy efficiency levels demonstrated by traditional double- and triple-glazed insulating glass units.

Dolan points out two key challenges.

“The first challenge was producing VIGs in sizes close to commercial window requirements. Guardian has produced many residential size VIGs (< 10 ft2), but VIGs approaching 20 square feet were required for the high performance wall,” says Dolan. “The second challenge was making the VIG with 6-mm glass to meet commercial window wind loads and pressure requirements. Our company has successfully tested its VIG product against residential architecture standards, but commercial standards were an unknown prior to the project. Meeting these durability requirements was a key success for the research and development team”

The completed wall consists of both vision and spandrel areas, with the Guardian product as the vision glass, and the Dow Corning product for spandrel.

Successful completion of this high-performance curtainwall is a testament to the potential for energy-efficient façades and glass systems – and the potential of collaborative projects.

“Six months ago, the BISEM Vacuum Wall was a new product and an idea,” Bagatelos says. “Now, it’s a ready-to-go product that’s been tested and vetted by an independent laboratory.”

Yee adds, “Codes are having an impact on performance requirements for the building enclosure and are calling for better performance characteristics. These calls can (and should) be responded to positively and pro-actively—viewed as an opportunity.

“As owner/occupant demand for better buildings and improved comfort escalate, greater awareness will give rise to a higher need to build better air, water, thermal control layers and their integration to the built environment as a whole. Solutions that are commensurate and consistent with existing practices are available and we, as an industry, can look upon these as opportunities to embrace and propel our industry forward. This will provide us with the platform to launch forward to think big and impart step-change.”

According to Bagatelos, the wall is now commercially available, as are the test results. He adds that a white paper will be published in the second quarter of this year.

—Ellen Rogers


A Closer Look


The BISEM Vacuum Wall system brings together Dow Corning and Guardian products, along with frame, gasketing and thermal break. It features removable rigid components with good thermal properties. The test chamber walls also utilized Dow Corning® DefendAir 200 liquid-applied silicone air and weather barrier on wall substrates, along with it Silicone Transition System to ensure a weathertight transition between the curtainwall and the surrounding chamber wall substrates, allowing the test specimen to be readily isolated. In addition, the project includes products from both View Glass and First Solar, incorporating electrochromic and photovoltaic glass integrated into the wall.


Gadgets for Glaziers On the Go

Technology is changing at lightning speed and even a sophisticate like James Bond would be hard pressed to find a reason that they’re not helpful tools. They are especially so for the contract glazier. Here’s a look at some of the nifty tools on the market that you may want to consider, in no particular order.

Water-Proof Smart Phone
Self-explanatory, especially if you work on projects near water—fountains, water-front property—or in areas with copious amounts of rain.
http://www.waterproof-smartphones.com

Charge It
In a world of gadgets, something almost always needs charging. The following ones can help keep the on-the-go contract glazier up and running. This iPhone 5/5s case (http://www.hammacher.com) has a built-in plug for convenient charging without a cord. When all of the gadgets need to be powered up—or recharged—at the same time that’s where the portable power bank comes in.

The Paick Sleek (http://www.coolest-gadgets.com) comes with an attached microUSB cable and handle for easy portability. It offers 6,000mAh that can be channeled to thirsty devices thanks to an attached micro USB/USB cable which is capable of doubling up as a handle to hook it to other items such as pants and bags.

USB Pens and Watches
While most people have a smart phone—which can provide the time and save information—it never hurts to have a backup of that file, especially when traveling. USB pens are available from different suppliers, including yyä www.customusb.com. USB watches are not quite as common as USB pens, but can also be purchased online via retailers such as http://www.amazon.com.

Sharp Ideas for the Jobsite

Who knew the Sharper Image had so many handy tools, gadgets and gizmos? Whether you’re on the road or in the field, here are a few items available through a nearby retailer or online that might come in handy.

Steering Wheel Bluetooth Speakerphone For years, states have had laws banning the use of cell phones while driving, though some allow the use of hands-free devices. If wearing your Bluetooth makes you uncomfortable, give the steering wheel Bluetooth speakerphone a try.

Can You Hear Me Now?
Jobsites, trade shows or even just around the office, background noise can sometimes drown out what you want or need to hear. For day-to-day or even just occasional use, the personal audio enhancer to amplify what you need to hear might be the ticket.

12-in-1 Survival Tool
This essential piece of survival equipment generates emergency power when you need it—enough to power-up your cell phone. Crank the handle and charge up the battery for a full 45 hours of flashlight use. Contains a panic alarm, LED flashlight, digital FM radio, motion activated security alarm, red emergency flasher, cell phone charger, AC charging adapter input, compass, self-charging hand crank, signal mirror, thermometer and lanyard.

Smartphone Personal Item Locator
If you’re prone to misplacing often-used items such as your keys, maybe the Smartphone Personal Item Locator can help. Turn your iPhone or any other smartphone into your private detective to track down all those things you typically have trouble finding by downloading the free CobraTag™ app from your smartphone’s app store and attaching the Personal Item Locator “tag” to anything that keeps getting away from you. When any tagged item gets too far away from your smartphone The Personal Item Locator sends you an alert, then tracks the item down by GPS and lets you know where it is.


What Keeps Contract Glaziers Up at Night?

A weak or stalled economy. —TSI

Margins remain low. —Enclos

Foreign suppliers/subcontractors artificially reducing prices to gain market share. —W&W

You can never be quite certain of the strength of the economy, however it does not appear that there are substantial threats looming on the near horizon. —Architectural Glass & Aluminum

We are concerned that our services will forgo quality and innovation for the sake of cost. —seele Inc.

Suppliers keeping up on orders/lead time. —Massey’s Plate Glass

Pricing in the market place remains extremely aggressive. —Crown Corr

Lead times are increasing for glass, as well as pricing. —Ajay Glass

This small rebound in activity is creating overexcitement with hiring and recruiting, so retaining employees will be difficult after such a “long winter.” —National Enclosure Company LLC

Pricing volatility. —Cherry Hill Glass

There was a record number of tower cranes in San Francisco in 2013; not sure if that is going to happen again. —Progress Glass

Inexperienced labor, shifting competition. —LCG Facades

We are challenged with finding quality new hires who are a cultural fit for our company. —Giroux Glass

Whether margins will come back to where they were before the decline and where they should be at considering the increase in projects. Also whether there will be enough trades people to handle the upswing. —Eagan Co.

The true costs for the Affordable Care Act may drag down the economy. —TEPCO

There are still too many bidders on the jobs and this keeps margins very low—too low to invest in the industry. Also, health care mandates are adding a large cost to the business. —Koch Corp.

Decrease in publicly funded projects. —Aragon Construction Inc.

Federal government. —Crawford-Tracey

A slowing pace in payment on contracts underway. This creates a cash flow problem. —Specified Systems Inc.

Our stupid government. —Bacon & Van Buskirk

The economy in general is still touch and go. —Hale

Glass General U.S. economy pessimism. —Window Consultants

Contractors bidding with a slim profit margin. — Curtis Glass Company

Price increases, material lead times and labor shortage. —Key Glass LLC

Employees. —Palm Beach Glass Specialties Inc.

Obamacare, tax increases, inflation. — Forno Enterprises Inc.

Contract Glaziers are Optimistic About …

Increases in new project activity, especially on the West Coast. —Enclos

The construction market will continue to grow. —Juba Aluminum Products

There are many more opportunities to work on quality projects with successful design-build teams. —W&W

Demand for class-A commercial office continues to be strong in our core markets, as well as high-rise residential. —Architectural Glass & Aluminum

To create further architectural landmarks. —seele Inc. Increases in margins. —Massey’s Plate Glass

There is an increasing amount of solid, large opportunities currently out for bid and/or in the pipeline to bid in the next six to eight months. —Crown Corr

Work in the commercial sector remains strong and should continue into next year. —Ajay Glass

It appears the commercial market is rebounding and more opportunities are in 2014. This is a very gradual build back. —National Enclosure Company LLC.

There is more activity in the architects’ offices; this should translate into more opportunity for our trades. —Cherry Hill Glass

We are still seeing a lot of requests for quotes going into the first of the year. —Progress Glass

Steady growth is expected. —LCG Facades

The business climate has improved nationally and the general overall market has specifically improved in construction. —Giroux Glass

The increased size and number of potential projects on the horizon. —Egan Company

The commercial construction market is improving. Bidding activity is up. —TEPCO

 


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