Never Stop Learning: Take Advantage of all the Information Provided to You

By Craig Carson

Over the course of writing this column, I have written about the need to keep up with the changes of the industry. Being self-motivated, I find that learning and investigating the new products and capabilities of the manufacturers is exciting.

Keep Moving Forward

I have a philosophy that if you stop learning, you in fact go backwards in regards to product knowledge and will turn into an industry dinosaur. That doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable for the knowledge and experience that you have. By not learning about what’s new, you are not in a position to help your company compete with those who are leading the changes in our industry.

Look what has happened in just the last few years: bird-safe glass is now required in some of our largest cities; and after a seemingly slow start, dynamic glass is gaining momentum with developers and architects; and building codes are inching forward to require better performing glass and framing products for commercial and residential buildings. Speaking of residential products, the thin glass lite fabricated into the center of insulating units is making some real performance improvements for IG units in residential windows—without the addition of much extra weight or unit thickness.

Shared Knowledge

Much of this product knowledge is available from the manufacturers and suppliers. Visit their websites for information and look at YouTube for videos, as well. Some manufacturers are supporting the process by providing informational presentations on not only their products, but also to help you understand the systems they provide and the differences between storefront, curtainwalls and windows.

For example, Henry Taylor of Kawneer has been inviting those in the glazing industry and architects to online sessions to help them learn about his company’s products. I try to watch these whenever they are made available, as you never know as much as you think you do, and it never hurts to review what you think you know.

These are great opportunities for you to watch and maybe learn something, or have a junior member or newbie listen in. Then use the time afterwards to discuss the subject. And maybe it will start to foster the real benefit of communicating, which will reduce mistakes and make everyone on your team more proficient at their jobs. Remember, the devil is in the details.

Craig Carson is the director of preconstruction for Alliance Glazing Technologies Inc. in Littleton, Colo.

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