Easy as 1, 2, 3: Curtainwall Jobs Bring Progress, One Lite at a Time

By Nataline Lomedico

In 2020, skyscrapers are commonplace. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that skyscrapers, as we recognize them now, arrived in L.A. Designed by Albert C. Martin, the 42-story Union Bank Plaza became the first major tower in downtown Los Angeles, ushering in a new era of development.

Changing Focus

Despite the city’s growth, Giroux Glass stayed closer to the ground in its early days, focusing primarily on storefront installations, auto glass, small tenant improvements and repairs. That began to change when our former CEO, Anne-Merelie Murrell, acquired the company in 1991. Though Louis Giroux had advised against it, Anne-Merelie believed that larger commercial projects provided a necessary next step.

This isn’t without challenge, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. Anne-Merelie would say, “One service job, multiplied by 3 or 4 or 5, becomes a curtainwall job. It’s easy.”

Step by Step

When a company decides to pursue a new channel of growth, there are many facets of the business to consider: does the company have the cash flow needed to not only carry out the plans for the new opportunity, but also continue supporting the other lines of products and services? Is the business’ infrastructure equipped to take on larger projects? Does the company have the strong talent it needs to tackle a higher degree of achievement and responsibility? Is there an in-house expert on your team who will spearhead the challenges that inevitably accompany a new endeavor? Have internal management teams and external business partners been brought together to assess risks as well as potential rewards?

Once the questions have been answered and due diligence is complete, it’s time to construct a well thought-out strategy, and implement a concrete plan. Designate a competent person to be the plan’s point person and to hold everyone accountable for sticking to it. Assess the plan on a regular basis to make sure it aligns with any new information, or changes the business experiences. Announce the new strategy company-wide, so that all members of the organization understand what the company is doing at every level and why. Constant and continual communication throughout the organization profoundly helps to create positive energy and buy-in from the employees.

New Opportunities

Adding curtainwall to your repertoire can help transform a mom-and-pop glass service shop into a multi-million dollar company.

It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed in the midst of transformation, but true growth can only occur when we rise to the occasion. This happens one step at a time. And that one step, multiplied by 3 or 4 or 5, can become something incredible.

Nataline Lomedico is the CEO of Giroux Glass, headquartered in Los Angeles. The company has been in business since 1946.

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