Volume 13, Issue 6 - November/December 2011

Field of Vision
from the editor

We Will Survive
by Penny Stacey


If you attended Auto Glass Week™ in Memphis, Tenn., in September, or if you read our review of the event (see page 22), I think you will agree there was a certain feeling of positivity in the air throughout the week. Attendees and exhibitors alike were optimistic, looking to the future with hope. And while speakers definitely addressed specific industry issues and struggles, many of the seminars focused on an exciting topic: growth. From hockey legend Mike Eruzione, who spoke about expanding your business and using teamwork amid the toughest struggles, to Kelly McDonald of McDonald Marketing and Lauren Fix, the “Car Coach®,” who addressed new marketing techniques, growth was a recurring theme.

My publisher, Debra Levy, summed it up well with this quote: “I think everyone could see, to paraphrase Mark Twain, that reports of the death of the auto glass industry have been greatly exaggerated.”

Yes, the auto glass industry has proved that it will survive. Don’t get me wrong; I know it’s a difficult market and there are still strides to make in many areas of the industry, but I also think there are a lot of businesses out there today proving that marketing is key and profit is possible, and many of these were present in Memphis.

I often have readers tell me they’d like to attend an event like Auto Glass Week but can’t afford to get away from the office; but I think anyone who was in Memphis in September will tell you that the knowledge they took away from the event was well worth it, and they will survive the obstacles before them.

If you’d like to see some real-life cases of true survival amid a tragedy, I hope you’ll also turn to page 34 and read about how auto glass businesses in the small town of Joplin, Mo., are handling the recent F5 tornado that not only wiped out a large part of the town, but also took away family members and in some cases disrupted the distribution chain.

And I’d be remiss not to mention the article on page 28—a look at an industry legend, Ray Asbery, the founder of Equalizer Industries, who passed away unexpectedly in September, leaving a void in the industry. I remember at an industry event a few years back that Mr. Asbery told our then-video producer and me about where he grew up, in a small town in Kentucky. What he didn’t tell us is that he started out in the auto glass industry as an installer, began inventing his own tools, and founded a business that now is known throughout the world for its innovations. That is survival. Be sure to read the many, many remembrances of Mr. Asbery that have been shared, and please add your own by visiting our online message forum, available on www.glassBYTEs.com™.

I’m sure you have survival stories of your own, tips for enduring daily struggles and more—and I’d love to hear them. Please email me at pstac-ey@glass.com. Also, be sure to mark your calendars now for next year’s Auto Glass Week™, which will be held September 20-22, 2012. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for the location.

Penny Stacey is the editor of AGRR™ magazine. Email her at pstacey@glass.com, follow her on Twitter @agrrmagazine, read her blog at http://fortherecord.agrrmag.com, and read her updates on Facebook by searching for AGRR Magazine.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.