Volume 50, Issue 8 - August 2015

ShopSavvy

These Numbers Don’t Lie
50 Years of Helping You Guide Your Business

by Paul Bieber

Fifty years. Six hundred issues. Millions and millions of words. Some 40,000 pictures and charts. And these numbers don’t tell you about the dedication of the wonderful editors, professional journalists and glass industry insiders who bring a combined 1,263 years of experience to the readers of USGlass.

USGlass is different from just about any other trade-specific magazine. Our writers are journalists who do research and interviews about the story at hand. The USGlass team goes into the field, meeting glass manufacturers, fabricators and users of glass. We know architects, engineers and installers.

The main purpose of USGlass is not to report what happened yesterday, even though we do that very well, but to help you know what’s going to happen in our industry tomorrow; helping you guide your business for the next year or two.

In managing your glass and metal company, you want to know what products to carry, which vendors have the most up-to-date software to help you and your customers choose the right glass, and which new ideas and products are rising to the top in the year to come. Managing a business for the next year or two is your most important goal.

Where Do We Go?

Here are my thoughts on our future. You can learn and understand these ideas by continuing to read USGlass.

• Glass will become an energy creator in every new building. Not a doubt in my mind on this. Do you want the electricians to be installing our glass? Or do you want to learn something new? This is not just for large-scale projects. Every strip mall, every high-end home and every government installation will be using this concept. Don’t let it pass you by.

• Safety glass will continue to grow in usage, from more ¼-inch lami and tempered to a significant growth in bomb, bullet and blast mitigation. Get a vendor for the glass and for the metal who will teach you the installation. This is where our nation is now. Sad, but the truth. It’s my opinion that a local school board or police station will want to work with a local vendor. If there are none, then an out-of-towner will get the job, and you get a rocking chair. I beseech you to learn these products and their installation. From a dollar-spent point of view, this is the largest growth area in our industry in the next couple of years.

• We sell glass and metal. But really, we’re in business to sell and make a reasonable net profit. If you have to sell something else, don’t be afraid of it. Windows, doors, skylights, switchable electronic glass, entrance systems, locks and security are all parts of our industry. Learn them. Contact the vendors who advertise or meet them at the various glass shows around the country. Your future depends on it.

• Let’s brighten up our thoughts. Decorative glass is the way. Whether printing on the glass or on the interlayer if laminated, decorative glass is growing by leaps and bounds. There are very good vendors out there who will teach you how to sell the product so you both make significant margins. Decorative glass is sold more on relationships than on the lowest bid. It’s who can do it with confidence that will get the job.

Well Spoken

USGlass is your jumping-off point to learn about these products and techniques. USGlass is a business within Deb Levy’s Key Communications, but to me it feels more like an educational, goodwill tool for our industry rather than a magazine that is only interested in selling ads. I’m proud to be part of this magazine, its recent history and a little bit of the future. Congratulations to the entire staff of this wonderful tool for our industry.


the author

Paul Bieber has 37 years’ experience in the glass industry, with C.R. Laurence and as executive vice president of Floral Glass in New York. He is now the principal of Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can be reached at paulbaseball@msn.com. Read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.

USG
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