G3: Industry insiders talk glass
Bill Trainor, division manager, Trainor Glass Co., Colorado Division, Denver
The current economic climate has created challenges for us as it has for most companies. Our goal has been to find opportunities in this climate. The first step is to stay focused and stay positive, now is the time to strengthen our staff, our customer base, and move into markets we have not pursued in the past. The opportunities are out there, we need to realize when they come up and put our best effort forward to take advantage of them.
For Trainor Glass the key to our business is our customers. We need to see them more frequently, and be positive in our communications and approach with them. We re-aligned and strengthened our resources to focus on sales and marketing. [We're] focusing on the questions: Are we doing all we can with our current customers? Do they know all our capabilities, capacity? Are they in or looking in other markets we are not in but are willing to go if they need a trusted partner? What potential customers are there that we have not pursued before?
This attitude has led us into several new markets in the past year and with the possibility of adding even more through this year.
Mel Gordon, president, Gordon’s Glass, Warminster, Pa.
A lot of smaller companies, guys with trucks, are starting to fold. Companies that are established with an established customer base, we’re still hanging in there. We’re taking some labor-only jobs, which we’ve never done in the past. Maybe a contractor has specified a specific enclosure and bought it direct from the manufacturer, but the manufacturer won’t install it. It’s keeping our guys busy. Also, in this down market, I have more time to solicit interior designers that specialize in hospitality. We really want to go out and get that business, and now I have more time to do it.
Chris Mammen, president, M3 Glass Technologies, Irving, Texas
One opportunity we have is to add highly qualified people to our staff. Right now we are finding some high quality people available, both from inside our industry and outside. This is also a good time to add new capabilities and enhance the ones we already have. Equipment vendors are making deals, the dollar is stronger, and the lull in volume makes it easier to implement changes. By taking advantage of these opportunities, rather than shrinking to ride out the storm, companies can contribute to America's economic recovery.