2019 Prediction Review
January 13, 2020
Before we can look forward into 2020, time for one more look back at 2019 and specifically at my predictions for the industry posted one year ago. Let’s see how I did!
1- Security glass will continue to grow in 2019. I think I nailed this one. We saw more companies getting into this space, and also expansions into new products. School security, as expected, led the way but overall there was a healthy push into the protective glazing world.
2- Look at lifting. I wrote this even before I knew who Steven Brooks of SmartLift was. But between him and several other companies, the lifting world took on a major upward trend. Steven is one of those super high energy guys who not only brought his company a ton of exposure but also the industry as a whole, which I truly appreciate and love. So, two for two.
3- The robot revolution is here. Well, winning streak ends here. I expected significantly more robotics to be ordered and implemented. While there is growth, this is still an area that has not taken off like it should. Maybe 2020 pushes it forward.
4- Company deals are not done. Maybe a half point here? I expected more movement than we got. We did have several acquisitions, though, especially with the late flurry at the end of the year—more on those below—but still I thought there would be more, and also of bigger scale. I was thinking of two monsters that were for sale and no dice deal wise in 2019.
5- Talent on the move. No doubt some very big names found new homes in 2019. This is similar to No. 4, though in that I expected more movement. But I am actually glad it was somewhat limited, because I do think for the good of the industry having some consistency in certain places make sense.
So final record on predictions? Two wins, one loss, two ties. I’ll take it. Disagree? Hit me up by email, I’d love to know your takes. Next week it’s my 2020 predictions and I have some fun ones in mind!
- As mentioned above some deals wrapped up 2019 into early 2020. Two major high-quality operators were involved in the most recent news. Out West, Glasswerks purchased NWI, which is a major happening in that part of the world. This move does throw some focus on the Pacific Northwest market, which is loaded with absolutely incredible fabricators.
In the East, the great John Dwyer and Syracuse Glass partnered up with Lineage Capital. This deal will allow Syracuse Glass to keep on that positive growth path and better yet keeps John Dwyer and his insights in our day to day world. End of the day, these two deals on opposite sides of the U.S. will surely have some aftershocks for several months going and we’ll see what is coming up next on the deal front.
- More company news: congrats to Billy Britt and the team at Britt and Tilson Glass for their 60th anniversary! Those folks have survived a ton in their years in the business including a couple of major floods. I am a huge fan of Billy’s. He’s a young, sharp, and talented guy that this industry craves. Here’s to another 60-plus years folks!
- Another guy I am a fan of is Chris Phillips of Showcase Shower Door, and his debut blog on Glass Magazine dropped last week. If you missed it, check it out here. Great work Chris!
- I have not done a Glass Magazine review in the last several weeks since we had so much going on. Here goes with the latest review and that is of the December issue that featured the stunning staircase cover. Some key articles? Katy Devlin’s column on the industry’s next steps is a must-read, as are the “Insights on Hiring” piece and of course the results of the prestigious Glass Magazine Photo Contest. The ad of the month goes to F. Barkow with their “old world craftsmanship” piece as I loved the welder image at the top that caught my eye and made me read about things named “Barkleats” and “Barpads.” Great work and kudos to the folks there on that ad!
- Last this week: the industry has gathered in one of my all-time favorite places, San Diego, for the Annual Conference. Great technical insights and important future guidelines will come out of that effort—like the just released Heavy Glass Door Design Guide—and I look forward to hearing all about it from those smart and lucky enough to attend! Sadly, I was neither smart enough of lucky enough to get this one this time!