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Companies Launch New Online Tools during COVID

Glass industry digital tools

Pilkington UK, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope and Laurier Architectural Services are some of the businesses that have released online tools in recent months to make information more accessible to online traffic and potential customers.

New glass industry digital tools

Pilkington UK | Ask Pilkington

“Ask Pilkington” is an “online encyclopedia of all things glass” hosted on Pilkington United Kingdom Ltd.’s website. The tool is searchable and designed for industry users as well as architects, specifiers and homeowners. Users of the database can search a question or keyword, and the encyclopedia’s “smart search” function will scan hundreds of articles to return relevant information, according to a company release.

Phil Brown, European regulatory marketing manager at the company, says that moving the information online is necessary to speak to the new generation of glass professionals who are accustomed to a digital environment. “Ask Pilkington aims to have all this information in one convenient place for quick reference―something that’s important in meeting the needs of the next generation of digital native glass professionals, homeowners and architects, who are used to finding answers at a click of a button,” he says.

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope  | OBE Academy

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope launched OBE Academy, an online education portal that offers on-demand courses focused on a range of industry-related topics, including the benefits of natural lighting and how to select curtain wall, window wall or storefront for a project.

OBE’s curriculum is certified by the American Institute of Architects, and the courses count toward continuing education credits. “We are excited to roll out our new learning management system, especially at a time when virtual learning has become an essential resource for architects who have traditionally obtained many of their continuing education credits through in-person events,” says Brenda Kelly, vice president of marketing at OBE.

OBE Academy is available on the company’s website, and requires free registration.

Laurier Architectural | Chatbox

Laurier Architectural implemented a new chatbox feature on its website; the functionality allows website visitors to have a conversation with a company representative upon visiting the site.

In adding this feature, Laurier Architectural officials also cited the need to adapt to the expectations of a younger generation, as well as the new communication realities created by the pandemic. “In this period when teleworking is becoming widespread, it became obvious that a new channel of communication with the group’s partners had to be added,” say officials in a company release. “The new generations prefer to exchange in text or chat mode rather than making a call, going through telephone directories and/or leaving messages on voice mailboxes.”

Companies from all parts of the glass and glazing industry have implemented innovative, out-of-the-box ideas to improve business from the ground up. Here’s an Idea showcases these sometimes small behind-the-scenes ideas that can make a big impact on a company’s bottom line. If you have an idea that you would like to share, contact Norah Dick,