GlassBuild Kicks Off
September 12, 2021
This week writing this mostly from the floor at GlassBuild as we’ve finally made it, we’ve finally gotten to the show! It’s been a heck of a run since the last GlassBuild in person in 2019, and so far, so good in getting to see people and build back those great personal connections that we all strive for.
Latest Labor Challenge is Office-Based
Next week I’ll have my traditional “who’s who” from the show, but for this post it will be more vibe and news from the event. The biggest feeling going on the commercial side is “business has slowed but the work has not”—let me unpack that some. What is happening is the number of orders coming and projects being released has slowed more and more over the last several weeks—remember we are in the middle of the expected hole in the forecast right now—but despite that everyone is “busy” and that’s because labor at every level is a massive challenge.
Shortages in the field and warehouse are always a given in our world, but this latest challenge is office based. Fewer project managers than ever dealing for with more complex materials and settings. So many folks here are swamped but without the benefit of an increased top line benefit. A real frustrating pickle for many. And that aspect of labor shortage and being busy absolutely affected attendance here as well. Obviously, there’s another issue that played a role, but I know several folks that stayed back because they simply couldn’t get away
The thing people are looking for the most here are ways to ease that burden of busy. More operationally effective materials and processes (including automation) are really driving interest along with new products that could separate one from their competition. I was excited to see so many full-scale machines setup here that caught many eyes. Also among the new products with great buzz was the VacuMax VIG product from Vitro via VIG Technologies. I’ve covered that one a bunch, and it was great to see some product live and in person. Plus, Glazier Nation setup their new software and I expect their spot to be jumping with glaziers and vendors signing up.
New CRL President
In addition, as previewed on my podcast last week (if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, it features Jim Evans of BidClips, Michael and Carolyn Spellman of IGE Glass Technologies, and Barbara Haaksma of CR Laurance. Video here, Audio here) the product releases from CRL really delivered in a big way. What I mean is that I felt like I was in the movie “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” because everything in their booth was gigantic. Super impressive work there!
Plus CRL made news on the eve of the show with the naming of Arty Feles as president.
Feles spent the past 12 years in roles including chief financial officer and, most recently, regional president of U.S. operations for CRL, and steps in for Lloyd Talbert who’s transitioning to new initiatives inside the company. CRL has always been a tremendous supporter of the industry and GlassBuild and I assume that will continue under Arty’s guidance.
The Glass Magazine Awards, and new AdStudy Awards
This week the many winners of the most prestigious award platform in our industry were recognized—The Glass Magazine Awards. These are truly the Oscars/Emmys of our world and congrats to everyone who was honored. All the winners’ details are here!
In addition, this year Glass Magazine commissioned an Ad Study award program and I felt pretty vindicated by that. Why? Because each month, I pick an “ad of the month” when I review Glass Magazine, and sure enough, the top two honored ads were ones that I had previously recognized on here. Congrats to the great Rob Struble of Vitro for grabbing the top spot. That guy is an absolute legend. Those winners can be found here but look at it this way, keep reading this blog and you’ll know ahead of time who the winners are!
See you next week with a longer rundown of the show and happenings!