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Rising Glass Costs…Are They a Bad Thing?

A stressful time may offer a chance to reconsider business practices

Unless you have been completely off the grid for the past month or so, you are painfully aware of the recent (somewhat extreme) increases in the cost of glass. Even though I had heard about the price hike in advance, I was still a bit rattled when the official notices arrived in my inbox.

It’s only natural to imagine the worst when there is a sudden change in costs or availability of materials. Still, I didn’t want to remain in that mindset for long. I think we all have become used to fluctuating materials costs whether it is glass, hardware, aluminum or energy surcharges. 

Reevaluate pricing structures

No one that I know enjoys the stress that comes with this sort of change. On the other hand, being stretched a bit can bring out the best in us as individuals, not to mention our operations. Reevaluating our pricing structure may be exactly what has been needed.

I am fortunate to be in the company of some top-notch glazing industry people who provide an incredible amount of inspiration. We all have our various strategies for managing our businesses. We also have different philosophies when it comes to achieving success in our own ways.

As a company leader one can focus on offering the lowest prices or providing the highest quality or services, but not both. That is just not possible. Speed, price, quality, service, and selection are the areas we must focus on in our day-to-day business strategies. 

Use this time to specialize

When low price is no longer an option, we are forced to change the focus to something else. If a company has been operating based on trying to offer customers discounted pricing, now is a perfect time to switch to a new strategy.

One technique that is helpful in making this change is to become more specialized. It may seem logical to try offering more products and services when in a pinch, but that may be a mistake. We may discover clues if we pay attention to what is already trending among our own customers. They may be sending us messages about what our target markets are already interested in. The 80/20 rule applies…Find the 20 percent of products and services that are returning 80 percent of profitability and focus on those. Do you agree? Let me know what you think.


Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips has deep roots in the glass and glazing industry. His family featured some glaziers (including his dad) and Chris followed their path into the industry. First Chris completed his apprenticeship in Las Vegas in the early 90’s and worked on many of the landmark buildings there including Caesars Palace, The Mirage, The Rio, the Luxor and more. He then started Showcase Shower Door Co. in Santa Cruz, California in 2005. He has personally installed more than one thousand shower installations in his career with that number being added to daily.