MVP Season is amongst us
I could start this post with a look at the ABI, but we’re all coming off the high of the holiday in the U.S., so I won’t get to that stomach churning news just yet. Let’s talk something that is never an issue out there and always easy to find. Labor. LOL. I know this continues to be the challenge but this past week I ran into a statement on labor that really hit me. The line was “Labor productivity is worse than labor availability.” Wow. This continues to tell me that upgrading your operations is a must because even if you can find the bodies what they are producing isn’t nearly efficient enough.
I still see people passing on automation because of expense and figuring they’ll “find the workforce,” but that continues to be a path that doesn’t look very good. As you’ll see below, times are challenging, so getting your house in order takes more of a priority than ever before… And yes I know not everyone can spend immediately on automation, but the plan should be there and in advance of that, building that culture within your company to support that workforce is a must. And yes we'll always need that human aspect, so building the best base and offering the most resources to compliment the human side is crucial too.
As predicted, the Architectural Billings Index was ugly in its latest release. Forty four point three was the main number and honestly, even though that’s awful, I was thinking we’d see at 42. (Remember, break-even is 50.) But amazingly that wasn’t the really bad news. No, we got a doozy of a “inquiries” number this time out, with a negative under 50 number for the first time since the teeth of the pandemic in July of 2020. Yeah, not a great indicator this month. None of this should surprise anyone though and hopefully everyone reading this has been doing all they can to be ahead of the slower times. We knew 2024 would have some challenges and the indexes are pointing it out for us. Interesting times ahead for sure.
It’s been a few weeks, but a reminder on my last podcast post, an episode with the awesome duo of Dan and Nico Pompeo of Architectural Glazing Solutions and with Ron Parker of Ballistic Glass and Armor Solutions. Fun conversations that ran the gambit between family dynamics and new technology in protective glass and everything in between. Please check it out!
Glass industry MVP
MVP Season is here! At the end of every calendar year I award my Glass Industry MVP along with a handful of runners up. In the next few weeks I’ll be rolling that out and announcing the MVP on my last post of the year in December. Tons of great people and companies out there and eligible. I started this in 2013 and my goal has been to bring recognition to those who go above and beyond for the industry and also to spotlight different people and companies every year. So far so good with no repeats, but always tough to narrow down since we have so many amazing people. I’m looking forward to this process and sharing with you all in my upcoming posts.
Good one to note, The National Architectural Glass and Metal Association (NAGMA) partnered up with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) to offer some excellent webinars scheduled for 2024. There are four set and they’re presented by seriously strong companies like Sage Glass, Technoform, Dow, and AMS/NACC. See the details and make a note to attend to learn more.
Big congrats to Michael DeFrank on his new gig with powerhouse JR Butler. I love this combo of a very good guy with a company that is always doing big and exciting things in our space. Congrats Michael on the new position and to JR Butler on the inspired hire!
Last this week…Thank you all for the many TV recommendations. Very, very clutch and excited that I now have a queue filled with options. As I noted, I needed “treadmill” shows, and after everything I ate during Thanksgiving (for the whole weekend really) I need as much treadmill time as possible!