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Forecast and Other Insights

New pod, ABI, and more news

The newest episode of the From the Fabricator podcast is now up! This time out we’ve got two making their return to the airwaves with great insight and info. Kicking it off for the third year in a row, a forecast session with Nick St. Denis of KMR.  

Nick does a tremendous job, has great offerings overall and we spend most of the cast talking the various ups and downs in our space and where the optimism stands. Really helpful stuff. Then Tim Widner from Lippert joins me for a rollicking run through our world, new products and tech, resiliency, and focus. Tim has done it all and seen it all and it is always fun to get his perspective on our world. So please check it out! Thank you again for the support!

Watch now on YouTube or listen here, as well as on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you listen to podcasts!


Hotel and recreation space

One area Nick and I talked about was the hotel and recreation space and that area continues to roll along. Nick had it pegged that things are promising there, and this column backs it up with a big number of projects in the works. Good to see.

Architectural Billings Index

On the flip side and as expected, the latest Architectural Billings Index showed a below water number again, staying basically flat from last month with a 45.4. The positive side was the design contract number jumped to the break-even of 50 and the inquiries stayed alive at 53.1. The down main number is not a surprise but nice to see the others hanging in there. Again the thought was these negative numbers would run through 1Q and start to rebound so that has been the case to date. We’ll continue to monitor!

Apogee news

Big news out of Apogee this week with the restructuring of their Architectural Framing division. Not all completely clear to me, but at least what was shown publicly was the Tubelite plant in Michigan will close and other work is going to be consolidated. And there is word out there that brands will be combined, and certain long-term company names may be going away. No doubt this will have a trickle-down effect on how people work and the availability of talent that may have gotten caught up in the downsizing. Given this talent is coming from an industry leader like Apogee I don’t expect anyone to be without work for long.

Bottom line though is Apogee saw an area to streamline and improve and went after it, and with that comes those tough calls on people and brands. But I do always preach on here about really working your business and they are doing just that. I would assume with the high-end way they communicate things will become clearer on what’s what soon enough. 

Annual movers study

The annual Movers Study for 2023 came out and I am shocked at the results. This was done by United Van Lines for the 47th Year.

Top Inbound states:

  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.
  • South Carolina
  • Arkansas
  • Rhode Island
  • North Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Alabama
  • New Mexico
  • West Virginia

Honestly, DC floored me. I guess working for the US Government is a big deal? Also shocked, no Florida or Texas on this list.  

The top outbound states for 2023 were:

  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • North Dakota
  • New York
  • Michigan
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Kansas

Interesting on the outbound was North Dakota. Surely doesn’t fit with the others and I really thought Oregon would be on here. I know, I always pick on Oregon. Anyway love these lists and find it fascinating to follow.

Embodied carbon

You keep hearing and seeing more on embodied carbon so it was refreshing to see brilliant industry folks like Ricardo Maiz, Martin Bracamonte, and Rob Struble at it again with Vitro’s release of their new Emissions Carbon and Energy Calculator. Really sharp stuff and kicks off with a well-done step by step video. Kudos to all at Vitro who had a hand in this, good info!.

Super Bowl weekend

Last this week…So the Super Bowl is coming up…and it’s been a contentious one for me. At the beginning of the season I picked KC to win it. But when I had a chance for re-do, I went with the Ravens. Ouch. So, I am hoping KC does it because maybe I can count it as a ½ win? (And they should win because Mahomes is amazing.) But full win and credit should go to the great Junaid Saleem of CSG Global Talent Experts. He’s been on the KC train all the way! All I want now though is a good game with some great creative commercials. If the commercials fail this year, then I think we push Madison Avenue to hire Andrew Haring to produce them for next year…



Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein

Max Perilstein is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. Contact him at