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Some Good, Some Bad, Some Ugly

Taking a look at the latest ABI

I hope everyone had a good holiday run and we’re back at it. So, the best way to get moving is with a new episode of the from the fabricator podcast. This time out, two pretty fascinating people that bring some exciting approaches to our space. 

Starting out with Jason Douglas of H.B. fuller. Super sharp guy, his path and skill usage are very cool and his takes on what is going on in our world were strong. Plus, the main product we discussed from H.B. fuller has really taken off and become a big part of the insulating glass unit conversation. Next up, I visited with John Trainor of architectural grilles and sunshades. They’re celebrating year #21 and have a lot happening, and john and I ran the gambit of what they do and where all the way through the best pizza in Chicago and more. Was a fun one with a guy i had very little interaction with previously.  So please take a look/listen and thank you in advance on that.  Also, note i mistakenly didn’t bring last month's podcast on YouTube public until this past weekend, so if you were looking for that one- it is live on YouTube now. Though again, most listen vs watch, and no matter how you take this in, I am grateful. Thank you.

Watch on YouTube or listen here, as well as by searching “From the Fabricator” on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.


Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope new CEO

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope found their new CEO with the appointment of Mark Adamson. No glass or industry experience (of course) but has the requisite PE experience and is coming in with the right attitude from all indications. He has a lot of work ahead of him and one main area is surely getting everyone’s confidence there after the Bruno debacle. I will stay on the positive side, and hopefully, he will embrace the people and process in our space. Plus, who knows, maybe I can get him on the podcast some day!

Industry anniversaries

Some anniversary props… At Binswanger Glass one of the really good guys is calling it a career after 42 years. Ricky Cooper is retiring, and I wish him only the best.  Awesome person who did it all while at Binswanger and was always there to lend a hand, be positive, and get things done. Enjoy the next phase of your life Ricky and thank you for everything- you truly are a class act!!

Also, congrats to the Pioneer Cladding & Glazing gang as they turn 25! Tremendous company and people and they’ve worked on some of the best projects around and made our industry stand out. But also, these guys are super industry supporters.  Always at BEC, always on planning or programming committees and always up for supporting. Paul Robinson is an extraordinary talent (I am huge fan) and guys like Coleman Jones and Kip Larison are also favorites of mine. Keep rocking and rolling there team and keep up the great work!

Latest ABI

On the flip side, it was an ugly few weeks with an awful Architectural Billings score and rumors of a few companies in trouble. First, the ABI came in with a brutally low number of 42.4. There was hope, including with me, that we’d stay flat from last month and that obviously did not happen. So the up-and-down nature of the ABI continues, with the last 4 months being 49.5, 43.6, 48.3, and now 42.4.  Interest rates and a hopeful cut have played into some of this but the volatility here is a bit odd. Then again markets are pretty roiled right now. Thankfully, our world is politically very calm. Oh yeah right. (sarcasm intended)  OK, so, we keep trucking. 

Meanwhile, there are concerning rumors out there about a couple of companies, one manufacturer and one major installer, having some dire issues. Nothing has come formally public yet, so I’ll refrain from going into more detail but needless to say we’re now entering that time where you have to really do your homework on who you’re working with and their overall health. That was an exercise many did back in 2010-2014 or so and then things settled, and people got away from that. Given the current atmosphere keeping closer tabs on the supply chain is a must.

GlassBuild 2024

Last this week… Architectural Glass and Metal Certification Council (AGMT) will be at GlassBuild America to do testing and certification on the show's floor. I LOVED seeing this news. So awesome. Seeing our industry advance, with credible approaches like this, is huge. GlassBuild is going to be off the charts this year (and note from above- supply chain? Yeah that’s how you can keep tabs and strengthen too by being at GlassBuild) and adding an angle like this will make a massive difference. Kudos to Jenni Chase at NGA and Ben Beeler and team at AGMT for getting this together! 


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 Opinions expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Glass Association or Glass Magazine.