Collins, the Trend Tracker

Impressions from GlassBuild

Sep 24th, 2012

GlassBuild concluded ten days ago and many companies are already focusing on the International Builders’ Show to be held January 22-24 in Las Vegas. Before we race ahead to IBS, though, we should take a final look at GlassBuild and what the show indicated about the overall health of the industry. The event occupied a […]

How to Get the Most out of Trade Shows

Sep 11th, 2012

GlassBuild is upon us, and the fall trade show season, so I’m going to throw out some challenges to any attendees that want to make sure they get their money’s worth from attending a show. While you’re at an upcoming show, borrow at least one really good idea from a company in your own segment […]

The Oracle of Omaha Bets on Housing

Aug 13th, 2012

With his $44 billion net worth, Warren Buffett is considered the most successful investor of all time. He can move markets merely by mentioning a bullish interest in them. As a result, we were pleased to learn of his recent bet on the housing industry. Warren Buffett is a value investor, meaning he acquires assets […]

Employment and the Industry Outlook

Jul 16th, 2012

In June the U.S. economy added 80,000 jobs. While this is better than a decrease in the overall number of jobs, the growth in employment continues to fall short of the 200,000 jobs per month at which an economic recovery is seen to be self-sustaining. Looking at unemployment rates by education levels provides an interesting […]

The Outlook Continues to Improve

Jul 5th, 2012

Pessimists like to point out that we are facing a number of macro-level challenges, including the impending expiration of various tax cuts and bumping our heads against the national debt ceiling once again. Compounding that is the fact that this is an election year. This means that both sides of the aisle will expend more […]

Social Media: Here to Stay but a Long Way to Go

Jun 11th, 2012

Communicating with potential customers through social media is likely here to stay but these new channels still have a long way to go before they replace traditional media. Matthew Gentzkow, an economics professor at the University of Chicago, estimates that the average American watches 5.5 hours of TV daily. The infancy of the penetration of […]

The Tide is Turning

May 24th, 2012

There was a time when the evening news was filled with story after story of the decline of the housing market and commercial construction. If that weren’t enough, all of my business associates seemed to be on a constant vigil for dire predictions on construction spending to share with me, along with their condolences. That […]

Survey Respondents Say Good Things about Housing

May 7th, 2012

It seems that the key statistics affecting the building products industry waver between good news and bad news on a monthly basis. However, there is a growing sentiment that the industry is improving. A recent survey by Brooke Chase Associates underscored the improving outlook of industry participants ranging from building products manufacturers to distributors and […]

“Innovate or Suffocate”

Apr 17th, 2012

Industry gatherings typically represent a microcosm of the overall industry itself. Fenestration Day, held last week in San Antonio, was no exception. This was a particularly interesting event, since it brought together both manufacturers and dealers in one spot. I tend to call more often on manufacturers, so it was interesting to get a chance […]

Employment, Housing Stats and the Mild Winter

Mar 19th, 2012

Economists estimate that, in order for an economic recovery in the United States to be self sustaining, it is necessary for 200,000 jobs per month to be created. The February employment figures were released recently and 227,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month. This is especially significant because it is the third […]