September 13th, 2011
News and Notes from Atlanta
As the eyes and ears of the industry everyone always asks me at a trade show such as GlassBuild America, what did you see that was exciting? So here are my insights from today’s visits with exhibitors and attendees here in Atlanta.
Spent some time with Serious Energy president who was here to present at the Glazing Executives Forum. Look for a new DWM blog authored by Kevin in the coming weeks. Kevin definitely won’t be shy when it comes to offering his opinions on industry trends. In fact, he told me he still thinks the industry has to shed 50 percent plant capacity! And while some are talking about a recovery in 2013 Kevin thinks it will be more like 2014 or 2015. A few others I spoke to on the show floor agree.
Residential companies expand into light commercial and commercial. Westech showcased a tilt and turn style window that can expand from residential into light commercial and commercial applications. And Chelsea Building Products featured its Restoration Pro, a product designed a few years ago for the residential market but is now becoming very popular in the light commercial market, says marketing manager Gary Hartman. “It has all the elements, [structural and thermal] to sell into the commercial market.”
Spent some time With Joseph Pigliacampo, president of Joseph Machine Co. Though I had met with him before, this is the first time I spoke with Pigliacampo at great length. If you know him you know he is fervent about the machinery industry—and he knows what he’s doing and he knows how to do things right. He gave me a wealth of story ideas. Stay tuned ….
Keep plugging away until your product breaks through. Talked to Erland Rusell at Tigerstop who says some manufacturer have 20 of his machines in their plants. “When you finally break through and get the order you get a lot of orders,” he says. “My average customer has three machines.” The moral of the story: Be sure to market your product and don’t give up. If you believe in it keep telling your story.
Used equipment still in vast supply. We all know that many machinery suppliers are still suffering as there is still a vast amount of used machinery and equipment on the market. A few companies told me this still creates a challenge for them, yet one pointed out a slight silver lining. “It offers some opportunities in terms of retrofit and service.” Lastly, one manufacturer told me he bought a $130,000 piece of used equipment for $2,000. Strange (and alarming) but true?
Glimmers of hope. One manufacturer told me, “We’re busy now.” How? This particular customer grows through offering niche products, such as blinds between the glass, stains and custom sizes.
Hartman echoes this sentiment telling me of two companies in particular who are beating the odds by “innovating to make their pieces of the pie larger.”
Stay tuned to dwmmag.com for more news and videos from the show.