March 2, 2008

Stop Playing Solitaire!

By Paul Bieber

Yea, you…stop playing those addicting games on the computer (my addiction is minesweeper, or as my kids call it…mindwaster). Don’t deny it…you have three free minutes and you just click on the solitaire icon without even thinking. Here’s what you can do instead.

Keep a list of websites on a doodle pad near your desk. Every ad, magazine, newspaper, or whatever, now shows a website. In last month’s US Glass there were over 200 websites listed, each of which will help you gain information and insight into what is happening in our glass industry. Read PPG’s website( to learn about soft-coat low-e, or Arch’s ( to see how to buy it. Every time you see a web-site of interest, jot it on your list. When you have that free time, start learning more about the glass industry.

The more you learn, the more potential you have to sell products within the glass industry. Every time you visit a website look for something that your glass business can prosper with. One hint about a product that you currently don’t sell, each day, will increase your sales in the long run.

Here’s a great example. A couple of weeks ago I received an e-mail from a reader asking me to look at his web-site. This was Wow…here was a new laminated glass product with colors that looked better than any I had seen. And this gentleman is looking for outlets in the United States to sell his product. If I owned a glass shop, I would have called him and asked for an exclusive in my area. It turned out I called Eric Seifried, who is in Australia, and I learned a lot about his fantastic product line. It started with a quick look at a website. It is that easy. You should see this one.

Do you Google? Most of us do. Here is a list of phrases do search…

•”what’s new in glass”

•”glass in construction”

•”energy saving glass”

•”acoustic glass”

Do these and you will gain hundreds of sites to browse through. Spend that three minutes here rather than in your games file.

Here are some of the important sites for our trade:

•, or their new site,


• (you’ll learn glass and basketball!)


• (this will take you to the worldwide AGC site…see what glass is doing around the world)



•, with links to another world-wide site for NSG


Read the website of each of your competitors…you will gain unbelievable insights into your own territories glass needs. Also Google your main customers to see their future plans, and how you can get ready to service them.

One of the best sites is, which predicts great trends in the industry. Check out their shower doors and commercial doors. (OK, I worked for them a long time ago–they were a great company then, and have only grown better).

Look at the website of each vendor you have, see what else they offer, look for special sales and for new products. Every time you see an interesting web address in a newspaper or magazine, tear out the ad, and leave it on your desk. It takes just seconds to see if you are interested in the site. If you try ten sites, and get info to help your business in one…well you are one ahead!

So in addition to checking the Dow-Jones, and seeing what is on TV tonight, look at one glass site a day will make your company better!