February 8, 2011

Are You Ready for the End?

By Paul Bieber

Is that a Tight End from the Green Bay Packers?

Is it a visit from the Dead End Kids?

Or is it a great dinner in Boston’s North End.

Well, none of the above. The headline story in my local paper today was about “The End of the Recession” based on all of the spending at yesterday’s Super Bowl. Three million for a thirty second ad, three thousand for a good seat, thirty thousand for a big-spender’s weekend. The main thrust of the story was that with the return of the heavy-hitters to the advertising at Super Bowl 45, that the recession was coming to an end; that companies felt that Americans were ready again to buy a new Chevy, to get the newest hi-tech phone, or the upscale beer.

So with this clear definition that the recession is over, are you ready?

Most in the glass industry are truly not feeling the ‘end’ just yet. After all, we are very near the end of the construction time-line, but still, we are beginning to see that light shining at us.

Now is the time to be lining up your new machinery purchases, prices are just plain cheap now. Now is the time to be taking those courses in solar energy and energy-saving glass products. Now is the time to see that your staff is cross-trained in different parts of your operation.

The way I see it, the recession is over, and the climb out is in mid-stride. Are your people trained for new products? Now is the time. Have you spoken with landlords or builders in your area about getting larger space? Now is the time to make these deals. It is going to happen. You might want to think about taking delivery on machinery in the fall. You might want to plan to move next winter, but cut the deal now. The recovery will come, I promise.

I just got off the phone with an old friend who is a manufacturer’s rep in the glass trade. He told me how poor business was. There are ten vendors trying for every sale, when there used to be three. It is the same way with the shops…retail customers shopping at more glass shops than ever, knowing there are deals to be had.

Yes, I know that with prices in the sewer, nobody is really making money now. If you stay afloat, you are successful. But that doesn’t mean you don’t plan ahead. Now is the time to cut those deals that will benefit you as the glass industry returns. Now is the time to learn about new products and processes that will benefit you.