December 15, 2020

Transitioning to a Post-COVID-19 “Normal?” Not so Fast.

By Paul Daniels

I have been reading a lot of headlines talking about the post-COVID-19 economy, such as:

  • “Transformation 2021”
  • “Creating Successful and Agile Organizations in a Time of Unprecedented Challenges”
  • “Five Key Factors in Planning for a Post-COVID ‘Normal’”
  • “Reimagining the Global Economy for a Post-COVID-19 World”
  • “Reinventing Workers for the Post-COVID Economy”

Before we start transitioning, since this year is coming to a close, I want to reflect on what I have observed the glass industry accomplish over this unprecedented year. Since being identified as an essential business, the glass industry has shown to be a “successful and agile industry in a time of unprecedented challenges.” Innovations came from the glass industry almost immediately, with Corona Guards, testing stations, modified office partitions, etc., to help keep businesses and hospitals open and safer. It is hard to find a business these days that hasn’t been touched by the local glass shop, as employees are protected by many of these innovations. They have supported the construction industry, keeping people employed while keeping their employees safe.

The supply chain from the glass fabricators to the jobsites has stayed constant, as safety programs were implemented to keep employees safe. Suppliers came through supplying PPE to their customers when they were scarce. Most salespeople I speak to have adapted to working from their homes, over the phone or Zoom meetings, and being available in the field or office when needed. The glass industry has always been a solutions business, whether it is creating energy efficient glass or designing a custom shower door. This year has been a test of the industry’s ability to use its experience to innovate. I think we passed the test.

Yes, the economy will change post-COVID. Interior office designs, home offices and new entrance designs will be part of it. I have heard about a “15-minute city” where everything you need is within 15 minutes: housing, shopping and the workplace. If the glass industry continues to be an innovative solutions-based business that services their customers, I think we will do well, no matter what the new normal looks like.

I want to thank USGlass for putting me on the team and Paul Bieber for sharing his time with me. It’s allowed me to keep in touch with old friends and make a lot of new ones. This has been a transformational year for me, and I know 2021 will be one for us all. Cannot wait to see how the post-COVID world turns out.

Thank you. Have a happy and safe holiday.