September 28, 2021

Glass Build Atlanta 2021, Wrap Up

By Paul Daniels

Now that I have been back from Atlanta for few days, I have had a chance to digest the experience of what I learned. First, as my old boss often reminded us, a show only lasts a few days, our jobs last 365. It takes a few days to go over show leads and follow up, but then it’s back to work.

As many others have written: the big issues brought up by most of the attendees I spoke with were product supply chains, inflation and filling open jobs. The LA Times reported last week that there were 73 container ships parked off the Port of Long Beach, the most ever. These issues are not going away soon. One of the officials they interviewed said the biggest bottleneck was getting trucks in to move the freight once it was unloaded. Transportation will continue to add costs to products and increase lead times moving forward.

Companies need to build relationships with alternate suppliers to help fill the gaps to assure access to product. Do not assume that because your current suppliers’ lead times have changed, there aren’t others who can supply you on time.  You do not want to wait until you need one to begin looking.  It is also important that you keep your quotes up to date with lead times and pricing. Lead times will always be king ahead of pricing or brands to most general contractors and architects, so don’t be afraid to offer solutions, even if a change in manufacturer or price are concerned.

The show had a lot more computer software companies offering the industry many ways to streamline their business than I have seen in past years. These ranged from programs to estimate and quote projects to allowing glass company customers to order and pay directly through their websites. Automation and purchasing products prefabricated as often as possible are a couple of strategies to help fill in the people gaps in your business.

I also want to thank all the people that stopped by the FHC booth and said hello. Thank you.