How will the Glass Price Increases Affect Your Business?
This is a question that all glass shops are attempting to answer, no matter how large or small. I know on the west coast there are glass suppliers that are holding their prices for 30 or 60 days on some large jobs, and others that are stopping everything to update all the open quotes in their system. These are a few of the same decisions that you need to make in your business.
Unfortunately, it’s hard for a small company to put any pressure on its suppliers. If you’re working with a major contractor or on a project owned by large national corporations, you may be able to suggest they could help pressure a supplier on one of their projects. If you’re updating your customer quotes, you need to attach all the price increase notifications that you’ve received from your suppliers and glass manufacturers as well. You may also want to add copies of magazine articles announcing these increases. This will support your actions and show your customers where these increases are coming from. Let them know that they can contact these suppliers if they think they can impact their projects.
You want to make sure that all your future quotes are only good for 30 days and that orders and pricing will only be locked in when contracts have been signed or purchase orders released. Contacting your contractors and letting them know this may motivate them to place orders in advance of the job. Check with your suppliers to see if they will hold the material for you if paid in advance.
If these price increases put a job over budget endangering the project, you may want to suggest alternative products that could save money (i.e., value engineering). Architects may not like this, but owners and contractors will be more open to alternatives to save a project.
Paul Bieber had more clever ideas in his previous blog on how to handle these price increases. Those of us who have been in the industry for the last 40 years are also curious if these price increases will hold up. If you’ve ever visited a float glass plant and observed the glass ribbon running non-stop, 24-7 from the oven, you can only wonder what will happen to pricing if these increases reduce the demand for that glass. Send us any suggestions and steps that you are taking to adjust to these increases. Paul Bieber will take a swing - yes, a baseball reference – at some solutions next week.