Issue 5: The Road to GlassBuild America

Issue 5 – Register for YOUR show, learn about innovative products from show exhibitors, and check out who has signed up lately to exhibit….All on the Road to GlassBuild America.

May flowers bloom and registration opens!

GlassBuild America is YOUR trade show.  Three days in one place where you can network with industry executives and make new business connections to take your company to the next level.

  • Want to see the latest technology and hot new products?  Visit the show floor to avoid lengthy research or expensive travel.
  • Need to see products side by side before committing to a new contract?  Compare vendor quality and pricing in person.
  • Have a question that only an expert could answer?  Speak directly to the experts and share information.
  • Looking to expand your industry knowledge?  Attend forums and seminars to learn about the hottest issues and topics.
  • On the job hunt?  Meet face-to-face with potential employers – vastly more effective than sending a resume.

Every dollar counts; keep your participation affordable with these simple steps:

  • Take advantage of a FREE Customer Pass from an exhibitor who is a potential new business partner.
  • Register EARLY for education opportunities at discounted rates.
  • Stay at an official hotel and book early for discounted room rates.
  • Sign up for your favorite airline’s email alerts offering special fares to Las Vegas.

Been to GlassBuild America before? Here’s what’s new in 2012!

CLEARLY you need to be there.  Registration is open!  Register early to take advantage of the Early Bird Registration pricing!

Take a look at who has recently jumped on the opportunity to exhibit at GlassBuild America.

The Road to GlassBuild America Video Spotlight

This month, get a look at the innovative products of GlassBuild America exhibitor, Lauren Manufacturing.

The Road to GlassBuild America Q&A with Thermal Windows Inc.

This month, we catch up with the President of Thermal Windows Inc, Dennis Lane.  Thermal Windows in located in Tulsa, Oklahoma and you will be able to find them on the floor at GlassBuild America booth #1555.

Thermal Windows is pretty unique in that you have full lines for residential and commercial products.  How difficult is that for you to manage since it seems like your dealing with two drastically different customer bases?

Production wise – it is no problem since with the exception of our ATFP,  Impact and AW lines, most of our basic residential products also meet and exceed requirements for the commercial projects that we provide.  Everything that we produce is custom, therefore commercial and residential orders can run through the same departments.  At our manufacturing facility in Tulsa, we fabricate the different insulated glass products needed as well as powder coat an unlimited number of colors meeting AAMA 2604 and 2605 specifications.

Marketing is a different challenge.  Mr. Pool and his father started Aluminum Window Products in the 1950’s to provide storm windows, storm doors and non thermal windows to dealers.  When he opened Thermal Windows, Inc. in 1979, the targeted market was local homeowners’ replacement and new construction.  When I started working here in 1989, we began successfully pursuing commercial projects in Oklahoma such as Fort Sill and Oklahoma State University.   We learned quickly that we could not become the vendor of choice for glazing contractors if we sold directly to the owner or general contractor.  At that point we began to hire independent representatives to monitor and manage those relationships in their geographical territories.   Today we operate separate divisions within the company, one continuing to sell direct to Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner in the Tulsa area while our contract team focuses on the ever-changing needs of the commercial market, working through our 20 plus national reps, their customers and architects.

Energy efficiency is always in demand. What are you doing at Thermal to be on top of the trends there to ensure your customers are getting the “latest and greatest” products?

Obviously one great way to investigate the latest trends is to attend GlassBuild America each year and share ideas with the industry professionals along with reading the informative publications available.  (that was for you Max!)

In recent years, we have been busy responding to many of the unpredictable mandates coming from Washington regarding tax credits, performance guidelines and new and stricter EPA regulations.   Regardless of that, we all know that the energy requirements will continue to move the industry toward lower U-Values and so to stay competitive and equip our reps with products they can get specified, we run the Therm and Window 5.2 software in house and work closely with the independent labs running simulations on thermal performance for current and potential new products.  Typically we will request simulations of 200-300 glazing combinations per product to aid in our research.  This year, we have introduced our first line of polyamide thermal barrier projected windows with AW structural performance and capable of achieving a 0.30 U-value.  It has been not too many years ago that I would have considered that impossible.

Although we do not want to fall behind this ever-changing market, one of our VP’s favorite old saying is “the cutting edge is sometimes the bleeding edge”.  We like to think that we continue to modify and improve performance and product offerings at a wise and steady pace, maintaining market share and financial stability.

We’re almost halfway through 2012, has the economy reacted like you expected and what do you see for the economy and industry for 2013?

Although I am somewhat disappointed, I am not surprised at the sluggish recovery.   In 2011, the new commercial projects began to move again with the private sector anticipating improvement in the economy and, therefore, demand for multifamily housing and condos, etc.   Although that trend has continued in 2012 and regardless of actual legislation that has or has not been passed, there seems to be throughout this country, great apprehension that the government regulations will continue to increase and stifle a company’s ability and motivation to invest and expand and generate a profit.

As far as 2013, we have the greatest political system in the world, but unfortunately it is run by politicians.  Therefore, I would estimate that the lack of progress and the fear and trepidation in the business world will continue until at least until November 6th, 2012.

We are thrilled to have you back at GlassBuild America yet again this year.  What will be the focus of your always-excellent exhibit?  Any new product launches on the drawing board?

Glad to be back!  Although it is difficult to realize a direct return on the investment for displays, travel, etc. for the show, we continue to exhibit as it represents an opportunity for so many of our previous, current and future customers to meet our management, production and sales team face to face.  As much as I am amazed at the latest improvements in communication technology, we still believe a sincere, personal greeting and hands on demonstration of our products gives the consumer the confidence they need to invest with Thermal in their next project.  We appreciate the folks at GlassBuild continuing to provide a great venue.

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GlassBuild America
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