Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays from NGA and WDDA

As 2010 draws to a close and we focus on the blessings of friends and family, we wanted to wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for your continued support of the NGA and WDDA.
This has been a challenging year for most of us, but we've seen once again the power and wisdom of banding together to work through the difficult economic climate and to face policy issues

At the NGA and WDDA, we have so much to be grateful for. Your support has enabled us to keep producing the finest publications in the business -- Glass Magazine and Window & Door -- and the top trade show for our industries in North America -- GlassBuild America: The Window & Door Expo.
 

With your participation, we had a successful Window &a Door Dealers Forum and we look forward to a successful 2nd Annual Forum in Atlanta in 2011. The 5th Annual Glazing Executives Forum was also successful, along with our Glass Management Institute. We are also proud to provide best-in-class training for glass and window and door professionals through MyGlassClass.com and MyWindowClass.com.

We believe we will make 2011 a much better year. 

We wish you great blessings over the holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year.


NGA and WDDA Staff

Monday, December 20, 2010

Resolve to Succeed

It is the time of year most of us begin to think about New Year Resolutions or goals for the next year. We all know that goal setting is the most effective and powerful way to achieve what we want, this is true of things large and small – including optimizing effectiveness on the telephone.
When working with customers, it is important that we each strive for continuous improvement. Putting that attitude into motion requires a commitment to change. Setting appropriate goals sets the stage for the commitment and is a driving force for improvement.
When setting goals, you must know what is important for you to accomplish. Then you must set specific and clearly stated goals. If you do not have clearly stated goals, your effort will lack direction and focus.
  1. Get Specific. Set goals that are specific. Instead of “I will do better”, direct the Sales Rep to set a goal of what will be better. “I will ask questions to determine the real need of my customer.” By setting a specific goal you create a measurement for improvement.
  2. Use Powerful Words. When setting a goal use words that are powerful and drive success: I will, I am going to, I commit to. Avoid words that allow failure: I will try, I could, maybe I should
  3. Develop a Strategy for Improvement. Once the goal is stated, ask for a strategy or action plan. This step prepares the Sales Rep to immediately put their goal into action.
Start the New Year with a commitment to begin the process of goal setting. Measure the improvement of each member of your staff and begin to celebrate their success!
Michelle Jones
ContactPoint
Solutions NGA WDDA

Friday, December 17, 2010

Auto Glass Week: Room Block Now Open

Discount rooms have been made available to Auto Glass Week™ attendees for only $99 per night plus tax at the Memphis Marriott Downtown. Auto Glass Week will be held September 15-17, 2011 in Memphis.
Staying at the Memphis Marriott Downtown allows attendees to be close to the event so you are not missing a beat. Located on 250 North Main Street in Memphis, this hotel truly is in the heart of the city and provides its guests with all the latest comforts and amenities. 
You may reach the hotel directly at 888-557-8740 or reserve online using the link below. You must reference that you are with Auto Glass Week to receive the discounted rate.
This 2011 event will bring together the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc., the Independent Glass Association (IGA), the National Glass Association (NGA), National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), AGRR Magazine's Pilkington Clear Advantage Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics for one event in one venue. The International Window Film Tint-Off and Conference™ also will be held concurrently.
Auto Glass Week will be managed by AGRR magazine. For more information, please visit the official show website.
See you in Memphis next September!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Leadership is the Key to a Successful Organization

I’m a big fan of Fast Company magazine and this month’s issue has a terrific article about Willow Creek Church. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a large church outside Chicago where approximately 23,000 people gather each Sunday. The article describes their annual Leadership Summit, where they bring in big names from business, government, and media to discuss leadership strategies and management practices. I’ve actually attended this event a couple times and it’s outstanding.

Why am I telling you this? Because the driving idea behind Willow Creek’s Leadership Summit – that leadership is the key difference between successful organizations and non-successful organizations – is true in the glass industry as well. Which brings us to the Glass Management Institute.

Simply put, if you want your organization to be successful, you have to develop strong leaders. And there is no better vehicle in the industry for developing leaders than GMI. In the course of six months, we’ll teach your rising leaders about Bidding and Estimating, Sales and Marketing, Project Management, and all the things they need to learn to run a top-notch glass company. Beyond standard business training, this course is by the industry and for the industry as we draw on talents from leading companies such as Trainor Glass, Vitro America, W&W Glass, and CBO Glass to provide instruction.

The course kicks off on January 18, 2011. Don’t miss this tremendous opportunity. If you or your key people want to register, visit our website and do so today. If you have any questions, contact Matt Rumbaugh at mrumbaug@glass.org or 703-4422-4890, ext. 182.
Matt Rumbaugh
Senior Manager, Education and Training
 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stay Connected with Auto Glass Week

 
Stay Connected! Make Sure You Are Getting All the News on Auto Glass Week 2011. On September 15-17, 2011, all of the major auto glass groups will join together for Auto Glass Week™ in Memphis, Tenn., at the Memphis Cook Convention Center and Memphis Marriott Downtown. 
If you are a part of the auto glass industry you won't want to miss this event. Here is a couple of ways you can stay connected so you don't miss out on the auto glass event of 2011:
  1. Join our mailing list and make sure you don't miss an update.
  2. Stay in the conversation by joining us on Twitter! Follow us @autoglassweek and use the hashtag #AGW11 to see what industry members are saying.
  3. Bookmark Us! Make www.autoglassweek.com your homepage so you don't miss important deadlines and the latest updates!
This 2011 event will bring together the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc., the Independent Glass Association (IGA), the National Glass Association (NGA), National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), AGRR Magazine's Pilkington Classic Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics for one event in one venue. The International Window Film Tint-Off and Conference also will be held concurrently.
Auto Glass Week will be managed by AGRR magazine. For more information, please visit the official show website.
See you in Memphis next September!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Industry Related Tax Credits included in Baucus bill


The WDDA has been extremely active and vocal in seeking an extension of the residential energy efficiency tax credits.  We just received notice that some of what we've been pushing for has been incorporated into a tax bill proposed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
While much work remains to be done, this is a positive step in the right direction.  Now it's incumbent upon us to let our elected officials know how important it is for the extension to remain in the final package.  This is an critical one-year tax credit extension that will create and preserve jobs, offer prudent consumer incentives for environmentally sustainable purchases (which will reduce our dependence on foreign oil) and help the economic rebound.
The biggest challenge remains in the U.S. House, where all tax credits are getting heavy scrutiny.
Leaders of the WDDA met with the offices of fellow Finance Committee members Sens. Bingaman and Snowe last month, during which we pushed for higher credits (from $200 to $1,500), with Energy Star products as the primary focus.  It appears that they listened, and they have included what they believe is affordable and/or politically viable.
Again, please let your members of Congress know you support this important tax credit. It's good for our industry, our employees and our country.
David Walker
dwalker@wddalliance.org

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How are you planning for 2011?

As the year is quickly coming to a close, information about the economy is still front page news. Just this week President Obama called for a pay freeze for federal employees for the next 2 years.  And last week the Federal Reserve released a report about the state of the economy over the next few years.
According to an AP article that was posted last week, Federal Reserve officials have become more pessimistic in their economic outlook through next year and have lowered their forecast for growth. The news for 2012 and 2013 is better, and lower unemployment rate is projected for 2012.
These reports come in the midst of many businesses annual budget cycles.  At a time when businesses need to make more money, and spend more on sales efforts and marketing, it's disheartening to hear that the economy might not start to really bounce back for a couple of years.
As you plan your budget for 2011, are you taking all of the reports into account? How is the growth of the economy (or lack of growth) impacting your plans for 2011?

Alyssa Kirkman
Sr. Manager, Association Services

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grow Your Business in 2011 with American Equipment Finance

Are you trying to buy new & used machinery, computers & software, or trucks? Are you trying to finance items you need to grow your company in 2011?  If so, the NGA and American Equipment Finance can help.

AEF provides instant access to capital for businesses - both large and small seeking to acquire assets necessary to expand and grow – and offers application-only financing of $150,000. They will meet your vendor’s deposit terms starting at 65% in advance.

If your company has been in business for 2 years and your FICO credit scores are 675 or higher, contact Len Baccaro at 800-785-3060 ext 202 to discuss your financing needs.

Apply today and include your NGA membership number on the application to take advantage of the $300 discount on the processing fee (regular price is $450.00).

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Power of Validation

Have you ever experienced something similar to this?
  • Customer: I need a windshield for my car.
  • Representative: Well, what kind of vehicle do you have?
  • Translation: Maybe, then again maybe not!
Now ask yourself…What does that response feel like? Let’s try another way:
  • Customer: I need a windshield for my car.
  • Representative: Yes, we can do that for you! What type of car do you have?
  • Translation: Good, check this off my to-do list!
What does that response feel like? This is the power of validation! You have just shifted the customer’s perception! So often when, as customers, we make a request the response is a question that leaves us feeling that the person on the other end does not care about us or our situation. Validation shifts that attitude and offers a response of “Yes!” to our request. By validating we begin to take ownership of the customer’s situation and start the process of building a relationship and earning their business.

Validating the customer is statement of your intention to listen and solve for their problem providing them with a direct statement that says “Yes I can” or “Yes I will”. To be successful, use of this skill requires true appreciation for your customer and shows your commitment to their success. This skill takes place throughout your entire interaction, letting the customer know along the way you have heard them and your intent is to align yourself and product with the proper solution to their problem.

Using validation statements also serves the purpose of slowing the conversation down in a manner that allows you to begin to ask relevant questions. It says “I hear you and I will lead through solving your problem” proving that you are always working with the best interest of the customer in mind and to maintain an element of integrity as to your intent.

Examples of Validating Statements:
 
  • “I can help you with that!” 
  • “Yes, I can do that for you.” 
  • “I will be happy to get you pricing on new tires.” 
  • “That’s a great point.”
Put validating to the test today! Listen to the people around you and respond with a validating statement “I can help you with that!” You will immediately begin to see the Power of Validation as they react to your willingness to help them through the process of solving their problem.

Michelle Jones, ContactPoint Solutions
ContactPoint NGA WDDA

Monday, November 15, 2010

Money Saving Trick: Identity Theft Services and Prescription Drug Cards

It's that wonderful time of year where we all try to put the final touches on our 2011 budgets while continuing to manage costs for 2010.  As you continue to plan for the coming year, keep Creative Solutions Group and their Company & Employee Benefits Program in mind. This program is designed to deliver cost-saving services to NGA and WDDA member companies and compelling benefits that can be passed to employees.
In addition to its Working Advantage, Drive America, and Core Health Insurance, Creative Solutions Group  is now offering two new services for NGA and WDDA members.
  1. Free Prescription Drug Card: This program is helping millions of Americans save money on their prescription drugs. All you have to do is download your Free Prescription Drug Card and receive discounts of up to 85% at more than 58,000 national and regional pharmacies.This card is ready to be used immediately. Visit www.glass.freedrugcardsite.com for more information or to sign up today.
  2. Identity Theft Services: Receive a special rate on the 24/7 Resolution and Proactive Services. Resolution Coverage includes coverage up to $25,000 for lost wages, filing fees, etc. and one on one fraud specialist from start to finish. Services for medical, military, children, divorce, estate, travel, relocation, disaster and more. Full Family Coverage for one year is just $29.95. Get 2 year coverage for just $39.95. For more information call 1-877-848-7333 or to register visit www.safeguardmyidentity-kf.net.
A complete list of Creative Solutions Group services can be found on the NGA website and WDDA website.

Monday, November 8, 2010

2011 Glass Management Institute

Successful glass industry executives know the value of good training and a network of industry contacts.  The NGA is committed to offering that value through the industry’s leading professional development program: the Glass Management Institute. There is no better training for a successful career in the glazing industry.

GMI’s class of 2011 kicks off in January with training specific to the glazing industry - topics that make or break your day-to-day operations: Bidding and Estimating, Project Management, Sales and Marketing, Financial Management, Legal Issues, and Strategic Planning.  Professionals will receive world-class instruction led by some of the leading experts and brightest minds in the U.S. glass industry.

Here’s what some of our recent graduates have to say about GMI:
  • “The NGA’s Glass Management Institute gave me the opportunity to explore the industry’s toughest problems through the eyes of experienced leaders.”    Kristin Miller, Tab Glass and Window
  • “GMI helped improve my understanding of the industry sector.  I will recommend others at my company become involved.”    Neil O’Donnell, GTS.
  • “As someone young and relatively new to the industry, it is very helpful to have not only have peers but seasoned professionals at my fingertips as a resource as I develop my skills. GMI’s online format is helpful for posing questions, offering insight and providing opportunity for exploration of topics not covered in class.”    Patrick Barlow, Contractor.
For more information or to register, visit www.glass.org/gmi or contact me at 703-442-4890 ext 182 or mrumbaugh@glass.org.

We look forward to serving you.

Matt Rumbaugh
Senior Manager, Education and Training

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Make your Voice Heard on Tax Credits

The 2010 election is now behind us. Now that we've all had the opportunity to vote for representation, we need to make sure that we continue to be aware of issues that will impact the glass and window and door industries.
It's easy to only pay attention to politics in November.  After we vote we move on with our lives and forget that decisions are being made every day - decisions on issues such as lead paint and tax credits. The NGA and WDDA are continuing to work on behalf of the industry, but we need your help to be successful.
Last week WDDA leadership met with members of Sens. Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Snowe's (R-Maine) staff to discuss the inclusion of homeowner tax credits in the upcoming tax bill.  You can read about the WDDA meeting at Window & Door: WDDA Pushes for Tax Credit Extension.
The WDDA needs the support of the industry to make a difference on this issue.  As of 2:00 this afternoon, 74% of you were reporting that the expiration of energy efficient tax credits could translate into layoffs at your company.  Whether or not your company would be one of those facing layoffs, you need to make your voice heard.
Read the WDDA's call to action and email or mail a a letter to the Ways & Means Committee members who are  shaping the bill.  Let them know how this legislation will impact your business.
Sr. Manager, Association Services

Monday, November 1, 2010

Money Saving Trick: Past Due Accounts

I would like to stress the importance of taking a close look at your past-due accounts these last couple months of the year so that you can get paid before your customers spend the money they owe you on holiday shopping for their families and holiday bonuses for their employees and before they are faced with the resulting credit card bills in December and January.

I speak to business owners and CFOs every day in all different industries, of all different sizes, and at all different levels of the supply chain and I am consistently hearing that it's never been harder to get paid than it is now. Receivables are coming in slower than ever and as credit lines have been cut off, companies need every dollar to maintain their operations and are having difficulty paying their suppliers. Consumers have lost jobs, lost money in the stock market, had their homes devalued, etc and are taking longer to pay the businesses they owe money to as well.

So, whether you provide goods and services to businesses or to consumers, if you're not already feeling the pinch, you will shortly.

Transworld Systems is here to help. Getting paid has become a competition of sorts and using GreenFlag Accelerator and Profit Recovery early gives you the competitive edge you need. It prioritizes your bills to the top of the pile so that as soon as your debtors have some money, they will pay you ahead of whomever else they owe money to.

You are not the only company that your customer owes money to. At this time of year the other companies that you are competing against are ramping up their own collection efforts. And make no mistake; it is a competition. If there isn’t enough money to pay every bill it becomes a game of musical chairs. Don’t let your bill be the one caught standing when the music (and the money) stops.

Brian A. White
Senior Cash Flow Consultant
Transworld Systems NGA WDDA

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creating an Attitude of Constant Improvement

Earlier this week I asked how you could create an attitude of constant improvement within your own organization. Here are 6 steps you can take:
  1. Record the interaction between your customer and your staff. Hand held recorders are available for purchase at most retail stores.  These devices will enable your staff to easily record their customer interaction and provide an audio file to management for use in measuring the customer experience and the result of their actions.

  2. Create criteria.  Based upon the results, create criteria for expectations in each call.  Consider the actions that take place in a successful call, the relationship between the employee and the customer and the image your company wishes to represent.

  3. A common formula is:
    • Create a Connection
    • Question, Listen and Build a Relationship
    • Build the value of your product and company
    • Commit the customer to the next step

  4. Clearly communicate the expectation.  Set clear expectations with all employees and ensure each understands why the criteria are important, how to perform the skills and believe their actions directly affect the outcome of the call.

  5. Measurement and Accountability.  Continue to record calls and measure the results using your determined criteria.  Using live calls enables you to identify personal strengths and weakness, your customer’s needs and the ability to work with each employee as an individual.

  6. Feedback and Goal Setting.  Use the recorded calls and criteria to provide feedback to each individual employee.  Feedback is best received in a safe and organized setting.  Feedback is specific, focuses on the result and allows the employee to set personal goals for improvement.

  7. Continue to measure and grow.  Hold each member of your organization accountable to the goals that are set during feedback.  Allow each session to be the catalyst that builds a team of people who are dedicated to constant improvement.
Michelle Jones
ContactPoint NGA WDDA

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    For the Record, DIY!

    If necessity is the mother of invention, then analysis could possibly be the father of change.

    Most companies spend a lot of time, effort and money getting a customer to call or walk in their door.  What happens when they do?  This is the point where the magic begins and your customers make the decision to work with you or to move forward and pursue a relationship with someone else.

    It makes sense to analyze the customer experience and decide if that experience is of value to your organization.   Measurement is the key.   Consider for a moment a successful athlete; they do not rely upon their initial training and natural talent.  The successful athlete measures the result of each action, every movement and receives constant feedback regarding what breeds results and what does not.  Their success is directly related to an attitude of constant improvement.

    So how can you begin this process and create an attitude of constant improvement within your own organization?

    Check back on Wednesday for 7 steps for creating that attitude.

    Michelle Jones
    ContactPoint NGA WDDA

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    What is Your Online Reputation?

    About once a week or so I visit Marketing Pilgrim to see what's going on in the world of online marketing and social media. The site has a blog-like style that offers up news, rumors, and the bloggers thoughts on anything related to internet marketing and advertising.

    This week an entry by Marketing Pilgrim founder Andy Beal caught my eye: Study: 64% of CEOs Not Bothering With Social Media Engagement.  Beal is discussing the findings of a study of 50 top CEOs and how they use Social Media. As the title suggests, 64% are not engaged through company web sties or in social media and only 16% have a profile on Twitter (8%), Facebook (4%), MySpace (4%) or LinkedIn (4%).

    Maybe these CEOs have crack marketing teams that take care of their online marketing and reputation, but I'm surprised that company leaders (even of world-class companies) wouldn't want to be involved and aware of what people are saying online.

    This got me thinking about the glass and window and door industries.  As individual businesses, are we aware of what people are saying about us? Are we communicating with potential customers online?

    The NGA and WDDA are partnered with Marketing Pilgirm to offer all members an exclusive discount on all SEO Audits conducted during 2010. Marketing Pilgrim can help your customers find your business on Google, increase your web site ranking, and boost your web presence today.

    Even if you don't have the time or resources for an audit, social media sites and some blogs (like this one) are free to use and are a great way to reach customers and others in the industry.  Get started today and get involved with your online community.

    Alyssa Kirkman
    Sr. Manager, Association Services

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Training for "Dirty" Jobs

    Some of you may be familiar with Mike Rowe - the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel. On the show, Rowe takes up a job and highlights the people that perform it. Over the course of about 200 episodes, Rowe has been a garbage collector, pig farmer, Rose Parade float dismantler, skull cleaner, and a glass maker for the Fenton Art Glass Company (it doesn’t look like Rowe has done any glass installation, but maybe we can talk him into it at some point).

    Last week, Rowe was on Capitol Hill to testify as part of the
    the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' I Make America campaign. Rowe mentioned something I’ve talked about on this blog: the need for more and better vocational education in the United States. Rowe testified that although he doesn’t expect the country to become dominated by manufacturing again, he thinks it is unfortunate that those types of jobs are now something employees settle for, rather than take pride in. According to Rowe, one of the reasons is the decline of vocational education: "It's not happening because people hate community colleges, it's not happening because people hate the trades, it's happening because we're promoting a very specific kind of education at the expense of the others."

    Vocational education in the United States has a key role to play in the economic recovery. The NGA has contributed to vocational education by partnering with Ed2Go, a company that helps four-year colleges and trade schools offer skills training to students. Through this partnership, the NGA and WDDA now offer online training and an industry internship. This new program was announced just a few weeks ago and we expect many students to take advantage of this program over the coming months.

    If you’re an NGA or WDDA member, you could work with a local school to boost this partnership and education in your community. If that’s something you’re interested in, or if you would like to assist with the NGA or WDDA's internships, let us know.

    Rowe is right: we need to work together to make sure these “dirty” jobs get the respect they deserve.


    Matt Rumbaugh
    Sr. Manager of Education, Training, and Certification
    National Glass Association, Window & Door Dealers Alliance

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    Money Saving Trick: Staples Office Supply Discounts

    No matter what your business does - installs windshields, renovates homes, or contracts on skyscrapers - you have a need for office supplies...and a need to get the best deals possible on the supplies you order.  The NGA and WDDA want to help members find the best deals possible and have negotiated office supply discounts exclusively for members. This is just another option to help your business lower operating costs.

    Staples Advantage offers a business-to-business internet ordering solution where you can order supplies electronically from your computer anytime. The site provides immediate access to over 30,000 products, with new additions daily.  Register today to start receiving discounts.

    All member companies who are not Staples Advantage users will receive an email from Staples with information on how to log-in to the website and start orderings supplies at the NGA discount.  If you have not registered or have not received your login information complete this form to begin. For more information, visit http://www.glass.org/cost-cutting-staples.html.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    Money Saving Trick: Health Insurance for NGA and WDDA Members

    Do you need to look at ways to continue to take care of your employees and limit your costs? Are you not able to offer health insurance to your employees but want to offer them an option to help them cover their families? The NGA and WDDA have a health insurance option for members to consider.

    The NGA and WDDA are now working with SAS Insurance Development to provide Core Health Insurance coverage for members’ healthcare needs. 
    • What are Core Health Insurance Plans?
      Core Health Insurance provides limited medical indemnity plans which are designed and priced to help people gain access or save money on healthcare. Core Health Insurance provides coverage for your everyday healthcare needs. Learn more
       
    • Which plan will benefit me?
      Looking to save money, gain access to medical insurance, or supplement your current major medical plan? These plans are "Guaranteed Acceptance” and do not require medical questions or exams to qualify based on eligibility (age and state availability). Learn more

    • What is the difference between Major Medical and Limited Medical Indemnity Insurance?
      It is important to understand the difference between major medical and limited medical insurance. Learn more
    NGA and WDDA members who enroll by October 31, 2010 will not be charged the $50 application fee! Get a quote or enroll today

    To learn more about NGA's newest member benefit, or to request a free quote, visit www.glass.org/cost-cutting-insurance.html.

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    September 30 (TODAY) is the deadline to enroll in RRP training!

    The EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) rule went into effect on April 22, 2010. The Frequent Questions on EPA’s June 18, 2010 Implementation Guidance for the Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule explained that renovators had additional time to obtain the necessary training and certifications to comply with the RRP rule.  

    Today, September 30, 2010, is the deadline to enroll in an EPA approved certified renovator training program. The certified renovator class must train contractors in practices necessary for compliance with the final rules. All training must be completed by December 31, 2010.

    The EPA will not take enforcement action for violations of the RRP rule’s firm certification requirement until October 1, 2010.  The EPA will not enforce violations of the RRP rule's renovation worker certification requirement against individual renovation workers if the person has enrolled in a course by September 30, 2010.

    Renovators who have not completed the training requirements should review the EPA’s  training materials. Additional information on lead-safe work practices can be found on the EPA's site or obtained from the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Plan for Auto Glass Week and GlassBuild in 2011!

    The industry is still in the midst of fall conference season, but it's time to mark your calendar for  events in 2011: Auto Glass Week and GlassBuild America. 
    • Auto Glass Week™ will be held September 15-17, 2011, in Memphis, TN, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center and Memphis Marriott Downtown.

      The 2011 event will bring together the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc., the Independent Glass Association (IGA), the National Glass Association (NGA), National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), AGRR Magazine’s Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the Walt Gorman Memorial Windshield Repair Olympics for one event in one venue. The International Window Film Tint-Off and Conference also will be held concurrently.

      Auto Glass Week, managed by AGRR magazine, will be the only Auto Glass event these organizations hold in 2011. That makes it the place to be for Auto Glass businesses! Further details will be announced on www.autoglassweek.com.

    • GlassBuild America 2011 will be held September 12-14, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. 
      The Show Floor at GlassBuild America is over 150,000 net square feet of exhibit space and is the  central showcase for glass processing equipment, window and door manufacturing equipment, and the latest technologies for all types of glass and fenestration products in North America. In addition, the show floor is home to the Innovations Pavilion which showcases cutting-edge technologies and other groundbreaking advances.

      Seminars offered daily address the unique concerns of the glass window and door industries providing insight into emerging technologies, industry trends and market updates. Planned sessions for 2011 include the 6th Annual Glazing Executives Forum, the 2nd Annual Window & Door Dealers Forum, and the Inaugural Architectural Forum. More information is posted throughout the year on www.glassbuildamerica.com.
    Mark your calendars today for these exciting industry events!
    You can follow all of the fall conference coverage, including coverage of GlassBuild America and glasstec, through Glass Magazine and Window & Door.

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Reeling Them In

    Fishing is a great sport that requires a lot and I mean A LOT of patience to be done properly. Carefully we prepare our special bait, disguise the hook, prepare the pole and the line then cast it into the water. We do all of that in hopes of a huge return. We win some, we lose many, but when that line tightens what happens? WE REEL EM’ IN!

    Many of you have had the opportunity to attend huge events that can lead to new potential business; thousands of dollars are spent in renting booths, travel time and booking hotels. We go into these with high expectations of huge returns, but in reality how effective are they? Instead of focusing on the past, I want to take the opportunity to look to the next big event and maximize our time on the floor and make those hard earned dollars work for us.

    I have had many opportunities to experience the same feelings, the same thoughts and the same expectations. I have made it a goal to out-perform any other company in our same field and any other company in the event for that matter, by maximizing my time and essentially reeling in new customers and intriguing those around me to test drive our product.

    In most cases what normally happens on a show floor are people sitting around “hoping” someone will come to them, with expectations of getting some leads  on the floor or getting a nibble from a fish that day. Then they voice opinions to their boss afterwards like “It really was a terrible show, no one was that interested or too busy.”

    To reel them in I suggest the following:
    1. First: Think outside of the box! I had an opportunity a few months back to do just this. The convention center had a cheese table right next to our booth. It was a huge hit for all of the consumers at the show, so what did I do? I stood on top of our table and yelled “Thanks for eating our cheese! Come see me when you are done!” People laughed and it produced results.
    2. Second: BODY LANGUAGE!  55% of how we act in front of people is our BODY LANGUAGE. Be excited! Get out there and love what you do. Be animated and smile when showing potential customers your product. This is YOUR time to shine!
    3. Third: TONE! 38% of a face to face interaction with someone is our TONE. Tone is best described as: The quality or attitude conveyed by the persons voice. Believe it or not, consumers can tell if we are genuinely excited or faking it and not giving 100%.
    4. Last but not least: TALK to people! Avoid saying menial phrases like “How are you?” Instead say “Hello!” or “Hey let me show you how my product will change your life!” Be creative, the idea is to hook or peak their interest then get them to our booth and sell them! The more people you talk to, the higher chances you will have at being successful! OPEN YOUR MOUTHS!
    My thoughts are this: JUMP! Jump outside of being mediocre and SELL yourself! However we look at life we are salespeople. I invite you to look deeper and ask yourself: “Am I giving 100% to this?” and “Do I believe in what I am selling?” These 4 suggestions may be difficult for some, but with practice it will become second nature and you will be POWERFUL!

    Kelly Wasden
    ContactPoint NGA WDDA

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    GlassBuild Round-up!

    Another GlassBuild America is now behind us, and it was an educational and rewarding week for all of us at the NGA and WDDA. As you all get back into the grove of your normal work weeks, take a minute to read all about GlassBuild (whether or not you attended). A couple of links to GlassBuild releases and information:
    Send us links to more articles or share your experiences here.  We'll see you next year in Atlanta!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    GlassBuild America is Here!

    GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo is the  most important event in the North American glass industry.   There is so much to see and do in Las Vegas -  even when there isn't a tradeshow to attend - how can you decide what to do during the tradeshow this week?

    Here are the educational opportunities the NGA and WDDA think you should make time for September 14-16:
    1. Trends in Decorative Glass Seminar (September 16) -- Led by industry favorite Bernard Lax, this interactive panel discussion features three leading experts exploring how specialty glass is selected and perceived by each facet of the glass industry.
    2. NGA's 5th Annual Glazing Executives Forum (September 14) -- One of our most popular events every year, the 2010 forum will again feature several interactive breakout sessions, dynamic speakers and a must-see economic forecast of the glazing industry.
    3. Innovations Pavilion -- Returning for its second year, this year's pavilion will feature even more cutting-edge technologies and exhibiting companies.
    4. WDDA's Inaugural Window & Door Dealers Forum (September 15) -- Created exclusively by and for independent window and door dealers, this much-anticipated program is patterned after the Glazing Executives Forum.
    5. Solar and Energy Efficiency Seminar (September 16) -- Sure to be one of the most talked-about sessions of the week, this educational program will examine architectural and other technological considerations driving the fast-growing photovoltaic industry.
    6. AAMA's Fenestration Masters Program -- This exciting new training -- availalbe on MyWindowClass.com and designed specifically for the window and door industry -- will be launched at GlassBuild in the NGA Theater.
    Remember, it's the only event in North America this year where the entire industry will be under one roof.  Don't miss out on this unrivaled opportunity to generate new business, expand your professional network and build your sales pipeline for the coming year.  The 2010 GlassBuild America Expo begins TOMORROW!

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Mr. Donald Trump: You Can Buy American

    While speaking on the state of the economy this morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Donald Trump lamented that he had to use Chinese windows for one of his projects. Precisely, he said “I ordered windows…thousands of windows…the other day. They’re made in China. I don’t want to buy them. But it’s hard to get them anywhere else.” (Click here for his comments.)

    As an employee of the National Glass Association, I'm certainly sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s desire to use North American products for his projects and I applaud his support of the North American fenestration industry. However, I wonder if he did his due diligence. If he had used the NGA website to find a business, he could have found any number of providers who would be more than happy to work with him.  A quick glance at the NGA's Find a Member function (available to the public at no charge) shows the following NGA members in the New York/New Jersey area, who might be able to help Mr. Trump find the windows he needs:

    • All Action Architectural Metal & Glass
    • Clifton Architectural Glass & Metal
    • Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, Inc.
    Plus, many other business are available in the area, including members of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.

    Mr. Trump, here's your invitation to attend next week’s GlassBuild America in Las Vegas, which includes exhibitors from around the world. It’s your chance to see just how dynamic the market is for windows in North America. Perhaps you could find an appropriate partner there.

    Members of the glass industry: Tell me what you think by posting your comments here.

    Matt Rumbaugh
    Sr. Manager of Education, Training, and Certification
    National Glass Association, Window & Door Dealers Alliance

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Go Back to School with the NGA!

    Are you ready to start the year right? The NGA is offering educational programs throughout the year so you can learn more about the glass and glazing industries.
    • Fall Semester: The NGA’s Educational Webinar Series
      Educational Webinars are designed to help you make your business successful. The fall webinar series includes sessions on: Handling Coated Glass (October 5, 2010), Glass Receiving, Cutting, and Washing (TBD),  Understanding Design Requirements for Glazing Systems (TBD). For NGA members, the cost per webinar log-in is $50.00 per webinar. For non-members, the cost is $100.00 per webinar.  Register today!
    • Spring Semeseter: The NGA’s Glass Management Institute
      Glass Management Institute (GMI) brings comprehensive management training to the glazing industry. GMI offers an advanced curriculum to mid- and upper-level glass company executives. This professional development program is taught by some of the leading executives and brightest minds in the U.S. glass industry. For NGA members, the cost per student is $1,195. For non-members, the cost is $1,795. Individual modules are just $395.  Register today!
    • Year-Round: MyGlassClass.com
      MyGlassClass.com was designed for Architectural/Flat Glass, Auto Glass, and Window and Door companies as an affordable resource for improving worker skills, enhancing workplace safety, achieving professional certification, and complying with training requirements.  Courses include standards and regulations, best practices, product design and selection, performance requirements, and more. MyGlassClass.com is your one stop source for glass training.
    Sign up for the Spring Semester by September 30, 2010 and attend the Fall Semester for free!

    For more information, email training@glass.org or call 866/342-5642 ext 182.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Back to School Week: Online Glass Training and Internships

    A lot of schools have been back in session for weeks now, but in Northern Virginia, today is the first day back.  Students spent Labor Day weekend packing their bags, making their lunches, and sharpening their pencils.

    Now that kids are back in school, it's time for YOU to focus on your continuing education.  The NGA and WDDA have several educational opportunities to ensure that you are prepared for your future in the glass and window and door indsutries.  View the NGA education and training programs and training available through the WDDA. And now there is a new opportunity for people entering the glass industry - your future coworkers and employees.

    Today the NGA announced an alliance with Education To Go (ed2go).  This alliance will make NGA and WDDA online training and certification programs to be available to students at more than 1,900 colleges, universities, community organizations, and other education providers across the United States.

    ed2go has officially launched three Career Training Programs: Certified Auto Glass Technician, Certified Architectural Glass Technician, and Certified Window and Door Installer.  Students will now be able to purchase training on  MyGlassClass.com along with a 40-hour unpaid internship, a training manual, and a voucher for the NGA certification exam.

    For more information on the the new program, view the ed2go site or the NGA press release.


    Alyssa Kirkman
    Sr. Manager, Association Services

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Announcing New Member Service: Equipment Financing and Leasing

    The NGA has partnered with American Equipment Finance LLC to provide innovative equipment financing & leasing to member businesses. AEF provides instant access to capital for businesses - both large and small - seeking to acquire assets necessary to expand and grow. Dozens of NGA members have already benefited from these services, and now you can tap into this resource to grow your business.

    As a member of the NGA, AEF has an understanding of the glass, window and door industries and the ability to assist your business as you seek to acquire new & used machinery, computers & software, trucks, and other items needed to grow your company.

    NGA members qualify for a $300.00 discount off the processing fee (regular price $450.000.


    Stop by GlassBuild America booth #1751 to learn more about AEF or any of the NGA's other member services.

    Monday, August 30, 2010

    Money Saving Trick: Save on Credit Card Processing

    Are you part of the many small business owners that do not know much about compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?  Unfortunately if you said yes, you are not alone.   Many merchants have a lot of questions, but do not know who to turn to or where to look.  The PCI Compliance Guide provides you with detailed information on PCI Compliance. Electronic Data Payments systems is providing a Q&A on PCI.

    Electronic Data Payment Systems provides bankcard processing services to both NGA and WDDA members, and they are working to ensure that their customers are prepared for PCI compliance.  If you currently accept credit cards, or have thought about implementing a credit card program, the Electronic Data Payment Systems can provide you with tremendous savings.  There are no enrollment fees, no monthly minimums and a variety of low priced equipment solutions.  In addition to cost effective processing, you also have access to toll-free customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Additional services are also available to NGA and WDDA Members, including Check Guarantee and Conversion, American Express, and Discover/Novus.

    For more information about PCI, email pci@edpaymentsystems.com.

    Call 866/578-9740 or fax your statement to 866/528-3854 for your complimentary Statement Analysis to find out how much you can save. Visit the NGA or WDDA pages for more information today!

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Learn the Value of Membership at GlassBuild America

    GlassBuild America is less than 3 weeks away – it’s time for you to start planning what you’ll do once you arrive. With meetings, networking, and educational offerings, you have a lot to choose from.  Make sure you schedule in some time to stop by the Interactive Theater (Booth #1751) to learn about the value of NGA or WDDA membership.
    The theater will include discussions about member services and recent developments in education and training, including presentations and Q&A about ContactPoint (Booth #528), UPS, Electronic Data Payment Systems (Booth #1312), Consulting Collaborative, MyGlassClass.com, and AAMA’s new FenestrationMasters program. View the NGA Interactive Theater Schedule. 
    If you haven’t registered to attend GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door expo, there is still time. Visit the GlassBuild site to register or view a complete schedule of events: http://www.glassbuildamerica.com/regpackages.htm.
    Stop by Booth #1751 and enter the Creative Solutions Group sponsored prize drawing for a chance to win educational materials or a stay at an all inclusive resort.
    I look forward to seeing all of you in Vegas!
    Alyssa Kirkman
    Sr. Manager, Association Services
    NGA  WDDA

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Do Your Employees Care?

    On a recent business trip to Florida, I had an experience that will never be forgotten. My colleague and I had finished a week of intense training for one of our clients, and on the drive back to the hotel we decided it was time for a quick bite to eat.

    Upon arriving at the restaurant establishment, we found that the front doors were locked. The sign indicated that they were open for another 30 minutes. I was in the car and ready to move on, but my colleague stood at the door with a confused look on his face, and made a gesture through the glass door to an unseen employee. The gesture was that he was pointing at his watch and shaking his head as if to ask the question “you should be open, why are the doors locked?”

    The doors were soon opened, and the door opening employee scolded another for locking the door 30 minutes early. We stood in front of the counter and waited a lengthy time before a sloppily dressed individual with a disturbed look on his face approached. Having just completed customer service training, I realized that he was frustrated that we were there, and I asked a question like: “is it ok if we are here? You don’t look like you are enjoying this situation very much.” He said “I don’t care…”

    We obviously felt that, and walked out of the building. The question is this: Do your employees care? What are you doing to ensure that each customer has a world-class experience with your company? Establish a training program, either internally or externally to teach them correct principles. As a part of the training, establish a way to hold each employee accountable for skills learned and taught in training. The final piece involves management as coaches to ensure the use of skills. In our situation, if this business would have done these simple steps, they would have had our business!

    ContactPoint NGA WDDA

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    Make - Don't Buy - Your Labor

    There’s an interesting and distressing article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal about how, even with today’s high unemployment, there are still pockets of the market where firms can’t find the labor they need. Guess what one of the biggest sectors in this situation is. If you said “manufacturing”, ding ding ding!!! You’re right! Remember how for years critics of our educational system said that while we were educating students at a record rate, we’re actually producing fewer workers with the skills that drive our economy? There will be a day of reckoning, they said. It looks like they were right and that day is here.

    It’s not that there’s a shortage of applicants; recruiters say they get hundreds per opening. It’s just that few of them have the requisite skills. As one recruiter said, “We’ve always been looking for a needle in a haystack. There’s still only one needle, but the haystack has gotten a lot bigger than it was before.”

    One company mentioned in the article tried a unique approach. Since they couldn’t find qualified workers in their market, they set up a 10-week training program to create their own. Out of 24 trainee candidates, 16 made it through and began work full-time. Not great, but better than nothing.

    This reminds me of a conversation I had a few years ago with Bob Trainor, CEO of Trainor Glass. Bob told me that for years, he heard glass companies lamenting that they couldn’t find qualified workers. He decided to have his company make glaziers, not find them. Today, his company requires all their employees to complete 40 hours of training each year. They have all their new employees take classes on MyGlassClass.com, which lessens the learning curve and gets them up to productivity faster. I could easily see a firm taking Trainor’s approach with a group of new starts much like the machinery company in the article.

    On the auto glass side, GlassPro takes a similar approach. Each of their trainees has to complete a set number of courses on MyGlassClass.com and partner that with experience in the field. As they complete their coursework, they become eligible for certification and higher paying jobs. Again, they “make”— they don’t “buy” — their labor.

    For glass and window and door companies, this article has resonance. You’re not going to just post an ad and get a rush of qualified candidates. You’ll likely need to take who you can find and turn them into the skilled workers you need. MyGlassClass.com and MyWindowClass.com can be a solution here. Contact me if you’d like more information.


    Matt Rumbaugh
    Sr. Manager of Education, Training, and Certification

    National Glass Association, Window & Door Dealers Alliance

    Monday, August 9, 2010

    Home Star and the Industry

    The WDDA and NGA have several concerns with Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program now before the Senate, including its potential to discriminate against small businesses, limit consumer choices, and, ultimately dilute the job-creation and energy-efficiency goals it seeks to address. The NGA and WDDA's positions include the following:
    • A provision in the proposed program will force contractors to give homeowners a discount and wait for reimbursement. At a time when small businesses are struggling with cash flow, smaller contractors will be able to carry a limited number of project rebates, if any.  Larger companies with stronger financial footing will hold a competitive advantage.
    • The WDDA and NGA support the House passed version of the Home Star legislation which required rebates to be sent directly to the homeowner. A homeowner rebate would allow for better job creation while still granting the homeowners a substantial incentive for higher efficiency improvements.
    • The WDDA and NGA are also concerned that qualified contractors and those who are accredited by the Building Performance Institute may offer homeowners the more valuable Gold Star rebates. The accreditation requirement has the potential to limit the choices of those who want to take advantage of the Gold Star rebates. Twenty-seven states do not currently have any contractors who could offer the Gold Star rebates.
    Please contact your Senators to reinforce the concerns addressed above, in the WDDA letter, and any other concerns you may have.  Be sure to voice your support for the Home Star program's basic intent and state the NGA's solution:  use the rebate language contained in the companion House bill (H.R. 5019) and remove the BPI provision.

    You can either look up your senator's contact information or call the main switchboard number 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator.


    David Walker
    VP Window & Door Dealers Alliance

    VP National Glass Association

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    GlassBuild America is almost upon us

    GlassBuild America is fast approaching. Everyone at the NGA and WDDA is working hard to make sure that everything is perfect - and that you will learn something while you are in Vegas!

    GlassBuild takes place September 14-16, 2010 in Las Vegas. Stop by booth #1751, the Interactive Theater, to learn all about the NGA and WDDA member services and to meet and ask questions of the company representatives. You can view the theater schedule online.

    Also make sure you check out GlassBuild's educational format - it promises something for everyone. Highlights include:
    • Glazing Executives Forum, Sept. 14 -A full day of interactive breakout sessions, expert speakers, peer-to-peer sharing and networking. A must-attend event for every glazing professional.
    • Window & Door Dealers Forum, Sept. 15 - This event features breakout sessions, best practice sharing, top speakers and an informal networking reception. Content is being created by window and door dealers.
    • Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency Seminar, Sept. 16 - This seminar on Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) will be led by Richard Voreis, CEO of Consulting Collaborative. Panelists include a leading architect, a photovoltaics consultant, a university spokesperson, a glass and glazing subcontractor, and a thin-film photovoltaic module manufacturer.
    • Decorative Glass Seminar, Sept 16-Leading experts in decorative glass will debate one of the most pressing industry questions: Is it the product or the design process that matters most? This panel presentation will explore how specialty glass is selected and perceived by each segment of the industry. Presenters include Richard Riveire (Rottet Design, Los Angeles), Ed Trainor (Trainor Glass, Chicago) and Reza Safavi (Taslimi Construction, L.A.). The panel will be moderated by Pulp Studio CEO Bernard Lax, who will also offer a brief presentation on specialty glass trends affecting the industry.
    Register to attend GlassBuild America today!  We'll see YOU in Vegas.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Beware – Scams are returning


    It’s been brought to our attention by several members that a series of scams is continuing in the glass industry. Scammers are faxing, emailing, and calling glass shops asking for custom orders. They then pay with stolen credit cards and have the glass shipped overseas  – a scam that is very similar to the fake shipping scams from a couple of years ago. 

    The National Glass Association and Window & Door Dealers Alliance want to make sure you are informed about the possible dangers facing your business.   Visit the Glass Magazine Scam Alert page to see the latest postings from other business owners and to view examples of the scams.  You can also find more information in the following articles:

    If you have a scam to report, contact the National Glass Association at membership@glass.org.