Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Consulting Collaborative and Strategic Planning

Does your company need help with your strategic plan? Could you use assistance increasing sales o profits or managing your operations? Consulting Collaborative can help! Richard Voreis, a contributor to this blog and a partner of the NGA, has been in the industry for years. He has uniquely positioned Consulting Collaborative to assist glass and glazing subcontractors as well as window and door companies around the country. Here’s what industry insiders have to say about Richard and his company:
  • Rod Van Buskirk, Bacon & Van Buskirk Glass Co., Inc.: As a result of Richard Voreis conducting a strategic assessment of our company, Bacon & Van Buskirk saw marked improvement in our annual strategic planning, personnel development and relationships as well as a tighter financial focus. We recommend Richard Voreis and Consulting Collaborative.
  • John Heinaman, Heinaman Contract Glazing: As a result of the interview process with our management and staff employees as well as the analysis of this input, we were able make better business decisions regarding the overall functionality of our contract glazing business. I would recommend the use of Richard Voreis as a business coach, who can provide an outside, objective look at your business operation and provide objective recommendations for operational improvements.
  • Kevin McMahon, K-Man Glass Corp.: In the midst of a tremendous growth period I found myself too heavily involved in my company’s day-to-day operations. That was when I decided there must be a better way. In an effort to maintain some sort of order, we hired Richard Voreis to provide a strategic assessment of our operation with the goal of defining solutions that would enable a more controlled growth. The strategic assessment conducted by Richard Voreis pin pointed this and the solution was to define each position's responsibility to build accountability. There has been a learning curve, but as more and more responsibilities have been turned over it has afforded me more time to chart our course.
What are you waiting for? Sign up for Consulting Collaborative services today!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Certification and Your Business - Are you putting your best foot forward?

Running a business is complicated.  Every day, you worry about how to keep costs down and still run an effective business.  On any given day, you are worrying about placing supply orders and managing your employee’s time off. And every day, you are worrying about how to attract and keep new customers.

There are many ways to draw customers in – advertisements, social networking, and word of mouth, but in the age of information overload, is that enough? Today’s consumers have easier access to more information than ever before. Consumers are using internet searches and anonymous message boards to assist them in making decisions, from which business should repair a windshield, to who to hire to install a new door.  We’ve talked before about how to manage your online reputation, and while that helps, that doesn’t make your business the best. Are you putting your best foot forward?

The NGA and WDDA offer training programs and certifications that show consumers you are the best in the business.  In today's increasingly complex and highly-specialized economy, credentials are everything. Sure, you know your business has the skills to do the job right, but how do you convince potential customers? The training on and, and the related certifications (NGA Certification, InstallationMasters certification), communicate to your customers that your business is educated to the highest industry standards.

If your business doesn’t install or replace Auto Glass, Flat Glass, or Windows & Doors, make sure you are familiar with certifications that relate to your business.  Make sure your employees are well trained and make sure your customers know it.  Attract and keep new customers by putting your best foot forward.

Alyssa Kirkman
Sr. Manager

Monday, May 17, 2010

Price Shoppers

Over the recent difficult economic times, business owners have heard employees say that price is the only way we can get our customers to buy from us. This is not the case. We find that customers are willing to buy from us, and that price is not the main motivation.

There are a lot of angles that can be taken here, but in general, customers are looking for more than just price. We are all customers, and have some basic needs as we are looking at where to purchase products and services. A few of these are:
  • Peace of mind
  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Safety
Indeed, price is a factor, but there are these other factors that really prove a more positive experience for your customer. If they feel that peace of mind, comfort, convenience, and safety, they will be more likely to buy from you because they trust you. Trust outweighs price in most cases because customers are willing to pay more if they are comfortable. Price is only an excuse, not a reality for slower business!

Mitch Wasden
Executive Sales Trainer
ContactPoint: NGA WDDA

Monday, May 10, 2010

Communication: Keeping it Simple

I was reading a couple of blogs last week when I came upon a link to a fun video explaining Social Media in Plain English.  Eventually I ended up at the company's web site - - and spent the next hour clicking through videos.  After learning a couple of things about social media (and fighting zombies), I started thinking about the simple and direct way the videos communicated. At first glance the videos are nothing but voiceover and hand drawn images, but I couldn't look away.

We are surrounded by news updates and information everywhere we go. If a marketing email, blog, or article doesn't catch my interest in the first two paragraphs, I don't read the rest.   Some ads I see in magazines have so many words or images I don't even know what they are selling. How can we make sure that people are getting the messages we are trying to send?

We can all take a lesson or two from Common Craft - when communicating with our customers, we need to make sure that our messages are clear and concise. Whether we are selling sealant or installation services (or trying to survive a zombie attack), we don't want our messages to get lost in the noise. Creativity in marketing is important, but so is keeping it simple.

Alyssa Kirkman
Sr. Manager

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Disasters. Are you ready?

It seems like disasters – either natural or man made – happen all too often.  Whether it’s the recent earthquakes, flooding, or the oil leaking in the gulf, disasters on every scale are in the news.

Just yesterday, I was reading that BP had not planned for the type of accident that occurred (you can read the article here).  In a plan they submitted in February 2009, they stated that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected." As we all know now, the recent problem is causing issues in the Gulf and will probably cause problems for years to come.  If BP had planned for a spill at that depth, could the spill have been controlled?

We might not be experiencing oil spills in the glass industry, but what if your shop floods and your employees can’t get to work? You can’t be prepared for everything, but you can make sure you have a plan that puts your business in the best possible position. FEMA has an Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry to get you started.

Disasters can happen at any time. Is your business ready?

Alyssa Kirkman
Sr. Manager

Monday, May 3, 2010

OSHA Triples Penalties for Safety Violations

Yowzer. That’s really all I could say when I read the news that OSHA is looking to triple the penalties for safety violations. In a world where everything in your business is a potential liability, this cannot be welcome news for glass and window and door companies. Historically, the agency’s penalties for violations have been around $1000. Saying that this isn’t high enough to act as a deterrent, the agency wants to raise them to between $3000 and $7000 or even in some cases, $70,000.

Further, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is pushing Congress to pass an updated law called the Protecting America’s Workers Act. This act would not only raise the financial and criminal penalties for violations, it would strengthen protections for whistleblowers and offer additional compensation for victims and their families.

No one doubts the importance of safety in the workplace.
We’ve talked before about all the issues associated with losing workers to injuries. Not only is someone’s real life affected, but there’s a bottom line cost to you, the business owner. And that cost is about to go up by a lot.

If your workers don’t have their OSHA cards yet, you need to start thinking about it. Starting very soon, the penalty for not being in compliance won’t just be an inconvenience; it could put you out of business. Thankfully, you can get this done, along with all your other training needs, on through our partner To get started, just visit the
Course Catalog. This training is a cost-effective, convenient way to get your workers the training they need to earn their OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 cards.

Safety comes first every day, of course. But beyond losing a worker and their productivity, you have to watch out for the liability issues and how they affect your business. I’d encourage you to take this simple step as soon as possible.

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

National Glass Association, Window & Door Dealers Alliance