Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May Webinars: Social Networking, Gas Filling

The NGA and WDDA are pleased to present two webinars in May:
  • Social Networking Policies with Michelle Valdez of Walters & Wolf. May 4 , 2011 2:00 pm ET. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking services can be great tools for your business, but drains on your productivity if you don’t have the right policies in place. Michelle will explain how you can craft the right policies to keep your employees on track.

  • IGMA Gas Filling with Randi Ernst of FDR Design. May 24, 2011 2:00 pm ET. This session is part of IGMA's Preventing Insulating Glass Failures Educational Program. You will learn how glass filling affects the performance of insulated glass units and the methods and materials used in this process. This session is recommended for project managers and estimators.
For NGA, WDDA, and IGMA members, the cost per webinar log-in is $50 (non-members: $100). For more information, call 703/442-4890 ext 182.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Specific, Measurable, and Focused Goals

I recently read a newspaper article about a young lady who was inspired to climb Mount Everest in May 2010.  She said we all have an Everest and we all have to do what it takes to get to the top.  How did she make it to the top of Mount Everest and then back home safely?  She set goals.

Here’s is a brief summary of her goal setting process:
  • Define your goal and outline a plan.
  • Set a timeline.
  • Think of what it takes to make it a reality.
  • Focus and stay positive.
Her goal setting is similar to what you need to do to set goals for your business.  I always recommend to glass and glazing companies that annual goals do not exceed one type-written page - a one-page Strategic Plan that holds everyone in the company accountable for success. Your goals need to be:
  • Specific and concise.  Generalities don’t get the message across to your employees.  Make sure your goals are easily understood.
  • Measurable. Must be quantifiable. Goas need to be evaluated so you can determine if progress is being made. 
  • Focused. Experience shows that three or four annual goals are ideal and more than five most likely cannot be accomplished.
Richard Voreis
Consulting Collaborative

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

News & Links for April

Here's what NGA and WDDA members (and the industry) should know this month.
  1. The NGA and WDDA are moving May 2, 2011!  New address: 1945 Old Gallows Rd., Suite 750  Vienna, VA 22182.
  2. Webinar April 28 at 2:00 pm ET: IGMA Thermal Performance with Jeff Baker of West Labs. NGA and IGMA members get 50% off the registration fee. Register today! 
  3. Housing for GlassBuild America is now open. Book your room today! 
  4. Join the WDDA or renew your membership in 2011 and attend the WDD Forum for free.  Join today!
  5. New or expired members who join the NGA in April receive a free certification exam.
  6. WDDA Meets with DOE on Home Energy Scores. 
  7. 25% off courses and bundles. Coupon code Spring2011. 
  8. Speakers Announced for Glazing Executives Forum and Window & Door Dealers Forum.
  9. Money Saving Trick: Marketing and PR Services for NGA and WDDA members.  Introducing Champion Management PR Services and LocalBasix Internet Marketing. 
  10. NGA and WDDA members can now save on shipping with UPS.
  11. Check out the Innovative Products found on the GlassBuild America trade show floor! 
  12. Glass Magazine now accepting nominations for the 2011 Crystal Achievement Awards. Submit yours now.
  13. Check GlassBlog and The Talk every week for insight into the industry.
  14. Window & Door’s 2011 Dealers of the Year Nominations are due by June 1, 2011. 
  15. Training Matters: Difference between Success and Failure.
  16. White House repeals 1099.
    What news did you think was most important in April? Share it in the comments!

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Training Matters: Difference between Success and Failure

    In 2008, a fishing boat named the Alaska Ranger sunk in the Bering Sea. Its sinking touched off the most extraordinary rescue mission in the history of the US Coast Guard. In her new book, Deadliest Sea, author Kalee Thompson describes the circumstances that caused the accident and the heroic efforts of the Coast Guard to save the crew.
    One of her findings was that many aspects of the tragedy could have been prevented had the captain and crew gone through proper training. One note Thompson cites is that though boat crews are required to conduct monthly safety meetings, these usually involved watching a video or talking through what they might do in case of accident. They never actually performed any safety drills.
    Also, the boat had safety vests for the crew, but for the sake of convenience, they were stored away in a tough-to-reach part of the ship. Once the Alaska Ranger started sinking, the crew nabbed the vests only just in time. Even then, they were of limited use because crew members hadn’t practiced putting them on and almost none of them fit properly. No one had ever bothered to check. And though the ship was equipped with all the proper technology (GPS, Emergency beacons, etc.), no one knew how to use it. As Thompson says, “the technology is pretty good. The thing that’s lacking is the training to use it well. “ Thompson’s point? A little bit of foresight and training would have gone a long way to avert a terrible situation.  

    Though the glass industry has its hazards, the safety risks aren’t quite as drastic as in commercial fishing (the deadliest industry in the United States, according to safety experts). But be sure, the moment of truth is coming at some point to your business. Imagine these scenarios:
    • A new project gets announced in your market. You’d love to get the job. It would mean the difference between hitting your yearly goals or laying off staff. But it calls for material and techniques you’ve never used before. With no one qualified to do the work, you have to pass it up and it goes to your biggest competitor.
    • Your most important customer calls you and tells you there’s a problem with the job you just finished for him. When you check it out, you discover that a new, untrained worker completely botched the installation and it will have to be re-done. All your profit is out the window as you eat the cost to correct his mistakes.
    • A key employee mishandles a lite of glass and is severely injured. He hadn’t been properly trained in handling glass and now, not only are you on the hook for a workman’s comp claim, you’re down a worker with important project deadlines approaching.
    Training matters. On a fishing boat, it can mean the difference between life and death; for your business, it can mean the difference between success and failure. The NGA and WDDA can help through,, educational webinars, and other resources. Don’t wait for a life-altering event. Make the investment now.

    Matt Rumbaugh
    Senior Manager, Education and Training

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    Create Demand For Energy Efficient Windows: Home Score Survey Insights

    Market research is like reading a great mystery book you can’t put it down.  That’s because behind the headlines and the carefully chosen words lies the transcripts and data.  That information holds the keys to the direction of the marketplace. Thus was my recent experience while researching the Department of Energy’s (DOE) pilot program, Home Energy Score (HES).   Of immediate interest is the customer research that uncovers real opportunities for window and door dealers, installers and manufacturers to create demand.

    According to homeowners’ surveyed, the number one reason they gave for making improvements, by a wide margin, was to save money.  If it could be shown that they save money by replacing old windows, doors and other home building products that would make the decision for them. And by the way, your word on that won’t be enough, according to the survey, they mistrust information coming from a sales person, contractor, or manufacturer.

    When asked what would motivate them to make the investment in saving money, they want the following evidence:
    • Clear easy to follow information about the cost benefits.
    • Testimonials and recommendations from friends, family and associates.
    • Information from trusted professionals, 3rd party, utility or government source.
    They did not want to finance their home improvements in this depressed housing market because of the difficulty getting home equity loans.

    Put these clues together, 1) save money, 2) clear easy and trusted information, and 3) simple and affordable financing and you can create demand for energy efficient windows.
    • Create marketing materials and selling guides that include statistical data and information from trusted sources.
    • Create a “home improvement bundle” to be installed by your contractors.
    • Pre-arrange short-term bank financing.
    • Include the cost of a 3rd party auditor in the financing package to assure the work was done properly.
    Anyone who owns a home is keenly aware of the rising costs of utilities.  Couple that with the reality that they may be living in their home much longer due to the slow housing market.  It’s the perfect time to sell energy efficient replacement windows and doors.  Create a marketing message about your “home improvement bundles”, give your salespeople energy savings data, arrange financing and create some spring sales. For more information about The Home Energy Score Program is available at or The survey, Motivations For Home Energy Improvements, can be found in the links.

    Sharon Aby
    Beyond Ideas

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    WDDA and Home Energy Score

    Members of the Window & Door Dealers Alliance met with officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) last week.  In the meeting we sought clarification and gave input on the DOE’s Home Energy Score program set for launch this Fall.

    By providing homeowners with a home energy efficiency rating, the program is designed to encourage energy efficient upgrades. That’s something our industry can support, but the WDDA and WDDA members wants to better understand the project and offer input.

    A report of that meeting can be found at Window & Door:
    Thank you for your support. Please visit for more information.
    David Walker
    Vice President

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Money Saving Trick: Marketing and PR Services

    We are always trying to think of ways we can help our member companies save and make money.  We are currently partnered with a variety of companies that offer discounts on everything from shipping to insurance (you can view what we offer here: NGA or WDDA).  In April we are focused on helping you reach your customers and make more sales by partnering with Local Basix and Champion Management.  
    The majority of our members are small to medium-sized businesses who either don't have a full time marketing or public relations person on staff or don't have these resources at all.  Both of these new profit-improving services are designed to help your small business maximize your visibility and reach. Along with Marketing Pilgrim, these two companies aim to help solve your marketing and public relations issues. 
    • Champion Management is a PR service company who has designed a package of services exclusivly for NGA and WDDA members.  These services are tailored for glass and window and door companies so that you  can experience the benefits of a comprehensive, targeted media relations campaign.
    • LocalBasix is prepared to help small and medium businesses learn, understand, and navigate the quickly changing world of Internet Marketing. LocalBasix is prepared to train and empower your business by giving you insights into search marketing, social media, blogging, mobile and more.
    • Marketing Pilgrim is a search engine optimization and branding company that will provide members with an exclusive analysis and audit. Marketing Pilgrim will help you boost your search engine rankings, customer inquiries, and sales.
    Take advantage of these services so you will be positioned to succeed when the market recover. 

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    NGA Webinars in April

    The National Glass Association (NGA) is pleased to present two webinars in April:
    • NGA's Design Requirements for Glazing Systems April 7, 2011 2:00 pm ET
      In this session Stewart Jeske of JEI Structural will cover critical information on design requirements for glazing projects. This session will include information on relevant codes, design loads, storefront and curtainwall, reviewing details, and more. This program is designed for glazing subcontractors, project managers, estimators, and architects.
    • IGMA Thermal Performance* April 28, 2011 2:00 pm ET
      Jeff Baker of West Labs will discuss the basics of thermal performance measures, including U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance as well as requirements in North America. This Webinar is critical for project managers and estimators on glass projects.
    For NGA and IGMA members, the cost per webinar log-in is $50 (non-members: $100). For more information, call 703/442-4890 ext 182.

    * Part of the Preventing Insulating Glass Failures Educational Program