As I was preparing my first Commercial Commentary post for 2019, I came across an interesting piece in Construction Dive predicting a handful of trends that will shape commercial construction this year. Plenty of articles and blogs at the start of a year play the trend-watching game, but this was a bit different. I liked the question the article begins with: “Is a trend really a trend if it repeats year after year?”
Food for thought. The piece notes a few things that commercial glass and glazing professionals know well by this point: The skilled labor shortage is sticking around. Automation and other technological innovations will continue to fundamentally change how we make and build new structures. Mitigating risk and working safely remain essential to success.
These are things we must recognize, take seriously and meet head-on. These “trends” are our reality now, not just passing phenomena.
With that in mind, I’m ready to get right down to business in 2019. And judging by the conversations I’ve had with some of my customers recently, many glass and glazing professionals feel the same way. We’ve had some cooperative weather over the past couple of months, and a few customers I’ve spoken with have reported having had a strong December and January. I think it’s indicative that despite some challenges, we’re willing and able to move forward confidently this year.
I’m excited to see where that momentum takes us in the early part of this year. The first few calendar months bring a lot of activity for commercial glass and glazing professionals, with “meeting mania” beginning at the end of January, including the annual meetings for the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA), the National Glass Association (NGA) and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) all within a few weeks of each other. These are meetings where industry leaders come together to do important work on all aspects of our industry, discussing the best ways we can elevate and position ourselves for continued success throughout the year. I’m looking forward to connecting with many of you there.
And yet, as we look for new ways to succeed, I think it’s vitally important that we simultaneously stick to the fundamentals our industry was built on. Glass is a valuable and fundamental part of commercial construction. It helps promote health, happiness and productivity throughout our built environments. As glass professionals, we can never rest on our laurels. We need to continue delivering high-performance products and components to best serve the needs of our customers. We must continue our investment in the people that make our business work. And we need to stay focused on providing service beyond just the product, helping our customers solve their toughest challenges.
Here’s to a successful 2019!