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Editorial: October 2012

Finding the sweet spot

October 18, 2012  By Patrick Flannery

There seems to be a lot of soul searching going on in the glass industry
these days, at least among the people who are interested in serving the
overall market.

There seems to be a lot of soul searching going on in the glass industry these days, at least among the people who are interested in serving the overall market.

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association of B.C. has merged with the Glazing Contractors Association of B.C., creating a new association called Fenestration B.C. that will serve both residential and commercial sides of the industry. Here at Glass Canada, we are launching a new supplement called Fenestration Review that focuses on the residential market. Fenestration Canada for some time has been looking for ways to get commercial glaziers more involved in the association and Win-Door. Everyone seems to be jockeying around, trying to get their service mix and industry approach just right.

Some of this is a natural reaction to the ongoing turmoil in the market. The Great Recession to the south has sucked billions of dollars out of the economy and claimed many once-reliable glass construction companies as victims. Most of the major supporters of associations and magazines in Canada are also exposed to the American market – indeed, many of them do the bulk of their business there. While Canada has bumped along without much impact from our relatively short recession, the U.S. situation has been grim and has not fully recovered yet. Budgets are squeezed, and trade show booths, magazine ads and donations to associations are often among the first things on the chopping block. Marketing 101 says you are supposed to ramp up your advertising and promotions at the bottom of the business cycle, but it is remarkable how few marketers seem to have taken that course. In the shadow of these circumstances, associations and magazines have to find ways to cut costs, bring in new revenues and better serve their clients.


Some of the changes are being driven by changes in the industry itself, as is entirely appropriate. Some of the old distinctions between the commercial and residential sides of the industry are weakening. Vinyl is now considered a potential material for use on commercial applications. Modern computer and manufacturing technology makes it possible for residential fabricators to customize their products to an extent formerly seen only on the commercial side. When the GCABC and WDMA-BC got together to talk about merging, they quickly found their memberships had more in common than they did differences. And whenever I speak to my readers about the commercial/residential mix in Glass Canada, I get the same response: you want a magazine that addresses both sides of the industry.

Glass Canada will continue to speak to both sides of the industry. In this issue, you will find a technical article on steel coil coatings next to a profile on a tilt-turn residential window fabricator. You will find our cover story on a Calgary skyscraper build next to a preview of Win-Door. Let us know if we have the right mix.

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