At the beginning of September, 165 representatives of the glass industry gathered to participate in the glass industry executives forum held in Atlanta, the United States, to discuss some of the major challenges facing glass companies, ranging from continuous labor shortages to risk management, and from market failures. Certainty to continuous supply chain difficulties.
This year is the 15th year of the Glass Industry Executive Forum and is jointly organized by the American Glass Association and the American International Glass Door and Window Exhibition.
1. Labor shortage is still the top concern for glass manufacturers
Jenni Chase, director of content and education for the American Glass Association, said, "The biggest problem facing glass manufacturers today is labor shortages."
Ken Simonson, the chief economist of the United States General Contractor, delivered a keynote speech at the forum. In the first two months of the pandemic, the entire construction industry lost 1.1 million jobs, aggravating the already difficult workforce of construction companies form. Although residential construction employment has rebounded and has actually surpassed the February 2020 level, non-residential employment is still struggling. Simonson said: "This is far behind February 2020, reducing more than 200,000 jobs."
He said that the most difficult job to fill in the craft job. Simonson said: "Glass operator is one of these craft positions, and more than 70% of people say it is difficult to fill craft positions."
2. Build a strong company culture to retain employees
In the roundtable discussion on personnel issues, speakers said that a strong company culture with employee-centered management and incentives is necessary to retain employees. The group was chaired by Chase of the American Glass Association and included Brady Nails, Regional Manager of Binswanger Glass; Gregory Wright, Operations Director of Giroux Glass; and Kyle Sharp, Chief Executive Officer of Sharp Glass.
Although fair compensation is necessary to retain employees, the team members proposed other incentives and rewards to help build a strong company culture and increase employee loyalty. Some ideas include subsidies for study and training costs, unlimited paid leave, and flexible schedules. In addition, team members stated that instilling a sense of ownership among employees helps to build a strong culture.
Nails said, "We are recruiting young people. Our focus is on how to build ownership among these employees and allow them to have ownership in decision-making, getting feedback, and holding team meetings."
3. Supply chain dilemmas will continue, communication can help
The pandemic has upended the global supply chain, causing delays and inflating material costs. At the forum, Simonson, a subsidiary of Asahi Glass, described the chain reaction of supply chain delays, which may continue for the rest of the year. "Unfortunately, supply chain problems do seem to continue," he said. "When the ship arrived, it came too fast and the West Coast port couldn't handle it. Why? Because the docks are full of containers. Why? Because there are not enough truck drivers... Wait. The construction industry has a lot more bottlenecks."
Simonson emphasized the importance of communication between members of the construction project team. "If you can't provide the required quantity on time, please notify the contractor and disclose this information." AGC developed a construction inflation alert and provided supporting documents and resources to help communicate to business owners and administrative departments Continuous supply and pricing challenges. You can find relevant information on agc.org.
4. Risk management becomes more and more important
In order to protect their glass company, the boss needs to establish a risk management system on each project to avoid legal issues. MGAC project, cost and construction management consultant David Ben; and Gary Law Group's lawyer John Nolan pointed out that the move to design assistance and commissioned design project delivery methods brings additional legal risks to the glass contractor.
"There are potential problems with any type of design work," Nolan said. ‘This is my job, that’s how I do it. It’s easy to say that. Once you start to enter the design, you will enter the next risk question. "
Ben recommends that glass manufacturers develop a risk management program for each project before submitting bids. "In any project, find your project manager, sit down and think about the risks in this project. Then prioritize these risks and develop mitigation strategies." From this, company leaders can determine whether a project has too much Downside risk, unable to continue bidding. Or, if they do move forward with bidding, they can prepare and plan mitigation strategies from the beginning.
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