Glaziers Speak Out: On How They Stay Competitive

Anyone in this industry knows to survive you need to stay one step ahead of the competition. When there is only so much that can be done with pricing and products, successful businesses know it's service that sells and quality workmanship that can edge out the competition. Here's what glazing professionals say helps them stay competitive. "It has to be our service and emphasis on good customer relations," says Tamara Oldaker, owner of Glass World in Hobbs, N.M., "Being able to offer fast, friendly and knowledgeable service is what has helped us get ahead. "Our company services all of New Mexico and southwest Texas.The fact that we are willing and able to travel is another plus and helps make us a subcontractor of choice for our larger customers." "We are good at what we do and because of this we have earned a respected reputation in our service area," says Keith MacClenny, manager for Jack's Glass, a full service glass shop in Houston. He says he believes putting in a hard, honest day's work always pays off.

Mia Grayson, office manager for Labbe Glass in Hilton Head says it's been their good customer service and experienced, knowledgeable staff that has helped keep the company in business for more than 40 years. Labbe Glass is a full service glass shop serving the greater Lowcounty area of South Carolina.

"It's tough to be competitive today," points out Rick Lyons, the second generation of owners at Nelson Glass Service, a full service glass shop in Newark, Ohio. "What has made the difference in keeping our doors open for the past 35 years have been quality workmanship, customer service and competitive pricing. With some 65 percent of our business coming from returning customers, I think we're doing something right."

"We keep our prices and overhead low and pass the savings onto the customer when we can," says Chris Albrights, owner of Quality Glass Block, a small, window replacement company in Milwaukee.

Jason Blundell, president of Clear Image Glass in Redmond, Wash., believes it is the quality of his company's work that has helped it succeed. "We are a small company, only seven years old, but have found a niche and are excelling," says Blundell. "We are conscientious of the fact that time is a precious commodity and understand very well that no one likes to have their time wasted. When we make an appointment, we show up on time. When we say we will get something done, we get it done. This really goes a long way with our customers." So much so, says Blundell, that they sometimes can't keep up with the workload.

"For us, it's service and technology," says Karen Colacino, owner of Hal's Glass in Bellflower, Calif. "We are in the glass replacement business and have serviced the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area since 1946. We don't want to be the cheapest and glass is glass so we found other areas that help us to stand out above the rest. We have made it a point to keep up with the latest technology and utilize technological advances to our advantage. Our customers are very happy to pay a competitive price for the type of service they receive here, which we sum up nicely in our slogan: 'Our Service Never Sleeps'."

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