Learn from Other Contract Glazing Successes
January 4, 2011

Do you want to learn how to double your backlog? USGNN.com™ spoke to John Heinaman, president of Heinaman Contract Glazing, which has locations in Lake Forest, Calif., and Las Vegas, recently regarding the company’s success and we talked to him further this week regarding the fact that the company has double the backlog that it did in 2010. Learn what steps the company has taken to make this a reality.

USGNN: Tell us what you have done to account for your higher backlog in a year’s time?

Heinaman: One of the things that accounts for it is that we have looked at a different type of business. We have recognized that today business is primarily public works and we have switched our focus to contractors that focus on this rather than private construction. We have also changed our bonding capacity, which is necessary for public works. We also established a relationship with a minority company so we have an additional qualification that is favorable for public works. We have also enlarged our estimating and sales team.

USGNN: Is there an area of the country where many of these projects are concentrated?

Heinaman: Our main markets are Southern California and Las Vegas. But in the last year we have expanded to San Diego, which we didn’t target in the previous year, so that accounts for the increase as well.

USGNN: Are any projects on hold due to funding?

Heinaman: We have encountered this somewhat in California. Certainly that is true in Las Vegas. There is not funding available, but then again looking at the anticipated near term increase in need of additional facilities, such as casinos, hotels, etc., does not support investment at this time.

USGNN: Do you have any advice for smaller glazing contractors?

Heinaman: The best thing small glazing contactors can do for themselves and the industry is to look internally as to how they evaluate themselves professionally, where there are areas of weakness, etc. They need to look at how they can improve, etc., so they can take advantage of opportunities when the market improves. Something I would recommend is that they invest in themselves by creating a relationship with a business coach. This is not someone who teaches them to install glass, but who helps them become a better business person. We have been engaged with a business coach for 15 years. There is a cost, but it provides insight into how other industries are running a business. We found that it has made a huge difference for us.

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