Tough Times, Glass Companies Find Ways to Maintain Market Positions
While it may appear that 2009 will be bringing a number of business
challenges, some companies in the glass industry, such as J.E. Berkowitz
L.P. (JEB) in Pedricktown, N.J., are taking steps to ensure steady
growth for the future.
"In 2009 commercial construction is anticipated to drop in
demand and with a smaller pie
the flat glass industry will
be under pressure to reduce prices to secure work," Arthur
Berkowitz, president of JEB, told USGNN.com. "Our initiatives
in continued employee training, process improvements (ISO) and improved
quality and service will all contribute to remaining cost, quality
and service competitive."
In order to fulfill this plan, JEB has invested into a number of
initiatives and capital expenditures.
For starters, the company plans to install a third CNC drill and
mill machine this month to better support its Interiors Glass Division.
In addition, JEB is now licensed by DuPont to manufacture and market
the SentryGlas Expressions interlayer product line.
"We have installed a 60-inch wide digital printer, computer
hardware and graphics software, and the in-house technical expertise
to provide this exciting product for both interior and exterior
applications with almost unlimited graphic and color [possibilities],"
JEB has also invested into a number of IT initiatives. These include
improving tracking through bar coding, a new website and improving
internal and customer communications.
"Our commitment to our employees, both in the office and plant,
will increase with continued investments in ISO 9000 quality audits
and certification and our wellness program, combined with initiatives
in safety and training and a full-time, in-house trainer,"
JEB also plans to continue its commitment toward green building
"In addition to investing in 400 specially-designed returnable
steel racks, our sourcing of raw materials and vendor relationships
will continue to head in the direction of regional supply and earning
LEED points for our customers' projects," states Berkowitz.
He adds, "When we built and equipped our new plant in Pedricktown
the plan was to be able to succeed in both growth times and in leaner
times by being a low-cost, high-quality and service-driven company.
We believe that 2009 will test our abilities in leaner times."
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