A colleague and a designer friend were chatting about the state of the world and our industry at an event this week.
“What’s the deal with all of the people selling glass walls?” was the big question in the conversation.
Ray’s friend was expressing her confusion over the ever-increasing number of options being presented to her and her associates.
• Furniture people selling glass.
• Reps selling glass.
• Glaziers and Contractors selling glass.
• Glass from Canada, Italy, Denmark, Korea, Iowa.
• Glass with ‘incredible acoustic performance and STC ratings’.
• 10mm glass. 12mm glass. Low Iron glass. Curved glass. Laminated glass, etc.
Specifically, the conversation was really about Glass Office Front Systems, AKA: Storefronts. Part of the answer to ‘what’s the deal’. Start with Why?
• Glass is great!
• The steady increase in the use of glass in commercial office interiors is in direct response to all the positive trends associated with Sustainability, Wellness and employee engagement.
• Glass is strong, versatile, pretty, and adds significantly to the pallet of options architects and designers have at their disposal.
But what about the ‘Who’ and the ‘How’ of ‘What’s the deal?’ For that, full disclosure.
We have spent much time, talent and treasure over the past 8 years becoming Glass-People at Transwall. We’ve learned a lot. Many lessons were expensive and therefore painful. These learnings, however, were always at our expense and never our clients.
We noticed the growing interest in glass office front systems, particularly the slim profile and sexy ‘butt-glazed’ systems, around 2007.
We were hoping to be selected to compete for the then 1st Comcast Tower going up in our home market of Philadelphia.
The client was expressing exclusive interest in these sorts of systems. However, no domestic manufacturer, including Transwall offered them.
So, understandably European solutions were the only ones considered and ultimately selected.
Losing is one thing. Not even being able to get to the game is another.
We got to work.
By 2008 we had turned to the interior design industry, the interior contractors, and our own vast pool of moveable wall experts and create the first US – made, truly demountable, butt-glazed, slim-profile office front system; ONE by Transwall.
The design and engineering intent was to blend the aesthetics of the best European solutions with the functionality of the best moveable wall products.
ONE was the result, and market response was positive and swift.
Eight years later we are working on the equivalent of ONE 3.0, as we continue to refine the product in response to specifier, installer and client input.
With that as a slice of history, what do do about the seemingly vast array of newcomers and players from all parts?
In 2008 we counted about 8 manufacturers competing in the large east-cost markets of the US.
Last count, and depending on how you classify them, there may be close to 40!
Clearly, not all are created equal.
How to narrow the field and provide the best and most responsible options for clients?
Earlier this month, it was Transwall’s privilege to host PA State Representative, Dan Truitt. Representative Truitt spent time touring the facility and meeting employees. As Dan has an engineering and manufacturing background, there was much to talk about.
The next stop was Transwall’s neighbor and client, QVC. There, QVC executive management met with the group, and provided a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour of QVC studio and operations center.
It was our pleasure to arrange these visits.
Transwall has the privilege of employing dozens and dozens of wonderfully talented, creative and productive people.
We are kicking off this employee highlight series with a profile of our own Mike Cooney.
Mike joined Transwall in October 1986 as a Hanger on the Paintline. Within one month he was promoted to a Painter and became the Head Painter after 6 months. He was promoted to Paintline Supervisor in 1996.
Mike and people like him at Transwall demonstrate a strong sense of urgency, which is important for our clients’ needs and extremely necessary in today’s marketplace. Mike wholeheartedly embraces new business opportunities and problem solving techniques both of which make him a valuable asset to Transwall.
He has always played an inspirational role contributing to our success in the good times and has also been an integral part of our strength during some tough times.
But most importantly, Mike’s three children have blessed him with eight grandsons – all between the ages of one month and six years!
Congratulations Mike and thank you for being such a valued member of our team!
On Thursday, April 21st Transwall participated in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s (IUP) Interior Design Trade Show. The event hosted a dozen vendors allowing students to learn about products, ask questions, share ideas, and interview for positions after graduation. The Trade Show was open in conjunction with IUP’s senior design presentations.
Transwall had three outstanding representatives: Jim Baylouny, VP of Operations, Tonja Lytle, Architectural Engineering Technology Manager, and IUP Interior Design Student and student President of IUP ASID (American Society of Interior Design) Jen Baylouny, who is a junior at IUP and has had several internships at Transwall.
The event allowed Transwall exposure to rising Interior Design professionals and provided education and discussion for both students and teachers at IUP. Transwall is proud to support the future of interior design and education.
From online banking to virtual meetings, so much in our world has become paperless, more organized, and easily accessible. Why not a virtual library?
Transwall has joined the most extensive virtual library for the contract market, My Resource Library (MRL). This virtual library of manufacturers’ products, pricing, and specification details allow a cost efficient and convenient replacement to physical binders. Instead of the grueling task of keeping physical binders organized, up to date, and stored, MRL is always free and available at your fingertips.
When a physical product is desired, a request for a sample can be made online. Questions and feedback are met with quick response times resulting in high client satisfaction.
Transwall is excited to be part of this great resource. If you have not checked it out yet, visit www.myresourcelibrary.com.