COVID’s Silver Linings, One Being Resilience

While moderating a session during Auto Glass Week Preview Day recently, I was struck by just how many silver linings there are to this crazy thing called COVID. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading, just know that yes it still stinks—royally—but auto glass companies have more than risen to the challenges. That’s what gives me a strong feeling of positivity for the year ahead and makes me proud to be a part of this community.

Perhaps my favorite quote from the session, How Auto Glass Companies are Surviving COVID, was from Ted Andersen, vice president of franchising at NOVUS Inc., when he said, “This has forced us all to raise the level of our game.”

He’s not kidding either. He told virtual show attendees that when COVID hit last March sales at NOVUS Inc. dropped by 50%. By half! Peter Brown, president of Tiny and Sons Auto Glass in Pembroke, Mass., said his company’s sales dropped by 25% in 2020 overall, and he attributes that directly to the three weeks the company had to close when the pandemic arrived in the U.S.

With numbers like that you would think the mood would have been somber at Auto Glass Week Preview Day, but it was anything but that. Andersen and Brown, along with Jon Laski, CEO at City Auto Glass with locations throughout the U.S., expressed feelings of optimism and industry resilience. From little things like not hoarding supplies like gloves so there would be enough to go around to other auto glass companies, to big things like making their auto glass family priority number one, it was a proud moment indeed.

If you missed the session, stay tuned to glassbytes.com as it will be available soon via webinar. Meanwhile, maybe bookmark this blog, and the next time you are having a truly sucky day and cursing COVID, maybe this will make things look just a little brighter.

Invest Before Taking the Calibration Leap

As the editorial director for AGRR magazine, I have been covering ADAS and calibration for years now—but still I am continually learning and it seems so are you. I was lucky enough to moderate a session during Auto Glass Week Preview Day on Tuesday, and the speakers gave some great insights. The idea was to show attendees why they should attend the ADAS Summit during Auto Glass Week in Orlando, June 7-9.

Though I was moderating the live session, so I was not taking notes, I couldn’t help jotting a few things down … like this quote from Jacques Navant, technical director for Don’s Mobile Glass/Calibration Station in Modesto, Calif.: “While it is important to invest in the technology, it is also important to invest in the environment.”

I thought that was a really helpful tip for companies considering calibration to keep in mind. It’s not just about the cost of equipment, or having enough installers, it’s about having the physical space as well. It was a sentiment also echoed by Chuck Olsen, senior vice president of automotive technology solutions for AirPro Diagnostics.

“Make sure you are ADAS ready before getting into ADAS capable stage,” said Olsen, referencing those environmental factors as well.

If you missed this session, stay tuned to glassBYTES.com as the webinar will be available soon, and you can learn all the reasons to attend Auto Glass Week™. I hope to see you in June where I plan on learning more right along with you.