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Successfully Saving Money for Your Business

Buying cheaper was the core of a presentation yesterday by Paul Beiber, president of Beiber Consulting, as part of the educational program for Glass Expo Midwest '08, which continues today at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center.

Beiber advised his audience that they should do what their vendors do for them for their own customers. "It's a home run."

Master auto glass trainer Bob Beranek demonstrates proper auto glass installation at Glass Expo Midwest which continues today in suburban Chicago.

He also advised them to put together a list of 10 things they want from their vendors. "Don't make a list of only three things, because you'll only get one," he said. "Ask for reductions in various charges, a year-end rebate for achieving certain sales goals. That's the hottest ticket in the industry today," he said.

He told attendees to say to their vendors, "If I do the same amount of business with you next year, will you give me a 2 percent discount?" Make your request reasonable, he said. "Don't ask for the moon."

Beiber advised his audience to look at prices for individual glass pieces last because if you get a low price it will probably change in a few months and go up. "The fabricators don't control this but they do control service items and that's where you get your savings," he said.

He described the energy fuel surcharge as an excuse to set a realistic sale price by the primary manufacturers. "Don't blame the fabricators," he said. "It was the primaries that instituted it." Can you negotiate on the fuel surcharge, he asked. "You can try but you probably won't be successful," he answered. "One approach I've seen work is to get a year-end rebate of the surcharge, assuming that the account is current. If you can get a 15 percent rebate of the fuel surcharge, you get a significant amount of money," he concluded.

The Expo also brought a variety of products—new and old into the glass industry.

Marji Levey, president of Jacone Distributors returned to glass industry after an almost 20-year absence. The company makes a special type of towel that cleans glass expertly. "I've had a great reception," said Levey. "Some people came by who knew my father and lots of people love our towels."

The cocktail party of the floor was sponsored by Gunther Mirror Mastic and featured food and libation for all. "We enjoy sponsoring this event," said Sarah Harkleroad of Gunther. "It's a great venue for us."

Of course, the economy was on the minds of most attendees. "I am hearing different things," said John Seltzer of U.S. Aluminum. "One person says their company is busy and the next guy says they aren't. There's no logic to it."

In addition, master auto glass trainer Bob Beranek of Automotive Glass Consultants demonstrated a proper windshield installation on a Kia Spectra on the trade show floor.

The show continues today.

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