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U.S. Chamber of Commerce eyes Texas glass co.

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:42

Q&A with Chris Mammen, president of Mammen Glass & Mirror

Recent growth at Mammen Glass & Mirror in Irving, Texas, helped the company earn recognition from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, says Chris Mammen, president of the 78-person family-run business. Last week, the company was named one of seven regional finalists for the U.S. Chamber Small Business of the Year Award 2007. The award recognizes companies with fewer than 250 employees, judging on criteria that includes financial performance and business history, staff training and motivation, community involvement and service, and business plan or growth strategies. Applicants are chosen through nominations from local chambers of commerce nationwide. To learn more about the program, click here.

What was the Irving Chamber of Commerce looking for when choosing nominees for this award? The chamber was looking to recognize companies that are actively growing. Companies that are attracting their own business, employing people from the community, and helping to attract other companies to come into the community.

How has Mammen Glass & Mirror grown in recent years? We’ve roughly doubled in size in the last two years, in sales and employees. We began offering additional products that have opened the door to supply more people with more products. Just this past week, we commissioned a second tempering furnace that handles flat tempered and bent tempered. So, we’re again offering more new products that we couldn’t offer in the past.

The glass industry has faced a growing labor shortage, as covered in the e-glass Special Series on labor. How do you attract and keep employees to support and sustain this growth? We really believe that—just like anybody else—our employees want to be part of something successful. A successful, growing company offers job security. We have new equipment. They are working with like-minded people who want to put out good quality products.

Have rising fuel prices affected Mammen’s ability to grow? We’re fortunate to be in a part of the country where fuel prices are not spiking as high—they aren’t at unreasonable levels. We also don’t have a huge fleet, so it’s just not a major concern.

What about fuel surcharges? Everybody in the industry is facing rising fuel surcharges. I believe we have actually turned them to our advantage because of the way we pass them along to our customers. We have not treated them as opportunities to get more out of [our customers]. We take the surcharge we pay and divide it by the amount of square feet of glass on each truckload, rather than making it a percentage of each truckload. The difference might be pennies per order, but it adds up. So, this is meaningful to our customers, how we calculate the surcharge.

Where do you predict Mammen will be in 10 years? Our philosophy will not have changed in 10 years—the way we treat employees and customers. But other than that, who knows. Ten years ago, I didn’t think we would be where we are now—I never would have thought we’d be in tempering. We’ll just follow whatever part of the industry is exciting and profitable.

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Source: http://www.glassmagazine.com/news-item/commercial/us-chamber-commerce-eyes-texas-glass-coAuthor:

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