Put the Shutters up! Take the Shutters down…

25 05 2007

I was at a potential customer’s office, giving a demo when I noticed these two excellent newspaper comic’s taped to a wall. I took photos using the camera on my phone … but for this first one, found a better quality photo online


1) All about “removable” shutters, aren’t we?!!


2) What do you really really want for christmas?

(the text says “Oh, hi! … it’s only you. We were hoping the roofers were finally here to fix our hurricane damage.” 


Ha Ha Ha

Here’s to 12 week waiting periods for accordions and 6 week backlogs for inspections and multiple week waits for permits!!!


A timeline of Hurricanes and Shutters

17 05 2007

Google just introduced a new “experimental” feature that can display a timeline of events/news/issues.

For example, you can view a timeline of Hurricanes that shows how many and what Hurricanes have hit land.

Also, check out the cool timeline of Hurricane Shutters. Wow a couple of articles from the 1970’s and 1980’s showing FEMA and some information about Hurricane Shutter Patents!!


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Seasonal Blogs

7 05 2007

I’ve been trying to read online about various industry resources that publish information about the hurricane protection or the shutter industry and honestly, I haven’t found a lot of material.

The industry magazine seems like the best resource so far … and I guess the more hands-on the industry (c’mon, construction/permits/metals/panels/etc) the fewer the people who write from within or about the industry.

Sure, there are tons of resources about the hurricane’s themselves and about weather forecasting and insurance products and how to get help post-hurricane. But information realted to what kind of shutter to install, why to choose one product over another and who to ask the questions to … thats real scarce!

Also, most blogs pop up during the start of the hurricane season, and then slowly die out (case in point: this sun-sentinel.com blog, Miles O’Brien on CNN and this Slidell Hurricane Damage blog) after a season or two.
Do you know of any resources that can help and fill this gap?

World of Hurricane Protection Trade Show and Conference

7 05 2007

This is the Hurricane Protection Expo week. The annual event is being held at the Tampa Convention Center on the 10th and 11th (from 10:30am to 4pm on Thursday and 10 am to 3:30pm on Friday). Whats on the schedule for this year?

  • The Exhibit Hall will have booths displaying information and products and demonstrations from various vendor and industry associations (I will be at booth #514, HurricaneBOSS Hurricane Software … so drop by and say hi!)
  • Lots of CEU accredited (and non-accredited) seminars (check the Expo website for more information).
  • Interesting keynote speakers

This year, the focus seems to be on stabilizing the various building code deviants that have popped up over the last few hurricane seasons due to “we need it yesterday” planning by various agencies. I hope these seminars help bring clarity to the world of shutters, wind loads and building codes. So I would definitely recommend you to visit the expo and find out more about whats the latest and greatest in the Hurricane Protection Industry. Shutters, Accordions, Roll Downs, Roll Ups, Storm Panels, Impact Windows and Doors, new generators, water filtration products and building protection products will all be on display.


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This hibernating industry

17 04 2007

One of the first things I noticed about the Hurricane Protection Industry is that it regularly goes into hibernation from September to January. Thats a long Winter break. Part of the reason I can understand … who wants to get any construction done during hurricane season! However, I also see a lot of companies really struggle for sales even a few months before and few months after the hurricane season is over. For example, of the many people I’ve been speaking with over the last month, almost 50% commented “business hasn’t picked up”.

Now, I would believe this at once, except for the fact that the other half said “we are already soo busy and overloaded”.

Hmm, that doesn’t seem right. Does this have to do with a dearth of sales or with poor marketing and bad planning?

Do these slumbering companies really take too long to wake up for the new year, thus giving their competition a free reign on the leads and potential sales?


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17 04 2007

This blog will feature articles, analysis, reports and interviews related to the Hurricane Protection Industry in South Eastern United States in general, and Florida in particular.

Who am I?

I am someone who has just become a part of this industry and am looking to learn more about how the industry works and what does and doesn’t work.

But seriously, who am I?

In real life, I’m Vinit Bhansali. I work with HurricaneBOSS software and am trying to eke out a living developing and selling better Hurricane Sales and Estimating software for Hurricane Protection companies.

Isn’t there a conflict of interest somewhere?
Is this just another sales pitch for my company?

I choose to write this blog on my personal time. Also, if there are articles dedicated to my company/product (HurricaneBOSS), my relationship will be clearly stated. If I write an article about one of my competitors, I will still list out my relationship and standing.

If you feel my disclosure is anything less than complete, let me know.

Why am I writing this blog?

I hope that my understanding of the industry will serve as a guide to others who might be looking for a resource or guide of sorts. And hey, it could come handy as reference material if I ever need to be reminded of how I understood things from scratch.

What can you expect from this blog?

I will try to post infrequently about new articles related to the industry, analyze some stories, post reports from various govt. agencies and non-profits and also try to write quasi-interview style articles on people I meet and speak with at various trade shows, conventions and during site visits.

Will I pitch your product on my blog?

Only if I like it or want to comment on it.
I don’t do paid/sponsored articles.

However, if you feel you have something that’s news-worthy, don’t be shy. Send my an email or leave a comment. I just *might* write about it.

Ok, so whats next?

I just started this blog. So it could take a few days to put in some quality articles. In the meantime, check out some of the websites listed on the right under the heading “Websites I like”.

Also, if you want to be listed there, drop me a line. I will be present at the IHPA Conference “World of Hurricane Protection” on the 10th and 11th of May 2007. So if you are going, drop by and say hi. And wait for lots of Conference photos the week after!