July-August 2014


In This Newsletter

DHI 2014 Dallas: Follow Up

Looking Back Through the Years

The Latest Trend with Hollow Metal Manufacturers: Additional Material Offerings

AVAware’s Social Media Accounts are Active and Waiting for You!

 U.S. Price Books:

  • Adams Rite
  • Arrow
  • Corbin-Russwin
  • Design Hardware
  • Dorma L.K.
  • Falcon
  • Fleming
  • Glynn-Johnson
  • Hager
  • Marks
  • Reese
  • Schlage E.S.
  • Stanley
  • Stanley Commerical
  • Von Duprin

 Canadian Price Books:

  • Canaropa
  • Glynn-Johnson
  • LCN
  • Securitron

DHI 2014 Dallas: Follow Up

Fifteen years after AVAware’s first appearance at a trade show, we returned to the beautiful Anatole hotel in Dallas for another DHI industry extravaganza!

All of us who found our way to Dallas at the end of June, were treated to another outstanding event, courtesy our own DHI. The Hilton Anatole is an absolutely ideal location for events such as CoNEXTions. The hotel itself was beautiful and offered excellent service, but the best part is that the exhibit hall was “attached” to it. Absolutely nothing makes trade shows more convenient. Not having to endure early morning shuttles or taxi lines, attendees need only stroll through a magnificently appointed courtyard, after enjoying a leisurely breakfast – to find themselves standing in front of the exhibits. Nothing could be easier.

Although most of the exhibitors we spoke to agreed that attendance fell far short of what they had hoped for, they also seemed to agree that there was a general feeling of optimism in the air. Most attendees were of the opinion that the worst of the recent financial downturn is over with, and they’ve begun to see a significant increase in their businesses.

For exhibitors, this is great news. Good times turn shoppers into buyers. Many companies that have placed capital purchases on the back burner over the past few years have now begun to revisit them. At AVAware, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of distributors that have decided to acquire additional user licenses in anticipation of an increase in bidding opportunities.

AVAware would like to express our appreciation to the DHI for hosting the annual event with their usual skill and panache, and to all those customers, past and future, who stopped by our booth to visit us this year.

The AVAware team at the Anatole hotel, 1999

The AVAware team at the Anatole hotel, 2014

The Anatole hotel holds a special significance to AVAware, as it is the location of the first trade show in which we ever exhibited.

Looking Back Through the Years

In 1999, the DHI held the annual convention at this very same Anatole hotel – it wasn’t a “Hilton” back then, but it was just as memorable. Even the segment of the fallen “Berlin wall” was there - it adorned the outside courtyard instead of the prominent location it now enjoys at the end of the hallway leading from the convention halls to the main hotel.

Many of the names have changed over the years. A lot of new faces were seen and a lot of old ones have endured. Perhaps it’s because of the extra significance this year’s event held for us at AVAware, or perhaps it’s because the DHI took a year off – for the first time – in 2013. In any case, this year many of us found ourselves reflecting over the many changes the architectural openings industry has seen in recent years.

What wasn’t there this year were countless companies that had since either fallen to difficult financial times, or had been swallowed up by one of the industry behemoths that now control the majority of the prominent brand names. Although there was an Assa Abloy in 1999, very few of us would have heard of them; instead companies such as Sargent, Yale, Curries, Ceco, and Fleming all enthusiastically displayed their products – in their own booths. The same could be said of companies like Falcon, Monarch, Newman Tonks, and lest we forget, Ingersoll-Rand.

The distributor landscape has changed as well. Many industry veterans will remember a time when every major U.S. city or market had three prominent distributors - one representing each of the three largest hollow metal manufacturers. In the aftermath of all the mergers and acquisitions, periods of growth, and economic downturns, the typical “distributor” has taken on many new forms. For several years the large distributors, that often carried massive inventories and did a great deal of in-house fabrication, saw their employees venture off on their own. Through the power of drop-shipping, and enabled by smaller emerging manufacturers, anyone with some industry contacts could get into the bidding game – and compete against those major players that held the markets captive for so many years.

As time went on, and the times got difficult, trends started moving in the other direction. Groups of small, independent distributors were often seeing combining their forces and enjoying the security and comfort that comes with being part of a larger unit.

At AVAware, the most profound changes we’ve seen are in the role that technology has come to play in the industry. Many of our early customers had never even used computers before they decided to acquire their first estimating software. No one knew what an “internet” was, and product training often involved teaching people how to use that “mouse” thing. I recall a customer in those early days becoming incensed at the suggestion they get an email address: “…get an email address… for what? Just to talk to you! Email is a fad that no one will even remember it a few years from now!” Yes, they actually said that. The distributor is long gone, but the individual is still involved in the industry; ironically enough – they currently work at a competing software company.

It easy to look back now and laugh, but the truth of the matter is that people are far better informed today; distributors have not only accepted the value of technology, but have realized how indispensable it truly is. Over the years, architects and project managers have come to expect the level of support that only software can make possible. Imagine telling a client today that they’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for revised shop drawings!

The Latest Trend with Hollow Metal Manufacturers: Additional Material Offerings

A recent AVAproject update provides support for multi-material door & frame catalogs, and is required for use with some recent catalog releases.

In recent months, several major U.S. hollow metal manufacturers have, for the first time, added additional material offerings to their classic hollow metal catalogs. Fiberglass Reinforced Polyester (FRP) is the hot, new thing with leading manufacturers such as Ceco and Curries; both of which have added an FRP door series in their latest catalog releases.

These additional materials are reflected in both the product selections as well contained artwork, such as ‘attachments’ and ‘cuts’ (depending on the catalog). One of the most obvious reflections of these new addition is on the Hardware Schedule; doors selected from FRP series, for example, will be shown as “FRP Door x HM Frame” (or whatever is applicable).

If you receive a message after downloading a catalog update, that advises you that it is “too new” for the version of AVAproject you’re currently running, this simply means you need to update AVAproject – to a version that supports the features offered in these new catalogs.



While We’re on the Topic...


In the April 2014 edition of AVAwire, we featured an article discussing two exciting new technologies: The new automated catalog updater and AVAware’s web-based user accounts.

Those running the newest version of AVAproject, have probably already noticed that the catalog update notification page has changed. Users that have received permission to do so from their system administrators, can select and download new and updated catalogs directly from AVAproject – without ever leaving the software. Catalogs are downloaded, installed and validated against active subscriptions in a single step!

The updated Catalog notification dialog on the left, and the Catalog selection / downloader dialog on the right

Before users can take advantage of this convenient new feature, they must set up their own user account through AVAware’s web-based management facility. System administrators can setup accounts for each of their users, using any email address of their choosing, and assign individual permissions and settings to each user and user level.

The system will automatically dispatch a ‘verification email’ to each user, so that they can verify their email address and select their own password. Only the user can set or re-set their password – even system administrators cannot find out what a user’s password is.

Once an account has been setup and verified, the user can login to both the Customer Portal on the AVAware website as well as any individual AVAware application (ie: AVAproject, AVAproject Fusion).

This is an important platform component and will be used extensively by AVAware for a variety of product offerings.

The user management area on the AVAware website on the left, and the Login dialog in AVAproject on the right

If your system administrator hasn’t setup your individual user accounts yet… remind them how just important it is!

For those that missed the article in the April edition of AVAware, it can be found though the following link: http://www.AVAware.com/avawire/2014/04/New-Updater-Tool-Allows-New-Policies.html

AVAware’s Social Media Accounts are Active and Waiting for You!

All of AVAware’s social media accounts are overflowing with rich, informative content – just waiting for you to connect and enjoy!

Earlier this year, AVAware launched an initiative to make all the news and content traditionally offered by our newsletter and website, also available through social media. It’s often difficult to take time out in the middle of the work day to read the AVAwire newsletter, when it’s being delivered to your office email. By making content and bulletins available through social media, our clients have the ability to control how and where they receive these valuable notifications. Naturally everyone is always welcome to subscribe to AVAwire using their own personal email addresses – or take advantage of popular media to browse at your leisure!

Having made a commitment to provide high-quality content on a regular basis through each of four social media services, AVAware has already accumulated an impressive collection of ‘posts’ and content in such areas as:

  • Product and Technical content posted daily
  • New product and catalog announcements
  • Notifications of updated software releases
  • Notifications of updated catalog revisions

We’ve done our part, but the response from our customers has been less than overwhelming. We know that most of our tech-savvy users have accounts with at least one (if not several) of the services being supported. We would ask that anyone interested in seeing these value tools continue to be used, make a point of adding their names to our “followers”, “connections” and “circles”!

“Circle” us:

“Connect” with us:

“Like” us:

“Follow” with us:

We welcome any questions, comments or suggestions about any topic mentioned in this edition of AVAwire. Please visit our website for more information, or contact us directly at (416) 239-9099.