There’s Room to Grow, Manufacturers Say

October 4th, 2017 by Katherine Coig

The manufacturer roundtable brought together a panel of leading industry manufacturers.

The window film industry has yet to reach maturity with ample opportunity for growth, according to a panel of leading industry manufacturers at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT). The event is being held this week at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“If you drill it down to what’s going on in U.S., last year I said there’s still tremendous amount of opportunity,” said Travis Smith, vice president and general manager of performance films at Eastman Chemical Company. “[Paint protection film] is a new category still. I think on the window film side, it’s what we make of it. We’re far from calling this a mature industry. There’s lots of opportunity we continue to see.”

“We are seeing growth in all regions and all areas,” Kendall Combs, general manager of thin films, Solar Gard, explained. “Specific to North America, PPF is clearly a growth area. Safety and security is becoming a much more prominent area for us.”

Mark Keesling, U.S. business manager of 3M Window Films, said the company has had significant growth in its safety and security films as well as decorative. Jeffrey Plummer, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Madico Inc., agreed.

“I never cease to be amazed to see how a particular dealer in a particular area does really well in decorative, and another may use the same strategy but lives in a different location and doesn’t do nearly as well,” he explained. “I’d say it’s really situational.”

Panelists also discussed advancing technologies that could potentially affect the industry, from understanding the importance of the influence of the digital age to preparing for fully autonomous cars.

“All of these technologies, and these new risks, we’re seeing them as opportunity,” said Sergio Smilovitch, window film business director at Avery Dennison. “The way to look at it is how to look at this new technology, this new trend, and how can we make it work for the market?”

Combs chimed in, “Dealers have evolved over time and very rarely is anyone doing work behind a desk,” he said. “We’re very focused on the customer experience.” His other advice, echoed by the rest of the panel: if your website, be at a manufacturer or dealer’s, isn’t mobile friendly, be sure to make it that way because consumers spend most of their time searching for products and research on their smart phones.

The WFCT continues through Friday. Stay tuned to windowfilmmag.com for the latest from the event.

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