Top Dealers September/October 2023October 13th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs
The Film Industry Flies Higher
By Chris Collier
An ever-evolving world demands innovation in safety and security, solar control, style and privacy advancement. Luckily, the window film segment has plenty of answers in the form of growing product segments. Window Film magazine’s 2023 Top Dealers list compiles companies wielding these solutions with great success.
“We founded NGS in 2009, and the market was fragmented at the time—filled with a lot of small, local shops,” say James Beale, co-founder and CEO, and Patrick Coyle, co-founder and chief operations officer. “The industry has grown up and matured now. There is a consolidation process happening as we speak. Bigger, more established players are needed to meet the industry demand for energy and security products and services. Gone are the days when you could simply sell and install window film.”
NGS was named the 2022 3M National Dealer of the Year. This is the third time NGS has earned the award. They were also named 3M National Dealer of the Year in 2019 and 2020. Beale and Coyle say that the market is constantly shifting. “Customers are more sophisticated now and are looking for real solutions to their problems—whether it’s protecting students and staff in a school district, meeting sustainability goals as a national retailer or reducing energy costs in commercial and government buildings,” they share.
NGS acquired and integrated two window film companies into its operations in 2022: CHB Industries in New York and Sunset Glass Tinting in Houston. Beale and Coyle attribute the team’s hard work and preparation, combined with a “plethora” of opportunities, to its successful year.
“The market is riper than we’ve ever seen it before,” they share. “Our sales and marketing programs, business development processes and education platforms have positioned us for success.”
Beale and Coyle, when reflecting on being named to Window Film magazine’s 2023 Top Dealers list, say, “It’s flattering. Whenever you can climb the ladder and be recognized by your peers as being the top in the industry, it’s exciting. It reinforces that we’re doing the right things and are on the right path, which is always good.”
Laguna Hills, Calif.
“This year, we will just about double the size of the company,” says Solar Art CEO Matthew Darienzo. “We will have done the most number of acquisitions we have ever done and in the shortest amount of time. We also just added a chief revenue officer to the executive team. That is a pretty big hire for us. The company is growing fast, and I think it’s just the realization of the vison we had 12 years ago that is coming to fruition these past few years.”
Just this year, Solar Art has acquired Solar Insulation in Nashville, Tenn.; New York Window Film, a company primarily serving the Manhattan metro area; and American Window Film in Foxborough, Mass.
“The technology has come a long way and, although slow, awareness has grown over the years,” Darienzo says of the industry’s progression. “ … It is great to be listed [on the Top Dealers list]. It shows the dedication and hard work of all the employees at Solar Art. They should all be proud as I am to be listed.”
T&T Tinting Specialists Inc.
“2022 was our first real full year as a 100% employee-owned company with 30 employee-owners,” says Kyle Horimoto, CEO of T&T Tinting Specialists. “This unique change presented a special feeling for every employee. They now had ‘skin in the game,’ which translated into fresh new ideas coming forth, less damage and waste, new younger leadership and more social media postings by the new owners. Even though we always had a great sense of pride, that’s even more amplified now.”
T&T Tinting Specialists founder Tommy Silva started the business in 1982, hand-cutting film for cars using inexpensive dyed films and yellow pages for advertising. The biggest evolution in 2023? Technology.
“It has changed the game in every aspect of business,” Horimoto shares.“From inexpensive social media marketing; constantly bettering our organic Google search results; obtaining, responding and maintaining our online reviews and rankings; and installation techniques with better installation tools, computers and plotters. All have increased our speed, lowered waste
in time and materials and completely increased our quality and efficiency greatly from the old days.”
In response to being dubbed a Top Dealer, Horimoto says, “It’s truly humbling and a huge honor for our team to be recognized by the best in the industry. It always pushes our entire team to do even better going forward.”
Advanced Film Solutions Inc.
“Bottom line, being a Top Dealer means whatever we are doing has got to be working,” shares Adam Feldman, co-founder and vice president of Advanced Film Solutions. “It’s a validation of everything we’ve done and everything we’ve learned. We went from nothing to one of the top window film companies in the country relatively quickly and, being on the same list with companies that have been around for much longer than ourselves proves (at least to some extent) that we are accomplishing something great in our industry.”
Advanced Film Solutions entered 2023 with the goal of converting apprentices into full-fledged installers after a challenging 2022.
“Labor shortages were 2022’s largest challenge,” Feldman shares. “By taking care of our employees and making our company feel like home, we were fortunately able to retain our existing staff. As new installers were in such short supply, we began the process of hiring and training apprentices in hopes of converting them to installers and keeping the wheels turning.”
Prestige Window Solutions
Redondo Beach, Calif.
“I started my company in late 2016, though my family had been in this industry since 1964,” says Danny Maldonado, president of Prestige Window Solutions. “I started tinting with my cousins at a young age. In my opinion, the biggest shift between now and then has been the demand for security. Our industry used to be all about solar control, yet
the events that have occurred in the recent years have absolutely shifted that focus.”
Maldonado says the company’s biggest goal for 2023 was internal development. “Training current members on our team to be ready for management roles and continuing the growth of the business simultaneously.”
Reacting to being named a Window Film magazine 2023 Top Dealer, Maldonado says, “It means a lot. My family has a lot of history in this industry, and to be a part of a team to achieve some of the goals we have had in recent years has been awesome. This is the second year that we have been recognized as a Top Dealer. That means our hard work is paying off.”
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