Industry Expert Panel Details How You Can Find Success with PPF

A paint protection film (PPF) panel was one of the many highlights at this year’s International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off, in Indianapolis, Ind. PPF experts who were included on the panel were Hamza Nadeem, Get Detailed Toronto CEO; Brodie Mathews, president and CEO, DeCo Tint PPF Wrap a Tint America Company; and Carl Melendez, owner, 631 Coatings. During the session they took turns answering attendee questions, as well as giving advice to the audience. The panel of experts was moderated by Window Film magazine editorial director, Tara Taffera.

Pictured from left to right: Tara Taffera, Brodie Mathews, Hamza Nadeem, and Carl Melendez.

One notable question centered on timing. “How long is acceptable to keep a customer’s car?” “We keep our cars for 5-7 days and price them accordingly,” said Mathews, an answer that seemed to surprise some.

Won’t the customer complain about being without a car, one attendee asked? “Nine times out of ten the exotic car guy has another car to drive,” said Melendez. “And if they don’t it’s helpful to set up an account with a car rental company to offer loaners. We wrap the Enterprise cars for free and we have a fleet account set up with them so we can use their cars as rentals,” he added.

Another discussion area was must have items for PPF shops. For Mathews it’s all about lighting.

“I will never stop adding lighting to my store,” he said. “It’s like heaven shining down. I am going to add it to the walls soon.”

Melendez mentioned an item that may have surprised some but he puts it at the top of his must-have list—a downdraft air purifier system. “That and working on a lift is key,” he said. “It’s easier on the body plus you aren’t laying in fluid.”

When the conversation then turned to how to find employees willing to put the wear-and-tear on their bodies that a film career requires, the panelists said yes they will hire employees with no experience but all emphasized the importance of training.

“Get your B and C rolls and just have them wrap things such as a refrigerator, etc.–anything that is flat,” said Nadeem. “There are also grants you can use to get your employees trained. Take advantage of those.”

Growing Your Business Through Manufacturer Relationships and PPF

One of the afternoon talks at the International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ (WFCT) featured Steve Pesce speaking on “Growing Your Manufacturer Relationships.” Pesce founded his company, New York Window Film, in 1990.

Steve Pesce grew his business by asking for help from his supplier.

Pesce opened by explaining to the audience how he got started in the industry almost 30 years ago. When he first started out, Pesce he said he had nothing more than a phone, an old computer, a laser printer and a reliable supplier. What he didn’t know at the time was that his supplier would become his staunchest ally in the industry.

One day, on a whim, Pesce asked his supplier representative if there was anything he could do to help grow his business. The representative answered that he wasn’t sure, but he could help him do cold calls. This was the beginning of a partnership that helped them both. If Pesce had customers, then his supplier had customers as well.

Pesce soon realized he could ask more than just his supplier for help. Between word of mouth and mailing out advertisements, Pesce’s company grew within one year.

He didn’t only ask his supplier for help, he also extended the invitation to anyone he could. He received help from many businesses looking to do the same thing he was: getting the word out about the industry.

Pesce explained that co-op money was another critical factor that had helped him. This has allowed him to advertise relatively cheaply, and also made him some allies along the way.

Another Thursday WFCT presentation was “Profit from the Power of PPF” given by PremiumShield’s Jamie Werner. “You need to find someone who can sell your product. You have to sell it,” Werner said.

That was just one of his many helpful tips on selling paint protection film (PPF). “You have to be willing to talk about it and educate the consumer about it,” he said.

And not just talk about it: “You have to promote the crap out of it,” he said. “You have to promote through all platforms. If you don’t know how to do it, pay someone or find someone who can.”

Being successful with PPF requires a lot of effort. “If you don’t put time and effort and money into it you won’t be successful,” said Werner. “Invest in training. Do a few free jobs. That will be a win-win.”

“Newer cars mean bigger profits,” he said. “The majority of time they are spending a lot of money on a car so they will want to protect it. And most of the time people looking at PPF are looking for other products. So now you have an opportunity to sell those other products like film and increase your overall ticket price.”

WFCT runs through Saturday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio. Stay tuned for the latest from the event.

XPEL Acquires Dallas-Based Film Dealer

XPEL has announced its acquisition of Stratashield LLC of Dallas, Texas, a provider of installation services for window and automotive paint protection film (PPF).

“We’re excited to welcome Houston Orona [editor’s note: Orano is the owner of Stratashield] and the Stratashield team to the XPEL family. Houston has a great business and enjoys a strong reputation in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex for providing outstanding service,” said Ryan Pape, president and CEO of XPEL. “This acquisition gives us a local presence in this growing market and is indicative of our continuing execution of our ‘Get Close to the Customer’ strategy. We look forward to combining our existing … automotive paint protection products with the customer-centric focus that Stratashield is known for, to deliver better value for both new and existing customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”

Pape continued, “Houston will be a great addition to the team, not only as we integrate his business, but as our Manager of the Dallas-Fort Worth market, where he will be incentivized to grow, develop and support our entire network of customers in that area. Texas has long been very important to us, and this acquisition helps to round out our presence in our home state.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.