Sharing is Caring

Tara Taffera wrote this blog:

I don’t know why this headline popped in my head, or why it reminds me of a kindergarten slogan, but it somehow seems appropriate. I have heard many variations of this theme recently: why can’t we all just get along in the PPF and window film industries? Or put another way: Why can’t we just help our fellow tinters? I mean, I get it: no one wants to give away the secrets to the details of their perfect wrap to the guy down the street. But if a guy in Florida can give some general tips to a gal over in California, doesn’t it make the industry as a whole better? Some resolutely say yes, while a few just as adamantly say no—let them fend for themselves.

The Case for Yes

All of this has been on my mind lately, and then I received a column for the summer issue of PPF magazine from Jamie Werner, PremiumShield. It’s chock full of easy, useful tips for installing PPF, and I thought about how helpful this is for both new and long-time installers alike. Then at the end, Werner addressed that do-we-or-don’t-we question in the industry. Do we share our tips or let the newbies just figure it out as they go? He resoundingly said yes, but of course that ultimate decision is up to you. I encourage you to lift each other up, however, no matter what you decide.

If you are one of those in the yes column, and you want to meet and share ideas with your fellow installers, I encourage you to attend the International Window Film Conference and Tint Off™, to be held September 27-29 in San Antonio. Many of the industry’s Facebook groups will be having meet-ups right on the show floor, and it’s a great way to get to know your fellow tinters.

And in that vein, I will leave you with one final piece of advice from Werner.

“I’ve learned that there is so much more we as an industry can be doing shop by shop, but also as manufacturers. The awareness of PPF is getting better so that consumers push installers, who push manufacturers to make better products for the future. That includes both film and patterns. Since the bar is being set higher every day from the installer to the consumer, the bar is being raised all the time from installer to manufacturer. The installer is the backbone of our industry, and they are finally being heard.”

So here’s to you, the installer. I hope you enjoy this issue and I look forward to seeing you at the show.

Tara Taffera is the editorial director for PPF magazine.

All PPF—All in One Place

Tara Taffera wrote this article:

If paint protection film is even one of the markets you serve, there will be plenty of learning opportunities available to you during the International Window Film Conference and Tint Off™ to be held September 27-29 in San Antonio, Texas (Everything you need to know regarding the event may be found at

“Putting a bunch of installers together allows for sharing ideas and techniques so that as an industry we grow not just as professionals in a growing market, but we take that constant step towards improving the industry as a whole one installer at a time with each install at a time,” says Jamie Werner, of PremiumShield. “There is always something new to learn and this is where to do it.”

Products and Demos on the Floor

Walk the show and you will find a variety of exhibitors showing off their PPF products. And if you want to see demonstrations of actual wraps and PPF installations those will be happening all three days as well. In fact, Jeremiah Bienko, 813-TINTING, will be offering demos again this year.

And of course there is the competition, now in its fifth year, which will allow attendees to see installers vie for the title of the World’s Best Paint Protection Film Installer.

“I have seen, in the last several years, that the quality of the installs at the competition have gotten dramatically better each year as we continue to improve standards in the rules for the competition,” says Werner. “This proves that installers are willing to step up and adapt as the industry continues to improve.”

Educate Yourself in PPF Seminars

There will be a variety of seminars available related to all aspects of window film that those offering PPF can learn from. And there is a dynamic session geared specifically to dealers from Chris DiMinico, president, Protective Solutions/AutoNuvo in Holliston, Mass. He is the perfect person to give such a session as he appeared on PPFMag’s list of top dealers earlier this year. His shop was number one in terms of 2017 annual revenue.

If you are considering adding PPF to your product line, this session will help you understand what it takes to do so successfully. And, if you are already in the business, you will learn how to grow it more effectively and quickly.

Another particularly pertinent seminar is one to be given by Richard Puthoff, owner of Eclipse Window Film in Cincinnati, Ohio, and another WINDOW FILM magazine top retailer. The seminar, “Grabbing the Higher End,” will discuss how to get higher end work—and keep it coming back. Puthoff has made a career out of “going high” and cultivating high-end customers and jobs. Come find out how he did it and how you can too.

Yes attending WFCT does mean time away from the office but many agree it’s time more than well-spent.

“There is always a cost of doing business,” says Werner. “Attending this show, even if it’s for a day, is reinvesting back into your business. The ROI on attending can be limitless if you come prepared.”

Tara Taffera is the editorial director for PPF magazine.

Ready, Set, Go?

This blog was written by Jamie Werner:

Throughout my travels and time in the PPF industry, I’m always asked about training and how to go about getting into the business. In my early years it was all about trying to get that prospect at our facility for a 3-day course and run through the same platform that had been done years before I even came into the business. I quickly learned the success rate of someone just paying for training was super low and there is no incentive for them to actually go back and practice what they just learned. You just paid for 3 days and walk away with nothing in return. Putting success rates aside, they were never even led through a discussion on what type of investment it would take to even get into the business, let alone how long it would take for their return on investment (ROI) to start being significant. Today we are going to open the book, lay it out there, and let you know what to expect. Ready, set, let’s go!

First chapter after opening the book is the actual financial investment. When you add up all of the necessary equipment, tools, supplies, and time, you should expect to invest around $10-15k in your first few months. Keep in mind I’m coming in with a partisan opinion in the matter as I am an advocate for patterns. There are instances that I do recommend bulk, but most of time a pattern is preferred. With fitment and coverage being much better than the early days, along with more available pieces per car, your risk and cost is much lower than if you were to try and learn bulk from scratch. Cutting on a car is a skill that is learned, not taught and comes with time and experience. It’s like asking a doctor fresh out of med school trying to perform surgery before they’ve done their residency, which is at least 3 years. Just like anything, you can’t expect to go through a basic training and leave being able to pump out quality work at top notch pricing like a 5 plus year veteran in the clear bra world. Like anything new you learn, it takes practice in order to hone in your skills. Even then, we are always learning and trying to get better since new cars come out all the time.

Now that we’ve gotten the toughest part of the book out of the way, let’s dive into the next chapter, applying what you learned. Now that you have inventory to use and practice with, let’s make it useful. You know the phrase, crawl before you walk, walk before you run? Same applies here. Don’t over sell what your skillset is. If you just learned how to do bumpers and partial hoods, don’t rush to sell full cars when that’s beyond your skillset for that moment. It takes about a dozen cars to get comfortable with installing film and about 50 cars to get proficient. If that means offering installs to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc.… for free or for a steep discount, then do it. You’ll need the practice so you can be exposed to different cars. That kind of variety will cause you to learn when you use the tools and techniques that were taught in training. Once you get that kind of experience under your belt, you should be in a good position to start charging market price.

Once your skillset is where it needs to be, you’re in the driver’s seat for where you want to take the business. Your ROI should be very healthy once your skills and pricing match synergistically. That leads us to the last chapter, selling the very product and service you made your investment in. If you can’t sell, find someone who can. Selling is not easy and you have to be willing to talk, educate, network, and grind to create opportunities so that in the long run, good word of mouth will spread over time. Marketing and selling go hand and hand. The best way to market the product is being active in promoting it. That means gathering content, sharing it, doing local car shows and events, talking with local dealerships and body shops, heck even doing a tech session so you have the chance to educate and network with consumers who would buy this very product if they knew more about it. Most consumers aren’t as familiar with PPF for automotive purposes like other aftermarket products so you can sit by the sidelines waiting for customers to call and inquire.

Taking this approach is not a guaranteed ROI, but it certainly is the path of least resistance and also most success. Well-fitting patterns, supplier support, a good network of fellow installers coupled with hard work and a good work ethic will set you up for a great revenue stream. Exceed expectations everyday!

Jamie Werner is the sales manager/corporate trainer for PremiumShield.

New Addition to 3M™

The 3M Paint Protection Film team introduced Regan Brunner as its newest pattern designer. Brunner was formerly one of Xpel’s lead DAP product design managers.

“Making this addition to our global team at a time when the newest version of Pro Series has surpassed expectations and our digital marketing footprint is rapidly expanding, truly shows 3M’s commitment to the paint protection film industry,” said Jon Hanbury, 3M PPF global business development manager.

According to the announcement, Brunner is extremely excited about joining the 3M team. “I have become highly proficient in determining how the properties of paint protection film dictate designing patterns to better fit the contours of a vehicle. I’m eager to work with the latest Scotchgard Pro Series film to further develop the 3M pattern design philosophy with the already experienced 3M global team,” he said.

#WFMstagram: See What the Industry is Posting Online

What’s trending in the film industry? Here are some of the top posts on Instagram from the past week. Don’t forget to follow WFM on Instagram, and tag @WindowFilmMag on your latest installations; we look forward to seeing your awesome pics! #WindowFilmWednesday

INTINTZ Window Tinting installed tint on 2017 Dodge Challenger.

A post shared by Al Satterfield (@intintz) on

Tint Avenue, in San Antonio, Texas, showed off one of its latest PPF installations.

A post shared by Tint Avenue (@tint_avenue) on

Who doesn’t love a Range Rover, especially when it’s wrapped in red? Courtesy of Kyle Kovacs Window Tint.