Volume 10, Issue 1                     January/February  2006

IWFA Update

by Tom Niziolek

Three Steps to Positive Change

There is nothing more fundamental to an industry’s success than the ability to adapt to change … and our great industry is changing. 

No longer confined to narrow segments of the building materials industry, today’s window film companies serve the automotive, residential, retail, hospitality, government and major commercial markets. Our products have become recognized as trusted defenses against a variety of threats and valued for their aesthetic appeal.

However, this achievement should be viewed as a starting point, not the finish line. The credibility our solutions have earned provides us with a rugged foundation upon which we can build long-term success. But all of us have work to do.
As the president of the IWFA, I have outlined three priorities for manufacturers, distributors and dealers, alike. Accomplishing the goals described below will not only help each of our individual businesses, but also elevate perceptions of our entire industry. 

1. Join the IWFA. If you are already a member, then become more involved. The IWFA is focused on influencing those that affect our industry and preparing its members for a very bright future. One of the many areas in which IWFA members can make a difference is in building code legislation. The IWFA has been instrumental in working with the National Fenestration Rating Counsel (NFRC) to develop standards for third-party window film validation for commercial and residential applications. Thanks in part to the commitment of the IWFA, the NFRC will soon release window film performance standards that will enable films to become certified by independent bodies in the same way that windows are. 

2. Invest in education. Many manufacturers and industry organizations (including the IWFA) offer valuable training to customers and members. Take advantage of these opportunities. Technology, materials science, selling techniques, and installation methods are changing quickly. Your success could rely on your ability to incorporate those changes into your business practices.

3. Market ethically. Threats of storm, industrial accident and even terror are all too real. There is no need to capitalize on a potential client’s fears by overstating a product’s capabilities. This practice causes long-term damage that far outweighs any short-term sales gain. Rumors of “bulletproof” films, for example, continue to confuse potential buyers of safety film and threaten to dampen sales. State your products’ efficacy accurately and honestly, and the trust you engender will propel your business forward and shine a positive light on our entire industry.

Of course, there are many other items, which could have been easily added to this list, but let’s take one step at a time. If together we made a collective effort to become more involved with the IWFA, invest in education and market ethically, we would bring about a sea of change in our industry. And no longer would we be reacting to change – we would be driving it.

Tom Niziolek is marketing manager for Madico Inc. and the current president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA).

©2006 Key Communications Inc. 385 Garrisonville Road, Suite 116, Stafford, VA  22554
Phone: 540/720-5584, Fax: 540/720-5687 e-mail: film@glass.com