Volume 16, Issue 3 - May/June 2012


Madico Aquires Assets from Courage
Madico Inc. has acquired select assets from Courage Distributing LLC, based in Cleveland, Ohio. Included in those assets were distribution rights for Sun-Gard branded window film in five Midwest states including Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. The latest acquisition comes on the heels of an announcement by Madico that the company was acquiring distribution rights for Madico products from The Enpro Group in 16 states. The states affected by the Enpro Group purchase include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“We have a three year strategy at Madico where we are trying to put our emphasis on two major markets. The first is Asia, which is really on fire. The sales there are nothing short of remarkable,” says Jeffrey Plummer, vice president of sales, marketing and distribution for Madico Window Films Inc. “The second market we are focusing on is the U.S. We are really doubling up our efforts in the U.S. Part of that is a commitment to the industry and we have recently put a lot more of our management energy into the IWFA. We are trying to offer more assistance with our senior managers there. The other part is our relationship with dealers and distributors. We have had some of the best independent distributors in the business. These were long-term, mutually, beneficial relationships. While we were not on a mission to acquire our distributors, we are on a mission to be a stronger force in the U.S. market.”

The Canadian-based Courage Distributing will continue to operate as the exclusive distributor of Sun-Gard products in that country. Midwest Marketing based in Peoria, Ill., will continue to be the exclusive distributor of Madico branded products for Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota.

“Some of the distributors said this might be a good crossroads for Madico to go downstream. They were friendly, mutually accepted agreements. In all three cases the partnerships have not gone away, just changed,” says Plummer. “However, there are no other plans for acquisition at this time.”

Solar Gard Announces New Tools for Dealers
Window film manufacturers are using technology to make their projects more efficient and productive.

Solar Gard released its new mobile application for window film companies called Solar Gard Solutions. It offers installers a guide for film to glass applications. Installers can submit film to glass requests directly to the company’s technical service team. The application can generate estimates and has settings that can be adjusted for products, pricing and output, and maintains a record of all specifications and estimates.

The application is available in the App Store and can be used on the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. In addition to the new mobile technology, Solar Gard has also inaugurated a new loyalty rewards program for dealers, Solar Gard Partner Points. The program allows dealers to obtain points for qualifying purchases.

Minnesota Window Film Group Seeks to Change State’s Tinting Laws
Tinting laws in the state of Minnesota are under fire from a group of window film shops. The Minnesota Window Film Association, an independent association, is not affiliated with the International Window Film Association, is fighting the state law that says, “No person shall drive or operate any motor vehicle required to be registered in the state of Minnesota upon any street or highway under the following conditions… when any side window or rear window is composed of or treated with any material so as to obstruct or substantially reduce the driver’s clear view through the window or has a light transmittance of less than 50 percent plus or minus three percent in the visible light range or a luminous reflectance of more than 20 percent plus or minus three percent…”

The law does allow vans and trucks to have unlimited visible light transmission (VLT) on the rear and back side windows, but keeps the above law in effect for the front side windows. Minnesota’s tinting law is one of the most restrictive tinting laws in effect.

“The reason the law needs to change is that a 50 percent law does not let you have the protection, safety and security benefits that film has to offer,” says Mark Gjerde, president of the Minnesota group. “The law was in effect in 1985 when we did not even have the terms sport utility vehicle and multiple purpose vehicle. That is why there is nothing in our law about these vehicles or crossovers.” In addition to the law being outdated, Gjerde argues that a 50 percent film is not providing the consumer with ample protection.

“Eye doctors have concluded you must have a minimum of 17 to 37 percent reduction in veiled glare to reduce the stress on your eyes. Other benefits include quicker reaction times, less eye fatigue and we all know about protection from shattering glass,” he says.

Gjerde and his association are frustrated with law enforcement and the effects of policing this strict law.

“This has driven the industry underground … many tinters simply lost their jobs and are now on unemployment, tinting for cash out of their garages,” he says. “Others just step over any state border. Bring your car to Hudson and you can get darker film installed without a problem. As for the shops here in Minnesota that abide by the law, we have lost up to 50, and sometimes 65, percent of or retail auto business.”

The association is currently working to raise money in order to hire a lobbyist to work on its behalf at the capital.

“This is the only system we have and it is all about the money. Unfortunately the police had an endless pile of taxpayers’ money to use to fight us,” says Gjerde.

3M Recognizes Dealers at Annual Film Dealer Conference
3M dealers were presented with awards at the company’s Window Film Dealer Conference which took place in San Diego, Calif., in March. More than 200 dealers attended and joined the company in recognizing 3M’s top dealers.

Columbia Filters, Inc, of Rutherford, N.J., was recognized as the National Dealer of the Year. Sun Control of Minnesota, in St. Paul, Minn., was awarded New Dealer of the Year. Regional Dealer of the Year awards also were distributed. ATD Solar and Security in Frederick, Md., won for the Mid-Atlantic region. Window Film Depot of Atlanta, Ga., was recognized for the Southeast region. Alan and Associates Inc., of Orland Park, Ill., won the award for the Midwest region. Sunset Glass Tinting of Stafford, Texas, was recognized for the South Central region. Brower Tinting and Graphics of Renton, Wash., was awarded Dealer of the Year in the Northwest region. Campbell Window Film of Huntington Beach, Calif., was recognized for the Southwest region. Solar Vision of Denver, Colo., was awarded Dealer of the Year in the Rocky Mountain region and American Window Film Inc., of Foxboro, Mass., took home the award for the Northeast region.

Solar Gard Recognizes Dealers with Awards at Panorama Dealer Meeting
The sixth annual Panorama dealer meeting was held March 7-10 and hosted more than 200 attendees in San Diego. At the event, Solar Gard recognized some of the company’s top dealers with awards.

John Henderson of Royal Window Films in Anaheim, Calif., was recognized as Panorama Dealer of the Year. Richard Puthoff of Eclipse Window Tinting in Cincinnati, Ohio, was awarded for Panorama Hilite Excellence. Randall K Hutson of Five Star Window Coatings in Rockford, Mich., David J. Burns of Ray Sands Glass in Rochester, New York and Matthew Erbrick and Robin Stavely of United Home Solutions in Alpharetta, Ga., were recognized for Panorama Regional Excellence. Vincent Emmert of SolarSafe and Secure in Pensacola, Fla., was presented with the award for Outstanding New Panorama Dealer. Bob Zarat and Maggie Greene of Sun-Ease Window Tinting in Boulder, Colo., was recognized as the Panorama PremierPlus Top Performer. Alex Johnson of Sun Proof Window Tinting in Arlington, Texas was awarded for Outstanding Panorama Business Growth.

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