Volume 17, Issue 4- July/August 2013

Installer Perspective
By Manny Hondroulis

The Heat is On

Now that summer is here and our peak business season is in full swing, you may be feeling the heat of not having enough installers to handle the quantity of work pouring in. Itís obvious the challenge will be to train and bring new tinters up to the levels of high quality. Whether it is automotive or flat glass, training is going to be the key to developing a competent, successful window film workforce.

Switch It Up Letís say you are in need of a flat glass installer. You might be surprised to find that some of the best tinters are going to come from the automotive side. This is because automotive installers can handle flat, curved and angled glass surfaces. They can position film under moldings and gaskets or make cuts with the least amount of light gaps. They most likely also are probably better with a knife when it comes to cutting around holes and hardware, as well as working in tight spaces. If you put an automotive installer with your best flat glass installer, equip him with the correct flat glass installation tools and give him some procedural instructions on how to handle 60-inch and 72-inch width films. You are going to see some serious square footage going up.

Create a Position On the other hand, if you are in need of an automotive installer you may want to look into enrolling him or her into a qualified automotive training program. If you attempt to train someone in your own shop you may end up burning and wasting a lot of film. Additionally, you are going to use your best installer teaching instead of knocking out cars and paying customers donít want their cars used for training purposes. I propose you start by hiring someone who can clean down the outside and inside of window surfaces, prep and mask-off felt moldings and sensitive electrical areas, pick up trash and all film debris from inside the car and wipe down water run-off from the body of the car after the installation is completed. This will free your installers up to just cut and install film. The efficiency of the installation time should improve greatly. If the prepper wants to learn how to be an installer, then consider sending him to an automotive training school during your slow season, as he will have started with the basic foundation of prepping.

Donít Forget Ö As a business owner you should always protect your investment with a non-compete agreement with your employees. If youíre going to invest in training for your employee you should protect that investment so other shops do not profit from him. wf

Hann Kim is the CEO of STM (Solar Transmission Management) in Los Angeles

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