Volume 18, Issue 5 - September/October 2014

Installer Perspective
By Hann Kim

An Installer's Fingerprint

I have come to the conclusion that window film installers are the only so-called “professionals” who can be 100 percent right and 100 percent wrong at the same time.

Take, for instance, when someone posts an installation video at his own installation facility and demonstrates some of the techniques he has used and developed for years. These procedures could have been developed around many different factors including type of film, choice of heat guns, use of installation tools, installation efficiency, climate and marketplace. Their business is growing, they’re earning good money and they feel good about what they have accomplished. They wanted to share with the rest of the so-called “professionals.” And once it’s posted they get more than 100 replies of “why do you do it that way” “why don’t you do it this way” “that is a waste of time” “you’re doing it all wrong” and on and on. The opinions are as different as the installation fingerprint that made their shop what it is today.

Unless you have actually stepped out of your own environment and observed installers from other shops, cities, states and countries, how can you so simply be sure, without a doubt in your mind, that your way is the better way? It’s amazing how big a guy can make himself sound from the square footage of his own experience. It is equally amazing how everybody is right and everybody is wrong with the judgments and opinions they throw around, as if his opinion is the only one that matters.

There are tens of thousands of window tint shops in this country and tens of thousands more in other countries and they all have a different installation fingerprint that makes them uniquely different. There is more than one way of completing the job and completing it correctly. That is what makes this industry so special and great at the same time.

I am returning from China as I write this. While there, we set up operations and procedure for our installers. But the first thing I wanted was to see was their installation procedures from start to finish. This is so I can experience something new and different from what I know. Unless I can experience what they do, I can’t show them how to incorporate and experience something different that I know. I was also in Korea visiting an IWFA member who invited me to a shop in Seoul to watch some installations. I was truly honored by the invitation and had such a tremendous experience with sharing techniques. I gained such great insight to why they do what they do and the reason for the method in which they perform their installs.

The reason for this column is to point out that all videos from so-called “professionals” demonstrate how they get things done at their shop. If you can recognize something from the video that can make you a better installer, then you are truly a better professional than what you were a moment ago. From my experience there is something to be gained from every installer’s fingerprint.


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

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