From Retail  
to Wholesale  
Film Installation Companies Look  
to Become National Suppliers  
by Casey Flores  
wo of the nation’s largest to be that locally, there’s a demand  
film installation companies for printed films and architectur-  
are evolving into national al graphics,” he explains. “Even if  
wholesale suppliers. Both Rohnert nobody wants to work with us as  
Park, Calif.-based ClimatePro and far as other dealers, we already  
Sykesville, Md.-based Absolute work with architects and present  
Perfection Window Tinting have solutions to them.”  
invested in high-end printers with  
For now, the company is taking  
the goal of providing full-service things slowly as it learns design,  
solutions for decorative film instal- printing and installation proce-  
lation companies nationwide.  
dures, but it’s already begun sup-  
ClimatePro plans to design, pro- plying select film shops with dec-  
duce and ship film products with orative solutions. Dobbins is also  
its new Canon Oce Arizona flatbed working with designers on stan-  
Absolute Perfection’s new HP  
Scitex printer  
UV printer.  
According to the company, the can sell online in bulk.  
flatbed option can print film, and ClimatePro has several other ourselves being a one-stop shop  
dard patterns that the company  
even flat rigid media such as wood, printing technologies and finishing for many architects, designers and  
metal and acrylic. It also can add equipment on hand, which helped other installation companies like  
white ink to its designs.  
it become a WINDOW FILM maga- us across the U.S.”  
We wanted to make an invest- zine Top Dealer last year. With  
How’s it going so far?  
ment into the UV print technolo- this machine—the first they’ve pur-  
gy but wanted to have the most chased that prints with UV ink—  
options available when it came to the goal is much higher.  
our printing capabilities,” says CEO  
Jeremy Dobbins. “We didn’t just  
want to limit ourselves to win-  
The company has completed  
several dozen projects using the  
printer, Valway says.  
Absolute perfection  
The East Coast also has a new that we can do so much different  
“The beauty of this printer is  
dow films. There are many great wholesale decorative film supplier. stuff with it that’s not just film. It  
machines out there, but we want- As part of a $150,000 capital fits with what we’re already doing.”  
ed the dedicated flatbed on our investment to grow its communica- Valway expects an 18-month pay-  
machine as our first UV printer.” tions branch, Absolute Perfection back on the printer, but he says  
The overall investment cost (AP) has purchased a new HP that’s a conservative estimate.  
250,000, with $150,000 of it going Scitex printer. Company officials “For us, it wasn’t about clear  
toward the machine itself. The rest say the product will enable them to returns on investment—it was  
of the cost is for training, moving to operate as a wholesale supplier on about needs,” he explains. “We  
a new facility to house the product a national level as well.  
were outsourcing our printer proj-  
and creating electrical solutions to  
run the printer.  
“This purchase was a natural ects, and we knew we needed to  
progression for our company,” invest in one for ourselves in order  
Despite such a large investment, says CEO Bill Valway. “Since we to expand and diversify.”  
Dobbins expects to see a return. have a team of in-house design- Once the “kinks” are worked out  
For us, the ROI was always going ers and production staff, we see in wholesale pricing, that 18-month  
projection may become shorter.  
We’re still working on our mar-  
keting strategy. We have to get the  
wholesale pricing set in place,”  
he says. “We want to simplify the  
pricing process so dealers can look Absolute Perfection’s HP Scitex printer allowed the company to expand  
at it and understand what they’re and diversify its product offerings.  
going to pay per square foot.”  
For now, the printer mainly serves ing a printer and making money— to offer this is because we weren’t  
AP. The company is working with it’s a huge time commitment,” he satisfied with the other providers,”  
general contractors, designers and stresses. “This is completely dif- he says.  
architects consistently to produce ferent from buying a vehicle wrap  
graphics, directional signage and printer. This is a complex machine installations weekly,” says chief  
wall boards, among other things. that requires a level of expertise operating officer Tim Cooke.  
We have four full-time produc- beyond a traditional window film “These jobs are highly profitable,  
tion employees to operate it,” says installation skillset. Even we were and we look forward to helping  
Valway. “But at minimum, you a little naïve.” our friends across the industry  
need one full-time person. It’s a big Valway says the printer purges offer their customers a much wider  
machine that needs space.” In fact, ink—so whether it’s running or not, array of products and increase  
AP had to build a separate building it costs the company at least $20 in their revenue.” WF  
“We are doing decorative film  
just to house the printer.  
Despite the high investment,  
ink per day.  
But just like Dobbins, Valway Casey Flores is the editor of WindoW Film  
Valway says this is not for the typi- says it’s worth it—even if he only magazine. He may be reached at cflores@  
cal tint shop. uses it for in-house projects. Follow him on twitter at  
It’s not as simple as just buy- “One of the reasons we started  
November/December 2016  
WiNDoW Film