3M Pens Exclusive Deal with National Glass Service Group

July 15th, 2009 | Category: Industry News

Haytham Elzayn, owner of National Glass Service Group (NGSG), says he once believed that part of his company’s strength came from remaining independent from any particular window film manufacturer. But on July 13th, that all changed. The company has penned a deal with 3M in which it has agreed to use 3M products and dealers exclusively. In return, 3M has agreed to pursue all national retail accounts exclusively through NGSG.

ngsg

NGSG, a Dublin, Ohio-based company, specializes in landing big window film contracts, many with large retail chains. The company aligns its customers with not only products, but installation services, by drawing on an extensive list of nationwide window film installers and dealers. Patric Fransko, the company’s senior vice president of

operations once boasted that he has more than 2,000 contacts in his Microsoft Outlook list. The list was built up over a nine year period, as Fransko served as director of marketing for Performance Tools Distributing in Dublin, Ohio, when he established relationships with window film dealers across the U.S. (Click here for related story: http://www.usglassmag.com/Window_Film/BackIssues/2009/JanFeb09/middlemen.htm ) Approximately a year ago, Fransko put that 2,000 member list to work by joining NGSG, where he would culture large retail contracts and align them with installation services. In the process, he says he noticed a common thread.

“After coming to NGSG, I have spent the past year with our retail clients trying to understand their needs and expectations,” Fransko explains. “It quickly became clear that confidence in the product supplied, and the company supplying that product, were their primary concerns.”
Fransko says he noticed that using a 3M product gave the company’s clients an immediate comfort regarding the quality and engineering of the products being used.

Eventually Elzayn saw the same light.

“This was not an easy decision for us initially,” Elzayn says. “We were being courted by multiple window film manufacturers to form a similar alliance, but the synergy was just not the

re. Initially, I was convinced that NGSG was stronger by remaining independent of any particular manufacturer. However, after meeting with 3M and gauging clients’ responses to the strength of the 3M brand and product offering, our decision became clear.”
Likewise, 3M recognized strength in NGSG’s contact list.

“We are very excited about working with NGSG,” Charles Calisto, national sales manager for 3M’s Renewable Energy Division says. “They have quickly made a name for themselves in the retail chain segment …”

While details of the final agreement remain confidential, NGSG officials say the alliance is already paying dividends as NGSG and 3M already have launched numerous large projects around the country with major retail names. Fransko says that 3M’s dealers need not worry about NGSG cutting into their sales. His company will primarily serve as the project manager for each arrangement, but installation services and sales will remain within 3M’s dealer network.
“I’ve got a meeting tomorrow with a national retailer with 3,300 locations,” Fransko says. “I’m going in with one of 3M’s regional representatives. We’re coming in as a unified source and if that business comes in, then we will use the existing 3M dealer network to do the installation.”

Fransko says the same channels will remain in place, plus NGSG’s project management services, which earn the company a fee. He also says that in the instance that his company comes across a potential customer who is already working with or receiving a quote from one of 3M’s dealers, it is required to steer clear immediately.

“No one is cut out,” he urges. “The dealer will order the product from their normal distribution channel; 3M sells the product through its normal distribution channel; the dealer gets the sale and we get a project management fee. So it’s truly like a win-win-win across the board. Nobody gets cut out.”

16 comments
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  1. Yeah right

    3m goes around their own dealers already.

    But I like the post it notes

    what a joke

  2. I guess that for NGSG the issue to be evaluated was: better margin from lesser-known suppliers, versus easier sales through the greater prestige of 3M. In the end, the market decides; in good times people pick the pricier, better known brand; in worse times, people look for the cheapest quote.

  3. NGSG is adding value and everyone wins.

    Corporations find it difficult to deal with many window film companies. They want a single point of contact who is accountable.

  4. Tint Master,

    How is this going around the dealer? All of the work that this relationship generates will be handled through the 3M dealer network. I know that some had questions regarding the nature of the alliance and what it means to the dealers, but every dealer that has either worked with NGSG or had the program explained fully is happy that we are bringing new business to the table.

  5. 3M’s decision to partner with NGSC is understandable. Regretfully, some 3M Dealers, American Window Film for example, have worked hard and successfully at developing National Accounts. I suppose they will now be faced with additional competition from within. Had National Account development been pursued by more 3M Dealers, Philadelphia Window Film included, this may not have happened. I hope that the National Accounts that are developed through NGSC will lead to additional and PROFITABLE installations for the network of 3M Dealers.

  6. This is interesting………..notice the quote in which it was stated that 3M is going in with a national presence and the 3M dealer will get the installation part of the deal……………

    What’s missing from this article is the unspoken message: the large national accounts will always go through 3M corporate, instead of the national contacts remaining with the dealers. The only thing the dealers will get to do is install. They won’t ever learn how to evaluate a building envelope, or to provide an energy audit using DOE-certified software. There are no legal contracts to protect the dealers’ interests in these deals with 3M. They’ll never receive training on how to partner with other energy efficient products and services.

    There’s only one window film company that I know of where the DEALERS get to remain connected with national corproate accounts, and where their business is the number one priority, and not the corporate entity’s…………I wonder if anyone knows the name of this scrappy, plucky little company that does big business with a personal touch?

  7. Tamara,
    I am not sure if you understand the program that we put together with 3M. The local dealer is an important part of the deal. They do the site survey and work with the store management. NGSG handles the larger project management for the corporation so that they have one point of contact for many stores nationwide. Most of these corporations are not set up to deal with individual dealers for each location and all the buying decisions are made centrally at headquarters. That is why we started NGSG. To help the dealer base gain access into this profitable business in a way that is palatable to the large retailer. This is all about gaining new business with companies that simply will not do business with hundreds of local dealers. It is not about cutting the dealers out, it is about gaining them access to business they do not currently have. NGSG’s focus is solely on national accounts with over 50 locations.

  8. I have sold 3M films for over 20 years. They, and all of the major players, have routinely gone around the local dealers to sell the product. Yes, the local dealer still “gets” to install the film, usually at a “volume discount” labor rate (read: COST). The profit on the product goes in 3M’s coffers, and maybe it should. I have a problem, though, when these sales to the end-user involve pricing equal to or below that of a Dealer; even those that have worked their entire careers promoting the 3M name.
    Bottom line with any manufacturer is this: they need to sell film, and lots of it. Theoretically, that is good for the dealer network in the long run, by helping to cover manufacturing overhead. I don’t know if it is a provable theory…

  9. This smells a lot like the 3M and home depot mess. I come across 3M / Home depot clients all the time and I never hear the praise of a satisfied customer.they are calling another film’s dealer to come and take off the stuff a “professional installer which was sold by a local home depot employee”.it doesn’t make for personal communication and understanding of the clients needs. 3M makes great post it notes! Window film should be left to those who know window film. Not 40,000 products that’s primary purpose is glue. I personally am not a fan and wouldn’t sell 3M’s product even if it was given to me.

  10. The story is well written. I imagine the company brokering the window film does a great job selling. Any 3M dealer cannot be happy about this. The margins at the end of the day on projects like this are minimal. I am happy to sell competitive quality films and offer superior installation. I have no problem selling against 3M and the 3M dealer in my area. The only way they keep their customers is by lowballing all the jobs. NGSG should call FilmFX for jobs in the Eastern Ontario area. We won’t work with 3M but the films we Supply and Install are equal or superior, and I guarantee the installation will be much better!

  11. I guess I am a little behind on the news, I just read this article today.

    Hats off to NGSG for an innovative way to promote our industry. This looks like a win win for everyone concerned. I have purchased various lists from companies that provide that service in my search for local customers with just minimal positive results due to old names, old addresses, etc. I just have to wonder how good the NGSG list of dealers is? If it is good, I would very much like for Patric Fransko to give a seminal on building customer lists!! Best of luck to all.

  12. I just wanted to address a couple of issues raised in the comments above. Because we work from beginning to end with the retailers, we are able to maintain a fair margin for all parties involved, especially the installers. Our philosophy is to make a small amount of money on many, many jobs. The majority of the margin on these jobs goes to the installers. If you get the chance, ask a 3M dealer that we have already worked with. They are pleased with the margins they received for the job and the timeliness of the payment. We pay our installers in 30 days even if we do not get paid from the retailer for 60-75 days. The installer gets the work given to them, have no hassle collecting money from a large corporation and typically get paid 75-80% of what they would have received if they bid the job directly. This is truly a win-win as many 3M dealers are already finding out.

  13. Patric, since you offered I would love to chat with a few 3M dealers that you have worked with. Please list 4 – 5 of them here for me. (Since you have taken such good care of them, I am sure they will have no problems with you listing their names.)

    Thank you

  14. I am constantly amazed at how NGSG gets so defensive every time ANYone offers a differing opinion. One company, (NGSG), simply can not be right 100% of the time. What’s good for NGSG is NOT always good for the 3M dealer. Anyway you look at it, NGSG will be trying to get a piece of the pie, (no matter how large or small the piece), and that will be dollars that are not going into the local dealer’s pocket. 3M should be going after the national accounts and then should be turning the accounts over at the local level to their dealers that have been have been part of the 3M program for a lot longer than NGSG has. An install price negotiated by NGSG that may be profitable in a small rural location might not even pay the costs of the install in a large east or west coast city.

    I would have a lot more respect for what NGSG is trying to do if they would just admit that they are trying to make a buck for themselves, (or is it him self?), even though it’s at someone else’s expense, instead of trying to come off as the new Messiah of the window film industry.

  15. tinter guy,

    I would be happy to supply a list of some 3M and non 3M dealers that I have worked with. I do not feel comfortable posting them here, but anyone can e-mail me offline at pfransko@nationalglassservicegroup.com and I will gladly provide it. I would actually encourage it as I know you would be happy with what you hear.

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