Huper Shifts Focus and New Facility Towards “Holistic Approach”July 22nd, 2009 | Category: Featured Content
Window film manufacturer Huper Optik moved into a new facility recently. The newly renovated space triples the square footage available for Huper’s business operations and headquarters, amidst adding new training facilities and meeting spaces, as well as leaving 5,000 additional square feet for future expansion. But the company’s chief executive officer, Faisal Nazir, says it’s about more than simply expanding.
“This was an opportunity to take an existing space and convert it into a green space, so that we’re not just selling green, but we’re organizationally, and in attitude, green internally,” Nazir says. “We have to live it, rather than just sell it.”
This mantra has become increasingly important to Nazir’s company as it has begun to encourage its dealers to expand their offerings beyond just window film, to include the same technologies being incorporated into its new headquarters.
In addition to adding the company’s mainstay—energy-efficient window film—Huper’s new facility is scheduled to add a number of new features, including: green power sources including wind energy; floors crafted with renewable resources; LED lighting and control systems which are based upon the frequency of daylight at any given time; and a cool roof system, to name a few. All will be provided and installed through Energy Efficient Systems (EES), a provider of what Nazir describes as “holistic energy solutions.” Nazir says the two companies have formed a “strategic alliance” through which Huper’s dealers are now able to offer additional products and services.
“The future, as we see it, is in the retrofit business for energy conservation as a whole,” Nazir says. “Window film is a part of that pie, but it is not the whole pie.” He says his company shifted its focus three years ago away from savings and comfort and towards energy.
“We cannot rely solely on aesthet
ics and comfort anymore,” Nazir says. “Right now the customer will only spend when they know that they will save in the process.”
The decision, partly brought about by economic conditions, was announced at the company’s annual dealer meeting.
“Fear and insecurity affect us emotionally and impact our buying habits,” he suggests. “And so right now, even at the high-end where we’re at, we’re finding that unless the dealer is providing a valuation in terms of BTU’s and return on investment (ROI), it is a tough sell.”
And Nazir says those dealers who embraced his company’s new focus found a way to remain vital in today’s economy. Others are struggling.
“The dealers who followed suit and changed their strategies are out there working 16 hours a day and have 15 buildings that they’re doing energy audits on at any given moment,” Nazir says. “Those who did not, are wringing their hands right now.”
And it is these crème de la crème dealers that he says will likely continue along Huper’s new path of total energy solutions. Nazir views this as a natural progression and suggests that dealers will want to capitalize all of their customers’ needs once they’ve established the opportunity to sell energy-savings, even if it means moving outside of film.
“Lets say a dealer has established a relationship with a Ritz Carlton hotel,” Nazir explains. “We want that dealer to use the relationship they have with a facility manager to expand their business from just window film to other product lines. With this strategic alliance, a dealer is able to use this relationship to say, ‘By the way, window film is a great product. We’re a part of your solution, but we’re not the whole solution.’ Then EES comes in and strategically packages window film with other products, such as lighting and control systems for instance, and offers the final customer an entire package.” In the process, Nazir says his dealers will earn commissions on additional products. “It truly pushes our window film dealer into a bigger market place,” he suggests.
Nazir says that Huper’s recent movement towards “holistic” energy savings is about more than business opportunities. Next on his company’s agenda are additional environmental improvements to Huper employees’ work spaces. This, he suggests, will help create a healthier life for the company’s employees, which he believes will impact such things as employee retention.
“These things are just a matter of infrastructure,” Nazir says of his company’s current retrofit. “The next thing, and the ultimate thing that we want to do, is to create an environment in which my number one customers, which are the people who work with me in the office, can have a safe, green, healthy space in which to work.”
According to Nazir, this effort will include eco-friendly cleaning products, additional natural day lighting, health and exercise services within the facility, and incentives for employees who opt to drive energy efficient cars.
Nazir says prior to creating an alliance with EES, his company explored the option of expanding its own offerings to include additional energy saving products and services.
As an increasingly energy- and economic-minded world evolves around the window film industry, Nazir says that all those in the industry—dealers and manufacturers alike—will need to try new and additional tactics. In a more or less trial-and-error process, he suggests that each will likely suffer bruises and setbacks, which he views simply as growing pains.
“We’re going to end up on our backsides more than not,” Nazir says. “But I think it’s in the trying that we gain experience. You have to put it out there. You have to try.”