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Digital disruption and window tinting

The disruptive effects of the internet on the communications, entertainment and media industries have been very visible and extensively examined and documented. The closure of many large companies and the loss of jobs continues as entrepreneurs find new and innovative ways to deliver services and value to customers. The world’s largest encyclopedia, Wikipedia, which replaced the business model of Encyclopaedia Britannica, describes a  “disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.”

commercial-window- tintingMany trades and services business have continued to operate as they have done for over a century and have changed from advertising in the Yellow Pages to creating a small website and running a local Adwords campaign. You have a blocked pipe, you used to call the local plumber – now you Google for a plumber in your city.  Unlike many sectors of the economy, the business model for many trades and services businesses has changed very little.

However, entrepreneurs are developing ways to service the traditional trades and services sector in new ways to deliver a better service to customers at a lower cost. If you wanted window tinting you would call the local tint shop and book a sales rep to come to your home to measure your windows and advise you on which film will be best for your job. Since the sales reps worked the same hours as their customers, people had to take time off work to meet with the sales reps.

One of the first innovations in the window tinting industry was to allow customers to do their own quote online. Anyone who could read a tape measure could measure their own windows and use an online job costing application to calculate the film cost and the installation charge. First introduced in Australia in 2008 there was no longer a need to wait around for a sales rep. These real-time online job costing apps allowed customers to quote their tint job at a time of their choosing, and place the film order online. These companies gained a competitive advantage over the local tint shops by saving the cost of employing a sales rep and by giving their customers the sales commission previously paid to the sales rep as a discount.

While initially targeting the DIY market, the online film suppliers soon expanded their operations by recruiting film installers to provide customers a professional installation service. Customers would measure their windows and do the online quote, and could also request film samples be posted. Customers would order the film online at a significant saving to the price charged by the local tint shop. The film was pre-cut to 20mm oversize by the online supplier and couriered to the customer ready for installation. While the film is in transit, the local film installer calls the customer to schedule the installation.

  • often, the job is completed in less time than is takes to schedule the sales reps appointment to quote the job.
  • customers are usually provided a wider film selection than that offered by the local tint shop  – for example, one online supplier offers customers all the leading film brands available in Australia.

Providing a better customer service at a lower cost disrupts the traditional business model.

ISM Partners help traditional window tinting businesses in every Australian state develop strategies to profitably rebuild their businesses when faced with digital disruption. We helped the following businesses to partner with the largest online window tinting supplier to provide their customers a film installation service and fill a niche that was created by this online supplier. Visit each company’s websites and find out how we helped them to create a profitable business.

We can help you develop a growth strategy for your tinting business

Window Tinting Home and Office

When it comes to quality residential and commercial window tinting, you need to look no further than Guardian Glass Tinting Brisbane [Map] With a long history of providing a window tinting service in Brisbane and supplying some of the most respected window film brands it had developed an enviable reputation of quality service and film installation. Their stated ambition was to “pamper you with the latest and greatest window tinting products available.  Not only that – we think its important that our film technicians are experts in window tinting and are trained in the latest film installation techniques.”

Experts in Window Tinting

SunCool Window Tinting Sydney [Map] are considered experts in window tinting and above all, built a skilled team  – the #1 reason for their client  satisfaction.  With expertise and skill of their window tinting installers, Suncool Window Tinting are capable of delivering the level of service long established trade customers have come to expect.  All Suncool installers undergo rigorous evaluation of skills at commencement and are provided additional tailored training where required, to ensure that clients receive the ultimate in window tinting services. Depend upon the professionals to complete the job to your maximum satisfaction!

5 Stars Window Tinting Perth [Map] commercial window tinting services was the envy of their competitors.  Employing only the most experienced technicians to complete commercial work.  Each assignment was commenced by presenting clients a lineup of signature commercial window films.  There is nothing like having a film from a leading manufacturer to provide the confidence and protection the customer sought  – affording the style and appearance desired.  The window tinting sales representatives were always on hand to answer client questions.


Do you wish to protect the place you live from the elements? Advanced Glass Tinting Melbourne [Map] has provided a range of residential window films to protect Melbourne residences from heat, glare and damaging UV light for almost 25 years. Recognizing that a customers home is perhaps their largest asset, Advanced Glass Tinting focused on providing the highest quality film installation commensurate with their clients residential investment. They recognized there was plenty of companies that may quote lower prices – but as with everything, you get what you pay for.  They developed a superior film installation service and a reputation for quality workmanship that their customers saw as money worth spent. Similarly, Riverside Window Tinting Adelaide [Map] had developed an awesome reputation for the high quality work done by their film installers. They were well known for going the extra mile and working tirelessly to ensure that jobs were completed on time and to the highest professional standard.

However, these companies could not compete with the online film suppliers business model and they slowly lost market share.

Professional Film Installation by independent window tinters

One thing the above companies have in common is their awesome reputations for high quality workmanship and a customer focused service culture. We recognized that this was a very marketable competitive advantage that could be offered to the customers of the online film suppliers. While the online suppliers cut margins, reduced costs and passed the savings on to grateful customers those same customers still wanted, and were prepared to pay, for high quality professional film installation. The above companies who, in the past, were leaders in their field in both supplying and installing window tinting film and who found it difficult to compete with the online film suppliers we assisted form mutually beneficial collaborate arrangements with the online in film suppliers. Some installation companies can now promote their installation service directly to customers during the film purchase checkout process by offering special deals and discounts to customers who nominate their business to undertake the film installation.

We have also assisted Pre-Cut Window Tinting, Solartek window tinting and leading Melbourne Car Tinting Kits  supplier fill a market niche created by the online film suppliers.

We can help you develop a growth strategy for your business

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