Out of Many, One
During difficult times, such as the world now faces with a serious health crisis on our hands, I am reminded of our one of our nation’s mottos – E Pluribus Unum, translated from Latin into English it is: Out of Many, One. The meaning is thought to derive from the idea of the original 13 colonies of Revolutionary days when people came together and stood firm and stood ready to loyally help and protect each other to the utmost, against all difficulties and challenges.
In today’s atmosphere where people are being asked to ‘self-quarantine’, where public gatherings are being curtailed and where travel outside the country is difficult, it’s pretty easy to think of only one’s self. Of course, it is very important to look after yourself first and foremost, since if you are not well, you are not in a position to help others and in fact may become someone in need of being looked after.
Once, you have taken care of yourself and your loved ones, think of your neighbors, co-workers and others who may have more a difficult time in coping with this health crisis. Maybe they can’t get out of their residence easily and yet they may be in need of some basic necessities.
A good practice is to ask if they need anything. If you are going to the store, you can ask if you can get anything for them, or check-in by phone on a regular basis. Allowing another to talk about their fears and discomfort, is a good way to reduce fear and help make people feel better and to lift their spirits.
Our industry association, representing markets across the US and the world, is essentially built on a similar concept. The many manufacturers, distributors and dealers of window film products have stood together under one banner – the IWFA– to help ensure that products and services that come to market are presented in the fairest possible way. This is done by jointly adopting industry standards and best practices as recommended guidelines which support the industry’s growth and by the sharing and use of information that is accurate as possible.
For example, some of these best practices include ascribing to the IWFA’s advertising policies,
identifying well-known industry testing standards that IWFA members may use to develop accurate claims about product performance and being given the opportunity to become education-accredited on different types of window films. Industry members may also share non-market related information that promotes the health of the industry, such as window film installation techniques, new developments in glazing and staff recruitment and training.
If you are in the window film industry, perhaps as a dealer/installer, you have a part to play. Help to ensure that your co-workers, staff and suppliers are all up to speed on how to avoid coming in contact with the COVID-19 virus, and, what to do if they do not feel well. You may even want to check-in on others in industry to see what they are doing to protect themselves their employees and their customers.
In the Window Film industry, cleanliness is always job number one. From the cleaning of windows with special solutions, to making sure dust or specs are not allowed to get between the film and glass, to covering floors and furnishings with drop cloths to keep everything as clean as you found it. Letting your customers know these steps are standard for your company may help allay any fears about having an installer come to their business or home to have window film installed.
As we persevere through the current crisis, don’t think of it you against the tide all by yourself, but remember to think of the whole picture and at the same time to think of others and see if you can make them feel part of the whole, the many standing together as one.