Executives Look Right Past (Not Through) This Technology With Clear Cost-Saving Potential
Windows can represent a tremendous financial liability, chiefly on the balance sheet through energy bills. State-of-the-art window coatings and films have the potential to serve as vital components of a building’s insulation solution—keeping out the sun's heat and UV rays that can render spaces sweltering greenhouses in the summer and accelerate the aging of furniture and fading of finishes.
But, in Campbell Window Film’s CEO Brad Campbell’s experience (his team’s work is showcased above and below), a psychological barrier often prevents stakeholders from viewing dollars saved by window film and dollars earned as equivalent, even though both affect the bottom line.
He has a few theories about why this barrier persists, usually winning out over reason when it comes to deciding whether the expenditure is worth it.
First are the understandable doubts as to whether the projected savings will be realized. These should easily be assuaged, Brad says, when installation companies present case studies that provide evidence of sizable savings at comparable properties, and unbiased third-party research that corroborates the magnitude of the numbers. Campbell provides an e-Quest energy analysis accompanied by reports that give decision-makers assurance that the solution is a viable one for their property, and that the ROI is there. The payback period for Brad’s 11,000 window film installation at Century Plaza Towers in LA was less than eight months.
This upgrade represents a more reliable, sizable and quickly realized cash stream than corporate bonds, Brad says. So why do companies shun it? According to industry expert Joel M. Levin, it might be something inherent in the product.
Levin says some may feel that “green movement” affiliations cloud the issue, with anything “sustainable” being somehow aligned with tree-hugging, radical environmentalists. This seems unlikely, seeing as demonstrating eco-awareness with LEED certification and other accolades is very much in vogue.
Another potential issue is incentives. Those with a vested interest in the company’s financial success are sometimes too far removed from the process to make PP&E-oriented decisions, and the people who report to them aren't considering long-term consequences.
Finally, and perhaps most likely, it is because operating income, the bread and butter of an organization, and traditional investing activities (in securities) are viewed as distinct from PP&E concerns, the money thought to reside in some different, imagined tranche.
Slow adoption caused by clouded decision-making is frustrating and baffling to someone like Brad, who runs a business himself and knows window film’s demonstrable benefits. Still, he’s hopeful the mounting evidence in favor of window film will win over even the most stubborn holdouts.
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