A third major automotive glass company has started up in South Africa with the aim of introducing cheaper brands of automotive glass which, according to the company, “are as safe and reliable as established players who have so far dominated the industry and dictated prices to consumers.”My Glass, started by glass industry veteran Gary Stieger in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2012, already has a national network of 26 partner stores.According to My Glass: “The new brand breaks from the traditional glass business model in that it offers customers a wide range of automotive glass brands to choose from, instead of just one or two.”‘SIMPLY WASN’T SUITABLE’Due to its network, My Glass is able to offer independent partner stores the buying power normally associated with large national chains.According to Stieger, the democratic-styled business model meant all the My Glass partners actually contributed to how the brand was managed, as “the one-size fits all approach simply wasn’t suitable”. Already a member of The Independent Glass Association (TIGA), My Glass has the endorsement of major insurers such as Hollard, Santam, Zurich, Mutual and Federal and national brokers such as Aon, Compendium and PSG. Stieger said: “This effectively means that we can register and process insurance claims directly for our customers.” By offering top global glass brands such as Fuyao, and Grandmark, traditionally unavailable at most glass outlets, My Glass has been able to undercut more expensive locally-produced products, although it does offer local brands to customers too. Volkswagen, Chevrolet, BMW, Volvo, Hyundai, GWM, Chery, Mini and Land Rover/Range Rover are among the automakers that have Fuyao windscreens fitted.‘IMPROVE OUR SERVICE DELIVERY’Co-owner of the Bloemfontein-based Perfect Auto Glass & Aluminium My Glass store, Jopie van Eeden said joining with the My Glass brand for their automotive division “just made sense”.Jopie van Eeden said: “We decide to join the network because we've seen the potential of being part of a national brand network. It is hard work being an independent, and the national network will allow us to negotiate price structures, service level agreements, and reduce marketing costs through collective agreements. “My Glass does not align itself with just one supplier, as is the case with our competitors. This effectively means that My Glass partner stores have access the widest range of stock of any of its national competitors, helping us improve our service delivery.” HIGH QUALITY“For many years consumers and insurance companies paid extremely high prices for vehicle glass because there wasn't any real competition. The best deal of all is that the product is of the highest international quality and from some of the largest manufactures in the world, so safety isn't compromised.” Bestfit Glass has partnered with My Glass in George, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn.Bestfit My Glass owner Wouter Wentzel said: “We deal with a lot of insurance brokers, so the national network works very well, especially when customers are in another town.“Many people’s insurance brokers are not in their home town, but helping them is easy because of the My Glass national reach. “The main attraction for me in partnering with My Glass was to be able to help the customer immediately."