IFAI member company Loane Brothers Inc.

I’ve learned a ton about the industry through my association with IFAI—even though I’m the sixth generation running this company. The IFAI members I’ve met are a good resource. We might have a problem totally unrelated to our particular market segment, like a labor issue, but the problem is universal enough that we still get good ideas for solutions. We can see what else is out there as far as new trends and products, which allows us to offer new concepts to clients. I’ve found that there is a great enthusiasm at IFAI and it’s contagious.

Once several years ago we were trying to manufacture a sidewall and our supplier stopped carrying clear vinyl because there was a problem sourcing it from Korea at the time. We called IFAI and they gave us names of other suppliers who not only carried clear vinyl but also had other sizes and weights that we didn’t know existed. We’re still using one of those supplier companies today. 

Bryan Loane is president of Loane Brothers Inc. in Baltimore, Md. Read the full profile in the March 2012 Perspective from Specialty Fabrics Review.