Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

Remember the Beatles? The band, just a four man group, became a world-wide phenomenon. Their talent and craft drew great recognition and forever changed the music industry. The Beatles propelled the genre of rock and roll into everyday life. Do you think something like that can happen in another business or even the paint industry? Well, it has happened and probably more often than we realize. Of course, not usually in the sensational Beatles’ way, nonetheless individuals and small groups have innovated and effected human existence from the beginning of time.

One small example, before all the cooking shows – kids cooking, southern eating, BBQ, restaurant fixing and just about any type of food making – there was one person that blazed the trail: Julia Child. Her genre was French cooking, but the idea of making dinner on TV was unrecognized at the time. Not many thought a middle aged woman with a high pitched voice would start a movement were people watch cooking shows for entertainment.

Julia’s passion and talent for the cooking trade demonstrated and cemented the difference between amateur dinner makers and chefs. Most likely, we may not find the Beatles of paint and coating application, but we can (and need to) showcase the brilliant art and science aspects of our craft. It may not be a show, it may not be the biggest contractor, and it may not even be a fancy paint application, it could be as simple as spreading architectural coatings in a clean and efficient manner that elevates professionals head and shoulders above dabbers and hackers.

We may not make great tunes or crepes, but when the Beatles or Julia first picked up a guitar or spatula not many thought that every day people would appreciate or revere their talent and skill. After all, in the 1960s there were plenty of other popular bands and Julia did not invent anything new. Other rock groups had similar instruments and Julia’s kitchen was not that different from average America, yet both shared a craft with passion and competence reaching and connecting to people beyond their respective genre.

Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of daily routines, we may overlook the importance of attracting and retaining good people. It does not matter if you go to work at a place with 3, 20 or 200, craftsmanship is best performed with associates that are engaged and want to do the right thing every day on every project. Not all companies have the capacity to deliver authentic craftsmanship.

Unfortunately, some professionals may not understand the difference of producing at a craft level and getting jobs done. More than some are caught in the melee of a low price mentality. Low bids do not discriminate, all professionals are affected. Maybe the question is: are you a dinner maker or a chef? Hopefully, if you are not yet an executive crepe flipper, you are well on your way. In any case, we have a must read article, Employee Compensation and Small Business. It shares relevant facts for various sized businesses.

Think you are too small an operation to be reflected in a national survey? Well, the article only addresses small businesses defined as companies from 1 person to 250 people. It provides an associate pay metric that closely aligns with paint professionals. If an employee is paid $20 per hour, what is the national average a company must charge to make a fair and reasonable profit? Check it out and here at PPT, we hope you are able to bill at a higher hourly rate, which of course will provide the opportunity to attract and retain the best craftsmen.

Paint serves two main purposes: to protect and decorate. It is that simple or has been until recently. Now with the emergence of smart coatings things are changing. A smart coating provides an additional feature (a third) to a particular paint. We have a story about a new smart coating from Japan based Kansai Paint. It is titled, First Ever Anti-Mosquito Paint, and as indicated may save people from pesky bites, as well as more serious insect spread diseases, like the Zika and West Nile viruses.

In America, other than a small presence through an acquisition, Kansai is not well known. American production of the Anti-Mosquito paint will be led by U.S. Paint, an automotive paint manufacturer and distributor, based in St Lois, Missouri. Imagine a season with no mosquitos sneaking in and partying on your skin?

Ever wonder if installing GPS monitoring technology in company trucks is too big brother? The cable and unplugged companies (Hulu, Netflix, etc.) watch what you watch, while internet providers travel the internet surveilling you. Today, truck monitoring goes way beyond location tracking. Read Safer Company Driving to get a glimpse of the information that the car and mobile phone makers and service providers already collect.

In the News and talking about watching, we have some videos to check out. Two clips are about product introductions; Emerald Interior/Exterior Urethane Trim Enamel and Zinsser Wall and Ceiling Texture. Also, we have a cool video from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades showcasing the next generation of learning titled Virtual Safety Training.

It is official; as far as help goes we are treading neck deep. According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), 500,000 construction workers are needed and paint professionals make up a sizable chunk of that number.

If people find car fixing, sword making and junk buying interesting in addition to egg flipping, why can’t construction and more importantly professional paint and coating application be at least as fascinating? We can and will. Maybe something is already on the way and PPT knows the score, but as they say in the reporting business, it under embargo for the moment. Stay tuned and watch the painting wheels go round and round…

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Thanks for reading Painting Pro Times!

Mark Casale, Editor

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