Painting Pro Times, the source for paint professionals!

There is Big News! AkzoNobel will be split into two companies by selling their chemical business. The Netherlands based company is one of the biggest paint manufacturers in the world and this sale is a major deal. It leaves Akzo with a singular focus on paint making. Not so long ago, PPG tendered a buyout, which was opposed and things got a bit bumpy when PPG increased the value of the offer.

Akzo successfully defended PPG’s advance largely by relying on an obscure, home-country stock voting rule, which favored an elite group over the rank and file stock holders. In the end, AkzoNobel promised to sell the chemical business and turn the paint making side into a more profitable company. It looks like Akzo is following through on the commitments made in order to remain independent and hold on to the oldest paint company title. The Sikkens brand goes back to 1792. By the way, Devoe is the oldest of all paint brands: started in Boston in 1754 (before America was a country).

As paint professionals, we swim in the same industry served by some of these enormous ocean liner outfits. We may feel the wake when a big boat changes direction. The chemical business sale leaves Akzo with a pile of money…most of which has been promised to stock holders. However, the company will have enough funds to expand by opening new stores or potentially by acquisition. The US is one of the largest paint markets where Akzo’s footprint is comparatively small.

Some years ago after purchasing ICI, AkzoNobel choose to move away from the American architectural market. Subsequently, PPG made a deal for the North American distribution of Dulux (Fortis) and Sikkens brands. AkzoNobel has some products known to stateside paint professionals including Cuprinol, Devoe High Performance Coatings (Devoe’s marine/industrial side), Dulux, Interlux, International, and Sikkens.

Dunn-Edwards announced their 2019 color: Spice of Life. Check out the video and it is merely a coincidence that AkzoNobel’s 2019 pick is called Spiced Honey (the colors are different). . “Spice of Life is an outgoing, confident hue that adds drama and stimulates the senses,” explained Sara McLean, color expert and stylist for Dunn-Edwards. “It’s a celebration of what makes life interesting and exciting…”

According to Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, Cavern Clay is the SW 2019 Color of the Year. “Cavern Clay is an easy way to bring the warmth of the outdoors in. Envision beaches, canyons and deserts, and sun-washed late summer afternoons—all of this embodied in one color,” says Wadden. The Cavern Clay selection is part of Sherwin-Williams 10th annual Colormix Color Forecast, which has a master palette of 42 colors for 2019.

RPM International via the Rust-Oleum brand’s umbrella is expanding the Citadel Flooring Systems’ store based products under the RockSolid flag. The new offerings are a suite of materials designed for patios and driveways.

Recently, our friends at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) stated that worker compensation (pay & benefits) is at a record high. “There is extraordinary competition for workers in this historically tight labor market. Small business owners are investing more in their employees to attract and keep qualified workers,” said NFIB CEO Juanita D. Duggan.

Paint manufacturers, the American Coatings Association (ACA), sent a note to the EPA asking the Agency to be more transparent with the scientific findings used to justify making or changing regulations. Apparently paint professionals are not the only ones that value science where the results can be validated independently. Remember the RRP “studies” in which the Agency used “weird science” to make the claim that RRP was needed. Any paint professional knows that open grinding and wholesale stripping are not typical preparation. Still, the EPA buffaloed the itchy beards into believing this and other inaccurate information to push RRP on us.

Are you old enough to have seen ABC’s Wide World of Sports? The introduction included the “thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat”. Back in the day, the agony scene was cringe worthy; it showed a guy wiping out going off a ski jump and another performing motorcycle gymnastics. We feature an excellent article titled The Culture of Leaders that has an agony-like picture.

After being amused, the point shared is the importance of servant leadership. This kind of leader, owner, manager and/or foreman understands and appreciates colleagues. Work is fun. There is no bossing, directives are shared and coaching is positive. Most of all, leading others is an ongoing process always in need of improvement and requiring an equal sense of humor and humility.

Sometime ago, we had a piece that emphasized the differences between image and reputation. For some reason, these terms are often confused in the small business world. In brief, image is your van, shirt, business card; it is what you look like…the company’s presentation. While reputation is what people say and nowadays, share on social media after the project is done. If that was Image 101, Image Matters is 201. It is good read to gain some insight and to maybe try a few new things.

To complement your image makeover, we have a piece from Behr Pro: 10 Business Building Tips. We really like one of the simple suggestions; have a ready to go polished and sincere elevator pitch. It should be a one to two minute description of your services and why a client should hire your company. The read provides some ideas on marketing…try a few to gain and retain more customers.

The exterior season is fading fast, looking ahead at interior work, how many weeks are booked? The fourth quarter seems to be the quickest…turkey time is a month away, then holidays and the year closes. It is worthwhile to know what going is on in the industry…trends and happenings. Stay informed with Painting Pro Times!

Thanks for reading!

Mark Casale, Editor

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