*** A lead painter, whose hotel was damaged by Hurricane Maria’s winds, reminded me about a post that I missed submitting. Perhaps, you will find something here that can help you in 2017.
A hotel chain’s Senior chief engineer in South Carolina emailed about team preparedness, after the October 29, 2014 post. (“Hotel Engineering Team Training: Pilot Project 2015”)
“We’re a small group of specialty brand inns. Our paint applicators are all experienced in brush, roller and spray. None of them requires formal instruction on using new products, tools (and) equipment. Each painter is good at picking up on things, and running with it.
“Our budget is always tight. The 2015 budget can be stretched to purchase a few newer types of products, tools and equipment for each paint shop.
“I emailed all of our engineering directors. Each submitted a similar short list of needs. All of them requested the following:
1. Samples of new formulations of basic paint products that may fit our property needs.
‘My application specialist needs to test out a product before he can decide whether to go with the newer product, or stick with the standard one.’
2. Small samples of products as they come on the market.
‘Our chief engineers push for their painters and maintenance techs to get to test out any new product, supply, tool, or piece of equipment before they get stuck with it.’
3. Free new painting and maintenance tools to try-before-we-buy.
‘Promising new tools come on the market. I want my painter, and maintenance people, to be able to try a few of them, at least. . .It makes no sense to buy a new tool for my paint shop, before we know if it will work for the painter that has to use it.’
4. New spray gun, or spray system pre-purchase testing
‘Each of our painters does a lot of spraying, interior and exterior. At some point, a spray gun becomes too costly to repair, or rebuild, even with thorough cleaning and careful maintenance. Replacement becomes sensible option. Some of the new spray gun systems can be expensive…’
Question 1: “Bob, who do we call to get small samples of products as they come on the market?”
Answer: “In your capacity, contact the product manufacturer’s testing division. Explain your interest and need in testing new products before you buy them. Tell them about the products, including theirs, that your painters have used in the past. Share a short list of pros and cons. Offer specific engineering departments and sites within your chain as “testers and test sites.”
Question 2: “How do we get samples of new paint/finish products that may fit our property (ies)?”
Answer: “Talk to your regular paint supplier/distributor first. If that doesn’t work, contact the paint manufacturer’s representative for each respective product line.”
TIP: “It might help to seal the arrangement if you can offer your paint applicators’ experiences with the product as ‘painting trade testimonials.’ Check in advance with a few of your painters.”
Question 3: “How do we get to test out new tools and equipment free? Try-before-we-buy?”
Answer: “Contact the respective tool manufacturer – “Trade/contractor services.” Talk with the director or assistant director of their “after market” research testing center. Find out what type(s) of research data they need.
“And, if you know that you can help meet their need:
“FAX a 1-2 page “Trade Testing-Based Proposal.” Offer to provide “after market” tool use data. State how many “testing” locations you can provide and their location. For each, describe:
(1) approximate acreage and age of developed area, also property layout;
(2) structures: number, square footage, style, relevant substrates;
(3) paint shop job description, capabilities.
“For the tool, describe (1) need: current and projected; (2) use: how, where, and frequency; (3) purchasing plan: minimum quantity, initial order; approximate purchase date(s).
TIP: “Keep your proposal brief, and to the point! Do not offer the expertise of any specific dynamo painters under your umbrella. At this point, do not “bank on” any staff member to help pull this off.”
Question 4: “How can we get at least three spray systems to try out? Pre-purchase testing. Longer than one day for each system.
“Next year’s budget: I can fit in the purchase of one system for each property, after March 30. If our applicators know how to use the system, each engineering department can save sizeable funds, now going to outside contractors…”
Answer: “Spray systems for commercial and/or industrial use tend to be expensive. Phone the manufacturer’s nearest rep. Especially if you already use one or more of their spray guns and spraying systems.
“If you’re confident that you can provide important data not yet at the manufacturer’s fingertips:
“FAX a 1-page proposal letter. Offer to supply certifiable testimonials from both your top, and less experienced, sprayers. Include their experience in using that manufacturer’s spray systems, also their experience using any comparable system made by a top competitor.
“Briefly describe how your sprayers can provide feedback that will help the manufacturer build and sustain its market base for that specific spray system.
TIP: “Please do not offer to provide any data that you’re not certain you can supply.”
Some needs transfer into future situations. Some useful ideas turn into future opportunities.
Thanks for reading “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.