Russell sat down with Mike Aguirre from Color Connection, whom he had known for quite some time and who was now representing Pro-Spray. They met with Todd Berry, Pro-Spray’s local distributor and Phil Rich, Pro-Spray’s territory sales manager, to go through the advantages and savings associated with the Pro-Spray products. As they say, ‘the proof is in the pudding,’ so Russell and his crew tested and re-tested the products.
Recalls Russell, “One day, I couldn’t get a match on a Lexus we were painting, so I called Mike at Color Connection and said can you match this color?” He said, ‘we can butt match the panels.’ I told him, ‘get down here, and if you can butt match these panels, we’ll talk.’ He gave us the Pro-Spray paint and without tinting or mixing, we hit it right on the first time. It was pretty incredible.”
“All of the Pro-Spray people came here to the shop and we talked to them. I looked at the pricing and realized it’s about 40 percent less than what I was paying the other company. I could also see that they hadn’t done a price increase in three years, while our other paint company was raising their prices about 6–10%, or even more, every year.”
Other benefits became clear the more he looked at Pro-Spray. “I analyzed Pro-Spray’s clear coats. That is always one of the main things I look at. I like high-solid clears, and they have 52% high-solid clear, with the competition coming in at 48%. It doesn’t look like a big difference, but if I can get a better clear at a lower price, why not?
“The major things we were concerned about were the color matches and the protection provided by the clear coats. It’s not rocket science. If it’s prepped properly, it will last. We’re more concerned with the color match and the clear.”
Hitting on color matches with Pro-Spray also got his attention, Russell explained. “Hey, I‘m not expecting every paint manufacturer to match every color every time, because it just isn’t going to happen.
There are times you’re going to have to tint, for various reasons, and that’s a reality. But, Pro-Spray definitely impressed me and I made a deal with them. We started with Pro-Spray in late 2009 and we never looked back. We’ve been spraying it ever since.”
Adopting Pro-Spray was a gradual yet fairly drama-free process, Russell said. “We started by using their solvent product. We liked it and about six months ago we added their waterborne line. Pro-Spray brought in their people so we didn’t have to send anyone to a school. It was convenient and efficient. They had five people here for a full two weeks with the solvent and two people here in the shop with one week for the waterborne. We added the waterborne because more and more of these newer models are painted with waterborne.
Right now he’s still painting more cars with solvent, but that may change, Russell said. “I have both systems in place and I’m letting my painters decide. They’re picking 90% solvent right now, because they’re comfortable using it. Right now it takes them 15-20% longer using the waterborne. So, I’m going to have to make a decision soon on whether to make a full changeover to waterborne or use both. My guys get paid flat rate and the more cars they paint means more money in their pockets. Everyone hates change, but we like the Pro-Spray H2O waterborne, so once we can get better at using it, the transition will be easier to make.”