Thursday, 24 January 2013 16:14

Think Outside the Truck Box: Spray Lining, A Coating Profit Engine

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By guiding body shops, distributors and dealers in the right direction, Spray-Lining and Coatings can advise companies such as collision repairers, automotive restoration companies and car detailers to get into the industrial coatings field and succeed at a high level.

Billy Simmons, owner of Bottom Line Coatings in Houston and Texas City, TX, an automotive detailing business added Spray-Lining to its capabilities several years ago.

“At first, we were coating truck beds, which we still do. But, now we’re doing big jobs, mostly marine applications for boat builders and marine structures such as piles and piers,” Simmons said. “It’s been a great source of revenue for us, because the profit margins are high and the product is well-supported. You can apply high-spec coatings to pretty much anything.”

Spray-Lining’s Dealership Support Director Jeff Powell is a seasoned veteran of the industrial coatings game, so he knows how to make it or break it in this business, he explained. Powell works closely with each of his distributors nationwide to show them where there’s money to be made by tapping into all of the applications that require industrial coatings.

“We provide the training for body shops that want to look for different sources of revenue. Collision repairers, detailers and customizers have gravitated toward this business model, because it all starts in the automotive niche, doing truck beds primarily. But then if they want to go for larger jobs, such as doing things like larger commercial trucks, warehouses, garage floors, waterscapes, koi ponds and pools—it’s like a blood transfusion. There are more and more applications out there that need these products, and with our body shop’s technical expertise, coupled with decades of Spray-Lining experience, we’re able to guide body shops to new business they could not get otherwise.”

By marketing their dealers via the Internet and through direct mail, trade shows, custom signage, broadcast and print advertising in protected regions, Spray-Lining and Coatings sets up its automotive partners for success, Powell said.

“We’ve done the same thing for hundreds of companies all over North America, so it’s proven. It’s even proven in British Columbia, where the government controls the collision claims process. We know how to make money in the linings business and can turn a small investment into serious income with equity rather quickly using promos, training, equipment and technical savvy. We’re interested in selling products, of course, but we focus more on promoting our dealers locally versus the national brands, so that they can make a solid markup and build their businesses.”

Support is the key, because without it, body shops can’t easily create an ancillary business like the one Powell does for companies via Spray-Lining and Coatings on a daily basis.

“We don’t just push inventory and then watch you sink or swim, like some of the other companies out there,” he said. “The true value of working with us is our expertise. It’s really that simple. Anyone can get the right equipment and learn how to apply the coatings themselves. But, can they land big ticket jobs and keep the ball rolling, while avoiding common mistakes the competition might make?”

Michael Knab, owner of Shammy Shine in Antigo, WI, sells car wash chemicals and installs car wash equipment. He is a Spray-Lining and Coatings dealer and has developed the endeavor into a lucrative side business, he explained.

“Your imagination is the limit with how you can use these coatings, because there are so many applications out there. Truck beds are definitely a good portion of the work we get, but we also do a lot of agricultural applications, trailers, boats, swimming pools, waterscapes, and bumpers on commercial vehicles, for example. I’ve even used them on steel-toed boots for a customer, believe or not. It’s a great product, because it is easy to apply once you get used to it. You can match colors or shoot it clear and it’s extremely versatile and adaptable.”

As a new Spray-Lining and Coatings distributor or by using a DIY kit, body shops can get involved in an industry that is currently flourishing and growing, Powell said.

“We will loan you the equipment for free for the first year and steer you in the right direction for more jobs and non-automotive applications. We assist you with the big job pricing, bidding processes and by working with our support department, you’ll have answers available to you 24/7. Truck beds will bring you some additional revenue to your collision customers and you’ll also get phone calls and e-mails asking for bids on a wide range of different projects. By providing a better alternative to Rhino or Line-X at a lower cost, income streams can propagate rapidly. For that reason, we’re looking for body shops that want to look outside the truck bed and consider other new sources of income relevant to their experience.”

By leveraging its understanding of the industry, Spray-Lining and Coatings can take on the competition and prevail against any of the “national” names in the business, Powell said. “We started in agriculture doing slip-proofing on large trailers and livestock barns and anti-stick coatings on chutes, bins, hoppers and dump trucks, well before the term “bed liner” was coined.”

“We’re an alternative for companies such as Rhino, Line-X, Scorpion Coatings and DuPont Paint Protection films because our products provide a lower-cost solution to bed liners. By providing a wide range of variable textures and high-tensile clear, we’re able to offer an affordable and proven system that can supersede the usual solutions,” Powell said.

Collision repairers are often careful about exploring anything not within a comfort zone, but Powell has found forward thinkers from Massachusetts to Arizona and everywhere in between, he said, that have chosen to work with Spray-Lining and Coatings.

“Most shops can see the synergy between the collision business and what we’re doing,” Powell said. “Many of our body shop dealers are using this system and doing very well performing automotive-related jobs. But, others have embraced other uses for these products. 2013 may be the right time to look around for newest methods to profit, depending less on collision, insurance or low profit DRPs: Raising profit in the end.”

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