Johnson Paints, known to customers as Flex Bon Paints as a result of the company's product label and the name carried by its company-owned stores, has been honored as the 2001 Paint Manufacturer of the Year by PCI magazine. The award will be presented at the National Paint & Coatings Association's Annual Meeting on Oct. 28-30 in Seattle.
The company is being recognized for its progressive manufacturing methods, its involvement in community affairs, and its adoption of health, safety, and environmental guidelines outlined by the NPCA's Coatings Care program. The company professes a commitment to "making a positive impact on community and industry," and describes itself as a "community-minded corporation that focuses on quality, service and safety."
Johnson Paints, a manufacturer and retailer of architectural paints in South Florida, was started in 1959 by four brothers - Willis, Worth, John, and Jess Johnson. The company began with one store location in Fort Myers, and today operates 24 retail stores. The Johnson family continues to lead the company, with Sam Johnson - son of Willis Johnson - holding the post of president.
The company takes pride in its record of progressive business practices, which includes close attention to responsible manufacturing practices and efforts to serve the community.
Internally, the company conducts extensive training programs to ensure employee safety, with attention given to OSHA, hazardous-materials, and transportation issues. Johnson Paints has received the NPCA's Safety Award, and instituted a company safety award based on the number of days worked with no lost-time accidents. Recently, the company hired a corporate trainer to ensure that all regulatory and safety training is complete and up to date.
Manufacturing audits were recently conducted to examine cycle-time reduction and conversion costs, with the reviews carried out by an independent consulting firm. The audits indicated that Johnson Paints' operations compared favorably with those of other, larger manufacturers. The company also has worked to increase the production of waterborne paints while reducing the use of solvents.
In following procedures outlined by the NPCA's Coatings Care program, the company has revised raw-material purchasing methods and as a result has slashed the use of drums by 60%. Paper-bag waste was reduced by 40% by switching to semi-bulk packaging, and all wash water from production is recycled.
Johnson Paints' commitment to community affairs takes a number of forms, ranging from donations of paints for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings and for the painting of the homes of low-income residents, to sponsorship of "Flex Bon Riverfest," a Fourth of July celebration in downtown Fort Myers.
The company's donations of paint and supplies assist a number of institutions and facilities, including the historic Burroughs Home in Fort Myers; Paint Your Heart Out, an organization that assists low-income residents; LARC Inc., a group that provides housing and other assistance to the mentally disabled; the Fort Myers Historical Museum; and facilities that assist the homeless, abused women and others in need.