This is a dilemma that is often faced by Las Vegas-based Powder Coating Plus. Working on such powder coating projects as the newly completed Las Vegas Monorail, Cirque du Soleil's "O" and "Ka" shows and Zumanity at the New York - New York Hotel and Casino, Powder Coating Plus has earned a reputation as the Las Vegas powder coater who makes its customers look good. But when Powder Coating Plus needs custom-developed powder coatings, it is Jamestown Powder Coatings that helps Powder Coating Plus look good.
In the City that Never Sleeps, Powder Coating Plus' customers can be very demanding. According to Powder Coating Plus' general manager, Barry Hennis, "Customers want their finished products yesterday. Jamestown Powder Coatings helps give our customers the custom colors they need with the quick turnaround time they desire."
According to Hennis, Jamestown has provided numerous custom matches on hundreds of jobs, from ten pounds to hundreds of pounds. "Exact custom matches have been flawlessly created for such projects as Wynn Las Vegas, McCarran Airport, and one of the biggest challenges - an exact match metallic champagne for the Nevada Cancer Research Institute. Kevin Biller (Jamestown Powder's vice president and general manager) came to the rescue with his suggestion that the powder be bonded to negate color shifting," says Hennis. The result was thousands of dollars in savings for Powder Coating Plus' customer, Heinaman Contract Glazing.
Fast, Flexible and AccurateJamestown Powder Coatings has built its business around the ability to quickly produce small quantities of unique powder coatings. "Our customers often turn to us when they can't find their desired color in stock at other powder manufacturers", says Michael Walton, Jamestown's vice president of marketing. "We will match any color/gloss combination, in any powder coating technology. In many cases, such as Powder Coating Plus' Las Vegas Monorail project, we created many powders to provide unique visual effects."
It typically takes Jamestown one week from the time a color chip is received until the powder is shipped. In some cases, turnaround is as quick as 48 hours. In addition to being fast, Jamestown also offers custom powders in as little as 10 lb. quantities. "Not every job requires 250 pounds of powder," says Walton. "I'd hate to see our customers turn away a profitable job because they were hampered by a minimum order quantity."
When it comes to matching colors, accuracy is critical. Jamestown utilizes very sophisticated color matching equipment. Hardware is a ColorEye 7000A unit and software is Color Palate, both from Gretag Macbeth. Says Walton, "When it comes to color matching, close enough is not good enough for our customers. If it were, they would find a color that someone else already has in stock."
Anything Under the (Hot Desert) SunBy offering quick, reliable color matches, Jamestown is able to help Powder Coating Plus give their customers the exact look they desire. Powder Coating Plus' customers are no longer bound to a color chart. The only restriction now is the imaginations of the architects and project planners. This flexibility enables Powder Coating Plus to accept jobs that they would otherwise pass up.
Walton says, "If there's one thing we love, it's a challenge. Nothing is more satisfying than producing a powder coating that no one has ever seen before. Sometimes, when we're talking to our customers about their needs, they tell us that matching a certain effect is impossible. We're often able to prove otherwise."
With Success Comes GrowthApparently, Jamestown's focus on custom powder coatings is proving to be successful. Since its 2001 acquisition, Jamestown Powder Coatings has been growing rapidly. Expansion plans are currently in the works as the company approaches its maximum manufacturing capacity. According to Walton, Jamestown Paint is planning to move the business from its current location in Columbus, Ohio, to a facility it owns in Girard, Pa.," says Walton. The challenges are to make the move in a way that doesn't disrupt production or slow the company's quick response capabilities. "We plan to add manufacturing equipment to the Girard location prior to moving any of the existing equipment. Once the facility in Girard is fully operational, we'll begin to move the machinery from the Columbus plant," he says.
Powder Coating Plus is also expanding rapidly, doubling its volume in 2004. "Our business is growing largely by word of mouth," notes Hennis. Most of the contractors responsible for Las Vegas construction projects have components manufactured all around the United States. Until recently, these parts would be powder coated prior to being shipped to Las Vegas for installation. But because of Powder Coating Plus' consistent quality, many contractors prefer to have Powder Coating Plus handle the components finishing. "Pretreating all parts prior to coating is something few contract finishers do," says Hennis. "The cleanliness of the substrate directly relates to the appearance of the finished product."
Given the forecast for continued growth in Las Vegas, Powder Coating Plus is well positioned to build upon its success. According to Hennis, "We're focusing more on educating the architects, developers and general contractors about the benefits of powder coating. As they gain a better understanding of the process and our capabilities, we're confident they will continue to come to us to meet their finishing challenges." And it is likely that Jamestown Powder will be there to lend its support every step of the way.