Archive for October 2014

Nothing more expensive than a cheap paint!

As is to be expected, I am often out looking at homes that need repainting and the client will say something to the effect of, “Gee, I do not know why the paint did not last longer….it was Benjamin Moore paint!” They could have said any of a number of brands that are seen as “premium” by many people: Sherwin Williams, Dunn Edwards, Vista, Behr.

The fact is that all paint brands make CHEAP PAINT! You see, every paint manufacturer makes several product lines to meet different price points or quality/durability requirements. All brands make cheap paint for apartment repaints because the apartments get repainted every 2-3 years…they do not need a durable paint. Commercial grade paint is meant for building exteriors that are painted every 3-5 years and are therefore low cost per gallon.

The danger for clients in comparing paints specified by competing contractors, is that the client may get snookered by words like : “we will be using Benjamin Moore paints”…. so the client picks that contractor only to find that the paint applied was from Benjamin Moore…but was actually Benjamin Moore’s apartment grade paint!

Be aware to not only buy from a reputable paint manufacturer but also buy their high quality product line. The cost of the paint is a small percentage of a properly prepared and applied paint project …so buy the best and enjoy it for many years….it will last longer and be over years of service, a lower cost. Much better than face a failing paint job that has to be re-prepared at greater expense.

What is the “Character” of our company

We have had a lot of team meetings over the years and I have written hundreds of inter-company letters to my team. The letter is always sectioned into the same four areas of emphasis that affect the client experience.

  1. Character: where I take a positive aspect of virtue to aspire to; and the expand on how we each can apply it in our daily lives
  2. Craftsmanship: here I write about techniques to provide top finishes for our clients
  3. Customer Service: here a member of the team is highlighted by all of us seeing what a client has written about their experience getting their house painted. It is always instructive to read what has “wowed” the client and what they appreciated most about their experience with us.
  4. Safety: a topic .regarding safety issues commonly encountered in contracting.

Recently I was meeting with a “Best Practices” group of contractors from around the US. We get together twice a year and discuss issues important to improving ourselves and our businesses. At our recent meeting we were asked to write down what was the culture or Character of our companies. I wrote down several of the topics I had written about. After sharing these with the other business owners, we were instructed to go back to our teams and ask them what they really thought the company stood for….it was a bit scary because often a company owner says one thing but acts another way….I wanted to know if I was “walking the talk”.

The words the team put down that THEY say typifies the character of Peek Brothers:

  • Friendly
  • Clean, Neat and Orderly
  • Communicate well
  • Trust and Respect

I was very pleased because these character virtues are in line with what we emphasize in hiring, training and our daily operations and they are in line with what our clients consistently say in our end of job “Client Survey”.