An ALLPRO® Publication VOL. 21, ISSUE 4 JULY/AUGUST 2011
by: Joe Poliseo
ALL IN THE FAMILY – PART II In the previous issue we announced we would be relocating ALLPRO’s Corporate Headquarters in the fall, while at the same time opening our 2nd Distribution/ Fulfillment Center in Tampa, FL. The new center will allow us to serve members from Florida to Texas who are not currently served by our center in Massachusetts and who have very few choices for products sourced through two-step distribution. There are no ALLPRO member distributors that service the Southeast and Southwest markets, which should be the first choice and recommendation for our member’s distribution needs – keeping the business all in the family! The prior cover story was written in late April. Since then the landscape has changed dramatically with regard to distribution. ALLPRO’s negotiated supplier programs are now more important and valuable than ever. However, we recognize the need to purchase through distribution is necessary and wherever and whenever possible, we encourage ALLPRO members to purchase goods required from re-distribution through an ALLPRO member distributor. The reasoning is quite simple – purchasing through an ALLPRO member distributor ultimately strengthens the ALLPRO programs, influence, and market presence. Conversely, purchasing through another source that is outside of our network strengthens their programs. For this reason, it just makes sense to support a fellow ALLPRO member company. Again, members are highly encouraged to support ALLPRO’s regional distributors and ALLPRO Distribution Centers when in need of goods through re-distribution. Everyone in the group wins when you do. If you want information for the ALLPRO member company that serves re-distribution of product in your area (Northeast, mid-
Atlantic, upper Midwest or West Coast markets) please contact the ALLPRO office. We also encourage our approved suppliers to work with our distributor and dealer members alike to create the best possible programs. ALLPRO members continue to be the most reliable and financially sound companies in the paint & decorating products industry, as evidenced by recent industry reports. As mentioned in the News and Views section on page 8 of this issue, the Paint & Decorating Retailer’s “Pulse Report” showed modest sales gains for independent retailers in the first quarter of this year (0.3 percent U.S. and 0.2 percent in Canada). We are pleased to report that ALLPRO members are greatly outpacing this with purchases through the group up 3.5% through the same first quarter, and with a strong April and May, showing a 5.5% increase year-to-date. We are looking for this growth pattern to continue into the summer months. Whoever first said “Timing is everything” may be one of the smartest ever. The timing of a bit of an uptick (or at least a bottoming out) in today’s economy, coupled with ALLPRO’s member growth (272 companies, over 1,500 storefronts, ten companies that re-distribute to thousands of accounts) and the opening of a Southeast facility is all happening at the right time. ALLPRO and our membership are well positioned and poised for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The timing for the Southeast facility is still on target, as the lease has been signed and build-out should commence in July. After we “settle in” during the late fall we would welcome a visit from all ALLPRO member and supplier personnel to see our new home.
The New Google Algorithm and Its Effect on Your Website By: Al Kinnear On February 23rd of this year, Google released a newly updated algorithm called "Panda" on its search engine. The algorithm is the formula that determines where a website will appear in Google's search results pages based on the search terms entered into Google.
can feature unique content with regards to the product in project of the month or website promotions. The key to a successful website strategy is creating unique content, having quality links to all of your most important vendors, and REGULAR UPDATES AND CONTENT ADDITIONS. If you simply post a website and then look at it once a year to make sure your store hours are still accurate, your Google rankings will likely be very poor. The people who invest time in keeping their website up to date with fresh and dynamic content will always see search engine results that keep visitors coming to their website.
While the Google algorithm is a secret, you can review the Search Engine expertâ€™s opinions by doing a (you guessed it) Google Search on "New Google Algorithm" and you will see hundreds of very interesting articles and blogs on this topic. After spending several days reviewing many of these articles and blogs I have summarized the impact of the new Google Panda release below.
How to Keep Your Website Dynamic? BLOG! A blog offers you the simplest and most effective way to add unique content to your website. An effective blog will post regular updates with information that is important to the visitors to your website. A great example of an ALLPRO member blog is Sun Wallpaper & Paint's blog at www.sunwallpaperandpaint.com.
Unique and Valuable Content is Key for Search Results Google's Panda release has targeted Content Farms and reduced the value of website content that contains low quality content that is produced simply to allow for improved search engine rankings. Content Farms are web-based companies that employ a large number of writers who create content that is created more for search engine optimization than for valuable or informative content. A more in depth definition can be found at Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_farm).
Sun began their blog in January of 2011 and use it to promote seasonal products such as wood cleaners, deck stain and deck prep in the spring, and also to highlight other services and new products available in their stores.
Duplicate content is also an issue with Content Farms as many articles will appear in several different websites. Google seems to have decided that duplicate content and/or low value content that is based only on satisfying search engines should have minimal value. Google is now, more than ever before, trying to evaluate what constitutes a quality website, with information that is valuable to the consumer who is performing Google Searches.
After one month the blog became and still remains the second most visited page on their website and the site stats show that the blog is rarely, if ever the exit page for the website visitor. This means the blog is bringing and keeping traffic on the website. Links from Google are up 50% for May 2011 vs May 2010. What has changed on the website over this period? Content updates and the creation of a blog. Dynamic, unique and engaging content is the key to Google search results and also the key to having a website that is useful for the people who visit your website and ultimately visit your store(s).
How Does This Impact The Average ALLPRO Member Website? Most websites in the Paint and Decorating space will have a lot of information dedicated to vendor brands and products available in their stores. Of course, featuring products generally requires using information from vendor websites and this can lead to duplicate information being found on many websites carrying the same brand. The question really is, how much can you say differently about Product X â€“ Eggshell than everyone else?
It is my belief that using vendor information on your website in the product areas is acceptable as long as it is quality information, you include several links to the vendor site and that you also include unique content with regards to that product by blogging about it on your website blog, or by having an area where you
Your website becomes a valuable resource for your business only if you invest time and energy ensuring that unique and new content is made available to people who visit your website.
I don't believe that there are many, if any, Allpro members using Content Farms to post information to their website or blogs. The lesson to be learned from the Google Algorithm revamp is that content on your website is and always will be King.
advantage of supplier-sponsored training events. They also leveraged the benefits of industry groups like the Northern California Decorating Products Associations, which offered dealer networking and training opportunities. Bill and Ron were both quick studies and it didn’t take long before they were able to hold their own and provide the kind of firsthand technical expertise independents are known for. Even still, Bill likes to point out, “We’ve always maintained that we don’t know everything and if we don’t have an answer we’ll tell you we don’t but we know where to get the answer and we do. People have always appreciated that honesty.” Apart from product knowledge there were other areas of the business that presented a learning curve – namely accounting. Neither brother had ever dealt with accounts receivables or how to collect Money. According to Bill, “We were the new guys in town, so every undesirable around showed up on our doorstep. Fortunately for us we had one customer that worked for the local credit bureau, who was able to show us how to check accounts. It was still difficult to learn how to tell people ‘no’. After all, the last thing you want to do as a new business owner is turn business away, but if you don’t you can really open yourself up to a lot of headaches.”
By: Scott Morath It was the decade of the 70’s and brothers Bill and Ron King weren’t quite satisfied with their lives. It wasn’t so much that they were unhappy but there was a certain sense of a life unfulfilled that seemed to nag at them. Fortunately, the 70’s was a decade marked by a growing attitude of self determination and individualism and Bill and Ron were no different – they were determined to find their road to personal fulfillment. However, their personal road didn’t involve any of the social or political movements of the 70’s. Rather, their solution to living a fulfilled life was simple – they bought a paint store.
As with any small business, the first few years were the toughest but Bill and Ron ran the store by themselves and were able to begin to grow the business beyond what it had been under the old ownership. However, it was after those first few years that a series of events occurred, which enabled them to truly position the business for growth.
The company they purchased was Thomsen’s Color Corner, a small paint store located in the town of Santa Cruz, California. The business had been around since 1945, when it was founded by a local paint contractor named H.L. Thomsen. While Mr. Thomsen had obviously managed to keep the business operating, it had not yet realized its full potential. Part of that was likely due to the fact that he continued to operate as a paint contractor while running the paint store - a condition that many contractors in the area found less than ideal. Still, it was a viable business but one that he was ready to part with after 30 years of ownership.
The property King’s Paint occupied was actually a lease and as it happened, one day their landlord informed them the property was up for sale. Rather than go through the hassle of relocating the business they had just purchased Bill and Ron scrambled to pull the necessary funds together and in 1979 were able to purchase the property outright. Then about four years later a local hospital made a bid to purchase the entire block, which included the King’s Paint property. This was an opportunity they couldn’t pass on, so Bill and Ron sold the property and used the capital from the sale to purchase their current location on 41st Avenue in neighboring Soquel, California.
At the time Bill King worked for a lumber company in the eastern sierra mountains. He learned of the opportunity to purchase Thomsen’s Color Corner from the company’s Ameritone Paint rep, who also happened to call on Thomsen’s. Bill paid Mr. Thomsen a visit and then presented the situation to his brother Ron. With the help of a family friend, who was an accountant, they were able to negotiate the asking price down a bit and on December 10, 1976, Bill and Ron became the proud owners of what was now King’s Paint and Paper. It was a risky venture to say the least. While Bill had previous experience in the paint business he had been working for the lumber company for the past several years and Ron worked as a retail manager at a clothing store before becoming a sales executive for a citrus products company. Neither Bill nor Ron was an expert in coatings, to say the least, and there was a considerable learning curve ahead of them. However, they made up in customer service for what they lacked in expertise, leaned heavily on their paint reps for that expertise, and were quick to take
King’s Paint and Paper Soquel, CA location
According to Bill the location for the new store was ideal. As he puts it, “41st Avenue is the central business district for the entire county.” Selling the old property and moving to a better location was a shot in the arm for King’s Paint. Just a few short years later the company was able to expand and open a second location, this one about 10 miles away in Scotts Valley.
In addition to using the ALLPRO programs to stay competitive Bill and Ron are avid price comparison shoppers and shop the competition on a regular basis. They look for specific price-sensitive items and shop those items only. The goal however, is not to beat those prices or even match them. As Bill puts it, “Our goal is really to make sure we’re as close as we can be on those items. We know we’re not going to beat the chains on price but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be in the same ballpark. We want to minimize the difference and let our service be the deciding factor for the customer. It works. There have been times in the process of making a sale that I’ve told contractors they can get a certain item cheaper across the street but they reply that it would take longer and they’d probably get the wrong product.”
However, growth at the Scotts Valley location proved to be a bit more challenging for the company. Bill comments, “For the most part, we used the same format but made a few minor adjustments here and there to cater to the local market. Most of the challenge for that location came as a result of the Scott’s Valley area being tied very closely to Silicon Valley, which has seen a lot of economic fluctuation over the years.” The area has seen sporadic albeit continual growth and King’s Paint has had to relocate the Scotts Valley store to larger buildings twice in order to keep up with the growth in the area. Bill and Ron have looked at expanding to areas beyond Soquel and Scotts Valley but ultimately they opted to focus on growing the existing business.
King’s Paint and Paper also stays actively engaged with its customers through their website, social media, and a company newsletter. Bill manages the company’s website via a content management system, which enables him to keep it up to date with promotions and other information. Their monthly newsletter contains price increases, decreases and sale items as well but he also uses it to communicate special events and miscellaneous items. Bill has a “Gossip, Rumors, and Lies” column and anything that will fit into that from social to business is typically covered.
From the beginning King’s Paint & Paper has been very involved in professional trade associations. Initially they were part of the NCDPA where Bill served on the association’s board and later as chapter president. Initially the group was large in California with over 200 members but through the 80’s the independents increasingly grew smaller in number due in large part to the rise of big box retailers. Continued attrition of members made it necessary for the northern and southern chapters to consolidate but even that wasn’t enough. When the association eventually dissolved Bill and Ron began looking for other alternatives.
When it comes to promoting the business King’s Paint takes a very creative approach. For many years now King’s has had a contest of sorts where King’s Paint and Paper T-Shirts have been all over customers could win $100 by the world, even under the Antarctic Icesheet having their photograph taken wearing a King’s Paint and Paper T-shirt. Initially, whoever had their picture taken farthest away from the store won Fortunately, fellow NCDPA members Marv Pursel of Pursel the prize. Pictures came in from all across the U.S., which Quality Paints and Verne Manson of Spectra Paint were led to the slogan “Conveniently located between Alaska and also members of ALLPRO and recommended the group Mexico” being printed on the back of the shirts. Today the to Bill and Ron. In 2000 they attended a presentation on contest includes not only who can take their photo the ALLPRO and immediately afterward applied for membership. farthest away but also the most interesting photo and the According to Bill, “ALLPRO quickly filled the need previously prize money is donated to the winner’s charity of choice. met by the association and then some. From a business To date, the farthest, most interesting photo was taken by standpoint we now had access to the spring show and every a customer who traveled to Antarctica on a research day program advantages and resources that NCDPA didn’t expedition. The customer was researching ice flows and offer. We found that suppliers who previously wouldn’t talk went so far as to put the King’s t-shirt over her wetsuit and to us because of our size were now interested in having a take a photo while underneath the ice sheet. Bill has posted conversation. It also allowed us to reconnect with some of the location photos on the company’s Facebook page. The our former NCDPA associates like Reno Paint and others that shirts have proven to be a great tool for engaging with we had lost contact with. Even better, we now had friends customers and creating buzz for the business. from all over the country and not just California. (Continued on page 7)
ALLPRO® Member Profiles By Angel Nemath ALLPRO has had the good fortune to add the highest quality companies in the industry to the group. We continue to grow and are pleased to profile some of our newest members. W.E. AUBUCHON CO. INC.
RELIANCE PAINTS AND COATINGS
• Founded: 1908 • Location: Westminster, MA • Telephone: (978) 874-6557 • Web site address: www.hardwarestore.com • Founder: William E. Aubuchon Sr. • Current President: Marcus Moran Jr. • ALLPRO Contacts: Joseph Houssan and Bernard Aubuchon • 123 Stores • # Full-Time Employees: 1,100 • Wholesale/Comm./Contractor: 15%, Retail/DIY: 85 % • This is a family owned and operated chain of independent
• Founded: 2000 • Location: Pompano Beach, FL • Telephone: (954) 781-1100 • Web site address: www.reliancepaint.com • Founders: John Daly, Jack Findlan and Mike Withrow • Current President: John Daly • ALLPRO Contacts: Mike Withrow and Bibi Baccus • 1 Store • # Full-Time Employees: 7 • Wholesale/Comm./Contractor: 80%, Retail/DIY: 20% • Reliance Paints and Coatings is a great paint store. We
hardware stores. We run a 400,000 sq. ft. Distribution Center and use a fleet of trucks to make weekly deliveries to the stores. Aubuchon Hardware stores are located in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and New York. • As a 23 year old French Canadian immigrant, William Aubuchon purchased a hardware store in Fitchburg, MA in 1908. The company was incorporated in 1934 and by 1948 there were 32 stores. The Distribution Center and Headquarters were built in the early 1970’s in Westminster, MA. By this time there were 95 stores. In the 1990’s the third generation of family management became the company leaders. • Company Slogan: We’ll Fix You Right Up
have over 100 years of combined experience. We can get our customers the right information and/or product the first time. • Company Slogan: Where Your Business is Appreciated
GRAUER’S PAINT & WALLPAPER
• Founded: 1934 • Location: Lancaster, PA • Telephone: (717) 394-0558 • Web site address: www.grauerspaint.com • Current President: Paul Newcomer • ALLPRO Contacts: Jim Tobler • 2 Stores • # Full-Time Employees: 6 • Wholesale/Comm./Contractor: 60%, Retail/DIY: 40% • Grauer’s is a full service ptg & decorating store. We carry
PROFESSIONAL PAINT CENTER
• Founded: 1976 • Location: Walnut Creek, CA • Telephone: (925) 933-3315 • Web site address: www.professionalpaintcenter.com • Current President: Jack Handling • ALLPRO Contacts: Jack Handling, Jim Vetterli and Mike Bush • 1 Store • # Full-Time Employees: 10 • Wholesale/Comm./Contractor: 65%, Retail/DIY: 35% • Professional Paint Center is a full service paint and spray
the whole Ben Moore product line, Sikkens stains, Insl-x and any and all sundry items. We are also a Hunter Douglas showcase dealer and have a decorator in store at all times. We have a large library of wallpaper books of all types for home & commercial use. Grauer’s continues to provide Lancaster residents with the finest products, service and advice available in the paint market today. • Grauer’s was established in Lancaster in 1934 by WM K Grauer a resident of Philadelphia. It was the purchased in 1950 by Jesse Dowd who owned it until his death at which time his son David took over. The store was moved to E. King Street in 1972 and remained there until 2002. At that time the current owners Paul Newcomer & Reuben King bought the business and moved it to its current location. In 2007 a second Gauer’s was opened in Lititz, PA. • Company Slogan: Lancaster’s Most Trusted Paint Store
equipment store. We have 5 auto tint machines, 10 1gal shakers and 3 5gal shakers. We carry the Mohawk Lacquer line. Professional Paint has color consultants scheduled daily. We can do custom colors in 24 hours or less. Fast and accurate service is our priority. • Professional Paint Center is a Benjamin Moore dealer from the beginning. Originally a TCO (Temporary Co-Owner) long term business success due to our spray equipment background. We still have a full service spray repair shop and we stock and sell spray equipment and parts. • Company Slogan: We Service What We Sell
Member Happenings Congratulations to Miller Paint Co., Inc. who recently acquired the business operations of four of the five Kelly-Moore Paints Stores located in Portland and Vancouver. Miller plans to transition the Kelly-Moore business over to five Miller Paint stores operating within close proximity to the closing Kelly-Moore stores. Miller Paint currently operates 38 stores located throughout Oregon and Washington. Congratulations to Adam Jones, son of Kerry Jones from Huffman Paint & Wallcovering. Adam was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship sponsored by the National Hardware Show. PDRA members were allowed to nominate an individual for the award that was chosen based on an essay submitted by the nominee. Adam was presented his award by members of the PDRA and National Hardware Show. Way to go Adam! Rossi Decorating was recently profiled in the Dealer Feature of P&DR Magazine. The article chronicles Rossi’s beginnings when Bernard’s grandfather opened the store prior to WWII, to its present ownership by 3rd generation Bernard. In the article Bernard discusses many of the changes that have occurred in the industry over the years and stresses the importance of embracing marketplace changes as they occur. As he puts it, “Moving forward everyone is going to navigate through life with mobile devices. They’re also doing social media and it’s important for retailers to participate.”
In the Media Binks/ITW recently announced that the IW Finishing Equipment group – including the BGK, Binks, DeVilbiss, Gema and Ransburg businesses would be acquired by Graco, Inc. The acquisition, expected to be completed in June at the earliest, will not impact how Graco or ITW Finishing Equipment currently conduct business. Customer service, tech support and sales will not change for either and pricing, discounts, and programs will remain intact. Corona Brushes, Inc. is a longtime supporter of Tampa’s “Paint Your Heart Out Project” wherein volunteers paint the homes of low-income, elderly homeowners. The charity also established a special award in memory of Corona’s founder, the late Gregory Waksman, to recognize an individual who goes above and beyond their volunteer duties each year. This year’s Gregory Waksman award recipient was Frank Roder. Pictured is Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn honoring Corona Brushes for their support of the local charity.
Social Media As many of our readers already know ALLPRO has had a presence on Facebook for over a year now. The page continues to grow and at present we currently have over 660 monthly active users on the page. We also have 84 links to other member, supplier, and industry Facebook pages, as well as links to the ALLPRO YouTube Channel and the recent addition of the ALLPRO Twitter feed. Our intent with each of these social media platforms is to provide members with valuable, relevant content that not only informs but models how social media can be used effectively. To that end we will continue to exploit these valuable business resources and expand on them as we are able to. We encourage you to look us up at www.facebook.com/allprocorp and www.twitter.com/allprocorp to like and/or follow us and join in the conversation.
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER … ALLPRO 2011 Fall Stockholder’s Meeting St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach Dana Point, CA, Oct 27 – Oct 30, 2011
ALLPRO 2013 Fall Stockholder’s Meeting Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa Hilton Head Island, SC, Oct 24 – 27, 2013
ALLPRO 2012 Spring Show & Sales Meeting Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando, FL, Mar 14 – 18, 2012
ALLPRO 2014 Spring Show & Sales Meeting JW Marriott Desert Ridge Phoenix, AZ, Mar 19 – 24, 2014
ALLPRO 2012 Fall Stockholder’s Meeting Westin Kierland Resort & Spa Scottsdale, AZ, Oct 25 – Oct 28, 2012
ALLPRO 2014 Fall Stockholder’s Meeting Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa Miami, FL, Oct 16 – 19, 2014
ALLPRO 2013 Spring Show & Sales Meeting JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa Tucson, AZ, Mar 20 – 24, 2013
ALLPRO 2015 Spring Show & Sales Meeting Rosen Shingle Creek Orlando, FL, Mar 18 – 22, 2015
solve the customer’s problems at the price they can afford. Simple enough.
(Continued from page 4)
It’s been 30 plus years since Bill and Ron set out to live the kind of lives they envisioned for themselves and since then there have been no regrets. Today Kings Paint and Paper is still a two-store family run business and their focus is to continue to cultivate those stores. Bill and Ron both have sons who work at Kings Paint. Ron’s son Tom manages the Soquel store and Bill’s son Matt also works at Soquel part time. While there are the occasional whispers of retirement and Matt and Tom have expressed an interest in the business, neither Bill nor Ron is ready to retire just yet. For now both are content doing what they set out to do those many years ago - to live the kind of lives they wanted, where you get up and do what you love every day.
The problem he states is, “Most salespeople talk about themselves and what they have done in the area and why people love them…” “It’s a big self love fest,” he smiles as he continues in the same theme. “Imaging going on a date and talking about all the girls that you have helped and who love you. When the date is over, the only one who had fun… was you.” Sean goes on to say that customers don’t care about how wonderful you are and how much you know, customers want to know how much you care… and how much you can help them.
Blue Collar Advice for Painters
Sean’s general theory is the average paint job lasts as a whole for 6-10 years, however the project starts to show signs of wear (peeling and cracking) in trouble spots after 1-3 years. The project slowly breaks down little by little until it is obvious the property owner wants to do it all over again.
Sales 101: Create the Job Your Customer Wants to Buy
In the current economy and financial insecurity, it is even more crucial to focus by: Steve Ryan on the most important fact of business. You are not a painter; you are a painter after you get the job. First and foremost, you are a person or company that happens to market for leads and sell painting services.
Sean reviews this slow decay of the project idea and the customer usually agrees with him. The customer knows that the project doesn’t look good for 9 years and 11 months and then magically decays in 1 month like clockwork. “My job goal is to then design a project at an affordable price that will last 2 time longer. That can be done with the correct prep, primers, caulk and finish coat(s). Once the better job at a reasonable price is discussed, I normally get the job,” Sean says.
You are a marketer and salesperson before any painting happens. If you can’t attract enough leads to meet with enough people to write enough proposals, you won’t be in business much longer.
The customer has given me their history of the project. Their history is their reality. I try to stress this simple truth to my prospect. “If you do what you did before, you’ll get the same results. The only way you’ll get the results you asked for, is to go with the changes I’ve laid out in my proposal.”
In this economy, in which more people are becoming painters at less than living wages and with no insurance, it is increasingly important to get back to the basics. Competition is fierce. Sharpen your skill or the low budget painters will take your job.
Simple stuff really. Sean doesn’t focus on how great he or his company is, he focuses on the customer’s past history, then their needs, wants, desires, and budget. “The way I lead the customer, I makes it easy for he or she to decide quickly to schedule the project. There really is not room for the, I want to think about it response,” he states with confidence. “If they don’t change the buying behavior they will get the problem results they don’t like AGAIN. That is the whole point of why they called me…solve the problem.”
Most customers are ignorant about painting and contracting services, just as most of us have no knowledge of the costs and dangers of running a dry cleaning business. The only common denominator is price for most of us. The customer states he wants a “good” job. Company A bids $1,000 and Company B bids $700. Unless the customer is educated or knows the difference, Company B wins. Price is the common denominator in most customers’ knowledge level.
The customer will decide one way or another, Sean just wants to make it easy to choose his company.
I have met a painter who has a sales system which keeps the work constantly flowing into his business during good and bad times alike. His sales system is very simple. Sean O’leary, of O’leary Shea Mcpherson & Shamus Painting, gathers information from the customer on past experiences and their wishes for the future. He then created a proposal to
Good luck and don’t participate in the recession. Steve Ryan has 20 years of experience as a contractor. He now produces Mad Dog Paint Products. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
NEWS AND VIEWS ALLPRO Paint Trends Survey Highlights for 1Q In the recent 1st Quarter Paint Trends Survey exclusive to ALLPRO members, respondents indicated that sales in 1st Quarter 2011 had improved over 4th Quarter 2010. This appeared to be driven by higher paint prices in January and February and better paint volume in March. March was the best month of the Quarter. Generally speaking, 1st Quarter sales were in line with respondents forecasts. Additionally, bid/quote activity improved relative to the last survey – 58% of respondents reported seeing better bid/quote activity. Additionally, 28% are seeing backlogs grow, compared to 10% seeing backlogs 90 days ago but this is likely due to seasonality. Overall, 2011 volumes are now up 2% vs. less than 1% previously reported. The ALLPRO Paint Trends Survey is administered quarterly and the complete survey results can be found on the ALLPRO site under the Resources and Documents tab.
PDRA Reports Modest Sales Growth for Independents in 1Q The Paint & Decorating Retailer Association recently reported modest improvements for U.S. and Canadian independent retailers for the first Quarter of 2011. According to the Pulse Report, sales performance grew by .3 percent in the U.S. and .2 percent in Canada. The increases were seen in the window coverings and paint categories only. Paint sundries and wallcovering categories were still lagging behind first quarter from last year. Where were the gains strongest? The report indicated sales gains were strongest in the South, followed by the Midwest and Canada. The West and Northeast continued to “be in the red” for the first quarter. The Pulse Report is a product of the PDRA Research Department. If you would like to view a complete copy of the report visit www.pdra.com/blog.
New OSHA Residential Construction Regs in 2011 OSHA recently announced new fall protection requirements for residential construction effective June 16, 2011. The new directive, 29 CFR 1926.501(b)(13), requires residential builders engaged in construction over six feet above the ground level be protected by conventional fall protection. Recently OSHA followed up by announcing a 3 month phase-in period. Contractors are still required to be in compliance with the original interim guidelines but have until September 1, 2011 to comply with the guidelines for 29 CFR. OSHA has developed training and compliance assistance materials for small employers and will host webinars for parties interested in learning more about compliance. Those interested in obtaining more information should go to www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protection.html. As a reminder, ALLPRO’s approved supplier for fall protection is Sperian Protection Products.
Editor/Production Scott Morath
Proofers Ann Spire, Julia Thomas, Angel Nemath, Chris Gingell, Pat Brulfer
Contributing Writers Scott Morath, Angel Nemath, Joe Poliseo - ALLPRO, Al Kinnear - Big Eye Productions Steve Ryan - Mad Dog Paint Products, Inc.
ALLPRO® President Travis Detter
Exec. Vice President Joe Poliseo
SUGGESTIONS WELCOME Your suggestions, ideas, articles and comments are encouraged. The Scouting Report is an important communications media for ALLPRO®. Mail all correspondence to:
The Scouting Report c /o ALLPRO® Corporation 1215 Millennium Parkway Brandon, FL 33511 • (813) 628-4800 Website: www.allprocorp.com The Scouting Report is a bimonthly publication of the ALLPRO® Corporation. Printed on recycled paper
Are You Keeping Up? A recent survey by Merchant Circle targeted small business owners to determine the most popular methods for marketing themselves. The results indicated that 40.9% of small business owners leveraged social networks compared to more traditional methods, such as print newspapers 21.7%, print yellow pages 20%, local radio 7.5% and e-mail marketing 37.1%. Among the social networks Facebook, at 66%, was by far the most popular site for businesses and exceeded Google and Twitter usage by more than double. Beyond creating a company (fan) page 22% of companies used Facebook ads and 65% of those would use it again. About the businesses surveyed by Merchant Circle, 78% had between 1 – 4 employees, so most of these businesses are truly small businesses. In a separate survey conducted by the Social Media Examiner, 77% of marketers plan on increasing their use of YouTube video marketing, which makes it the top area marketers will invest in for 2011. Aside from YouTube, the advantages cited by marketers for expanding use of social media were generating more business exposure 88%, increased website traffic 72%, and improved search rankings 62%. [Editor’s note: Members who would like to learn more about social media can access pertinent materials under the Resources and Documents tab on the ALLPRO website. Just look for the Social Media header. You can also visit the ALLPRO Facebook page, which is linked to multiple member pages, as well as the ALLPRO Twitter and YouTube pages.]