2018 Custom Coater Forum Draws Rave Reviews

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2018

PCI held its 2018 Custom Coater Forum on January 16 & 17 in Sarasota, Florida. It was the first time this event was held in Florida. Attendees came from twelve states and Canada, flying in from as far away as Washington. It was a very friendly crowd who came prepared to soak up all the information they could.

Attendees heard detail on a wide range of topics from running a custom coating business to powder coating processes. The business topics included succession planning, working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), managing your online reputation, and managing your custom coating business. Attendees also heard the latest information on architectural applications; the profitability in proper grounding, racking and part density; and adding thermoplastic powder applications to your offering. The first day concluded with a dynamic and entertaining panel session on blasting to prep for powder application.

Roundtable Discussion

A key component of our Custom Coater Forum is the round table discussions. Attendees always look forward to this informative feedback session. This year, each table discussed the following topics:

  1. How has social media affected the way you market/manage your business? How do you market?
  2. With low unemployment rates, what are you doing to retain your talent?
  3. How do you manage customer expectations? Do you provide a detailed written specification for each job?

In January, it is not uncommon for weather issues to affect travel plans and this year Rick Gehman of Keystone Koating LLC, who made an excellent presentation full of great management advice, became our first speaker to present via Skype.

Not only was this year’s Custom Coater Forum attended by folks from all over the country, we also had a good mix of veteran and first-ever attendees. The event’s evaluations included statements like:

  • This was our first time at an event and we really, really enjoyed our time.
  • A lot of knowledge in a great, friendly, informative environment. Great speakers and interesting to meet other coaters from around the U.S.
  • Enjoyed Sarasota. Would love to come back again. I feel I have some good takeaways.Thanks for your work putting this together.
Roundtable Discussion

Thanks to our PCI members who presented at the Custom Coater Forum:

  • Grace Kallhoff, IFS Coatings
  • Jorge Martinez, JR Custom Metal Products, Inc.
  • Rick Gehman, Keystone Koating LLC
  • Fred Distasio, Excell Coatings, Inc.
  • Joe Langemeier, AZZ Metal Coatings
  • David McRobbie, Axalta/Plascoat

The event concluded with our PCI board president, Chris Merritt, Gema USA, and board director, Mark Mortensen, All-Color Powder Coating, Inc., presenting information on two of our important programs for custom coaters: PCI 3000 Certification and CCAI/PCI Peer Groups.