— By Sean Gillespie —
Managing your refresh and reimage painting needs.
Over the past 13 months, one word has nearly dominated everything: COVID. As a result, many have had to make adjustments — some dramatic — to their painting programs. While those changes are expected (and perhaps inevitable) under the circumstances, the need to continue or jump-start multi-site painting programs is essential to keeping your facilities consistently branded, aesthetically pleasing, safe and functional. “Essential” may sound extreme, especially given the challenges of the past year, but we believe cyclical painting programs do more than just provide a clean look. These programs add brand awareness, improve employee morale, and drive favorable customer experiences. Below are some things to consider as you get back to/continue your painting program.
Safety & Quality Assurance
This is where your search for a painting contractor should start, not when the painting is ready to begin. Be sure your painting contractor has the experience and, more critically, the intentional investment in driving their own safety and quality assurance — not just adhering to your general guidelines. The customer should not have to find mistakes or approach the contractor with bad news. Ideally, the contractor finds and fixes his own mistakes.
If you want to drive the image of your brand, look for a painting contractor who does the same with their own. Aligning with a contractor who drives standards for appearance as much as safety and quality will drive the desired results you are seeking for your painting program. That may seem simplistic, but hiring a contractor who focuses in this area makes a statement to your customers about what you expect and what your brand represents.
Wherever possible, seek out a painting contractor who can handle your multi-site locations nationwide. This helps not only drive consistency across your sites, but also develop efficiency for your contractor. That translates into benefit for you and your customers and the health of your contractor. It may seem more cost-effective to find multiple local/regional contractors for flexibility or cost, but the result is a drain on your own operational efficiency and aesthetic continuity.
Partner over Painter
There is one inevitable fact of any painting program and that is there will be some issues from time to time. Despite our best efforts, fallibility can enter the equation at any time. The key is not to simply look for a painting contractor with a great record of experience. Seek out a partner! While that sounds like “marketing-speak,” the point is that you need someone who has the resources and resourcefulness to withstands those troubles. You need someone who will earnestly stay with it to ensure they deliver on what was promised — even when cost becomes a factor. Typically when a client suffers a major problem on a paint job, the culprit is usually that they bought the wrong scope of work. The key is to have a proactive partner who can help you with proper scope of work at the start of your painting program.
Think about how much our world has changed over just the past decade relative to technology at your fingertips. Smartphone sales in 2020 were five times higher than 2010. What does that mean for you? Nothing. Unless you have a painting contractor who has deliberately embraced and invested in technology to permeate all aspects of field operations — safety, quality, communications, logistics and more. Field teams are the “front line” for multi-site painting programs and they can use their smartphones to obtain photo documentation, on-site approvals, color representations, paint data sheets and more.
Regardless of where you are with your current cyclical painting program, the right painting contractor can help you. And, they should strive to be more than your painter — but also your partner.
— Sean Gillespie is director of strategic alliances with Harrison Contracting Company, Inc. HCC is a commercial painting and facility maintenance contracting company headquartered in Villa Rica, Ga., with divisional offices in Florida and Texas. HCC provides repainting/reimaging and facility maintenance services nationwide, and new construction painting across the southeastern U.S. For more information, please contact Chris Murphy, director of corporate accounts, business development, at email@example.com.