Top Shops: B&K Industrial 'Going Green' to Save Green

Business Strategies: B&K Industrial, Barry Kendall, Owner, Merrimack, New Hampshire


When B&K Industrial Finishing in Merrimack, New Hampshire, moved to its present facility, it decided to reduce its carbon footprint and take on the challenge of “going green” in the finishing industry.

An industrial finisher and coater for military and defense contractors, B&K has worked to encourage customers to move away from solvent-based materials and more towards powder products. B&K also adapted a biodegradable cleaner, aerogreen by Hi-Lite Solutions, for cleaning and degreasing metals. Most customers were comfortable with the change to more environmentally friendly practices so long as B&K offered the same, if not better, waterborne coatings. The B&K “Go Green” campaign is what the customers first notice when visiting the site. “B&K has accrued an impressive customer base because of the campaign, especially with the larger OEMs,” says Barry Kendall, president of B&K.

 

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The Go Green initiative also helped B&K condense and personalize the business. Suddenly, Kendall and his workers were catering to a smaller customer base that required high quality coatings. B&K learned to bring speed and quality hand-in-hand to deliver a quality product quickly.

“I’ve been the two to three shifts a day type of shop and I just get burned out,” says Kendall. “I was constantly stressed out and I had no time to myself. I just didn’t enjoy owning the company. But when we transitioned to Go Green and got rid of some of the bottleneck jobs, we got a smaller crew. We run one shift and everybody makes top dollar for what they do. My guys are dedicated, they’re happy to be here and we put out a great product.”

Kendall asks his employees, “Would you pay for that?” The Go Green campaign helped B&K find a better product that was more user-friendly, especially with powder. B&K focused on fine-tuning the business and catering directly to the customers’ needs. As they say: “The customer is always right.”

“Every five years the industry changes,” Kendall says. “If you don’t adjust to that, you won’t survive. And the people that stay ahead of that curve, they can grow as big as they want. We can get as big as we want and we are as big as we want to be. We’re comfortable, our employees are happy, we have a good crew and it just works for us. It’s about putting out quality material and being sure that the people behind it are quality as well.” 

For more information, visit bkindustrialfinishing.com or call 603-420-8776

Originally published in the October 2015 issue.

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