Small Pro-Kote Packs a Big Wallop
The nine-person Tennessee shop has impressive finishing practices.
Pro-Kote President Lanny Woods has a very simple philosophy when it comes to running his powder coating operation in Jackson, Tennessee.
“Do what you say you are going to do, and do it right the first time,” he says. “You have to make sure you understand exactly what your customers want and then deliver it to them every time.”
That simple mantra is one reason that Pro-Kote is being honored in the Best Finishing Practices category of the 2018 Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey.
The company reported a 99 percent on-time-delivery rate for its customers while having a 99 percent first-pass-quality yield, signifying speedy delivery and a great finish at the same time.
Woods has worked in the powder coating industry since 1974, but it wasn’t until 1996 that he decided to start his own coating business, rolling out the first products in February 1997 after all the equipment was installed.
It was shortly thereafter that a tornado tore through the Jackson area and completely destroyed his business, however.
“With heavy hearts, we contacted a host of powder coaters best-suited to match the individual needs of each and every customer,” Woods says. A few months later, he was back in business.
“Our greatest fear was put to rest when each and every customer returned,” he says.
Pro-Kote is relatively small, with just nine employees, but the shop still turned out more than 775,000 coated parts in 2017. Asked why Pro-Kote can do so much with such a small staff, Woods says the answer is simple: “Employees, employees, employees. We have some long-term employees that care, and they really help in the training of new hires.”
The company has a core of about 25 customers, Woods says, and he doesn’t bid on a lot of jobs that he doesn’t believe would be a good fit for his shop. In 2017, he won about 65 percent of the jobs he bid.
Woods’ son, Steve, is the manager of the facility, and his daughter-in law and Steve’s wife, Brittney, is the office manager.
“We always stress safety first,” Woods says. “And good communication and respect for your fellow worker.”
Pro-Kote has earned the Products Finishing Top Shops award in the past, but Woods says the recognition never get old.
“It’s quite an honor to be named a Product Finishing Top Shop,” he says. “It let’s you know that even though we are a small shop, we must be doing things right.”
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