You Tell Us, for a Change

The Top Shops survey and the Hall of Fame are your chances to to talk to us. We are all ears. We have learned that the best deciders of what goes in the magazine each month are those who count on it to get their industry news and information.  


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For more than 80 years, Products Finishing has arrived on finishers’ desks like a faithful servant, offering the latest news and trends in the surface finishing industry, and bringing readers stories about new innovations and successful case studies.

The writers and editors over the years have done a fantastic job of assembling the most timely information and research, and presenting it in a format that helped all shops, big or small, plating or powder coating. Many readers grew up in the industry, learning from what they read in Products Finishing.

After writing and editing the magazine myself for several years and getting a good feel for its readers and purpose, I decided that Products Finishing should become a little more interactive with its audience; we were sending you great information each month, but it seemed like a one-way street.

I wondered how Products Finishing could interact with shop owners and OEMs, exchanging information that could help them run better operations.

We started the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey four years ago to fulfill that specific goal: get information from readers and return it to them in a way that would help them better manage their finishing operations. As we begin another cycle of the benchmarking survey for electrocoaters, I still believe in the importance of this give and take.

Because Products Finishing has such a wide reach into the surface finishing industry, serving electroplaters, anodizers, liquid and powder coaters, and many others, I realized that harnessing all that cumulative research and data would be a boon to the industry.

To wit: Shop owners and managers know how their own operations are performing, but being able to compare that to the performance of other shops similar in size and setting would be extremely helpful, allowing them to document their strengths and weaknesses against their peers in a statistical way.

The response from shops in both the plating, and the liquid and powder segments over the years has been tremendous. Shops are using the data we provide from the Products Finishing Top Shops Benchmarking Survey as a tool to fine-tune their operation, set goals and objectives, and determine areas in which they can improve. So many have told me that they work with their managers and employees to improve efficiencies, and reduce waste and costs so they can get numbers like the top 20 percent of all shops, which are those we consider the Top Shops.

The 2018 survey is targeted to electroplaters and will open December 1. Those who complete a substantial portion of the survey will get an added bonus this year: a customized report showing exactly how their responses compare directly to those of their industry peers. These custom reports will show graphically and statistically how a shop compares to the Top Shops, the industry average and the industry median. The reports are compiled by Gardner Intelligence, part of Gardner Business Media, which is also the parent company of Products Finishing. It’s some pretty deep information you won’t find anywhere else.

The second reader-related initiative I wanted to start since coming to Products Finishing was developing a Hall of Fame that recognizes those who forged paths that got our industry where it is today. Inductions are based completely on nominations by readers followed by selection by a panel of industry experts. I have no say in the process; all nomination and selection is done by readers, which is the way it should be. It gives you, the reader, an ownership stake in both what we cover and who we recognize.

In the past, we sought electroplaters and anodizers for the Products Finishing Hall of Fame honors, but this year we are expanding to include all surface finishing industries, including liquid and powder coating, electrocoating, mechanical finishing, and any other connected field.

The nomination process is now open, so visit PFonline.com and tell us about someone who has significantly improved surface finishing efficiency and productivity through process or technology innovations, or who has influenced, supported and advocated for the surface finishing industry through research, writing, activism, policies or thought leadership.

Products Finishing is your industry publication. For too long we didn’t open the process to readers to help you be a part of the coverage and editorial. But things have changed. We have learned that the best deciders of what goes in the magazine each month are those who count on it to get their industry news and information.

The Top Shops survey and the Hall of Fame are your chances to talk to us. We are all ears.