Industrial Finishes & Systems Inc., a distributor of recreational vehicle paint, equipment and supplies, will mark its 60th anniversary with a special event today (April 20) at its headquarters in Eugene, Ore.
Craig Floyd, general manager of the company’s RV division, said that owner Stuart Barr is hosting employees and key vendors such as BASF and Axalta for the anniversary celebration.
“Industrial Finishes is a company that’s very faith-driven, but it’s also very culture-driven,” Floyd told RVBUSINESS.com, noting that the actual anniversary date is April 1. “It’s really key for us to ensure, as we continue to grow and branch out and build more locations, that we keep the culture that the company has created over the years. It’s in our mission. It’s in our vision statements. And it’s really critical – to the family that oversees it, to my boss, who runs the company day to day, and to the employees – that we keep that vision and culture that we’ve created.”
When Barr founded the company in 1958, it began as a wholesale distributor of auto body supplies with sales of $165,000 per year and operating one branch and three employees. Today, Industrial Finishes has 42 locations and more than 350 employees, and has expanded to provide paint and other coatings, plus related equipment and supplies, to the automotive, RV, industrial/commercial, and aerospace/military markets.
In the RV market, Floyd said Industrial Finishes is probably best known for its ultra premium paint finishes and related products, and counts among its customers Newmar Corp., Tiffin Motorhomes Inc., Keystone RV Co. and Marathon Coach.
“We’ve had a long, outstanding relationship with BASF for many, many years,” he said, noting that BASF is the second largest OEM supplier in the automotive industry. “It’s a product that’s obviously very proven. It’s great for coverage; easy for repairability. One of our goals is to continue to educate the dealer base on how to maintain and care for our paint finishes, and we’ve had good success in that regard. It shows in how good these motorhomes and fifth-wheels look.”
Besides aesthetics and durability, Floyd added that another benefit is the company’s “production-friendly” application process, which allows manufacturers to increase production while maintaining, and in some cases even reducing, labor and time involved in the process.
Floyd noted that Industrial Finishes is investing heavily in new technologies, with one result being new décor coatings that will bring the “automotive look” into RV interiors.
“We have a manufacturer that actually builds coatings for dashes and panels that supplies BMW and Audi that we’re going to be bringing to the RV industry very soon to start bringing more of a decorative automotive feel to the dashes instead of continued plastic formed or vinyl-wrapped,” Floyd said.
“We’ve moved to where today, as a company, we’re pretty much a full line coatings supplier,” he continued. “We have a stain product for wood décor interiors. Now, with the automotive finishes, we extend all the way from chassis coverage to exterior paint. We do various other things as well. It’s a lot of manufacturing products such as adhesives and cleaners. Our main forte is paint, but we do everything else in the manufacturing and production of the RV.”