We recently had the opportunity to chat with Dairld Wurtz, the owner of Allegiant Powder Coating in Nampa, ID.
Dairld, tell us a little bit about how you got into powder coating
First of all, I used to build–and I still do–hot rods. I’ve been doing that since I was 15 years old. I got into powder coating because I was looking for a better way to finish the parts that I was using. That’s how I got interested in powder coating years ago when I was young. It got the to the point where I was looking to get coating work done but the quality wasn’t there. Around 2010 I decided I was going to build my own powder coating shop. I thought I was going to build something kind of small, but I decided if I’m going to get into coating , I was going to do it right. I built an eight thousand square foot shop and bought an oven from Reliant. I never really imagined that we’d be powder coating like we are now. It’s incredible how the business has grown and the way I meet people on a daily basis from all over. It has been an awesome thing.
Are you the only powder coating shop in your area?
I’ve heard there are around 15-20 smaller shops in my area. Almost every little shop refers their bigger stuff to us because we have a 12’ x 12’ oven. We’re also getting business daily that’s been referred from another fairly large shop because they can’t handle the size of some of their customer’s parts.
What sets you apart from your competition?
There are a few different factors that have helped us be more successful. I’m a perfectionist. For the first 3 years, I was powder coating every day. I had to stop myself from going out and powder coating every job and focus more on sales.
I learned that many of the jobs for industrial customers need to be perfect. There must be very little variance from one part to the next. The quality of our work has helped us stand out. To get top-quality results, we don’t skip any steps. We take care of our customers, no matter what they need to have done.
The Reliant oven is awesome because it brings everything up to temperature quickly and evenly so we don’t have any hot spots. It’s really nice equipment. We’ve got the best equipment in the area and its large enough for big jobs.
Another thing sets us apart from a lot of shops is that we’re very professional about our business. Everyone wears clothing with company logos and puts forward a positive image. We keep a clean shop and the work area is about as perfect as we can maintain it considering it’s a busy powder coating facility.
So, you’ve got about a decade of experience with Powder Coating?
Yeah, I opened the doors on my first shop in 2013. I had been powder coating all my own parts and stuff at a local powder coating shop for 4-5 years prior to that. They weren’t spraying the parts the way I wanted, so I talked them into letting me use their equipment on the weekends. I was teaching their team how to powder coat in their own shop. But I’ve been hands-on in my own shop right at ten years now.
If you could give advice to someone looking to get into powder coating, what would it be?
Make sure that every part you send out the door is perfect. That’s the way we operate. If there is a problem with the part, it gets fixed in our shop before it’s allowed to leave. You never want the phone to ring with someone mad about the work you did.
The other important thing is to make sure that you are honest about your lead times and get jobs done on time. If you tell someone a part will be ready in 3 days, it needs to be ready in 3 days. You have to go over the top when it comes to small details and you never send something out that isn’t right.
Those are key factors to keep the customers happy and build your business. Word of mouth in any town is the best marketing you could ever get. Make sure the job is done right, even if it takes extra time.
You also purchased a blast room from us. How has that changed your business?
When it comes down to the end results, the blasting is probably the most important part of the process. Cleaning the part perfectly and giving it that rough surface to where its not super coarse but it’s textured enough to grab the powder is critical. It allows for a better and longer lasting cure on the parts. If it has been properly cleaned, blasted, coated, and cured, the finish can last a lifetime.
What are your future plans for Allegiant?
So, with our most recent purchase from Reliant we moved into a larger shop. That’s opened my eyes to another level of business I couldn’t imagine reaching. I’m thinking about building another complete powder coating shop in a second location. We’re so busy at this shop that if I did the same thing in another location I could more than double our throughput. Just on a 10-12 hour work day, every day, 7 days a week, the level of business we are doing could easily accommodate another line.
Dairld, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us and good luck with the growth of your business. We’re glad Reliant could help you with your company’s success.