This month’s customer spotlight features a company in the Pacific Northwest. Kurt Freitag, from Northwest Fence, answers questions about how Northwest Fence is adding value to their products by offering premium powder coated finishes in an array of colors.
Q: Kurt, can you give us a little history of Northwest Fence?
A: At Northwest Fence, fences have been our specialty for over 27 years. Our reputation as a premier fence company in the Pacific Northwest is built on our honest prices and expert advice. We are professional and experienced.
Q: What is your primary market?
A: Northwest Fence is located in Ferndale, Washington. The company sells, installs and repairs all types of fences in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties. We guarantee 100% of our work! We are proud of our community and take pride in serving it. We offer complete installation services for homeowners, small businesses, and contractors across the area. We have been family owned and operated since 1986, so we know the value of personalized service and top-notch customer service.
Q: What is the main hurdle you have in your industry?
A: We got into an industry that is a very “commodity” type of business where it is hard to differentiate yourself. One of the things we started doing was trying to figure out what we could do differently to make Northwest Fence stand out above the crowd. We built a new facility and equipped it with a full powder coating line. Our new fabrication line was designed entirely for fencing. We are focused on anything and everything we can do to add value for our customers.
Q: What was your main reason for bringing powder coating in-house?
A: In the history of fencing, only three colors of pre-finished fencing was offered–black, green, and brown. If you wanted any color other than black you had long lead times. The suppliers did not have other colors readily available. We bought Northwest Fence, which had an existing powder coating operation, and then we decided to upgrade our capabilities at our new facility. This allowed us to powder coat for multiple other fencing companies as well as our direct customers. We have a new array of colors for our customers to choose from without those old long lead times.
Q: Do you do any other products or just focus on fencing?
A: We have a few other projects but 90% of our coating is fencing related.
Q: How has Reliant Finishing Equipment helped your process?
A: We learned a lot from the old operation when we purchased Northwest Fence. To put it bluntly, if you saw it you would have wondered how we got product out with that old system. We elected to dedicate a new building for coating and fabrication. We needed to enhance our equipment. We searched for multiple vendors that provided powder coating equipment and we were able to get a nice turn-key set-up from Reliant. The oven, wash booth, and paint booth were all installed by Reliant and we were going to bring our old oven over to act as a drying oven. The pre-1960 oven was going to be cost-prohibitive to move, so we decided to buy a dry-off oven from Reliant. That gave us two new 40-foot ovens, a wash bay, and a paint booth all purchased from Reliant.
Q: What was the major reasons for choosing Reliant?
A: Reliant’s reputation as being a leader in the industry, a keen sense of friendship and support during the purchase process, and we felt very comfortable doing business and making the purchase.
Q: How is the manufacturing industry doing in your area during these challenging times?
A: Our industry is going to continue to be challenged, but our area has always been challenged because we are on the edge of the country. We would not be here if we were trying to provide mass distribution to buyers across the United States, so we are catering to the local market of Seattle and western Washington state. We are planning to expand but want to do it right by self-funding our facilities.
Kurt, thank you very much for your time and we hope that your business continues to grow in the Pacific Northwest.
Please visit Northwest Fence at https://www.nwfence.com/ to see what they have to offer . You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Northwest-Fence-319769824806867/