Originally published in PPC Magazine.
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Started shortly after World War II in the garage of a returning Navy man, the L.H. Land Painting Company has been through many up and down markets over the last 60 years. Through it all, it has continued to grow and today is a $10 million a year firm completing some of the most prestigious coatings projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Stadiums, hospitals, convention centers, hotels, malls, manufacturing plants, data facilities…you name it, Land Painting has probably coated it. Garold May, Joyce May and Richard Flatt bought the company in 1991. In this article, they share their advice for operating a first-class commercial coatings firm.

How have you set your firm apart in your marketplace?

Our company specializes in commercial and industrial projects that must maintain quality while meeting aggressive schedules. Cowboys Stadium is our most recent landmark job that presented these kind of special challenges. The schedule was accelerated by 60 days from the original contract, which, combined with delays from other trades, created a challenge to complete on time. With custom wall coverings, leather, wood, and special paints, the interior finishes in the stadium are spectacular. The design of the clubs and suites far exceed any expectations one might have for a stadium, and the world-class collection of contemporary art creates an atmosphere that puts the stadium in a class of its own.

How has the current economic climate affected Land Painting?

We adapt to the market by trying to reduce our cost to be more competitive and look for unusual painting work requiring more skill and imaginative performance methods. This sometimes allows us to increase the profit margins.

What role does your paint supplier play in your company's success?

Choosing the right paint company is important. We need a supplier with a full range of workable products with availability near all our job locations. Their sales representatives need to be able to assess our needs, make paint recommendations and give suggestions for preparation. This is why we like working with Sherwin-Williams. We get great service from our contractor support and the whole Sherwin-Williams team. They make top-quality products such as Commercial High Performance Coatings, and are a key ingredient to our success in all the challenging jobs we do. Plus, they understand the payment schedules for commercial contractors and offer extended terms and consistent pricing at each location.

Besides word-of-mouth, do you do any other marketing?

We advertise in the standard trade publications from organizations such as the PDCA, ASA (American Subcontractors Association) and AGC (Associated General Contractors of America). Our most effective advertising continues to be our reputation for quality and schedule completion under adverse conditions. Our approach has been to work with larger, well established general contractors who work for financially sound owners. Being around for 60 years allows us to bring experienced painters, foremen, superintendants, project managers and administrators to every job.

See more photos of the company's projects at landpainting.com.