CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2015

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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78 MAY 2015 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Hard Work & Craftsmanship a r d W o k a r d W r W o k W r k & C r s h C r a s h p i p a f t s m a f t s m a h i p m a n s h i p o r k & C r a f t s m H a r d W H a H a H a S weeping shop foors at 10 years old, following in the footsteps for a genera- tions-long family business, and patiently listening to a father's work stories have been very much the modern day life of Steven Philipp, Jr., vice president at Coatings Unlimited, Inc. (CUI). Prior to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Philipp worked summers in the feld painting water towers and automotive assembly plants. "So I guess you can say I've been engaged in the coatings business for 30 years," he laughed. "Not including the dinner conversations at home since I was old enough to listen to my father talk about his day at work." Business Perspective Te Philipp family business began back in 1870 when Steven's great-great grandfather was a painting contractor in New Orleans, La., eventually passing the mantle to Steven's great grandfather and then onto Harold Frederick Philipp, who incorporated Coatings Unlimited to better refect the diversity of work beyond just painting. "My grandfather, father, and uncle spent a great deal of time mentoring me in the business, which I can proudly say could rival any Ivy League education one can get to survive in this trade," noted Philipp. Philipp has a uniquely well-rounded perspective and advice for those looking to start out in coatings. "Te regula- tory environment is very difcult to navigate, especially if you are a small frm that doesn't have the resources to interpret, stay on top of, and comply with the myriad federal, state, and local regulations," he remarked. "Te training of the workforce to comply with air, water, and soil quality standards and OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration]-mandated training that our workforce is tasked with can be a very heavy burden." Having an employee well-versed in industrial hygiene can ensure compliance with the complex safety and environment regulations. Other cornerstones Philipp stressed include understanding contracts, ensur- ing investment back into your company, maintaining proper records and licenses, and establishing realistic goals. Philipp also knows the impor- tance of keeping quality employees and providing good benefits and manageable, safe projects; these are all keys to future growth and an expanding portfolio. "Small changes accumulated over time y ield huge results," he said, adding that at his company "workers have stop-work authority if conditions aren't safe or the quality does not meet or exceed specification or industr y standards." A ll of this is implemented by the CUI workforce and supported by manage- ment; the company is "a team w ith the common goal of continually improving the company because we owe it to ourselves and our clients." T he overarching goa l of CUI is to protect steel and concrete f rom the cor rosion process and ther ma l events. A s Phi lipp elaborated, "we a l low employees to pursue projects nationa l ly that f it their interests across a l l seg ments of the industr ia l U. S. economy, f rom mining , nuc lear, water, wastewater, fossi l plants, dams, food processing , chemica l processing , and any industr y that is subject to the loss of assets due to f ire and cor rosion, inc lud ing some public works projects." Such f reedom and d iversit y extends into the administra- tion area of his business. A s Phi lipp noted, "I g uess you can say that our business phi losophy is that happy employees ma ke happy customers." Love of the Job Currently, CUI has projects through- out the countr y for private companies. Future ideas for CUI, other than continuing a measured expansion, include the possibility of an app. As Philipp explained, it "would help our field employees have a seamless relationship w ith our project managers and our safety department." As far as the industr y as a whole, Philipp recounted his love for coatings w ith the kind of ingrained devotion only someone w ith generations of experience can truly impart. " You just never know what the day may bring," he mused. "One random phone call or email about a project that needs our ser vices is such a rush for me. I call it my juice. Ever y day is a new day, and you just don't know what tomorrow may bring." CP By Christa Youngpeter Continuing Family Tradition ProFile: Steven Philipp, Jr.

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