Proven Formula: Hester Painting’s Quality-Centric Model

From D+D Online, August 2011

by Joe Maty

There are various management theories about running a company. Jeff Hester knows about those theories. But he goes his own way….the Hester Way....
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Tagged categories: Business matters; Commercial Buildings; Contractors; Good Technical Practice; Residential

Comment from Jody Favia, (8/3/2011, 12:11 PM)

Sorry but if you are working on a profit of 200 t0 300 on a twenty k project. Maybe it's time to find a different line of work

Comment from Brian MacDonald, (8/8/2011, 12:03 PM)

Maybe Jody shoulr read the article over one more time. There was not $200 - $300 profit on a 20k project, but that amount would affect the profitability of the project. There's a difference. Anyone who has tried to operate a profitable, quality focused painting and decorating company in a large urban centre will tell you the same thing. Maybe Jody should try it sometime.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (8/9/2011, 8:37 AM)

Brian, your interpretation makes the whole comment meaningless. Any dollar amount "affects" profitability. I can go spend 10 cents on a nail and it "affects" profitability by... 10 cents. Lets look at the actual text again: "$200 or $300 either way can make or break the profitability of a $20,000 job." - When I read "make or break" that says to me, it is going from profitable to a loss, which in turn means the profit for the job was only maybe $300.

Comment from Ken Sisco, (8/10/2011, 8:22 AM)

Maybe we need a clarification on this issue. Possibly asking the writer(Joe Maty), or Mr.Hester(Hester Painting) who was interviewed for the article, to clarify may help?

Comment from Joe Maty, (8/10/2011, 8:46 AM)

Good suggestion Ken. We'll extend an invitation to Jeff to address the issue.

Comment from Jeff Hester, (8/12/2011, 11:22 AM)

Hello All I have to say I am a little surprised that someone could read this entire article which concentrates on how our company has had 43 years of success through focusing on high quality workmanship, customer service and retaining well trained painters, and yet the only item that was commented on is one brief sentence about small profit margins on commercial work. I am hoping the other readers didn't focus on that one line as their "take away." However, with that said, I admit that this line in the article is confusing, so I am sorry I didn't catch that before. To clarify, this was actually a comment in regards to pricing, and how commercial projects are much more focused on the lowest price. I meant to say that $200-300 can make or break whether you get a $20,000 project. This was meant to illustrate how cost-competitive the commercial world in comparison to the high end residential projects we work on. It is true that the margins are also very thin on commercial work, but not as little as the 1% profit that this line made it sound like. I really appreciate that Jody was able to sift through all of the other relevant information in the article to find this one detail to comment on.

Comment from Josh Inklovich, (8/15/2011, 8:57 AM)

It doesn't sound like Mr. Hester does things any differently than any other painting company that has been in the business for an extended period. I fail to see some revolutionary or innovative "Hester's Way" here, so why the article?

Comment from Robert Burke, Burke Painting Company in Wilmington, DE, (8/15/2011, 10:37 AM)

While reading this article when I came to that sentence I to held onto it. While continuing to read how great this company is I reflected on how great my company is also, we all try to do the same thing as Hester Painting and lots of great companies aren't union, I bet there are more great non-union shops than union shops. So in reflecting on this sentence I would say that this also needs to be discussed.

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