Oct 16, 2012
Automotive Paint Specialties (APS) is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year. Ben Tuma, APS Founder and President, started the company in 1977 with a small Bend store; it has since expanded to eight locations, plus an equipment division and a central warehouse. APS is one of the largest paint suppliers in the Northwest, specializing in coating for the collision industry, light industrial, commercial fleet and manufacturing. Their equipment division specializes in spray booths, computerized measuring and frame-pulling systems. Their retail stores carry a full line of car care products, including waxes and touch-up bottles and aerosols that match original auto paint. The company employs over sixty individuals and maintains a fleet of more than forty vehicles to provide expert service, sales and delivery as a PPG Platinum Plus paint distributor.
How has your business been
impacted by the
We provide products for just about every type of vehicle. Cessna was a big customer for us, and their departure adversely affected our Bend store. On the auto side, the recession has seen more people keeping their insurance checks instead of getting bodywork done. Fewer cars are going to the body shops these days, and these shops constitute one of our main markets.
How have you reinvented
to stay in business?
Our innovations—including an environmentally-friendly, water-based paint: PPG-Envirobase—have provided incentives for businesses to switch to APS. In addition, we provide our customers with product training, profitability consulting, and classes that help them turn projects around more quickly. Our sister company, 5th Gear Enterprises, provides Continuing Education (CE) services to select auto dealerships around the country, to help insurance agents maintain their state certifications.
What are your goals
in our present economic climate?
Continuing on a foundation of strong customer relations, we are pursuing opportunities in new markets, such as manufacturing, agricultural equipment and cabinet shops. We are working to expand our market share in Portland and other areas.
What have been the keys
to your continued success?
Our success has always been a result of developing solid customer relationships through excellent service and innovative products.