Aurora jobber fills niche with AkzoNobel’s Wanda, mixing value with performance
Aurora, Colo.—“If you get the color right, they’ll come back,” says Vince Kristynik, owner of Auto & Industrial Coatings (AIC), an independent PBE jobber whose main paint line is Wanda. The high-performance value brand helps him serve smaller shops well.
Kristynik said after selling the solvent-basecoat for five years, mainly to two- to five-man shops east of Denver. Many shops are so small that they only paint five cars a week and may not even have a paint bank, but this is where Kristynik and his crew shine.
“We understand the market,” he said, adding that application advice is sometimes needed with low-volume users. Currently, AIC serves approximately 250 body shops that make up about 80 percent of overall business. Architectural coatings make up the balance, he said, citing a recent color match job for a cell tower at a ski resort as an example.
“Wanda is a complete automotive refinish system designed especially for the value segment,” said Jim Hunter, western regional account manager for Wanda. “It offers comprehensive and up-to-date range of color formulations, easy application, great color match, and appearance with less stocking inventory. Fewer components are needed, which means easier use and reduction of inventory.”
“The variant system (Color Universe) is very complete and extensive, and we use it. Wanda has spent a lot of time and money on that and they’ve done a lot of it.”
When looking at any competing brand, he said there isn’t one paint that can match everything, though Color Universe’s fan decks contain more than 8,300 variant chip colors and is organized well for quick access.
“Wanda’s color is supported by AkzoNobel’s Color Universe System and AkzoNobel’s ‘Automatchic’ spectrophotometer,” Hunter said. “An actual paper chip will be a thing of the past in the coming years as shops begin to identify color digitally.”
Wanda is the perfect paint for those types of customers, he said. “It’s affordable and has a good matching system, the same as Akzo’s higher priced Sikkens brand. Wanda uses a “two-one” ratio system: two parts basecoat, one part reducer that is simple to apply. It offers shops the ability to paint cars less expensively without sacrificing quality.
“Wanda is so user friendly and designed to be learned fast,” he said.
AIC also carries Valspar’s House of Kolor for candy color applications for hot rods and street rods.
When Kristynik began the business five years ago, under the recommendation of a friend who owned several paint jobbing stores, he said he severely underestimated how hard it is to match colors. Spending years in the printing business, he said it was relatively easy to match ink colors for print publications and literature, and he assumed it would be the same for paint.
The color matching eventually improved, so much so, he said that business has increased more than 300 percent in five years, offering plenty of growth potential.
“At this point, I need help to take the business to the next level,” he said. We’re planning on continuing to grow the business, but I’m not sure how,” he said, tossing around the idea of multiple locations.
“Vince is the type of person to fix anybody’s problem,” said Barbara Romero, bookkeeper, administrator, and inventory specialist. “He’s always willing to put in the extra work to make customers happy.”
In addition to Wanda, he also supplies shops with sundries featuring 3M, Eagle, and Norton, as well as Sata and Anest Iwata paint guns. Anest Iwata guns use less air resulting in 50-percent less overspray when compared to other brands, he said.
To encourage a “shopping” experience, Kristynik said he has plenty of inventory on shelves in the front of the store, more so than the typical jobber. In all, it adds up to approximately $250,000.