‘We only sell what we believe in’
Oxnard, Calif.—Mark D’Angelo, vice president of D’Angelo’s Paint, said his grandfather, Arthur D’Angelo Sr., founder of the company, began his career as a 3M sales representative.
“But his desire was to pursue the American Dream of owning his own business,” he said. “So he purchased Acme Paint Company, in Glendale, which became D’Angelo and Sons in 1956.”
Since then, the D’Angelo name has become synonymous with excellent service and top-quality paint, supplies and equipment, and over the years has grown to 10 locations in California, two in Nevada, and one in Arizona.
“The company continues to grow,” he said. “Our corporate headquarters is now in Oxnard, we have distribution centers in Sacramento and Pacoima, and we’ll a DC in San Jose January 1, 2016.”
The company has also grown considerably in dollar volume, especially over the past three years, D’Angelo said, exceeding $60 million in annual gross sales.
“We blew past our goal of being in the 60/60 Club — 60 years in business, doing $60 million in yearly gross sales,” he said. “The new goal is the 100/100 club, and we’ll hit the $100-plus million mark well before we hit 100 years in business.”
D’Angelo attributes much of the growth to having the best products and prices on more than 200 lines, including top sellers Axalta, AkzoNobel/Sikkens, BASF, PPG, Benjamin Moore, House of Kolor paints, 3M paint supplies, and Meguiar’s car care products.
“We carry a vast array of auto body equipment, from spray guns and air brushes to sandpaper, tape and anything else needed to refinish a car,” he said. “In our industrial coatings stores we carry Benjamin Moore, Carboline, Ellis, and Ameron, which will cover almost any surface.”
All of the refinish products D’Angelo’s sells are top-notch and doing well, he said. “We only sell what we believe in.”
As one of its services, D’Angelo’s provides reporting that lets a collision center know from the paint side and the allied side what was used in the shop for any given period of time.
“Most shops track what was bought, but I feel that gives them a false gross profit (GP) in the paint dept,” D’Angelo said. “There really is a difference between tracking what was bought and what was used.”
The company also provides reporting that tracks individual technician usage of materials and combines that data with the hours the technician produced to compare them with the other techs in the shop.
“Budget forecasting for shops, as well as alerting predetermined individuals in a facility when one of the departments goes over budget, is also provided,” he said.
A shop is also alerted when noncompliant materials are being ordered off the pre-approved vendors list of materials.
“We keep most of our shops in a 240-280 list of materials used to run the paint, body, and detail departments,” he said.
The company also helps customers by offering its own refinish-spray technicians, who are qualified to do various training and audits within the collision centers and industrial paint departments they serve, D’Angelo said.
“A lot of the training is done around product application, management of time, usage, and how to manage others in any given department,” he said. “Audits are usually done around spray booth air movement, airline moisture/humidity, and contaminants, spray guns, tech applications of product, tech usage, work flow, and production.”
D’Angelo said the No. 1 factor in the company’s growth is its highly qualified staff of more than 170 employees, headed by Mike Trow, COO, who are devoted to delivering exceptional customer service and support.
“We have a great team of people who are dedicated, focused, and have an ‘I give a crap’ mentality, while also understanding the term ‘sense of urgency.’”
D’Angelo said employees have vast industry knowledge with decades of real-world experience, from the in-store counter sales team and the field sales team, to paint technicians and the management team.
D’Angelo’s has a fleet of 60 delivery vehicles, primarily trucks, and retail stores make two to three deliveries a day on routes covering up to a 60-mile radius.
“We do the best we can to teach them to build an inventory based on past purchase history,” he said. “We want our customers to be profitable in their paint departments, and believe in training them on how to buy right.”
The company’s distribution centers also have seven lift-gated trucks of various sizes and three local vans for express deliveries, D’Angelo added.
“We have a fleet of 40 vehicles for our sales and spray techs, using GPS tracking technology,” he said, adding that it allows for tracking deliveries in real-time and kepping customers informed. “We are currently installing GPS devices on our D’Angelo’s trucks as well.”
Deliveries from the distribution center are daily throughout Los Angeles County. In the high desert, Inland Empire, Riverside, and San Diego counties, deliveries are made three times a week.
Hotshot orders are shipped twice a day for customers via one of our express delivery options,” D’Angelo said. All deliveries in SoCal are free, and those outside SoCal are free on minimum $750 orders.
D’Angelo said the collision industry is changing rapidly, which has a lot of people frightened. However, in all the “massive chaos” lies an opportunity, he said.
“The ones that find solutions to these opportunities first will be the ones standing at the end,” he said. “Don’t be the one saying this is the way we have always done things. Be the one asking why have we been doing it this way — and is it possible to do it in a way that might be better?”