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5 Things Asset Owners Look for in a Coating Contractor

When it’s time to hire a coating contractor, asset owners want to get the job right the first time. We sat down with asset owners from the transportation and petroleum industries to find out the most important qualities they look for in coating contractors. Low-bid, low-quality contractors are out there, so owners should look for these five indicators to ensure a contractor will deliver high-quality results. Here’s what makes a coating contractor stand out in the crowd.

NIICAP accreditation proves that a coating contractor has passed a rigorous administrative and on site audit inspection of its work practices. To earn this accreditation, the coating contractor must demonstrate the highest levels of administrative, safety, and process oversight, specialty knowledge, product and service quality. “Programs like NIICAP help to assure the owner that the hired contractor is both capable and incentivized to do the work properly,” says Johnnie Miller of TX DOT. “This is especially true for owners dealing with a low-bid award environment.”

Photo: US Air Force

A Reputable Work History
Asset owners seeking a reliable, high-quality coating contractor look to a company’s reputation within the industry as well as a history of delivering successful coating projects. Customer reviews and testimonials from past clients play a role in building a coating contractor’s good standing within the community.

Financial Soundness
Are the coating contractor’s finances such that they can afford to pay employees and subcontractors and purchase tools and supplies? Is the company appropriately insured? A solid footing of good accounting practices helps to assure asset owners that the contractor will, at the very least, stay in business long enough to get their job done.

Rework Frequency & Speed
Asset owners want to see whether a coating contractor has quality assurance procedures that minimize rework and downtime. They’re also looking for established procedures or guarantee programs for when repairs or reapplication does become necessary.

A Culture of Safety & Risk Management
When accepting bids on a coating project, many asset owners seek out a coating contractor who emphasizes a culture of safety and integrity within the company. OSHA and EPA violations carry big fines and often result in downtime - which can affect the asset owner’s bottom line. Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is a figure used by insurance companies to measure the chances of risk and the past cost of injuries within a company. Asset owners should seek an EMR of <1.0 when hiring a coating contractor. 


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