Benise-Dowling & Associates, Inc. (BDA) is a national provider of painting and powder coating services. Established in 1978, the company’s reputation is based upon adding value for its clients. Its philosophy is “Your Customer Is Our Customer;” therefore, every decision made is made with the customer in mind.
The company’s management team is recognized for thinking “outside of the box” when it comes to providing customer solutions. Continuous improvement is the company’s mission and its onsite team leaders are encouraged as well as rewarded for suggesting new ideas that create efficiencies and/or extend the overall life cycle of the products and services that it provides.
BDA was founded by the fathers of current Co-Owners Tony Benise and Curt Dowling in Decatur, Georgia. It began in 1978 with only three people and grew to become a multi-million-dollar company. The second-generation owners held significant leadership roles since 2000, and by 2007, they took complete control after Tony’s father passed away and Curt’s father retired.
Soon after, the business expanded from its focus on the Atlanta new construction market to include maintenance work across the country. Tony developed a relationship with the national grocery store chain Publix, and the company began to work throughout the Southeast. After discovering that this new model was successful, maintenance services became a much larger percentage of the business. Many of its national clients own and manage thousands of locations, where BDA is part of the reimaging team that completes several hundred projects per year for each customer.
BDA is well-known for its vast experience across many markets and has developed a reputation for being dependable and standing behind its warranty on projects. BDA offers a “real warranty.” Many competing companies claim to have warranties but do not always follow through when the time comes.
Along with National Maintenance, BDA also thrives in other segments in the industry. As an example, property management, light industrial, hospitality and aviation are all strong markets. Benise-Dowling works at airports all over the country and has several projects along the Florida Panhandle for high rise exterior work that consists of painting and waterproofing multi-story buildings.
Complex projects, full of challenges, are welcomed. The company’s employees are skilled in completing multiple locations simultaneously, meeting strict schedule deadlines, working around ongoing operations of a facility, and rigging the hard-to-access areas. For example, the team completed 320 Bridgestone Firestone and Tire Plus locations in four months, across a span of twelve states. It has painted the exterior of Hartsfield International Airport, the busiest airport in the world, and it painted the 110-foot ceiling in Delta’s technical operations center while planes were being serviced. “The harder, the better. When it takes a little bit of thought process and capital to get going, those are the types of jobs we like to chase after,” says Curt Dowling, Vice President of BDA.
Other recent examples include, but are not limited to, the Philips Arena in Atlanta that was converted into the State Farm Arena in 2018. BDA completed a $1 million plus paint project for the arena just days prior to the Super Bowl. This involved painting the most massive logo the company had ever created, 240 feet long and 59 feet tall, in an effort to capture some advertising time visible from the blimp during the 2019 Super Bowl.
The business started and is still located in Decatur, Georgia today and is continuously searching for new opportunities to grow into new markets. In 1996 BDA added a 15,000 square foot, fully automated powder coating facility to its main office in Decatur. Once that plant reached full capacity in 2008, the company purchased a 21,000 square foot existing powder coating operation in Oxford, Georgia to meet the demands of its growing customer base.
“We diversified and branched into the powder coating business to supplement our painting business. While powder coating is different, you are still providing a service for the end user. When your standard is as high as ours, you will have repeat and growing business regardless of the coating,” explains Curt.
The company is growing at a healthy rate of seven to ten percent a year, and its goal in the next four years is to expand and combine its powder coating facilities into a single 100,000-square-foot facility which will enable it to grow and introduce e-coating. E-coating, also known as electrocoating, is a mixture of painting and plating and is ideal for the industrial market since it prevents rust and corrosion. The process uses an electric voltage on a metal part submerged in a water solution to cause the paint to condense on the component. It expects this transition will give it more control over quality and will provide the opportunity to add new state-of-the-art equipment that will support the business into the next era.
BDA is a fun, jovial place for its employees to work, although complex paint projects do come with plenty of stressful moments as well. There are roughly twenty-one people who work in the main office, fifty-plus employees who work in the powder coating plants, and approximately one hundred painters in the field based on seasonality. “Having accountability is critical to our business. We have an estimating department; we have project managers that oversee the projects; then superintendents to review the quality; and foremen who are responsible for each particular job to ensure the job is done to BDA’s high standards,” says Curt.
BDA follows a strict safety program as well to ensure that the high-risk work of its employees does not result in any harm. “We have spent a tremendous amount of our resources and time on training and safety. Our safety director just received his OSHA 500 certification. All superintendents and foremen have their OSHA 30. Monthly safety meetings and field toolbox talks are part of our culture,” explains Curt.
The company also has additional training programs that are set up specifically for the specialty services it provides, such as rigging, liquefied roof coating, and 40K hydro blasting. “Each unique service has its own challenges and we have specific training modules for each. Our goal is for every employee to leave work in the same condition they arrived that morning… safely,” explains Curt.
Benise-Dowling and Associates is excited to expand its services as its customers and markets continue to evolve. You will not find an organization or group of people who are more passionate about painting than the Benise-Dowling group. “We all have fun doing what we do, which is working hard to provide our clients with the best possible product at the most competitive price possible,” says Curt. “Painting and powder coating is a passion for all of us here and it is contagious. We feel that this passion shows up in the finished product on each and every project that we deliver. We love the opportunities to continuously show why Benise-Dowling & Associates, Inc. is ‘the best by choice.’”