Oftentimes, family owned and operated businesses start out quite small with the intention of growth. That pretty much sums up Environmental Painting Alternatives (EPA). EPA has more than 30 years of experience in the commercial and industrial painting and coating industry and has established itself as a leader in the Southeastern US. Of course, EPA started with a single Idea.
“Forty years ago, my uncle and I got together and said, ‘Let’s go into business. What can we do?’ So, we started a painting business, because everybody can paint, right?” says Marvin Couch, vice president, EPA. Couch soon learned that painting wasn’t as easy as it sounded. Years of hard work were inevitable, but definitely had its upside. “It’s been a rewarding profession because you get to work with customers. You walk away from a job that’s well done and they’re happy, and you’re happy.”
EPA is a second generation family business that handles commercial projects and stays a step ahead of the trends. And, while the company has a commercial focus, it didn’t hesitate to branch out. “Over the past few years, we realized there wasn’t a dominant residential painting contractor here in Central Florida,” Couch says. “The residential side is very competitive, so you have to be wise on how you attack it. You have to be efficient, you have to be cost blind, and you have to be quick.”
The expansion into the residential side gave Couch more opportunity to interact with customers—a highlight of his job. “I like the one on one with people. You’re dealing with customers and you’re helping them protect the largest investment they’re going to make.”
EARNING A REPUTATION
EPA has earned a reputation of being in the know. When homeowner Allen Rejonis knew his house needed special attention, he knew exactly who to call. “The house is covered in vinyl, so I knew that it would require a special kind of painting technique,” Rejonis explains. “Marvin has a reputation in the industry of understanding how to do surface coatings. It was a no-brainer to go with EPA.”
FILLING OUT THE FLEET
While it takes hard work to earn a good reputation, it helps to have the equipment you need and the ride that’ll take you—and all the equipment—to the job. Enter the Ram ProMaster® City. “The ProMaster City has been a great addition to our fleet because it’s versatile, it’s good on gas mileage, and it’s big enough to carry all the tools that we need it to carry. We have to be on the job to make money, so making different trips to get materials is not cost effective,” Couch says.
“In Florida, getting started early is key—beating the weather,” says Abraham Couch, project manager, EPA. “The ProMaster City is set up so that it’s a mobile paint shop. We can load up once a week. Everything is right here, and it’s very convenient.”
Reliability and efficiency are definitely must-haves, but don’t count out comfort and maneuverability. “I’ve been driving the ProMaster City for a year and a half now,” says Adam Couch, project manager, EPA. “I like the comfort of the vehicle, all of the features it offers. I can get in and out of places really easily. As we continue to grow, I could see all of our project managers and supervisors driving a ProMaster City. I think that would be the perfect fit for our company.”
PLANNING THE FUTURE
“We see the growth potential in this market, so we want to continue to use the ProMaster City because of its efficiency, because of what it offers for us and the look it gives our company. It’s a great advertising tool,” says Marvin. “We have a saying in our company—that you have to have the right tool for the right job. The ProMaster City offers everything we need to make our business successful.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
You can see the full video for this feature at www.ramtrucks.com/ram-commercial/work-zone.html. Find out more about Environmental Painting Alternatives, visit www.epaflorida.com. Looking for an addition to your fleet? Check out the Ram ProMaster® City, visit www.ramtrucks.com/promastercity.