AFR, DuBois is uniquely positioned as having the most comprehensive manufacturing and paint line offering of any competitor in the market.”
Sales reach extended
Because of the complementary services of DuBois and AFR, another huge benefit in the acquisition for AFR was the natural increase in sales reach. Kirchner said AFR previously had six salespeople in the field, but AFR’s sales reach has now increased over twentyfold in that DuBois Chemicals has 125 salespeople who can now sell the services and quality work done by AFR. Kirchner said AFR is already considered the biggest and best at what it does in the U. S., and the acquisition by DuBois is only helping to expand its reach throughout the U. S. and even internationally.
What AFR does in part is take hooks, hangers, fixtures, and racks used by manufacturers in the painting process as well as rejected production parts and strips the old paint off them, returning them to those manufacturers “AFR clean,” Kirchner said. Modern paint processes require those metal hooks to be free of paint buildup, and AFR guarantees they will be “perfectly clean every time” when they come back from their plant.
Some of AFR’s customers are some of the world’s largest and best known manufacturers, including the likes of General Motors, Toyota, Honda, John Deere, Harley Davidson, and others. AFR also does work for local and regional manufacturers such as Professional Plating in Brillion and Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac.
Beyond cleaning hooks for those companies’ paint lines, American Finishing Resources also engineers and manufactures custom coating fixtures and material handling solutions for companies. Kirchner said that end of the business has tripled in the last few years as AFR designs, drafts, formats, welds and manufactures these products.
This busy company has created a culture of quality focused not just on steady growth of the company, but also growth of its employees from within. Joe Dyer is just one example of that. Dyer joined the company about 15 years ago shortly after graduating from New Holstein High School. He has steadily worked his way up in the company and for the past three years has been the director of operations in Chilton.
Dyer said AFR has simple but important criteria when it comes to hiring new employees. “We like to look for people who want to work,” he said. If those people are hard working, reliable and care about what they are doing, AFR will provide the necessary training.
Continual training is necessary in the ever changing manufacturing world. From developing some of its own processes for coating removal, to improvements in fabrication equipment, to its sophisticated fleet management system, American Finishing Resources continues to use new technology to further itself as the leader in its field.