Phoenix & Tucson, Arizona

From self-taught powder coater to president of his own company, Charles Zinke has followed his dreams to success — building a stellar reputation for service and lending a helping hand to those in need along the way.

Zinke has been working hard all his life, and his hobby and side business of rebuilding cars and trucks led him to frequently use the services of the lone source for powder coating metal in the Tucson area at the time. Looking for ways to improve the quality and reduce the costs of coatings and painting, he decided to teach himself how to do it in his garage in 1990. Word spread to other manufacturers and hobbyists who then started coming to him for his services, and a new business was born.

From that humble beginning, Zinke estimates that between their Tucson location and their Phoenix location, his company now services 500 to 600 customers per month and counts more than 3,000 in its active base. The contract manufacturer serves a wide variety of industries, with military and aerospace, along with semiconductor companies, making up the bulk of its work. Other general metal parts from automotive, electronics, and other lines fill out the mix.

Perfection Industrial Finishing is ISO and AS Quality Certified, as well as Nadcap accredited, and focuses on high quality and relatively low quantities of parts in the array of services it offers to its customers. Clients range from “mom and pop” businesses to large defense contractors, with the MIL-SPEC painting and powder coating treatments dominating the services the company provides.

While the company dabbled with some low-priced, high-volume work early on in its history, Zinke says, “That’s not a good business model for us. Our model is high quality and on-time delivery, with the best customer service in the industry, and at a fair price. That’s what I have found is important to my customers. Our preferred customer understands the value we bring with those qualities.”

Tied to that is the importance of communication, Zinke continues, “That’s something that’s lacking in the industry and, I think, in a lot of industries. We have a rule here that our team should respond within two hours to an email or a phone call, even if it’s just to say ‘I got your message, and I’m working on it, and I’ll get back to you shortly,’ so that the customer knows what’s happening.”

The good will that kind of response fosters keeps customers loyal and drives new business by word of mouth and reputation. Zinke is his own best salesperson as he says, “I love telling our story. To tell about what good work we do and the social aspect of Perfection, as well. I’m pretty proud of it. I care about my workforce. Making sure that they’re happy and healthy, both physically and mentally, is important because I believe that makes for a better employee. I’m invested in them, and so I think they feel loved here, and that we care about them.”

The key to providing that kind of quality service is having the right people in place, and while finding the new hires is a difficult task these days, Perfection Industrial Finishing has been successful with providing training to existing employees and promoting from within. The company also hires a mix of experienced and entry-level workers to fill its needs.

Another successful avenue of employee recruitment for the company has been through “second chance” programs. Zinke says, “We believe that if somebody has paid their debt to society, fits our idea of a person who has goals, and is looking for an opportunity to change their life, we’ve got a lot of programs in place of not only internal training, but with networking and support outside of Perfection, through the community, that we can help those folks.”

Photos courtesy Perfection Industrial Finishing

The supplies Perfection needs for their operations are all sourced domestically. For the most part, they haven’t seen any major disruptions in recent years, although they have had to deal with price increases on many items. Business for the company remains strong, and even through the worst of the pandemic, it didn’t suffer any significant reduction in demand.

Challenges: Even with substantial pay and benefit increases, finding suitable employees is one of the biggest challenges the company faces as it expands. “We try to have different avenues or pipelines for employees, from the second chance program to networking with community resources, to colleges with engineering students coming out, to tech schools with graduates,” says Zinke.

Opportunities: While continuing to expand capabilities at its Tucson and Phoenix area locations, the company is also looking at expansion to other region, such as the Salt Lake City area of Utah.

Needs: To maintain the quality and customer service that has made them a success, while finding suitable employees to allow continued growth.


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