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Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings, Inc.

an authorized stocking distributor for Hentzen Coatings Inc.
2013 marks the 20th Anniversary for Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings, an in-demand company specializing in high-tech surface finishing services for military, commercial, and industrial applications.

Tucker Industrial Coatings was founded by Bernie Tucker, owner, on March 3, 1993, in York, Pa. At the time, the company had one employee and operated in a facility spanning just 2,500 square feet. Today, Tucker Industrial Coatings occupies more than 60,000 square feet of space in East Berlin, Pa., and employs more than 35 people. Over the past 20 years, the company’s client base has likewise expanded.

“Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings has earned the respect of our customers—meeting and/or exceeding their order specification with the quality and service they expect,” Tucker explained. “This can only be accomplished when you have all of your employees working together every day and customers who demonstrate their support.”

ISO 9001:2008-certified and MIL-I45208A approved, Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings is capable of meeting the most stringent U.S. Military specifications—whether it’s armored vehicle parts or construction equipment that may be deployed in harsh environments. In recent years, Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings has expanded its capabilities, offering extensive services such as anodizing, zinc plating, and polyurethane finishes. The company has earned a strong reputation as a viable entity in support of a valued customer base that manufactures military vehicles, and it is also recognized by a critical vendor supply chain that produces component parts for such vehicles. Among its well-known clients: BAE Systems, Oshkosh Truck Corporation, Gichner Systems Group, and General Dynamics, to name a few.

More importantly, Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings has held its own despite the challenges facing the broader U.S. economy. “There have been good years and down years, but we were able to adjust our customer base, sustain our market share and continue to grow the business,” said Tucker, who also serves as the president of the Manufactures Association of South Central Pennsylvania. “Adding capabilities and processes over the years, we created new markets and captured new customers who were looking for some of those processes previously unavailable in our market in the past.”

Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings, which was profiled in the March 2007 edition of Metal Finishing, is also well recognized within the local business community. In 2009 the company earned the Small Business Administration’s Award of Excellence (Region III) for calendar year 1998. Tucker ILC also took home the 1998 Small Business Supplier of the Year Award for United Defense, L.P., Ground Systems Division, which cited the company’s overall responsiveness, delivering on schedule and helping United Defense improve its procurement processes.

Tucker is hoping the company’s latest milestone is a portent of things to come. “We look forward to continued success and growing the business in the future as we have done in the past,” he said. “Growth is the business of business!”

“It’s as exciting as watching paint dry.” This phrase often portrays a boring task that Tucker Industrial Liquid Coatings (ILC) never understood. Since 1994, Tucker ILC has finds great satisfaction in watching paint dry and finds great success in providing a quality service to their customers.

Bernie Tucker, founder of Tucker ILC, seized an opportunity when the Cleaning Act was enacted in 1991. Companies could no longer meet the strict environmental compliance standards. On top of that, they could not afford to watch paint dry. Tucker capitalized on his 22 years of expertise in the paint/equipment business to open Tucker ILC.

Tucker ILC is not like any other coatings company. Tucker ILC is an authorized stocking distributor for Hentzen Coatings Inc. which manufactures industrial coatings, powder coatings and is the industry leader in military specification coatings. This 15 year partnership allows Tucker to support customers with product knowledge, hands on training, and stocking capabilities. Other companies may provide a low cost solution without offering the painting knowledge and expertise available at Tucker ILC. Tucker works closely with every customer to achieve significant cost savings while maintaining a quality paint job. Their customer focus is the reason they won the BAE Systems, Land & Armaments – Ground Systems 2007 Supplier of the Year award.

BAE Systems is a major contract for Tucker ILC stemming back to when BAE Systems experienced paint, quality and inventory issues. Tucker is an integral part of BAE’s finishing operation as he calculates the required coatings and controls the paint cost for each part. As an example of his crucial role, he discovered a way to improve the supply chain, saving BAE Systems even more money. 2007 was a challenging year for BAE Systems with expedited production of the new RG-33 MRAP wheeled vehicles. Tucker ILC was there every step of the way delivering products with very quick turnarounds.

The recognition for Tucker does not end there. M & T Bank nominated them as a Central Penn Business Journal Business of the Year and they were selected as a finalist in the 51-100 employees category. Additionally, both Bernie and Brian Tucker were selected as “Industry Experts” to assist in consulting with Army organizations and activities worldwide.

Tucker states, “to date, we traveled to five Army Depots across the United States and provided recommendations on how to plan strategically for long term improvements, identified best practices and presented industry based benchmarking advice on areas to fix immediately to boost productivity. This new role allows us to serve our nation and more importantly our soldiers. We are honored to support them through our knowledge and expertise.”

Their success does not come without its challenges. In March 2006, there were 25 employees at Tucker ILC. Due to the huge growth in their business, employees more than doubled to 60. Space is also an issue as they started as a 2,500 square foot operation and now reside in a 60,000 facility with the need to relocate again. For the second year in a row Tucker ILC was recognized as a Top 50 fastest growing company in Central Pennsylvania.

Tucker welcomes these challenges as his business continues to expand. Tucker states that he is very fortunate to continue this growth without having a salesperson on the road. He attributes his success to close partnerships with clients, high quality standards and dedicated employees. Tucker ILC enjoys watching paint dry – it’s good for business!


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