Thursday, Jan. 14th – Jim Kunkle joins the show this week to share about AMPP.
[0:00] [background music]
Jim Schauer: [0:09] Good morning, LinkedIn community. Welcome to this year’s 2021 second episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.” Before we get started. I have to tell a quick story during the holidays. You normally dream about sugar plums dancing in your head.
[0:25] Well in our household with the wife being a mace coatings inspector our dreams are a little bit different. So James I have to tell you last night instead of dreaming about the normal stuff. I was so excited for this episode lated. I was almost ready for this amped up for this episode. Come on guys.
James Cross: [0:49] That’ll make sense later.
Jim S.: [0:50] It will make sense later.
James: [0:53] Very soon.
Jim S.: [0:53] At this point, let me bring my partner in James to join the conversation James. How are you this fine and beautiful?
James: [1:00] Happy New Year. And we made it now. Everything’s supposed to change right 2020 is over. That’s what I think. That’s how that everybody thought right, we’re seven days in it’s not looking good after this week now.
[1:16] We won’t get into that Jimmy. I am well I am we are not cancelled. Apparently the rumors are not true. Not true. I think the competitors might have put those. It’s a new year, but Coffee with Jim & James is back and we are excited about our guest today and works.
Jim S.: [1:39] Absolutely let me let me bring in our guest today joining us from the SSPC the man the myth the legend. Mr. Jim Kunkle Jim. Welcome to the show this morning.
Jim Kunkle: [1:52] Jim and James. Thank you. I’m very appreciative that you have me on today.
Jim S.: [1:56] That’s good to here.
James: [1:57] Jimkunkel.com, right?
Jim K.: [2:01] Actually the website doesn’t exist anymore. But you can reach my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
James: [2:10] Perfect. Perfect.
Jim S.: [2:12] Jim, would you give us a high‑level view of who you are what you’ve been doing a little, you know, a little elevator speech if you would please.
Jim K.: [2:22] Yeah, my my background related to the the coatings industry with I came from working in the steel industry in the service center side and fabrication involved in powder coating.
[2:34] About eight years ago, the Society for Protective Coatings, or SSPC as it’s known in the industry, had hired me to do business development work related to the owners specification firms engineering firms to help incorporate contractor and blast and paint shop certifications that we offer to the industry globally.
[2:56] Primarily I did a lot of work initially with the oil and gas industry. I’m very familiar with the industry, you know, its ups and downs and it’s pain points and things like that.
[3:07] Currently actually yesterday was the launch of a brand‑new organization where NACE International which is basically a corrosion society that’s been around since the 30s and SSPC we’ve been around since 1950. We’ve merged our organizations together and we’re now called the Association for Materials Protection and Performance, or AMPP, A‑M‑P‑P, as it’s going to be known moving forward.
James: [3:35] I see what you did there Jim you were amped for it.
Jim K.: [3:40] I was amped.
James: [3:41] In full disclosure Jim. We are, you know, we’re recording this on the seventh. So that announcement came out on the sixth. There’s a good chance, you know, this episode’s a little old by now.
[3:53] I saw that on LinkedIn actually yesterday saw the announcement come across about AMPP and actually I put two and two together right then because I remember you mentioning that and kind of the pre‑show workup and I put two and two together and was like, oh, man, that’s going to be perfect timing. So couldn’t be happier with you being on today talk a little bit about that.
[4:19] So so you mentioned AMPP. You want to talk a little bit about the focus of the mission of AMPP itself and and your continued involvement there?
Jim K.: [4:34] Yeah, no problem at all. So the industry when you’re looking at the the global corrosion and protective coatings industry when it comes to industrial coatings both SSPC and NACE International are very well known.
[4:47] In looking at what both organizations do is we primarily think about it we’re protecting preserving steel substrates other substrates related to the effects of corrosion and things that will wear and tear on on substrates.
[5:03] For the organization AMPP, we have to really think into the future and we talked about material protection and preservation because when you look at for example, a coating, a coating can be in your cell phone, it’s on a lot of different appliances. Even you have microbial coatings that go on to protect against, you know, bacteria is and other types of you know, obviously pathogens and things like that.
[5:29] So coatings are so broad and across so many different industries same thing when it comes to corrosion. There’s different forms of corrosion. It’s not just primarily like steel and concrete but a lot of other different types of substrates that are out there.
[5:43] So the organization is really looking at OK, you know, we’ve got over 70 75 years of history related to corrosion and protective coatings. What’s the next evolution of this combined organization?
[5:55] That’s why the aspect of looking at materials and engineering related to taking care of any type of corrosion issues, you know stuff like that, you know, looking at maintenance and planning and stuff like that.
[6:09] In the oil and gas industry. If you have any type of downtime, it could cost millions and millions of dollars. So if we can work with the industry to help preserve and protect materials and substrates and things like that boy. We could really be a very important partner globally with multiple different industries and a lot of different sectors when it comes to transportation or manufacturing or research or you know, any type of industry.
James: [6:38] For sure.
Jim S.: [6:40] I was just going to say on a note of that. I can’t remember the last numbers like of NACE but I think there was like 39,000 40,000 members worldwide something astronomical like that you guys are and Sure about the SSPC and I apologize for that that I don’t but probably combine your well over into the 50 or 60,000 member range. Is that correct?
Jim K.: [7:02] That’s definitely correct SSPC has roughly about 10,000 members in the unique thing was when we were looking at the you know, how you know when the mapping was going out to see how to both organizations kind of like overlay on top of each other. Would there be a lot of you know would we be cannibalizing things and things like that?
[7:20] Well, we found was that there was not that much of of a seem like a we had a very unique memberships. So when we pull it together, it really added plus than take away and it was just it’s absolutely a perfect merger of these two organizations that was attempted some years ago in the past. It didn’t work. This time. It made so much more sense.
[7:44] And the other thing too is both organizations do have competition from other organizations. I mean, we’re we have a non‑profit. You know, we’re a 501(c)(6) and a 501(c)(3). So, you know, we do have competition out there, you know, you got big names like ISO that also offer standards and other types of programs and accreditations that you know can be competition for our new organization.
Jim S.: [8:10] Interesting interesting. Let me I’m looking for your perspective on something because it is, you know, I joke around at the beginning of the episode being a little wacky but being serious, so my wife has been in the coatings business for 20 years and I hear just day in and day out since we’re in the same office space quote‑unquote. I hear a lot of it.
[8:33] In your world dealing with corrosion protective coatings items like that, especially during the COVID time, you know engineers working with them projects needed to get done like you set up a project. There’s a delay we’re talking millions of dollars.
[8:49] What has COVID done in that respect or what have you seen? How has it affected you all and then what do you think 2021 is going to bring in regard to that? Have there been any leaps or you know anything anyway that it’s working easier on your side?
Jim K.: [9:07] Well, we all remember we went into March of 2020 and brakes hit hard and the brakes were we’ve got to make sure that we can address the spread of the COVID‑19 pandemic, and a lot of businesses really had to make quick adjustments.
[9:26] That definitely impacted the contractors when it related to the industrial coating side, where now all of a sudden they had to create new protocols and new safety programs related to testing of work crews what happens if someone becomes infected the other thing is travel policies.
[9:47] For the first time in the coatings industry you started to see that now you have a COVID specialist that would be part of the health and safety part of a contractor’s operation.
[9:59] They also had to work that in conjunction with for example, if you’re doing projects at Exxon Mobil or Chevron or whoever it might be now, they have a policy when it comes to visitors who come into the plant. They have to be tested if they tested positive they have to have an isolation period.
[10:17] The interesting thing with it it was that it did impact early in the spring company started to adjust but project still had to be done. So the industry when it comes to contractors subcontractors were hit with slowness some had slowed down some were OK, depending on again what their customer was.
[10:38] Because a lot of times if you’re working in a, you know hospital facility or or you’re doing you know floor coatings in a prisons prison system or institutional, you know, they have certain types of policies and regulations regarding health and safety that as a contractor you’re going to be in compliance with that type of a customer.
[10:56] When it came for example, the oil and gas or some of the other work related to industries. They had a really make quick adjustments. Now the contractors have made adjustments, but that also caused extra cost insurance there has to be extra insurance relating to business interruption and things like that.
[11:15] Going into 2021. This stuff is all been kind of baked into a lot of what needs to be done. Corrosion continues to happen coating projects have to happen. It doesn’t matter if the oil industries and a boom and a bust the coding project still have to go on now.
[11:31] They might be prioritized differently because of obviously issues related to capital availability and things like that for project money, but it also gives an opportunity for a lot of companies to look at maybe some maintenance painting to delay the inevitable, you know complete re‑coating of a particular section of pipeline or inside a facility an operation.
[11:53] The industry has adjusted to it. SSPC. I can speak on the SSPC side, you know, we took a hit early regarding the training and the professional certifications the class stuff that we would do. We had quickly evolved into what we would call instructor and lead virtual classes.
[12:12] Then do practical where we actually have to sometimes go on site to do practical instrumentation testing, do that after when lockdowns and and restriction. Starting to get low eased up. We also move quickly to take what we could take from a classroom. That doesn’t require you really to be in a classroom. Put it online.
[12:33] SSPC, we made a quick adjustment. We got stuff online. We did virtual‑led instructors. We ended the year relatively and great shape. Where before going into this. We you know, if we didn’t do anything we would have been probably in a in a little bit of a little bit of a tight situation when it comes to revenues.
[12:51] Again, as a nonprofit organization, you know, we’re relied a lot on revenues that were bringing in to not only pay like my salary and sustain but also to sustain the organization so our members our corporate members the industry really really came through for us and I greatly appreciate the industry that I work in because of support.
James: [13:16] Amen to that. I think we can all scream that from the rooftops Jim. You mentioned I mean you talked about how the contractors pivoted in and during COVID‑19 You know, I think us three on this on the show today had to do something similar.
[13:38] I learned a little bit more about you and Jim came to me and said, you know, I’ve got a group, you know, possible guests and I started to dig in a little bit we saw obviously that you kind of started a YouTube channel. This past year similar to our story.
[13:58] You want to talk to people a little bit about you know, what your focus is with the channel what you know what your vision is and how what launched you you know down this path similar to how Jim and I are find ourselves today?
Jim K.: [14:14] So really what launched everything I’m a very my biggest platform that I really love and cherish is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has been absolutely a godsend for me both as a business development manager, but also too is I don’t want to say I’m an influencer but people do reach out to me for questions and for assistance.
[14:36] Maybe I don’t have the answer but I can at least get them to the person or get that answer from somebody else to get to them and through the process going into 2019. I started doing some little type of videos and people said wow, I really like that. Putting a lot of good content a lot of great information.
[14:56] So then going into January 2020. I decided to go ahead and launch a YouTube channel. And if you go back and watch like my initial videos, I mean, they’re really poorly edited their horrific, but my quality when it comes to editing and production skills got better over the year.
[15:13] The biggest lift for me was when I went to the World of Concrete in Las Vegas and I would do a daily, you know, I would take my breaks because I was exhibiting their I would take my breaks and use my brakes to go around and interview different companies regarding technologies for you know, preparing concrete working on coatings and things like that.
[15:34] I would put those out there every day and tag in through LinkedIn to World of Concrete. I was getting 400 500 800 hits that night and it’s a rush you’re like, oh my God, I can’t believe I’ve got like 20 subscribers to my YouTube channel, and I’m getting you know, 800 whatever hits on this stuff.
[15:54] So what I decided to do is I got to go and keep doing this. So I started doing “Global Topic” in the Global Topic is basically a 15 to 20 minute interview. We talked about topics and corrosion protective coatings. And I interview people really industry experts on different topics and things like that.
[16:12] In addition to that I decided to do what’s called “Two‑Minute Lessons.” So I do to these two minute video lessons on technical topics and I primarily focus on LinkedIn because LinkedIn has really although I’m only have about 660 subscribers to my channel through this the first year LinkedIn, the views have been 17 18,000.
[16:37] The amount of views through just even the LinkedIn viewer has been an outstanding and my network has grown the outreach for people coming to me asking me for question. You ask me questions or wanting to connect with me has been awesome.
[16:51] I know it. Benefited me as a business development manager. I know it benefited the Society for Protective Coatings. And I know what I’m doing is going to benefit AMPP. I know it will because again people want technical content. They want to understand they want to be able to talk about these technical topics.
[17:12] So through the whole year. I did 60 just Global Topic episodes and I think with the Two‑Minute Lessons, I think around 135 of those and and so going into 2021. I’ve stepped up my game when it came to I took almost three weeks off at the end of the year and I brushed up on editing skills interviewing skills recording skills.
[17:36] And now I’m making a leap into IGTV related to Instagram and I’m looking obviously to really expand on what I do on LinkedIn. I do a quiz question every day and people respond to those and just the amount of responses I get are absolutely outstanding.
[17:56] This morning. I change my profile for my job position to represent obviously reflect AMPP and I think I’ve got like a couple hundred people congratulating me. They’re asking me why did you change? Why did you leave SSPC? Some literally posting that NACE plus SSPC equals AMPP so people understand that I have not left the Society for Protective Coatings. I’ve evolved with the organization into the new the organization, which is AMPP.
[18:26] I appreciate, again, like I say my network if it wasn’t for LinkedIn and my connections I wouldn’t be where I am today. And I’m so proud of the connections. I’m proud of the platform and this the abilities and the opportunities that it brings to anybody who uses LinkedIn.
James: [18:45] Amen. There was two things. I was going to bring up one was you mentioned something about go back and watch some of the first ones and how funny they are Jim and I actually had a brainstorming session a few days ago. I think it was Monday. Maybe when we got back from the holidays.
[19:05] We watch the first one together kind of streamed it and it’s very eye‑opening to what you know, this whole thing has become so definitely can understand that.
[19:20] The other thing is man the LinkedIn community has been fantastic. What a great group coupled with our respective industries specifically and the overlap man. Just you could not ask for better people to be involved with for sure.
Jim K.: [19:39] The thing with the to with LinkedIn for example LinkedIn, you know some time ago when the Oilfield Connections was started by Sarge Summers now, I know Sarge four years from for me, he’s been an inspiration for me both as a professional and spiritually as well.
[19:57] The thing with it was when I started connecting with the members of Oilfield Connections, and then some of the other any other industry related oil and gas industry related organizations that professional networking has been amazing for me.
[20:11] As a business development person if I am looking at a particular company to try to get a contact to the talk to them. I can reach out to these different network connections that I have and be able able to get a better referral than I would if I was just cold calling by finding a name on LinkedIn.
Jim S.: [20:29] Yep, and I’ll say I mean just look at this you and I met on LinkedIn because of your quiz. I thought your quiz was great. It was funny and I gave some smart aleck response. Like if I have a question about a career you ask the question. What do you do in this say I said, well I call my wife a clock spring at her eye and she tells me the answer.
[20:49] You gave like a haha back and then all of a sudden just started having a conversation and boom away it goes and and it really is. I know James that I feel the same way you do it. It’s absolutely wonderful in the energy industry is riddled laden with relationships. I mean, that’s what it’s based on.
[21:07] You mentioning Sarge I haven’t seen Sarge in so many years. I’ve seen them on LinkedIn, but I remember he had a couple meetings in Houston two three four years ago and he’s a great guy.
Jim K.: [21:18] Definitely definitely and you know, the other thing the other aspect of LinkedIn is that when you’re a professional, it doesn’t matter if you’re an engineer, if you’re a salesperson, if you’re you know, what it doesn’t matter what your position is, but if you’re a professional you have to embrace LinkedIn for example, and you have to really be able to work it.
[21:39] What I mean by that is you have to read the post to people put like share them comment on them. Make sure you’re posting on there, you know reach out to different contacts if contacts reach out to you connect with them. As you never know where you may be you’re in an industry, like oil gas. Obviously, there’s there are people looking for positions.
[22:00] I tell people listen I might not be the person who can get you hired. But put your put your resume out there on LinkedIn post it and I will support that now, what does that do? Well, you know, I’ve got a connections network and those people connected to me are connected to other people. So it’s a multiplying effect. Yeah. Exactly. It’s a multiplying effect.
James: [22:23] Jim, we teach a class usually once a year about how to how to be better at LinkedIn. Right and everybody wants this cheat sheet or you know, what do I do? What do I do? How do I gain and and honestly, what do we tell them? We’re like just go out there and be real it’s social there’s no cheatsheet interact with people engage with people and create content.
[22:49] That’s that’s all it boils down to yourself and it just when you add in the element of business people tend to freak out a little bit, you know and don’t don’t want to say too much here don’t want to bring this up but man it’s been a phenomenal engine for so so many folks. I’m glad to see somebody else doing it. Mr. Schauer, you want to hit him with the last one?
Jim S.: [23:15] I got one final question for you Jim. This is a hard one. OK. So prepare yourself. I can see the sweat forming on your brow, right now. Do you love what you do?
Jim K.: [23:30] Absolutely. Every day I enjoy my life. I would never trade it for a trillion dollars or whatever. Whatever numbers come out of Congress, but I would highly recommend people go out of your comfort zone.
[23:48] People have said to me. Hey, you know, you’re talking in front of crowds of sometimes, you know, 10 people, a hundred people a thousand people. You’re putting yourself out there on the Internet. You’re putting yourself on YouTube LinkedIn everything like that.
[24:01] You got to get out your comfort zone. The reason why is you discover who you are and you do discover that you’re braver than what you thought you were and you’re willing to take chances to make opportunities happen.
Jim S.: [24:13] Be brave.
James: [24:15] That’s where the magic happens man was when things get a little uncomfortable.
Jim S.: [24:19] James. I almost thought we had the first shortest answer to do you love what you do going into that.
James: [24:26] It scared me.
Jim K.: [24:26] Well, you got to be you got to be careful with me because as my wife will attest I’d like to talk and I don’t stop so you have to be careful with me. Yeah, sometimes you have to ask me those yes or no questions to keep me a little bit quieter than normal.
James: [24:44] Man, you did great today Jim. You’ve been awesome guests. Thank you so much for coming on talking about AMPP. We will link everything up. Hopefully listen. Our networks need to be in Jim’s networks and Jim’s networks need to be our networks. It’s a huge gift when we can have folks on that get that part. So thank you sir. Jimmy Schauer, I’ll let you bring it home.
Jim S.: [25:17] I will get us out in a timely matter. Again. Thank you Jim for joining us a was very informative. It was great to have a new friend. It’s great to spend some time with you, please LinkedIn Community. Follow Jim, follow AMPP, follow Coffee with Jim & James to please hit the follow button.
[25:38] I know that if you have any questions to hit Jim up, if you would like to be a guest on Coffee with Jim & James hit James or I up and for the first time in the history of Coffee with Jim & James, we have all Jim and James’s on it today. So we made history today.
[25:54] Until next week, we do appreciate you each and every time tuning in. We appreciate it so much. So, thank you. Until next week, be safe. Have a great week, and we will see you very soon. Bye‑bye.