Global Finishing Solutions® (GFS) is a family-owned and operated company, focused on our family of exceptional employees. With this “people-first” approach, our employees have every chance to flourish and make their mark. Each month, we spotlight a different department within the company, from our manufacturing floor to our office buildings.
GFS takes great pride in our long history designing and building products that support the most advanced aircraft in the world. Military aircraft, defense vehicles, boats and ships, as well as many original aircraft manufacturers and the businesses that operate and service them get their final finish from a GFS booth. Let’s learn a little more about the team behind the aerospace and defense sales at GFS:
Department name: Aerospace & Defense
Number of employees: 10
Who they are: The aerospace and defense group has a very diverse background and work experience, with individuals’ experience ranging from five to 40 years in the finishing industry. Their backgrounds include aerospace, chemical engineering, finishing equipment and systems, and mechanical engineering.
What they are known for: This sales division is tasked with growing GFS’ presence in the aerospace and defense markets, as well as supporting existing customers. Their customer base is very diverse and includes aircraft manufacturers, maintenance and repair operations (MRO), military bases (domestic and foreign) and aircraft component manufacturers.
Often, the booth and finishing equipment is the customer’s sole reason for building a new facility, so the sales team’s input is critical to ensuring complete designs and successful projects. They frequently work with architects and engineers to develop facility layouts that incorporate GFS equipment and to ensure correct airflow, lighting and efficiency. The team works with customers from the start to develop customized equipment that is specifically designed for the aircraft, vehicles or components being painted.
How they make a difference: The aerospace and defense sales team provides a unique set of products and services to a growing market. GFS takes pride in being a complete, full-service provider, with capabilities that include in-house design and engineering, vertical manufacturing, project management, installation and commissioning, and service and preventative maintenance. This gives the team complete control from start to finish and offers their customers a single source of responsibility for projects. The aerospace and defense sales team is continually expanding their product offerings beyond the traditional equipment provided by GFS and finding new, advanced technologies to incorporate into the finishing equipment.
Hidden department fact: The largest GFS aircraft booth that has been completed to date is 200 feet wide, 72 feet high and 200 feet long, and is used for painting C-17 military transport aircraft.
(Another) department fact: More than half of this sales division works outside of GFS’ headquarters in Osseo, Wisconsin, with individuals living in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan, spending a majority of their time on the road on sales calls.
GFS Aerospace & Defense Team Member: Meet Alan Mclaughlin
Alan has been a sales engineer for the GFS aerospace and defense department for the past 10 and a half years. He enjoys participating in projects, interacting with customers, problem-solving and the successful completion of projects, as well as his three-year-old black lab. With a 12-acre ranch and five horses, he spends most of his spare time with his family, which includes his wife, children and grandsons.
GFS is a large supporter of the American Red Cross, and Alan enjoys that he is able to support their cause by donating platelets six to eight times per year. GFS provides Alan many opportunities to be successful both personally and professionally, including his desire to remain very active in many projects after the sale. He strives to maintain relationships with GFS project management, installation personnel and the customer after his sales involvement is complete.
Thank you for all of your hard work!