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Customer Snapshot

Painting the American Southwest

>450 million

gallons of paint sold - enough to cover 6,000 square miles!


Paint manufacturer Dunn-Edwards Corporation had nine months to open its newest plant. Not only did plant operations need to integrate with the business, but the user interface had to be easy and provide real-time data.


With the help of the SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence application, the new plant is increasing output by tenfold.


Dunn-Edwards Corporation


Los Angeles, California, USA

Customer Website


Number of Employees


Implementation Partners

SEAL Consulting Inc.

Line of Business

R&D, Engineering, Manufacturing



Featured Products

SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII)


The color of the American southwest

For over 80 years Dunn-Edwards Corporation has been the leading manufacturer and supplier of architectural and industrial coatings in the southwestern United States. Owned by its 2,000 employees, the company is famous for its superior quality paint and customer service. Dunn-Edwards has also consistently stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting the environment, including eliminating lead and mercury from its products in the 1950’s and 1970’s, long before environmental regulations forced other companies to do so. Now, with a new environmentally friendly plant, that tradition continues, adding new layers to Dunn-Edwards paint and coating innovations.


  • 1925Consolidated Wallpaper Corporation founded by Frank “Buddy” Dunn and Charles Smith in Los Angeles, CA
  • 1927Introduction of paint and change of name to the Consolidated Wallpaper and Paint Corporation
  • 1936Becomes Dunn's Inc.
  • 1937Opened its first paint manufacturing factory with one worker, two stone mills, an agitator, and a kettle
  • 1938Arthur C. Edwards takes half ownership
  • 1944Becomes the Dunn-Edwards Corporation
  • 1950 Begins the move into the rest of the Southwestern market. Voluntarily discontinued its final lead-based paint product more than 25 years before it was banned by federal regulations.
  • 1970Reformulated its water-based paints to eliminate biocides containing mercury long before the 1990 EPA ban
  • 1980Replaced ethylene glycol with safer, nontoxic, FDA-approved propylene glycol
  • 2001Establishment of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)

Business Model

Superior products, service, and expertise

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72% of professionals polled prefer Dunn-Edwards

“As a native of Southern California, I’ve watched Dunn-Edwards for years and admired its strategy of ensuring the success of its professional contractors, architects, and design customers by providing them with the highest-quality products and service.”

Dunn-Edwards paints are manufactured exclusively in the Southwestern United States and distributed and sold through approximately 110 stores in the states of California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Landmarks from the Staples Center to Caesar’s Palace to Arizona State University are painted with Dunn-Edwards.


Ranked #1 among licensed painting contractors in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix.

Success Strategy

All colors lead to green

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Committed to offering quality products, outstanding customer service, and industry expertise, Dunn-Edwards brings both color and know-how to every project to help make sure the job is done right.

$600-$700 million annual sales

Dunn-Edwards is a wholly employee-owned midmarket company of 2,000 people, and is one of the largest independent manufacturers and distributors of architectural paints and painting supplies in the United States. The Dunn-Edwards’ vision is to be the best and the greenest at what it does. With that goal in mind, the company made the bold decision to invest in a new manufacturing plant – an impressive 336,000 square-foot space that has been awarded the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.


With multiple production lines that could produce up to 12,000 gallons of paint in just two to four hours, the new plant will play a major role in the Dunn-Edwards bottom line.


“We have incorporated innovative, energy-efficient equipment and protocols, such as unique high-efficiency process equipment with integrated dust-suppression technology, so that no particulates are emitted into ambient air. ”

- Karl Altergott, President, Dunn-Edwards Corporation

The Challenge

Facing the future with tools of the past

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Time to produce a single batch of paint: 3-4 people and 6-8 hours

“The old plants had poor visibility into production status. You would literally run around the plant to find a paint maker to determine batch status. Quality control chemists would not know when a batch was finished and available for evaluation.”

It had been 45 years since Dunn-Edwards build its last plant and it was beginning to encounter constraints in production capacity. Processes were delayed, and it was hard to establish deadlines in the supply chain. Once it decided to build a new plant, it had just nine months to get it up and running. Not only did equipment need to be installed, it also had to link the shop floor with its business software and provide an interface that was easy for everyone to use.


Enter SAP

Integration of business and manufacturing processes

“We had to ensure that information moved smoothly and in a bidirectional manner to make SAP ERP interoperable with the plant systems… It’s very challenging to integrate business functions and transactions – such as orders and inventory – with the actual manufacturing process. SAP MII, however, enables us to do just that.”

Dunn-Edwards was already using the SAP ERP application as its enterprise solution, and the SAP MII would provide the support the company needed for the plant systems and machine interfaces for the operators. It would also work well with the business software. Dunn-Edwards wanted the business and the plant to “talk to one another” so it could operate more effectively. This meant it had to link business functions like production planning and order fulfillment with plant control systems and production equipment.


The SAP Experience

A race against time

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2x-3x Faster Rollout thanks to preconfigured templates

“I believe that SAP is doing a tremendous job of reaching out to midsize customers. It is always providing us with information about new applications and components and how we can leverage those capabilities. This helps us identify ways in which we can improve our business.”

Dunn-Edwards needed to quickly integrate its existing SAP ERP application with the plant manufacturing system. Multiple IT and manufacturing engineering teams were involved and the rollout needed to be synchronized with the installation of equipment and control systems. Preconfigured templates were a huge time saver and played a major role in making the go-live date on time. Dunn-Edwards also had assistance from implementation partner SEAL Consulting Inc., which had previous experience with SAP MII and helped keep the process flexible and cost-effective.


Better Business

Success with flying colors

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12,000 gallons of paint produced by 2 employees in 2 to 4 hours

“SAP MII gives us the visibility we need into production orders. It provides automated feedback of plant data like materials consumed, labor expended, and so on. Our increased capacity and productivity gains would have been impossible without SAP MII.”


10x Increase in Production Capacity


  • Prebuilt templates for rapid integration between production and business – Prebuilt, standards-compliant connectors reduce cost and complexity, accelerating time to value
  • Direct link between shop-floor systems and business operations
  • User-friendly interface
  • Elimination of paper-based processes
  • Real-time delivery of data that affects or is impacted by manufacturing
  • Real-time analytics engine to aggregate, calculate, and deliver a single view of events, alerts,and KPIs
  • Single, role-based dashboards for production personnel with metrics that flow to executives
  • Smooth information flow between SAP ERP and plant systems

Run Simple

The right color for every customer

Dunn-Edwards feels that the integrated SAP software landscape can help it better understand its customers. This is due in part to the introduction of the SAP CRM application. Deeper insight into customer activity allows the company to manufacture products accordingly as orders flow from the business software to SAP MII.

Journey Ahead

Vision of a mobile future

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“I have been very impressed with the innovation coming out of SAP. We are very interested in mobile and analytics applications. We’re looking forward to seeing more details about SAP solutions in these two areas.”

With the new plant, Dunn-Edwards in now in a position to continue expansion. With the current focus having been on stores, the company is looking to developing international dealerships and products for home improvement stores. The next step for Dunn-Edwards will be to enter the world of mobile analytics, which will allow it to attract more customers while bringing customer insight and service to the next level.

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