A Conversation with Eric Bentson, Founder and Owner of Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing
By Juan Sagarbarría
A few decades back, Eric Bentson found himself on the back end of a spray gun. He knew then the costly frustration of undependable spray foam equipment and its direct correlation to downtime. So when he founded Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing in 2007, he assembled a team to build machines that would exceed his own expectations for toughness, dependability, and ease-of-use. Since that time, he has been characterized as a hands-on owner who is committed to producing a quality product for his customer base, which has expanded substantially. Bentson shared an introspective outlook with Spray Foam Magazine about how he and his team have earned the reputation for producing top-of-the-line spray foam equipment that is matched in quality by strong customer service.
Spray Foam Magazine: How long has Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing been in business?
Eric Bentson: I have dreamed of building a robust, user-friendly, spray foam machine for many years. I started in this industry as an applicator of foam and polyurea coatings in 1987, and learned the business from the ground up. In 2007, the company evolved into distributing foam and coating products and equipment, building custom spray rigs, and building my own brand of spray foam hose to be installed on the machines. It was at that point that everything changed.
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I found myself immediately without a supply of spray foam machines to use with the hose I manufactured. So, out of necessity, I had a critical choice to make – either follow my dream of making my own spray foam equipment, or quit and look for another profession. I decided to follow my dream, and formed Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing.
After deciding to forge ahead with this wild idea, I got my first customer, who actually paid me the full amount of the custom trailer rig – as long as I could get the machine completed in 90 days. I still remember thinking “I know I can do this if I just give it my full attention – but I don’t know where to start!” The pressure was on too – my first customer was coming to pick up his machine in 90 days!
The 90 days passed, and after a lot of prayer and hard work, I was able to deliver on my promise – the BOSS machine became a reality. A few years later, I was able to purchase that first machine back when the customer wanted to upgrade to a new unit. “Ole Bessie” is now the focal point of the Spray Foam Equipment
& Manufacturing story. This business is about chasing the dream, and more importantly, the journey of life along the way to achieving the dream. I heard it said, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That is exactly true!
SFM: You label yourselves as a small company with a big reputation. How did Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing become the SPF industry powerhouse company it is today?
EB: After nine years, thousands of BOSS machines are being sold on the market today. SFE has become the third largest manufacturer of spray foam equipment in the United States. I really didn’t intend to build a large spray foam equipment manufacturing company, I was just trying to feed my family and follow my passion. In this case, necessity was actually a strong motivator.
SFM: What are your daily responsibilities/goals at Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing?
EB: As owner, I take on any role that is necessary. I will be selling a machine to a customer one day, and cleaning the toilet the next! My most important responsibilities are to ensure all of our awesome employees feel part of the Spray Foam Equipment
& Manufacturing team, and to provide a safe, fun work environment.
SFM: What is it that makes your products so unique?
EB: Our BOSS machines, hoses, and spray guns are robust, durable, and dependable, at a price point that is very attractive. The machines are simple and very user-friendly – created with the user in mind – because I have been in those shoes for many years! We make our own parts here on our own machines – all of them! We have air-driven machines, hydraulic machines, hoses, parts, and our all-new BOSS Generation 2 Gun. Our goal at Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing is to provide a superior product at a great price, so that others can achieve their dreams and goals!
SFM: What is your process for mobile rig customization?
EB: The process is quite simple: When an order is placed, our customer service representatives work directly with the customer to get the appropriate machine to fit their needs and obtain their business, and then we establish what the desired layout of the truck or trailer package will be.
SFM: How broad is your international market base?
EB: Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing has machines in several countries, and is very popular internationally. The simple design, ease-of-use, and dependability make the BOSS an excellent choice! We plan to expand further internationally in the next year, and have specific target countries that are asking for our machines.
SFM: What is your industry outlook?
EB: We expect to see continued growth in this industry for many years. Energy conservation, green building techniques, and the increased demand from homeowners and businesses will be the biggest growth drivers.
SFM: What does the future hold for Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing?
EB: Oh man! SFE has an awesome future! We believe that we are poised for explosive growth based on the demand for an American-made, simple, robust, dependable machine to meet the increasing demand for spray foam insulation. This is an exciting time for us at Spray Foam Equipment & Manufacturing.