NRCA Partners with The Review Solution to Collect Customer Reviews

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced its partnership with Franklin, Tenn.-based The Review Solution in order to provide members with the added benefit of collecting customer reviews at the point of service. These customer reviews can be posted to leading review websites such as Google+, Yelp, Houzz, Home Advisor, BBB and Angie’s List.

The platform centers on an app that works on all iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets. The service requires no long-term contract.

Features of The Review Solution include mobile and job-site readiness, reviews collected by email from past satisfied customers, and the ability to facilitate the posting of reviews to major online review sites. Additionally, multiple users from multiple locations can use the app, and business owners can receive real-time text and email notifications for all submitted reviews. Positive reviews for the members’ businesses can be automatically syndicated to their Facebook and Twitter pages.

NRCA’s affinity program offerings are a benefit of membership that offers products and services from affinity program partners at significant member discounts.

MiaSolé and McElroy Metal Partner to Sell Thin Film Solar Modules

MiaSolé Hi-Tech, a subsidiary of Hanergy, announced a partnership with McElroy Metal to sell MiaSolé FLEX series, thin film solar modules as part of McElroy Metal’s solar panel solutions. The MiaSolé thin film modules carry a 15.5 percent efficiency rating with a simple peel-and-stick application method that reduces balance of system costs by 20 percent. McElroy will offer MiaSolé modules factory laminated directly to its metal roof panels to create a lightweight, low-profile solar energy solution durable in extreme, high-wind and seismic zones and on buildings with limited load bearing roofs.

McElroy also markets a complete solar kit for McElroy standing seam, low-slope, storage unit and carport metal roofs. By providing square footage and location, McElroy can provide a complete, pre-engineered solar package with MiaSolé modules, inverter and balance of system components.

The MiaSolé and McElroy Metal partnership combines many advantages for architects, developers, builders and contractors. The 25-year—or more—power output of the MiaSolé FLEX series modules compliments the long service life of metal roofs. Options for factory-applied FLEX modules to metal panels can further reduce onsite installation costs and contribute to consistent quality.

“Today, solar is becoming a standard part of the building envelope,” says Ken Gieske, vice president of marketing for McElroy Metal. “Our partnership with MiaSolé expands our support of green building initiatives and the growing demand for renewable energy as an industry standard.”

Anil Vijayendran, head of product management at MiaSolé, adds: “We are excited to partner with McElroy Metal. With a high efficiency rating for thin film, the MiaSolé FLEX series modules enable roof manufacturers to install a renewable energy solution on roofs and structures previously restricted by wind, seismic and weight limited building structures.”

Snips Provide Durability and Longevity

Stanley's FATMAX Snips feature extended-life cutting blades compared to previous FATMAX Snips, providing a new level of durability and longevity.

Stanley’s FATMAX Snips feature extended-life cutting blades compared to previous FATMAX Snips, providing a new level of durability and longevity.

Stanley launches its robust line-up of FATMAX Snips for professional construction markets.

Stanley is offering 19 FATMAX Snips which include aviation, tin and specialty HVAC snips. They feature extended-life cutting blades compared to previous FATMAX Snips, providing a new level of durability and longevity.

Aviation Snips have become popular recently because the linkage on the snips increases the mechanical advantage without increasing the blade length of the snips. Previously known as compound-action snips, they were developed for the aviation industry in the construction of aircraft, but are widely used in many construction trades today.

Research shows that pros want snips with high-longevity and durability of cutting edges for fast and precise cutting. In fact, pros who use snips frequently will buy new ones up to once a month.

To achieve cutting longevity, the FATMAX Snips are manufactured with forged Cr-V steel blades and induction-hardened. They are also rated for 18 gauge cold-rolled steel and 22-gauge stainless steel, which meet ANSI specifications. The FATMAX Bulldog Snip is rated for 16-gauge cold rolled steel or 20-gauge stainless steel, also meeting the ANSI specifications.

The 1/4-inch blade markings offer quick, precise cutting, eliminating the need to measure and mark the cut. Spring-loaded external latches provide quick one-handed operation and allow for quick and easy access in and out of work pouch. FATMAX Offset Snips have offset angled blades to provide clearance between the snip and the material while cutting.

Low-profile hardware includes a slim bolt that helps provide strength, while keeping a low profile for access. Flush-mount hardware also helps prevent catching on materials or opening in the tool pouch versus external hardware as found on others. Slim bi-material grips provide comfort for a full day’s work.

These snips are backed with a limited lifetime warranty. If the product fails during its useful life due to any deficiencies in material and product, they will be replaced. A person must contact customer service or send damaged tool to Stanley Tools, Quality Assurance, 1000 Stanley Drive, Concord, NC 28027.

Copper Development Association Names President

Thomas S. Passek has been named president of the Copper Development Association (CDA) effective February 1, 2015. He succeeds Andrew Kireta Sr., who retired this January after 36 years with the organization.

Passek brings nearly three decades of metals industry and association management experience to CDA. He was most recently the managing director of the ASM International (formerly the American Society of Metals), an organization that serves metallurgists, materials professionals and managers worldwide.

Passek also served as the executive director of The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), where he worked with standards-setting bodies including ASME, ASTM and ISO TAG groups. He is a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives as well as the American Society of Association Executives.

“Thom’s significant experience makes him a strong choice to lead CDA,” says Stephen Higgins, CDA chairman. “I am confident that through his demonstrated ability to successfully lead a large professional association, Passek will continue to advance the strength and influence of CDA.”

The Copper Development Association is a key trade association of the North American copper industry, with the objective of influencing the use of copper and copper alloys through precompetitive research, market development/promotion, and education, as well as technical and end-user support. CDA is committed to promoting the proper use of copper materials in sustainable, efficient applications for business, industry and the home.

Azuga Launches Awards Program for Safe Driving

Azuga, a cloud-based GPS fleet tracking and social telematics solution, launched an awards program. Azuga Safe Driving Awards is designed to motivate and incentivize fleet managers and drivers to practice safer, more efficient driving. The quarterly program, initiated and funded by Azuga, will help fleet managers increase overall ROI and ultimately increase safety in the communities where they live and work.

Using a proprietary algorithm developed by Azuga’s data science team, the ranking is calculated by a weighted average of several individual components including speeding, hard braking, harsh acceleration and idling events, each of which consider the magnitude, duration and frequency along with a spatio-temporal index that factors in the conditions under which these events occurred.

“Our awards program is only one aspect of our expansion into social telematics, an initiative that is combining driver visibility, gamification, employer-funded rewards, social sharing and Azuga-funded awards to bring a new approach to fleet telematics in 2015,” says Ananth Rani, co-founder of Azuga. “With social telematics, we are at the forefront of industry trends and innovations that will continue to help customers receive ROI from their GPS fleet tracking implementations.”

“The data science research team at Azuga is a research center that combines experts from transportation, big data and insurance to find new ways to quantify driver behavior and its relationship to fuel efficiency,” says Ashwin Sabapathy, head of data sciences at Azuga. “With this unique data set and algorithms, Azuga has been able to produce a fair driver score that motivates drivers towards better behavior through gamification which in turn improves fleet MPG, reduces carbon footprint and delivers natural ROI.”

Azuga announces the top drivers from the first quarter of 2015:

  • Paul Sabourin, AA Transport Co.
  • Javier Contreras, Aaron’s Inc.
  • Duke Zukowski, Bath Fitter
  • Jerry Bellows, AA Transportation Co.
  • Will Allen, A TECH SERVICE
  • Dee Dye, Patco Electrical Services Inc.
  • Fleet Drivers, C & L Refrigeration Corp.

Utilizing the same algorithm, Azuga Fleet is also recognizing the top fleet managers of the first quarter of 2015 for their exceptional leadership and mentorship to their fleet of drivers:

  • Patty Middleton, California United Mechanical
  • Laurie Royal, MNS Engineers Inc.
  • Ron Ernenwein, AA Transportation Co.
  • Mike Goellner, Total Environmental Concepts
  • Randy Jones, R.E. Robertson Plumbing
  • Cam Bedry, Bath Fitter
  • Fleet Management at Chapman Waterproofing Co.
  • Fleet Management at Patco Electrical Services Inc.

For more information on Azuga’s GPS and driver behavior solutions, and how to enroll in Azuga Fleet’s social telematics program click here. Fleet drivers who would like more information, tips and tricks on how to be a safer, more efficient driver and build your social portfolio, join Azuga’s Awesome Driver group on LinkedIn here.

Thermal Spacers Create Continuous Insulation for Metal Buildings

SNS Thermal Spacers from Sealed “N” Safe are a cost-effective and easy-to-implement thermal bridge system between the outer shell and the inner frames of a metal building.

SNS Thermal Spacers from Sealed “N” Safe are a cost-effective and easy-to-implement thermal bridge system between the outer shell and the inner frames of a metal building.

SNS Thermal Spacers from Sealed “N” Safe are a cost-effective and easy-to-implement thermal bridge system between the outer shell and the inner frames of a metal building. Because the SNS Thermal Spacers reduce HVAC operating costs by as much as half or more, the return on investment is between 12 and 18 months. SNS Thermal Spacers are proven safe and effective, tested per AISI, ASTM, ICC and U.S. Energy Codes and structurally sound and watertight. The company provides solutions for architectural panels, standing seam panels, through-fastened panels, wall panels and complete building envelope systems.

The Foundation Releases MCI-EFI Regarding Business Conditions and Expectations

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the February 2015 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 66.3, a slight increase from the three-year high level reached by the January index of 66.1.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent William Verhelle, chief executive officer, First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank company, says, “The economy continues to improve. First American is seeing increased equipment acquisition activity among the large corporate borrowers we serve. We are optimistic that lower energy costs, if they remain at current low levels, will drive increased U.S. economic activity in the second half of 2015. We are more optimistic about the U.S. economy today than we have been at any time during the past six years.”

February 2015 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 66.3, a slight increase from the January index of 66.1.

  • When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 30.3 percent of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up from 23.3 percent in January. 63.6 percent of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, down from 76.7 percent in January. 6.1 percent believe business conditions will worsen, up from none who believed so the previous month.
  • 42.4 percent of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, up from 20 percent in January. 51.5 percent believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, down from 80 percent the previous month. 6.1 percent believe demand will decline, up from none in January.
  • 27.3 percent of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, down from 33.3 percent in January. 72.7 percent of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, up from 66.7 percent in January. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.
  • When asked, 39.4 percent of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 50 percent in January. 57.6 percent expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up from 50 percent last month. 3 percent expect to hire fewer employees, up from none who expected fewer in January.
  • 6.1 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” up from 3 percent last month. 90.9 percent of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down from 97 percent in January. 3 percent rate it as “poor,” up from none the previous month.
  • 45.4 percent of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 43.3 percent who believed so in January. 54.6 percent of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, down from 56.7 percent in January. None believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, unchanged from last month.
  • In February, 48.5 percent of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 50 percent in January. 51.5 percent believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 50 percent last month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, unchanged from last month.

February 2015 MCI-EFI survey comments from industry executive leadership:

  • Independent, Small Ticket
    “Demand remains moderate and competition is strong. We remain bullish for 2015 as we expand channels and products. We are planning on muted GDP so we are focused on making our own opportunities versus waiting for the general economy to expand.” David Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial LLC

  • Bank, Small Ticket
    “Things just seem to be better. Gas prices and unemployment are headed in the right direction. I am concerned about the negative effect of lower gas prices, such as, higher fail rates of energy loans and energy stock value.” Kenneth Collins, CEO, Susquehanna Commercial Finance Inc.

  • Bank, Middle Ticket
    “I see continued strength in the transportation segment of the economy. That segment of our business will remain strong. The opportunities in oil and gas have substantially declined. I expect the decline to depress the volume of business during 2015. 2015 will be a mixed year with some industries doing well and others in decline.” Elaine Temple, president, BancorpSouth Equipment Finance

  • Bank, Middle Ticket
    “All signs have been pointing to a ‘break-out’ year in 2015. However, investment in capital assets continues to be sporadic. Companies continue to be cautious in expanding their production capacity. Let’s hope the economists are correct in their predictions for 2015.” Thomas Jaschik, president, BB&T Equipment Finance

Why an MCI-EFI?
Confidence in the U.S. economy and the capital markets is a critical driver to the equipment finance industry. Throughout history, when confidence increases, consumers and businesses are more apt to acquire more consumer goods, equipment and durables, and invest at prevailing prices. When confidence decreases, spending and risk-taking tend to fall. Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good and stock prices are rising.

Who participates in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Because the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.

How is the MCI-EFI designed?
The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:

  • 1. Current business conditions
  • 2. Expected product demand during the next four months
  • 3. Access to capital during the next four months
  • 4. Future employment conditions
  • 5. Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
  • 6. U.S. economic conditions during the next six months
  • 7. Business development spending expectations
  • 8. Open-ended question for comments

How may I access the MCI-EFI?
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website, included in the Foundation Forecast newsletter and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.

Valspar Develops Graffiti-resistant System to Protect Coil and Extrusion Building Products

Valspar announces that it has developed an ASTM-compliant graffiti-resistant system, which has been tested and approved for all Valspar Coil and Extrusion building products. With communities around the world affected by defacement, graffiti resistance and removal solutions are needed more than ever. Valspar has aligned with Graffiti Removal Services (GRS) to create a sustainable, cost-effective system.

“We undertook this project to ensure that our customers’—and everyone throughout the value chain—performance and restoration needs are met for the life of our products,” says Jeff Alexander vice president of sales for Valspar. “As incidences of graffiti continue to rise across the country, municipalities are adopting policies that require rapid graffiti removal—the Valspar Graffiti Resistant system will allow our customers to meet those requirements with the products they already know and trust.”

The robust properties of Valspar’s coatings combined with the innovative cleaning system provided by GRS means that this solution not only applies to future projects, but to existing installations with Valspar coatings. GRS’s non-toxic products use a brush-on, wipe-off application with no dwell time to quickly and effectively remove graffiti without damaging the underlying Valspar coating. The water-soluble, biodegradable cleaning system is easy to use and gives maintenance professionals a powerful tool in the fight against graffiti.

“The combination of our high-performance coatings and Graffiti Removal Services’ tested and approved environmentally safe cleaning system can help save building owners significant costs of repainting or replacing panels,” Alexander continues. “We are pleased to work with Graffiti Removal Services to offer our customers a fast and cost-effective removal solution.”

Overhead Crane Can Be Tailored for a Variety of Lifting Applications

UNITON from Konecranes

UNITON from Konecranes


Konecranes latest advancement in its equipment offering for heavy-duty lifting and process industries, is a robust overhead crane that can be tailored for unique lifting applications.

Using a rugged construction concept with multiple trolley configurations and proven components, including Konecranes Core of Lifting (motor + gearbox + control system), UNITON delivers a crane that can be tailored to customers’ unique needs.

Standard features of the UNITON from Konecranes include fabricated box end trucks with 90-degree MCB-type bearing housings that are easy to replace and promote long life. UNITON’s robust design also benefits from Konecranes two-point drum suspension, which inhibits deflections of the rope drum from causing misalignment in the connection between the drum and gearbox.

UNITON cranes are available from Konecranes in a wide range of load options, hoisting speeds, lift heights, trolley gauges, frame sizes and capacities, from 6.3 to 160 tons with a single trolley and up to 320 tons with two trolleys. UNITON cranes can be built to meet CMAA duty requirements up to Class F.

The inverter controls for UNITON from Konecranes comes standard in all motions (bridge, trolley and hoist). Inverter drives provide a smoother lifting experience and reduce wear on mechanical components when compared to contactor-controlled cranes. As an optional feature, Extended Speed Range Plus (ESR+) allows for higher lifting and lowering speeds when loads less than the rated load are handled. When the load is less than 10 percent of the rated load, the hoist can be operated at up to 250 percent of the nominal speed, minimizing peak power and energy consumption for a more economical operation.

Optional load control features available on UNITON from Konecranes include Sway Control, Inching, Microspeed, Hoist Synchronization, and Tandem Drive, which links the actions of two cranes.

Konecranes designs and builds each UNITON crane for the ambient conditions of the customer’s operation, defined by the application and environment in which the crane will operate. So factors like temperature, humidity and corrosive elements are anticipated during manufacturing, which helps extend the lifetime of the crane.

ELFA’s Website Offers Wider Range of Resources for Financing Equipment

Visitors to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association‘s end-user website, Equipment Finance Advantage, will find new enhancements that make it a more powerful resource for helping businesses take advantage of the benefits of financing equipment. The site, found at www.EquipmentFinanceAdvantage.org, has improved navigation for a better user experience and offers a wider range of resources focused on how companies of all types and sizes can use leasing and financing to their strategic advantage to acquire the equipment they need to operate and grow. ELFA launched the original Equipment Finance Advantage website two years ago.

Highlights of the site’s user-friendly content include:

  • Equipment Finance 101: Overview of the benefits of equipment finance, the types of financing, the top 10 questions to ask before entering an equipment financing agreement, a customizable digital toolkit and more.
  • Success Stories: Real-world examples of companies using equipment finance for strategic advantage.
  • Resources: How-to articles, Q&As, updated end-user industry fact sheets, infographics and more to help businesses develop their financing strategy.
  • Videos: A series of short videos on a range of topics, from maximizing cash flow to staying ahead of the curve to end-of-lease factors to consider.
  • Find a Provider: A searchable list of ELFA members that provide equipment leasing and finance services.

“The critical role the $903 billion equipment finance industry plays in the U.S. economy, manufacturing and jobs is fundamentally because of the participation of individual businesses,” says ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “They have found the information at Equipment Finance Advantage to be an invaluable resource informing their equipment leasing and financing decision-making during the past two years, and we are excited to offer the newly upgraded EFA website to help keep them up-to-date with the latest research and informational content available.”