Roofing Technology Think Tank Announces 2019 – 2020 Board Members

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced the 2019 – 2020 Board of Directors following the June 4 Virtual Meetup.

After completing their initial one-year term, Tom Whitaker, President of Harness Software, was elected to serve a full three-year term and Trent Cotney will leave the board but continue to serve as general counsel to the organization on a pro bono basis. Anna Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited was elected to fill the vacancy and serve a full three-year term.  

Heidi J. Ellsworth, Partner, RoofersCoffeeShop.com and Karen Inman, Chief Operating Officer, Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, continue as board members with two years of service remaining. Steve Little, Head Coach at KPOST Roofing and Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing each have one year left in their terms.  

RT3’s purpose statement is: RT3 thought leaders improve lives by discovering and leveraging technology accelerators to make our industry and roofscapes stronger. “RT3 is supported by a strong board of industry leaders,” stated Karen Edwards, RT3 Director of Communications and Member Engagement.  “They are truly passionate about the advancement of the roofing industry through the adoption of technology.”

The think tank meets six times a year, four virtual and two live with a focus on learning about new and emerging technologies.  Past live meetings have been held at innovative locations that help educate the group on progressive technologies that can make a difference in the roofing industry, including OMG Roofing Products, Vanderbilt Wond’ry, Microsoft Innovation Lab, Georgia Tech, BuiltWorlds and the U.S. Capitol.  The next live meetup is planned for the 3M Innovation Center and Roofing Granule Lab.

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Seeks Nominations for Innovator of the Year Award

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced the launch of its first award program to recognize the Innovator of the Year.

This award was created to nationally recognize a roofing contractor that has contributed to the advancement of the roofing industry through technical innovation and/or product development in one of the following areas: 

  • Production/Technology Efficiency 
  • Safety Innovation 
  • Client Service/Quality of Delivery  
  • Employee Recruitment/Training/Retention 
  • Environmental Impact 

Award judging criteria will be based on innovation, results, design and strategy. The recipient will be announced in September at the Best of Success conference.

To be eligible, a roofing contractor must be licensed and bonded for a minimum of five years and have a minimum $5 million in annual revenue. They also must be a member of a professional industry association and be able to cite community enrichment ties through support of non-profits or company culture programs. the deadline for nominations is July 30, 2019. There is a $50 nomination fee to cover processing and award costs.

For more information and to submit an award application, visit www.rt3thinktank.com/innovator-award.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Members Hold Meeting at Microsoft Campus

RT3In their continuing effort to learn, understand and share with the industry how the latest technologies can be applied to roofing, the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) recently held an exciting Live Meetup on the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Washington. RT3 Board member Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing, leveraged his relationship with Microsoft and their partner, HCL Power Objects, to arrange the event.

Kelly Roofing has been a pioneer in leveraging technology through the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform to streamline and accelerate the company’s business processes. Working through Power Objects, Kelly has a robust system running all aspects of his business from initial lead capture on his website, all the way through estimating, proposal, ordering, installation and warranty filing. Kelly Roofing was recognized by Microsoft, winning the Modern Small or Medium Business category of the 2015 Visionary Award.

Kelly opened the day by providing an overview of how Microsoft solutions work together to help him be more productive in running his business more effectively and efficiently. He is passionate about technology and explained that passion in an interview with RT3 member and Art Unlimited CEO Anna Anderson saying, “If you think about our industry, we get stuck in our own little world, we have blinders on. To be able to come [to Microsoft] see what some of the world’s best practices are and how they are leveraging tech in all industries and to be able to adopt that and bring it to our industry is super exciting.”

After hearing from Kelly, the group toured Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IOT) lab where they were able to see the future of how technology will be used to help keep workers safe on the jobsite. Pankaj Gupta, the general manager of the Business Innovation Group at Microsoft partner HCL, works in the lab and provided a tour and demonstration to RT3 members. Gupta showed how a hard hat was fitted with sensors that use the internet to communicate vital information to someone not on the jobsite. For instance, it could detect if a worker were struck on the head or experienced a fall. Similar sensors are available that could be inserted into a safety vest or on a harness.

The Microsoft team demonstrated how a hard hat and safety vest fitted with sensors could communicate vital information to others far from the jobsite.

The Microsoft team demonstrated how a hard hat and safety vest fitted with sensors could communicate vital information to others far from the jobsite.

The lab also was in the process of adapting a fitness watch that can monitor and send data about a worker’s heart rate, their body temperate and blood pressure, which would allow a company to understand the amount of stress being placed on that worker and when they needed to rest, rehydrate, etc. A cell phone was adapted so that it was being tracked on the floor plan of a building, which was showing on a computer monitor – anytime it moved physically, it would indicate on the screen where it was going. Imagine what knowing where a worker is on a jobsite would do for keeping them away from unsafe areas.

Other demonstrations included innovations that Microsoft was working on for Boeing related to crowd safety in airports. A scanner was able to look at the faces of the group and determine who was happy versus who might be angry. There were some really truly amazing innovations that RT3 members were able to see and experience.

After the demonstrations in the lab, members had the opportunity to hear presentations from Scott Dwyer, Capabilities Manager of Business Applications for Power Object. He explained the PowerPlatform that Kelly Roofing uses, starting with Dynamics 365 which then leverages the capabilities of PowerApps that allow users to create their own workflows with no development time needed. The whole process leads to powerful business intelligence that allows a company to review and refine their processes.

Dwyer was followed by Bill Kramer, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Director of Product Marketing, Mike Ehrenberg, Technical Fellow for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Kyle Young, Product Lead for Field Service. The Microsoft team was able to help the RT3 team understand the practical applications for contractors as well as how their product team approached development to ensure that their solutions remain modern, unified, intelligent and adaptable to a wide range of businesses.

The team then shared a video that demonstrated how a tech in the field was able to use the HoloLens, a self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you. This video (at the 48:48 mark) starts with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 system sales order and walks you through the company’s Power Business Intelligence dashboard that pushes a notification to a field technician to install the lights. The tech uses the HoloLens (at the 56:40 mark) and was able to replace the light on the Polaris ATV with remote assistance from a Polaris specialist in the hologram being able to see everything he was seeing and providing instruction from offsite.

The HoloLens is a self-contained, holographic computer, enabling users to engage with digital content.

The HoloLens is a self-contained, holographic computer, enabling users to engage with digital content.

Committed to learning and disseminating information into the roofing industry, RT3 members wrapped up their day by breaking into roundtable to discuss what they learned and determine how these solutions can help within the industry. They are also working with the team at Microsoft to develop a video to show exactly how mixed reality can be used in the roofing industry.

For more information about RT3 or sign up to become a member, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Contractors who want to learn more from Ken Kelly can contact him via email at Ken@KellyRoofing.com.

RT3 Members Plan Next Live Meetup at Microsoft Headquarters

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) continues its focus on exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry with a planned live meetup on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington, on November 5, 2018. The group of progressive roofing professionals strives to inform contractors by learning about progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry.

The meetup is planned in conjunction with PowerObjects and will be hosted in Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IOT) lab. RT3 board member and winner of the Microsoft Modern Small or Medium Business category of the 2015 Visionary Award, Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing, helped to coordinate the meetup for RT3.

Kelly learned firsthand how technology could disrupt his business model and result in more growth, increased efficiencies and better customer service. With the aid of Microsoft Dynamics, Kelly Roofing was able to double its business without increasing its staff. With files designed to be accessed remotely (the majority of Kelly Roofing employees work outside the office), staff members are able to add notes to each file, receive reminder notices, and efficiently speed through the time-consuming daily tasks. The result? More time to spend with clients.

Following Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Naples, Florida-based Kelly Roofing was able to use Skype for Business online to handle 4,500 calls the first week following the storm, direct customers in English and Spanish to its storm repair services, liaise with insurance companies, and train new hires. This efficient response earned kudos and cemented the company’s reputation for customer-focused service.

At the November 5 meetup, RT3 members will hear a series of Tech Talks starting with one from Venkat Rao, Capabilities Manager of Business Applications for PowerObjects, the company that Kelly worked with to help implement their technology solutions. Following Rao, Tech Talks will be presented by Kati Quigley, Microsoft Senior Director of Marketing and Communication for Business Applications, and Rob Nehrbas, Microsoft Senior Director if Business Strategy for Business Applications. Kelly will present last, sharing his story about how he worked with Microsoft to build his roofing software platform.

The morning wraps up with RT3 Task Teams providing update on their activities for the following areas: Future Workforce, Communications, Meetups, Technology and Membership. During the afternoon session the task teams will work together in small breakouts to discuss how what they learned in the morning can be applied to and shared with the roofing industry. They will also review how what their task teams have accomplished thus far can be shared with the industry and determine their goals for the coming year.

For more information on the event or if you are interested in attending, please send an email to Karen Edwards at info@rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Launches Technology Solutions Directory

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced that it has launched a technology solutions directory. The online technology solutions directory is a resource for the roofing industry to share and review software and other technology solutions. Providers are encouraged to visit www.rt3thinktank.com and submit information and recommendations. Users of the solution can leave feedback to help others determine if that technology is appropriate for their business.

The technology solutions directory was established to support the RT3 mission of supporting and advancing the adoption of technology within the roofing industry. According to its mission statement, “Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), is a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry, striving to inform contractors by bringing together progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry.”

“As a forward-thinking, progressive roofing contractor who embraces technology, the directory allows me to provide feedback on what has worked for my business,” stated Ken Kelly, RT3 Board Member and President of Kelly Roofing. “By sharing feedback on the different tech solutions in the directory, we hope to be able to help others in the industry make the right decisions on what technologies will be the right ones to implement in their businesses.”

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Elects Board of Directors

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced that it has elected six directors of the board at its May 9 virtual meetup.

RT3 was formed to act as a conduit for curating knowledge on technologies that can help roofing contractors and the roofing industry overall.  Formed in July of 2017, the group has grown from twenty founding members to over sixty.  The think tank was officially incorporated in 2018 and now is proud to announce its new board of directors.

Heidi J. Ellsworth, Partner, RoofersCoffeeShop.com and Karen Inman, Chief Operating Officer, Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, will serve three-year terms on the board. Steve Little, Head Coach at K-Post Roofing and Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing will serve two-year terms while Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law and Tom Whitaker, President of Harness Software will serve one-year terms.

The board will support the RT3 mission statement and work to successfully accomplish its objectives to support and advance the adoption of technology within the roofing industry.  According to its mission statement, “Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), is a consortium of thought leaders exploring emerging technology solutions for the roofing industry, striving to inform contractors by bringing together progressive and disruptive solutions that help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry,”

The think tank meets six times a year, four virtual and two live.  Past live meetings included tours of Georgia Tech, BuiltWorlds and the U.S. Capitol.  Future meetings will continue to be held at innovative locations that will help enlighten the group on progressive technologies that can make a difference in the roofing industry.

“It is about education and the initiative to understand and then disseminate innovative technologies into the roofing industry,” stated Heidi J. Ellsworth.  “One of the ways to attract the new generation and a diversified labor force is to incorporate the use of technology including robotics, drones, software, cloud solutions and cutting-edge technologies that we are not even aware of yet.”

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) Chooses Leadership

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry announced that it has chosen Karen Edwards as its communications and engagement leader.

In this role, Edwards will lead the RT3 membership in engagement activities that drive the group’s technology research, evaluation, testing and thought leadership to continue to promote the adoption of technology into the roofing industry. She will also manage all of RT3’s communication efforts, ensuring that the group’s message and efforts surrounding the adoption of technology are effectively shared with contractors, manufacturers, distributors and industry media.

“RT3 is very excited to work with Karen on moving the RT3 initiative forward and taking it to the next level,” said RT3 co-founder Dale Tyler. “Her background in the roofing industry combined with her understanding of how to introduce new technologies into the industry from her time spent as a marketing leader at EagleView bring the perfect skill set to RT3.”

Edwards has been a marketing professional for more than 25 years and has focused the past 15 years on marketing for the technology and construction industries.  She led the contractor marketing program during her tenure at Carlisle SynTec and oversaw the marketing behind the company’s secondary brands including Versico, EcoStar, Insulfoam, Carlisle Coatings and Waterproofing and Carlisle Residential before moving on to lead marketing efforts at EagleView Technologies. As president and owner of Casimir Group, Edwards provides strategic marketing consulting for roofing manufacturers and contractors, she is also the editor for RoofersCoffeeShop.com and leads Marcomm activities for the Property Drone Consortium.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and resides in the York, Pennsylvania area. When not working, she enjoys traveling, relaxing on a beach, partaking in good food and wine, taking long walks and yoga.

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.