Roofing Technology Think Tank Launches New Community

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced the creation of a new, non-voting membership called the RT3 Community.  

“In more traditional times, RT3 members were able to share knowledge and information with the industry at conferences and tradeshows but we have had to adapt in order to be safe,” said Karen Edwards, RT3 director of communications and engagement. “When the pandemic began here, we launched a series of educational webinars and were blown away by the level of participation. It became obvious that we needed to find a way to continue to engage with the industry.”

The organization developed the RT3 Community membership that allows members the opportunity to join a special Slack channel with RT3 members, attend the RT3 virtual meetups and Tech Talks, be invited to RT3 popup networking groups at industry events, access the RT3 Technology Innovators Facebook group, participate in the RT3 Technology Forum on RoofersCoffeeShop and receive the SmartBrief e-newsletter featuring progressive industry content. 

The RT3 Community membership is open to anyone in the roofing industry, without needing to apply and receive approval from the membership task team. “It is our hope that opening this community to everyone will continue to advance the understanding and implementation of technology into the roofing industry,” said Edwards. 

Full voting individual and corporate memberships remain capped at 100 members maximum in order for RT3 to continue to be agile and maximize the learning opportunities for the rest of the industry. “When full membership spots become available, the RT3 Community is the perfect feeder system to fill those seats with engaged, passionate new members,” concluded Edwards. 

Join the RT3 Community by visiting www.rt3thinktank.com and choosing ‘Join now.’

RT3 Hosts Webinar Series on Helping Contractors Cope With Coronavirus Pandemic

The Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) invites roofing professionals to join them Thursday, April 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern for the third installment in a special webinar series designed to help contractors successfully navigate running their businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. Special Webinar #3 is titled “Legal Updates, Connecting to Community and a Special Message from NRCA Chairman of the Board Nick Sabino.”

You’ll hear the latest legal ramifications, a manufacturer shares their perspective, a contractor shares how they are handling social distancing, a philanthropist contractor explains how contractors can help support their local community and special guest Nick Sabino, NRCA chairman of the board will talk about how NRCA is helping and provide an industry update. 

Presenters include: 

  • Legal Expert: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law: What’s the latest from a legal perspective and what should contractors be doing to protect themselves?
  • Manufacturing Expert: Josh Kelly, OMG Roofing Products: A roofing industry manufacturer’s perspective and update.
  • Digital Community Expert: Heidi J. Ellsworth, RoofersCoffeeShop and HJE Consulting: Industry-specific forum communities for conversation and connections.
  • Philanthropic Expert, Charles Antis, Antis Roofing: Contractors supporting their community and leadership in crisis.
  • Special Guest: Nick Sabino, Deer Park Roofing and NRCA Chairman of the Board: How NRCA is helping contractors and industry update.

The webinar is scheduled for April 2, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To register, click here

If you missed the previous webinars in the series, you can access the resources and watch them on demand: 

Webinar 1

Webinar 2

For more information, visit https://rt3thinktank.com

RT3 Announces Webinar on Virtualizing Your Roofing Business in Light of Coronavirus

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced a special webinar that is open to the industry. Virtualizing your Roofing Business in Light of the Coronavirus is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET. 

During this worldwide epidemic, many owners of roofing companies have questions and concerns about their ability to thrive in this uncharted territory. Join the following experts to hear their insights on how a roofing company can virtualize their business to avoid the inevitable impact of the virus.

Presenters include: 

  • Host and Marketing Expert: Anna Anderson, Art Unlimited
  • Sales Expert: Ryan Groth, Sales Transformation Group
  • Commercial Roofing: Steve Little, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing
  • Residential Roofing: Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing
  • Legal Ramification Expert: Trent Cotney, Cotney Construction Law

Register to attend the webinar

For more information and to sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief Newsletter, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) Plans Activities Around the 2020 International Roofing Expo

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) announced activities scheduled for the International Roofing Expo (IRE) 2020.

Dallas, Texas-based RT3 member KPost Roofing & Waterproofing will host members of RT3 at their corporate headquarters. The meetup will allow members to tour the facility of the official roofing partner of the Dallas Cowboys where they will learn about the types of technology that KPost uses in their operations.

RT3 will also host an educational panel on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:45 a.m. The session is titled Contractor to Contractor: Technology Innovation Panel and features five contractors sharing their successes and challenges with implementing technology into sales and marketing, operations, back office, health and safety and recruiting.

The panel will be moderated by RT3 member Heidi Ellsworth, Partner at RoofersCoffeeShop® and attendees will be able to:

  • Evaluate what technologies progressive contractors are using to help their business.
  • Identify what challenges came with implementation of technology and how they overcame it.
  • Evaluate how technology can make their business more efficient, streamlined and more profitable.
  • Meet other contractors who you can reach out to after the presentation for support and guidance in selecting technologies to implement in your business.

The panel participants include RT3 contractor members Steve Little, President of KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing; Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing; Gregg Wallick, Best Roofing; Michelle Boykin, COO of Rackley Roofing; and Josey Parks, CEO of J Wales Enterprises.

“The contractors on the panel are completely honest and open about how technology has impacted their businesses and what it took to get where they are today,” stated Karen Edwards, RT3 Director. “They are leading the way in using technology and want to educate and encourage other contractors to join them for the overall advancement of the roofing industry. They will discuss augmented reality, robotics, artificial intelligence, software stacks and more – all technologies that they are using daily in their own businesses.”

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com

Roofing Technology Think Tank Announces New Board Member

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, announced the addition of Ryan Groth to its board of directors. 

 Ryan was one of the original members of RT3 and brings a passion for helping to advance the roofing industry,” said RT3 Director Karen Edwards. “When a board seat became available and Ryan was nominated to fill the seat, it was an easy decision for the rest of the board to approve.”

RT3 Board Member Tom Whitaker agreed, saying, “Ryan is a passionate roofing industry member.  His communication skills and knowledge of how to build a high performing sales team are without question.”

Ryan worked for a leading roofing contractor in Florida and was key to implementing sales software that the contractor created to contractors nationwide. His passion continued to grow, and he founded Sales Transformation Group to share his vision, strategy, structure, systems, and processes that help contractors succeed.  

In addition to his service on the RT3 Board of Directors, Ryan chairs the RT3 Communications Task Team and is in the process of launching a technology focused RT3 podcast that is expected to go live in Q1 of 2020. 

Ryan joins current board members Tom Whitaker, President of Harness Software; Anna Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited; Heidi J. Ellsworth, Partner, RoofersCoffeeShop; Steve Little, Head Coach at KPost Roofing & Waterproofing; and Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing.  

For more information and to sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief Newsletter, visit www.rt3thinktank.com.

Roofing Technology Think Tank Announces Innovator of the Year

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, awarded the Innovator of the Year award to Curtis Sutton of Carthage, Tennessee-based Rackley Roofing. The award was presented at the 2019 Best of Success Conference in Miami.

“We had many great nominations and it was very hard to narrow the field down to just one,” stated Anna Anderson, Award Task Team Leader and RT3 Board Member. “We selected Rackley Roofing because they embrace technology and have demonstrated that they are early adopters when it comes to implementing new innovations.”

In an interview after the presentation, Reid Ribble commented on the importance of innovation in roofing, saying, “Given the workforce demands and the changing technology, the companies that are innovating are going to be winning. Innovation really matters if we are going to reach out to that new, young 18-, 19- or 20-year old worker who still sees roofing as something hot and dirty and not something technologically advanced.”

Curtis Sutton, President of Rackley Roofing commented on winning the award, “It’s an honor because innovation is one of our six core values. Innovation is driven in our company. Innovation to us also means being open to change. We lead everything with technology in the decisions we make in our company.”

Sutton brings a respect for the traditional craftsmanship of a professional roofer and passion for the latest technological innovations. Under his leadership, Rackley has introduced industry-leading technologies like Rackley RoofCheck and Rackley RoofView. They have implemented the use of virtual reality safety headsets that allow everyone to experience being on a roof and learn best safety practices. The company is beginning the use of in-ear translators that can translate speech into any language and dialect.

As a founding sponsor of National Women in Roofing and a member of RT3, the company is committed to always innovating and learning about new technologies and solutions that will help advance the roofing industry overall.  

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com

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.