Roofing Technology Think Tank Announces Election of Two New Board Members

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, elected Brad Beldon, Beldon Roofing, San Antonio, Texas, and Wendy Marvin, Matrix Home Solutions, Vancouver, Washington, to fill two openings on the board of directors. 

“We are very excited to welcome Brad and Wendy to the board,” said Karen Edwards, RT3 director of communications and engagement. “They are both believers in the power of technology for the roofing industry and will be instrumental in helping RT3 continue to be the voice of technology in the industry.”

RT3 would also like to extend its gratitude to Steve Little, Head Coach at KPost Roofing and Waterproofing, and Ken Kelly, President of Kelly Roofing, for their contribution as founding board members of the organization. “Their leadership and passion for the roofing industry has helped RT3 thrive and enabled the group to provide important education and information to the industry in the form of panels at events, webinars and articles,” noted Edwards. 

Other board members include:

  • Anna Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited 
  • Heidi Ellsworth, Owner HJE Consulting and partner in RoofersCoffeeShop®
  • Ryan Groth, President of Sales Transformation Group
  • Tom Whitaker, President of Harness Software

The think tank meets six times a year, with four virtual and two live meetings, 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 3M Innovation Center and Roofing Granule Lab, OMG Roofing Products, Vanderbilt Wond’ry, Microsoft Innovation Lab, Georgia Tech, BuiltWorlds and the U.S. Capitol. The next live meetup is planned for Sika Sarnafil.

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com

Roofing Technology Think Tank Seeks Nominations for 2020 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 that it has opened the nomination period for the 2020 Innovator of the YearAward.

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 2019 winner was Curtis Sutton of Carthage, Tennessee-based Rackley Roofing, a company that counts innovation as one of its six core values.  

The 2020 recipient will be announced this fall 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.

For more information and to submit an award application visit www.rt3thinktank.com/innovator-award. There is a $50 nomination fee to cover processing and award costs. The nomination period closes July 31, 2020.

For more information, visit www.rt3thinktank.com

Tips From RT3 Contractor Members to Keep Business Flowing

After their jurisdiction mandated the use of hand washing stations on the jobsite, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing could not find a retailer with any in stock. The company manufactured their own units by adding spigots to brand-new 55-gallon plastic barrels. Photo: KPost Roofing & Waterproofing

It was mid-March when we had the first inkling that the coronavirus pandemic was going to leave a serious impact on business as we know it. Members of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) board began talking on Friday, March 13, 2020 about what no one else was: the state of the roofing industry and how we can run our roofing businesses safely in the midst of this pandemic.

We decided to quickly organize a webinar for the roofing industry to share information, tools and resources that would help roofing business owners with their everyday operations. We had no idea what the response would be when we announced on Monday, March 16, that we were hosting this special webinar two days later. More than 500 people registered to attend and nearly 400 were on the webinar live. Since posting the first recording on the RT3 YouTube channel, it’s been viewed 500 times. Our organization subsequently held two additional webinars that were also very well received.

Leading Calmly and Confidently

In the first webinar, Ken Kelly of Naples, Florida-based Kelly Roofing said as a leader in your company, communication is key now. “If you’re communicating with your team early and often, everyone is going to be on the same page,” says Kelly. “Right now, there is a lot of uncertainty so there is a lot of fear. I don’t think we should let fear enter into our decision making, and you certainly don’t want to let fear be driving or preoccupying your employees.”

At Kelly Roofing, the company designated an employee to spend the entire day cleaning vehicles, offices, surfaces, door handles, bathrooms and light switches. He also reminds employees to maintain at least 6 feet of separation. Photo: Kelly Roofing

Dallas, Texas-based KPost Roofing & Waterproofing Company’s President and Head Coach Steve Little echoed Kelly’s thoughts. “Be calm. We have to make good decisions, not hasty decisions. We have to make decisions based on long-term and what is best for our company, our employees, our customers and our families.”

“So goes the leader, so goes the company,” says Kelly. He reminds us that it’s important to look at how you are acting around the office. Ask yourself if you are portraying someone who is knowledgeable and educating themselves on the issues. Are you being seen in the office? If your company is working from home, you can still be seen by your team, notes Kelly. There are many great virtual meeting tools from a variety of providers, some of which are free.

Little believes that companies should try to have employees continue to participate in the normal cycle of business. “If you have sales meetings on Monday and project management meetings on Wednesday and your operations meeting on a Friday, do your best to maintain a routine,” he says. “Your employees are looking to you to try to maintain some kind of continuity in what they are doing.”

Policies and Plans

Kelly likened some of the actions his company is implementing to those taken when his area is expecting a hurricane — the reason that he has taken his entire business into the cloud. He also recommends some simple things that you can implement, including making sure adequate supplies are on hand. “Things like if the gas tank in your vehicle gets anywhere near half, just go ahead and fill it up because you don’t know when society is going to decide to put something crazy on social media about gas and then everyone is going to make a run on gas stations.”

Little believes that a crisis plan and policies are must haves for your roofing business. “I’ve had the great fortune of collaborating with some really great people in the industry and sharing information,” he says. “I challenge you to do the same thing. Create a peer group that you can collaborate with and share best practices.”

He recommends turning to your industry associations for support and information as well. These groups have been working hard to assist contractors and are making sure that roofing is included in the essential business category everywhere they can.

Getting Creative to Meet Requirements

Kelly notes that he repurposed an employee whose role was to organize inventory in the shop and made him a full-time cleaner. “He spends the entire day cleaning vehicles, offices, surfaces, door handles, bathrooms and light switches. He is also our distance police, reminding anyone with less than 6 feet of separation to move apart.”

Little’s team has had to come up with some creative solutions as well after their jurisdiction mandated that handwashing stations be available on every jobsite. The company tried to order some but found that not only were they expensive — coming in at close to $1,000 each — but most places were out of inventory. So, his team got creative, ordering new 55-gallon plastic barrels and attaching spigots to dispense the water. Little shared that each station cost the company just under $100 each to make, including labor.

Cash Flow and No-Contact Selling

Cash is important during this time as well. Kelly says that now is the time to look at your payables and receivables. Prioritize them to maximize your cash flow. “We have two things to focus on right now,” explains Kelly. “Number one is let’s make sure we stay safe and that everyone understands our mission. Number two is we are going to make sure we are collecting cash on any job that we do have open. While we can work, let’s get them finished and into receivables.”

Little points out that you also need to change your sales strategy. “Business as we know it is no longer going to be that way and not just from this crisis. But I think what is going to happen is that the transition between the baby boomers and the next generation — this is going to accelerate that. People are going to see that we can conduct commerce without having to be in front of people,” says Little. “We can conduct business virtually. As you know business today, how commerce is done, it will change. And if you don’t change with it, it will leave you in the dust.”

Kelly shares that one of questions he is asked the most by other contractors is how to take your phones into the cloud using voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). “You can fire up any of these voice services — we happen to use Microsoft Teams — and you can then forward your main number through your phone company into the cloud account. You can either do it round-robin style where it rings one person, and if they don’t answer it will ring the next and so on. Or you could set it up that it rings everyone at once,” explains Kelly.

Employee and Client Communications

Your employees and your customers are spending a lot more time on social media, using streaming services, looking up information on the Internet and staying connected with friends and family. Reach your customers and your employees where they are right now by ensuring that you are active on your social media with the right messaging.

“Now is the time to be on social media,” says Little. “Not just for your clients but it’s time to get on social media to bring peace and solitude to your employees and their families.”

It’s more critical than ever to communicate with your customers that you are open, that you are following The Centers for Disease Control recommendations and OSHA guidelines for operating safely and maintaining social distancing on jobsites. It is important that they know roofing is an essential business in just about all areas of the country and that you can repair or replace a roof with no contact during transactions.

Accessing Shared Resources

For more information from Ken Kelly, Steve Little, and other members of RT3, visit the RT3 YouTube channel, where you can watch all three of the special webinars and benefit from the wealth of information that was shared, including sales and marketing and legal implications. A link to the resource documents shared by the participants is available in the video description.

About the author: Karen L. Edwards is the director of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), editor at RoofersCoffeeShop, and a freelance writer and marketing consultant for the roofing industry.

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 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.