Category: <span>2019</span>

Roofing Technology Think Tank announces new board member Ryan Groth

The board supports the RT3 mission working to successfully accomplish its objectives to educate and advance the adoption of technology within the roofing industry. 

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 a 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.

Stay up to date with all RT3 news and events by signing up for the RT3 SmartBrief Newsletter at www.rt3thinktank.com.

About Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3)
Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) strives to find innovative technology solutions to be used within the roofing industry.  RT3 provides insights from progressive thought leaders both inside and outside the roofing industry along with practical resources for implementing potential solutions successfully. The organization will encourage and enable contractors to embrace technology as they seek to grow their businesses.  With a commitment to disseminate technology advancement information, RT3 will help build the professionalism and appeal of the roofing industry. Learn more at www.rt3thinktank.com.

RT3 member Trent Cotney named NRCA general counsel

Cotney Construction Law (CCL) takes a lead position as the roofing industry advocate.

Cotney Construction Law, the leading national law firm for construction, specialty trades and OSHA law, is pleased to announce the appointment of Trent Cotney as General Counsel for the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). Cotney and the team at CCL will provide ongoing NRCA member benefits of legal consultation that will include a strong emphasis on proactive support surrounding construction, employment, immigration and OSHA law.

With the appointment of Trent Cotney as General Counsel, the roofing industry will benefit from Cotney Construction Law’s national reach since it is a law firm that employs almost 40 lawyers with 14 offices across the country, all focused on representing the construction industry. With over twenty years representing the roofing industry, Cotney’s passion and focus continues to be on roofing. He has built a law firm dedicated to giving back to the construction industries they serve. “Representing roofing contractors and helping their businesses both proactively and reactively is our focus,” said Trent Cotney. “We understand the law and we know construction so we can help contractors avoid getting into legal troubles in the first place.”

Most of what the Cotney team will do will be pro bono including consulting, articles, research and support of NRCA committees. ProCertification has been the prime focus for Cotney over the last 18 months, where he worked with NRCA committees offering legal advice and consultation that helped determine the structure of the certification and training processes at no charge to NRCA.

“Trent Cotney has been diligently working with NRCA on the ProCertification program which is our top priority,” stated McKay Daniels, NRCA Chief Operating Officer. “We look forward to working with Trent and Cotney Construction Law.”

The CCL team serves as General Counsel or as an affinity partner for Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Association and several of its affiliates, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Chicago Roofing Contractors Association, Tennessee Association of Roofing Contractors, National Women in Roofing, Roofing Technology Think Tank, Tile Roofing Institute, IIBEC Florida and the National Slate Association.  The firm is well known for their legal content, thought leadership, philanthropy and overall commitment to the roofing industry.

To learn more about Cotney Construction Law, please visit www.cotneycl.com or call (866) 303-5868.

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About Cotney Construction Law

Cotney Construction Law is a national law firm that provides representation for the construction industry. Experienced in the representation of businesses and professionals in construction disputes and transactions, Cotney is a well-known advisor and legal counsel. The firm’s practice areas include construction law, litigation, arbitration, contract review & drafting, immigration, employment, OSHA defense, licensing defense, bid protests, lien law, bond law and alternative dispute resolution. The firm has offices throughout Florida as well as locations in Birmingham, Charlotte, Chicago, Denver, Grand Rapids, Houston, Portland OR, Nashville, and Boston. For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.

RT3 member RoofersCoffeeShop® wins at 2019 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards

RT3 member RoofersCoffeeShop®, the award-winning place where the industry meets for technology, information and everyday business, announced that it is a winner of the 2019 Folio: Eddie Award for Website B2B Building & Construction.  They also received an honorable mention in the B2B Social Media/Online Community category.

As a 2019 winner, RoofersCoffeeShop (RCS) is recognized among the crème de la crème in the publishing industry. This year’s awards saw publishers, editors, content creators and designers competing from across all forms of print and digital publishing.  Winners were narrowed down from more than 2,500 entries. The Coffee Shop has been an industry staple for roofing professionals since 2002.  In 2017, RCS also received an honorable mention for B2B Website/Online Community in the Construction & Manufacturing category.

For more than 25 years, the Eddie & Ozzie Awards have recognized excellence in uncompromising journalism and gorgeous design across all sectors of the publishing industry—and 2019 was no different!  Over 300 magazine and digital media professionals from all over the country gathered in New York City on October 30, 2019 at the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards to celebrate the B2B, consumer and regional brands who competed for the prestigious honor.

“We are incredibly proud,” stated Vickie Sharples, RoofersCoffeeShop Partner.  “We have worked very hard to create strong content and interesting information that helps roofing contractors every day run a better business.  We also think it is critical to celebrate the roofing industry, the professionalism and character of the men and women who make this trade strong.  To be recognized for that by Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards is a great honor.”

RCS continues to grow with its addition of the RLW – Read Listen Watch initiative, tri-lingual website, classified expansion into Canada and a full analytics dashboard.  The ongoing coverage of the roofing industry by the RCS team continues to inform, educate and entertain. For more information visit RCS at www.rooferscoffeeshop.com .

About RoofersCoffeeShop.com
As an award-winning website and online community, RoofersCoffeeShop is committed to being a roofing professional advocate by supplying consistent information, education and communication avenues for all roofing professionals, and especially contractors, while promoting the positive growth, education and success of the roofing industry overall. Visitors to the site continue to find excellent opportunities for sharing information while participating in important ongoing conversations concerning new technologies, safety and the overall roofing trade. From the rooftop to the board room, RoofersCoffeeShop.com is “Where the Industry Meets!” For more information, visit www.rooferscoffeeshop.com.

About Folio
Folio: is a multi-channel resource for the magazine and online media industry. Our primary mission is to help media companies generate revenue and increase audience engagement.  For more information, please visit www.FolioMag.com.

RT3 Members Present on Data and AI at METALCON

By Karen L. Edwards.

METALCON 2019 took place in Steel City – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and RT3 members were well represented at the show, exhibiting and speaking.  On the first day of the show, RT3 hosted a discussion on the importance of artificial intelligence and utilizing data for contractors.

Bill Wilkins of Pointivo spoke about AI and explained that there are a number of companies that offer AI-assisted approaches to roof evaluations.  His company has been working with another RT3 member to develop a system that will do just that. Bill explained asking a person to try to look at an image and identify drains, equipment, ponding water, areas of membrane splits, etc. can be a very time-consuming process.  Ai is a great opportunity to help augment a younger , more inexperienced work force in identifying rooftop conditions and problem areas.

AI can tell you what it thinks is on the roof and provide a confidence level in its identification. How you help is by looking at what it found and either confirming it or correcting it. Each time you provide confirmation or correction, it will learn from the information and keep getting better at what it does. Bill explained that they feel pretty confident that the tool they are introducing next year will be able to reduce the amount of time spent on evaluations by 80 percent through the use of drones and AI.

Key things for AI to be successful is quality data, quantity of data. Bill shared the example of teaching AI to recognize on AC unit on a roof. Because an AC unit is so large, it might only need to ‘see’ 100 images to be able to accurately identify the AC unit every time. Trying to identify hail damage will be harder, because it’s much smaller in size.  The more data, imagery and confirmations it receives, the smarter and faster it becomes.

Josey Parks of Cognitive Contractor shared how AI and data can be a powerful lead and  sales tool for roofing businesses. Josey explained that if you take the records for 1,000 customers and run them through an AI program it will learn from the data. It will recognize patterns of the first 70 percent (or 700 records). Then it will take the next 300 records and predict their behavior based on what it learned from the first 700 and provide them a score.  Contractors should understand the data that they have in their business and how they can structure it to understand what drives your business and your customers.

Josey explained how when he started in metal roofing, he would keep track on a paper of what neighborhoods he had knocked doors in, then he advanced to using a bike trail app to track the locations where he and his sales team had been. They have advanced today to sending emails and plotting on a map (like Google Earth) the locations of the people who opened the email. This allows the canvassers to have an optimized route to work from.

Taking it one step further with the advancement in technology, Josey explained that he is able to use AI to score and predict his leads to the point that it knows which salesperson is the best one to assign that lead to, based on past performance of the sales person.  It’s important to optimize your business and not waste time and resources assigning the wrong leads to the wrong salesperson.

If you missed their talk at METALCON, you can watch it on our Facebook page under Videos.  Be sure to sign up for the Smart Brief e-newsletter to get the latest roofing tech news in your inbox.

 

RT3 Member Acculynx named in Capterra’s Top 20 Most Popular for Construction Management Software

RT 3 Member AccuLynx announced that it has been named a Top 20 Construction Management software product by Capterra, a free online service that helps organizations find the right software. This year, the company’s roofing contractor software is ranked #5 on Capterra’s list of the most popular construction project management applications based on verified ratings from users.

“AccuLynx is proud to have been selected as one of the top 20 construction management software providers for the third year in a row, and we are even prouder to have moved into the top five,” said Katie Badeusz, Director of Marketing at AccuLynx. “This recognition is a reflection of our status as a top tier software application for roofing companies and our continued focus on customer satisfaction.”

Top 20 Most Popular Construction Management Software is an independent assessment that evaluates user reviews and online search activity to generate a list of market leaders in the construction management space that offer the most popular solutions. The Top 20 Construction Management report is available at https://www.capterra.com/construction-management-software/#top-20.

About AccuLynx 

AccuLynx is the leading cloud-based software application for roofing contractors. Since 2008, AccuLynx has helped thousands of contractors—from rapidly-growing start-ups to multi-location operations—streamline their processes and grow their businesses. AccuLynx’s all-in-one solution includes easy-to-use business management tools, such as estimating, production management, aerial measurements, material ordering, photo sharing, custom reporting, unlimited document storage, field applications, and more. AccuLynx is a preferred vendor of CertainTeed, GAF and Owens Corning, and has direct integrations with QuickBooks, ABC Supply, EagleView Technologies, SkyMeasure by CoreLogic and others. For more information, visit acculynx.com.

Source: Acculynx. 

RT3 Member John Kenney of Sutter Roofing presented at ENGAGE ’19

Sutter Roofing shared how technology is key driver of their success.

100 construction professionals recently gathered at the third annual ENGAGE global customer conference in Seattle, Washington to share best practices for driving greater operational effectiveness, competitive differentiation and employee safety through the use of technology, specifically the Smartsheet platform.

“Smartsheet is a popular choice in industries where technology adoption can make a tangible difference, and construction is a great example,” said Mike Arntz, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations at Smartsheet. “ENGAGE is the perfect opportunity to gather customers for a conversation on the future of the industry and the role technology will play in shaping it.”

The pressures facing construction companies continue to deepen. As business booms, so does the number, complexity, and duration of projects. Many are turning to technology to remain efficient, innovative and competitive.

One example is Florida-based Sutter Roofing, one of the oldest and largest roofing and sheet metal contractors in the United States. Sutter Roofing Chief Operating Officer and RT3 Member John Kenney headlined the event with a discussion of how Smartsheet is enabling the entire organization to run smoothly while driving customer satisfaction and retention.

“We take pride in being on the forefront of technology in an industry that hasn’t traditionally put a priority on that kind of approach,” said Kenney. “Smartsheet has transformed how our teams execute projects. The response we now get from customers, in a very competitive environment, tells us how central it has become to our continued success.”

Sutter Roofing originally implemented Smartsheet to schedule projects more efficiently. They quickly expanded its use across all business functions, from marketing to fleet management. They also developed a risk management system based on historical data of completed and estimated projects that estimates the chances of success on projects under consideration.

Kenney said the company plans to connect Smartsheet with other critical business applications in the months ahead to increase transparency and speed to insight.

If you weren’t at the event and want to learn more about Sutter Roofing’s success using technology, you can watch John’s webinar here. 

RT3 Members Explore the Innovative World of 3M

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.

Words aren’t going to do this event justice. There were so many incredible things we learned about 3M while touring their World of Innovation Center and hearing presentations from Maureen Kavanagh, Laboratory Manager and Josh Orman, Strategy and Marketing Manager, both from the Industrial and Mineral Products Division.

From a roofing industry perspective, most of the RT3 members knew that 3M makes the granules that are used in asphalt roofing products. We were also aware that 3M had created some pretty cool granule technologies including algae-resistant and smog-reducing granules (recognized by Time Magazine in 2018 as a Best Invention). What we didn’t realize was how 3M innovations are everywhere. There is a saying that wherever you are, there is probably a 3M product within 10 feet of you.

The World of Innovation was where RT3 members learned about the many innovations and provided a hands-on experience to see many of the technologies and experience how the products worked. We learned a little bit about William L. McKnight, 3M president from 1929 – 1949 and Chairman of the Board from 1949-1966. He was known for the saying “hire good people and leave them alone.” McKnight created a culture of inclusiveness, diversity and innovation.

To this day, 3M employees are encouraged to spend 15 percent of their working hours developing new ideas and solutions. Our host, Maureen, explained in her overview of the company that 3M sees itself as a company that develops solutions to its customers problems. That got the attention of RT3 Members as they headed into breakout sessions to discuss some of the roofing industry issues that 3M might be able to help us solve. There were some creative ideas that came from the session that if possible, could really impact our industry.

The ideas included:

  • Robotic tearoffs
  • 3D manufacturing
  • Tarps that are like Post-it® notes

    Creating safer safety harnesses that predict energy absorption
  • Fastening applications using their adhesives
  • Safety strips for steep-slope roofs
  • Scaffolding in truck to eliminate ladders
  • Sensors in the roof system to eliminate need for core samples
  • Carfax for roof history to see past damage
  • Emergency temporary spray for repairs
  • Insulation that bleeds through membrane if there is a leak for easy identification
  • Pressure seals between layers of insulation to detect leaks
  • Storm kits
  • Full head gear systems for silica safety, fan-force air out and create cool air inside
  • Clothing that prevents heat exhaustion
  • Smog reduction into more materials than granules, i.e. tile
  • Carbon capture technology
  • Printed single ply to resemble shingles, shakes, etc. to increase SRI
  • Retractable lifelines that elevate above the roof
  • Leak detectors under the roof to alert before significant damage occurs
  • Solar integrated roofing systems
  • Ergonomic tape for tools
  • Non-stick, gripping material for work boot soles and roofing materials
  • Granules in spray format to extend roof life and reduce smog for existing roofs
  • Water recapture systems with sanitization
  • Film for over skylights that can support body weight
  • Safety gear that alerts employers if it is removed

After RT3 members shared their ideas for the 15-percent time, the group discussed ideas for future meetup locations and other initiatives, such as the development of a technology-focused podcast. The day concluded with a visit to the 3M Roofing Innovation Center with a tour of how color blends are created and how samples are run to visualize what the new blend would look like on a roof.

It is our hope that by learning about innovations in other industries, it might be possible to adapt those solutions for use in the roofing industry. By meeting with innovators and problem solvers like 3M, we provide insight into the challenges being faced in the roofing industry with the goal of developing new technology solutions that can change the industry and improve health, safety and material performance.

Stay up to date on the latest roofing technology news and happenings when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter.

RT3 Member Kelly Roofing Featured for Use of Microsoft PowerApps

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.

Microsoft recently shared in a blog post how RT3 member and recent recipient of Roofing Contractor’s Residential Roofing Contractor of the Year Kelly Roofing found success with a task-focused field application that keeps everyone update in real-time using PowerApps on Microsoft’s Power Platform Solution.

Kelly Roofing partnered with PowerObjects, an HCL Technologies company, to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM in 2012, Field Service in 2015 and Dynamics 365 in 2016. Dynamics 365 allowed them to manage all of their customer and work order information for each roof repair and installation project. They had success managing the complex details and information needed for communications, dispatching, driving directions and status updates.

Their challenge came in needing a solution that would allow crew members in the field to provide status updates while on a job site. Not every job site has great cell service meaning they would need a solution that would allow updates and photos to be stored on the smartphone or tablet with the ability to sync later, when service was available.

Their existing process before Power Platform was inefficient and causing their teams to spend their days on the rooftops and their evenings on the computer, trying to find, organize and upload the day’s photos. Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing, wanted to find a solution that would ensure the “team is spending time bringing value to our customers, while improving the time we spend with our own family.”

Kelly evaluated software programs designed for capturing job photos but found them to be costly and would result in creating additional data silos, something they wanted to avoid. He turned to partner PowerObjects to help create a PowerApps mobile app that would simplify the process of job photos and status updates while in the field.

PowerApps was deployed to all 120+ crew members who have been using it since spring 2019 with much success. Crews take photos, before, during and after a job. They are stored offline and upload to SharePoint Online when the device has a connection. Photos are automatically named and include the status and location of the job.

In addition to photo organization, the PowerApps has allowed them to do even more:

Scheduling: Crew leaders no longer have to come to the office in the morning to pick up job tickets. The information is provided directly though the app and includes client information, job information, directions and details. They have realized a 25.8 percent reduction in trip time.

Reporting: Customers receive a Daily Job Site Report that let’s them know the status of the job and any notes from the crew. Before the app, crew leaders would need to find a WiFi connection and log into a laptop to provide status reports and customer communications. Kelly Roofing has seen a 36% drop in customer call backs since job information is available to everyone in real time.

Documentation: All documents related to a job are available to everyone from the contract to the purchase order and the entire job history is available.

Since implementing the Power Platform solution, Kelly Roofing has realized a 91% decrease in processing time because of the photo reconciliation time savings. Employees are pleased with the app as well. Frank Viera, project supervisor at Kelly Roofing, said, “I used to spend extra time in my home from 5 – 10 pm looking for pictures. I even had my son help me. Now I don’t have to do that!”

Read the complete case study and see screenshots of the application on the Microsoft blog.

Stay up-to-date with the latest roofing industry technology news when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter.

RT3 member NRCA is named Most Trusted Construction Trade Association

BUILD magazine has named NRCA the Most Trusted Construction Trade Association as part of its Construction & Engineering Awards 2019. According to BUILD magazine, the Construction & Engineering Awards honor companies and organizations in the construction and engineering sector who form the backbone of the industry, working daily to build a better future for all.

“We are honored to receive this recognition” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Since 1886, NRCA has responded to its members’ needs and worked to improve the roofing industry for all stakeholders. For more than a century, we have built our reputation around the trust of those in the greatest industry in construction. Thank you, BUILD magazine, for this recognition.”

To learn more about becoming a member of the Most Trusted Construction Trade Association, NRCA, visit their membership information page.

About NRCA

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy. It represents all segments of the roofing industry, including contractors; manufacturers; distributors; architects; consultants; engineers; building owners; and city, state and government agencies. NRCA’s mission is to inform and assist the roofing industry, act as its principal advocate and help members in serving their customers. NRCA continually strives to enhance every aspect of the roofing industry.

About the Construction & Engineering Awards

The ever-popular Construction & Engineering Awards, launched in 2015, remain a key part of BUILD magazine’s awards program portfolio. Incorporating all variation of enterprises across the construction and engineering disciplines who thrive in this dynamic sector, the Construction & Engineering Awards engage in the process of honoring those whose work may span civil, commercial, energy, residential, industrial and infrastructure projects. We have awarded the companies from this sector who form the backbone of the industry, working day-in-day-out to build a better future for all, and we look forward to doing so each year!

Source: NRCA