Tag: <span>International Roofing Expo</span>

RT3 plans activities around the 2020 International Roofing Expo

Activities include a rooftop technology tour and a contractor technology educational panel.

Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), a group of progressive roofing professionals focused on technology solutions for the roofing industry, 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.”

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

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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.

Wearables can improve worker safety and health

At this year’s International Roofing Expo, there was plenty to see on the show floor with technology being a key focus. In fact, the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) presented a contractor panel where they discussed emerging technologies as well as existing ones and how these solutions are making an impact on their businesses.

Discussions focused on how augmented reality will change field service, how robotics and automation both on the roof and in the air will impact the industry, how GPS and other tracking can save thousands and how technology will change the way the industry interacts with home and building owners as well as with insurance companies.

One solution that has a promising outlook for the industry is the use of wearable technology to improve worker safety. The wearable technology can be as simple as a GPS tracker in a safety vest that can send an instant alert when a worker enters a predefined danger area on a job site, such as being within so many feet of the roof perimeter. There are exoskeletons that have been created to assist workers with lifting heavy loads, thus reducing the chances of back injuries or strains.

While visiting Microsoft’s Internet of Things (IOT) lab last fall with RT3, we saw smart helmets that could detect impacts and wearable monitors that could track workers’ vital signs such as heart rate and body temperature – valuable information that can let you know when a worker should stop and take a break.

While all of this data can be lifesaving, contractors implementing the use of these devices should be prepared to ensure that their workers’ privacy and data is protected. The good news is that most companies that are providing a technology solution should have the infrastructure in place to make sure that the data is protected, and privacy remains intact. However, as we have seen time and again, data breaches are not uncommon in this day and age.

RT3 member Trent Cotney of Cotney Construction Law said that contractors using new wearable technologies to keep employees out of harm’s way should revise their employee manuals to provide information on how to properly use the wearable technology. Further, contractors should include in employee manuals that the wearable technology will better assist in keeping employees safe, but that it is not a guarantee and the workers should still exercise caution when performing dangerous activities or working in hazardous areas.

The World Wide Web just celebrated its 30th birthday and we have seen so many changes over those 30 years. We’re excited to see what’s coming next and how worker safety will benefit from new, emerging technologies. Stay up to date on the latest news in the industry when you sign up for the RT3 Smart Brief newsletter.

RT3 Makes an Impact at the International Roofing Expo

The group’s activities featured a meetup at Vanderbilt and moderating a contractor technology panel.

Members of the Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3) traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for the 2019 International Roofing Expo (IRE). They began the week by attending a live meetup held at Vanderbilt University and hosted by professor Larry Bridgesmith. After conducting a brief business meeting, the group was introduced to Robert Grajewski, Executive Director at the Wond’ry.

The Wond’ry is the ‘epicenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University.’ RT3 members were given a tour of the three-story, 13,000 square foot center that facilitates innovation between students and faculty from all courses of study, whether that be engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs or artists.

The RT3 team heard stories of innovation and creativity to solve problems and develop new and unique solutions using technology. One psychology PHD candidate used the Wond’ry to develop a never-before-heard-of treatment using virtual reality goggles to transport patients to another world to help them feel safe while dealing with their issues. It’s now being written about in medical journals and being adopted by more psychologists. The team was so impressed with what was happening at the facility that some even went back the next day to share the experience with some of their co-workers who were not able to attend the first time.

On the last day of the IRE, five contractor members of RT3 were featured on a contractor panel to discuss the technologies they are using in their businesses. Ken Kelly of Kelly Roofing, Steve Little of National Roofing Partners and KPost Roofing, Josey Parks of J Wales Enterprises, Michelle Boykin of Rackley Roofing and Gregg Wallick of Best Roofing participated. The panel was moderated by RT3 board member and RoofersCoffeeShop® partner, Heidi J. Ellsworth.

Discussions focused on how augmented reality will change field service, how robotics and automation both on the roof and in the air will impact the industry, how GPS and other tracking can save thousands and how technology will change the way the industry interacts with home and building owners as well as with insurance companies.

A question and answer period followed which enabled contractors in attendance to ask questions and learn further about how the technologies available today can have an immediate impact on their businesses. The room and the hallway were buzzing with curiosity and the desire to learn more about advancing their companies through the use of technology.

Stay on top of the latest roofing and technology news when you sign up for the Rt3 Smart Brief newsletter.

RT3 talks tech: A Q&A with Ken Kelly of Kelly Roofing

The Roofing Technology Think Tank hosted a panel on roofing technology at last week’s International Roofing Expo in Nashville, Tenn. Panelist Ken Kelly is an RT3 board member and president of Kelly Roofing, a 47-year-old family business in South Florida. He shared his thoughts with Roofing Technology SmartBrief.

Roofing Technology SmartBrief: Tell us about Kelly Roofing. How long have you been in business, what part of the country do you serve, how big is the company?

Ken Kelly: Kelly Roofing was started in 1972 by my father, Joe Kelly Sr., in Naples, Florida.  We continue to operate in the South Florida market for decision-makers of existing roofs.  Our staff of 230 works on almost 10,000 roofs each year, offering both repair and replacement services to all kinds of roof systems and building uses.

RTSB: What is your role in RT3?

Kelly: As a board member of RT3, I assist with direction, decisions and our core focus.  It’s important to me that our industry’s disruption occurs from within in an inclusive and open way for all to participate.  

RTSB: What was your overall impression of the International Roofing Expo?
Kelly: The IRE is the pinnacle event for our industry. It’s the one event each year that showcases products, techniques, training and best practices for the roofing industry. As products are always evolving, it’s important to stay up on the changes so we are utilizing the latest products to help our customers.

It would be a mistake to miss out on all the show floor “how-to” events.  This is the quickest way to understand the techniques of successful roof performance. I believe in Kaizen, a lifetime commitment to learning and improvement, which is why attending the continuing education tracks is a must.

Unlike other industries, roofing is one big family full of big-hearted, dedicated people who love to help others.  The IRE is a great way to catch up with old friends, meet new ones and seek advice from those who have been there.

RTSB: Tell us about the RT3 meet-up at Vanderbilt University

Kelly: RT3 has several Task Teams.  From Future Workforce to Communications and from Technology to Showcases, our members scour the globe and bring back valuable insight that may have an impact on our industry.  Our meet-up at Vanderbilt University, like the others before it, was a chance for the Task Teams to present their hard work since our last time together.  It’s amazing to see the speed at which our world is changing and I’m glad to be a part of an organization dedicated to parsing out the noise to bring the best possibilities to our industry.

RTSB: You participated in the RT3 roofing technology panel. How was the response from attendees?

Kelly: As one of the largest attended sessions at IRE, it was clear just how thirsty roofers are for technology.  I’m impressed by the amount of technology already implemented by roofers and their willingness to invest in new possibilities.  The content shared by the panel was very well received and clearly succeeded in our mission of improving lives in the roofing industry.

RTSB: What was your role in the panel? What was your message?

Kelly: Each panelist took an emerging technology and spoke about its possibilities and current deployment.  I focused on augmented reality, a way to cast digital reference in the physical world.  My discussion was focused mainly around the Microsoft HoloLens product and how it could be utilized for training, inspecting and visualizing roofs.  This product and the work Microsoft is doing around it is very exciting and could easily improve our lives and the lives of others.

 RTSB: How important is adoption of new technologies to the future of the roofing industry?

Kelly: There’s an infamous quote from the movie “Tommy Boy” staring the late Chris Farley, “You’re either growing or your dying!”  I believe that quote perfectly sums up the importance of embracing new technologies in the roofing industry.

RTSB: What particular technologies do you see as key?

Kelly: We are still in the infant stages of drones, augmented reality, virtual reality, digital fabrics, robotics, Internet of Things, software automation, visualization, GPS and so much more.  The key is not to think about the technology and then apply it to our industry.  The key is to ask, “What JOB are we performing for our customers?”  Hint: It’s not putting on and maintaining roofs.

RTSB: What technologies has Kelly Roofing adopted?

Kelly: We are about to wrap up a 5-year partnership with Microsoft focused on business process automation where we have one software platform to run our entire business.  The software is a silent manager, ensuring the promises we made are delivered.  This includes marketing, estimating, sales, procurement, ordering, scheduling, accounting, HR, communications, billing and asset tracking.

RTSB: How have these technologies improved your business?

Kelly: Being selected as one of only 13 companies in the world to receive the Visionary Award from Microsoft in 2015 was a huge honor, but it is the opportunities we have created for our employees and the large group of loyal customers that I’m most proud of.

RTSB: What technologies on the horizon do you see as the next step forward for roofing?

Kelly: We are now working on an IoT project that we believe will make a big difference for roof owners and roofers.

RTSB: Anything you care to add?
Kelly: This was fun.

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RT3 Plans Activities Around the International Roofing Expo (IRE)

Members of RT3 will kickoff their activities at the IRE by hosting a meetup on Sunday, February 10 at 2 p.m. at Vanderbilt University. The meetup will allow members to review their various task teams’ progress on initiatives that were identified last fall when the group gathered at the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington. Following a tech talk by Larry Bridgesmith, Adjunct Professor of Law and Coordinator, Program on Law & Innovation, RT3 members will tour the Wond’ry, the epicenter for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Vanderbilt University.

RT3 will also host an educational panel on Wednesday, February 13 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 participants include 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 panel will be moderated by Heidi Ellsworth, Partner at RoofersCoffeeShop® and the topics to be discussed during the panel include:

  • Augmented reality – as it relates to the aging workforce, training, assessment and testing, mapping and location as well as leak detection
  • Robotics – using drone technology and understanding what rooftop robotics and equipment are available and in use on the roof
  • Technology that impacts operations – exploring solutions that address safety and injury prevention in addition to time-tracking technologies that are helping contractors be more efficient
  • Artificial intelligence and digital technology – examining how this technology can be used for prospecting, assessments, virtual selling and jobsite monitoring
  • Software stacks – understanding how to get all the different software that your business is using to work together and talk to each other
  • Future of technology in roofing – discussing what it will look like 5 or 10 years from now

These discussions are led by roofing contractors who are currently using these solutions in their business with the goal of helping other contractors understand the technologies and how they can implement these solutions in their own businesses.

Be sure to follow us on social media as we will be sharing updates on Facebook and Twitter during all the events!

Learn more about the International Roofing Expo.