By Karen L. Edwards.
Each year, Roofing Contractor magazine partners with Clear Seas research to conduct a survey and report on the state of the roofing industry to identify trends and issues facing the industry. The survey collected responses from 197 roofing contractors throughout the country. 86 percent of the respondents were male, with an average age of 50 and median revenue was between $1 million and $1.9 million, according to the RC State of the Industry Report summary.
Roofing Contractor reported that both commercial and residential contractors expect sales volumes to increase in 2020 and expect that trend to continue over the next few years. They all noted that labor was still a concern and many are using referrals and referral bonuses to attract and retain talent.
Technology was a main focus in the report, as new tech is emerging that can help contractors do more with fewer workers and work more efficiently and profitably. The survey showed that the most used technologies are cloud services, computing and drones. Software that is the most used ranked as follows: estimating (55%), enterprise/accounting (46%) and aerial measurements (44%). At RT3, we think those numbers are going to continue to grow.
Roofing Contractor turned to RT3 board members for their thoughts on technology in the industry. Board member Anna Anderson shared that, ““Building envelope measurement is widely used, drone services are now common, but the true value is when all of these tools to connect with each other…. through open application programming interfaces.”
The survey also showed that of the 26 percent of respondents using drones, the majority are using them for before and after photos and videos. Others were using drones for inspections, measurements and thermal imaging. RT3 board member Ken Kelly told Roofing Contractor magazine that, “We are seeing the use of aerial imagery not only become adopted throughout the entire roofing industry, but the number of uses and benefits are really bringing value. As this technology is just now reaching critical mass, it’s likely more innovation will continue to revolutionize the industry.”
Tom Whitaker shared that RT3 members are excited about augmented reality, telling Roofing Contractor that “augmented reality headsets and communication apps represent the best opportunity to leverage the experience of older workers to train and manage a new generation.”
Contractors also indicated that they are not interested in adopting robot technology into their business. That is interesting because anyone using an automatic welder on the rooftop or a Mini-Macaden® machine is already using a form of robotics.
Steve Little says that with the labor shortage, companies are going to have to embrace technologies that help them become more efficient, saying “streamlining rooftop administrative and labor processes is top priority.”
You can read the full State of the Industry article here.