By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.
The RT3 contractor technology panel was invited to present at the National Roofing Partners (NRP) Leader Summit held recently at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. The Summit featured the leadership teams from nearly 200 leading roofing contractors from across the country.
The Summit opened with remarks from Steve Little, CEO of NRP and Rodney Shrader, President. Attendees were excited to hear from Reid Ribble on the initiatives that NRCA is working on including their ProCertification efforts, their focus on career and technical education and the establishment of a health insurance captive that will be made available to members for health insurance coverage.
The RT3 contractor technology panel was up after Reid and was comprised of Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing, Steve Little, KPost Roofing, Michelle Boykin, Rackley Roofing, and Josey Parks, J. Wales Enterprises. Moderated by RT3 Director Karen Edwards, the first topic was discussed by Ken Kelly on how Augmented Reality and products such as the HoloLens by Microsoft could have an impact on the industry. Technology like this makes it possible for aging workers who may no longer be able to go on a roof or physically perform a task to assist those who are on the roof virtually, actually being able to see exactly what that technician is seeing.
Steve Little shared a new technology that was born out of an RT3 meetup at Georgia Tech in fall 2017 where he met RT3 member Pointivo. The collaborative product remotely performs roof inspections and is expected to be rolled out at the 2020 International Roofing Expo in February. Steve also shared his successes with rooftop robotics, using the Mini Macaden to install modified bitumen roofing membranes with just four workers instead of the typical 12.
Michelle Boykin discussed how Rackley Roofing is using Virtual Reality for safety training for their workers. The team loves using the technology and it paid for itself within a few months after an OSHA citation was reversed once Tennessee OSHA saw their technology and commitment to safety.
Josey talked about what seemed to be the word of the day at the summit: Data. He shared how he is using artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to understand which leads are more likely to buy over others. He is also using intelligence to pair the right sales person with the right customer for improved outcomes and increased sales.
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