Streamlining estimating and leveraging technology on the roof

By Karen L. Edwards

After seeing a new technology at the International Roofing Expo, this company adapted it to fit their needs, improving estimating and eliminating errors.

Have you ever heard of a Technology Innovation Specialist at a roofing company? Meet Lisa Garcia. She is that specialist at Tremco Roofing and Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc. (WTI). Lisa recently completed the rollout of a unique technology application that has streamlined the company’s estimating, reporting and ordering processes and she did it nationwide in just two years’ time.

It began in 2017, when company Vice President Mardee Billingsley was attending the International Roofing Expo (IRE) where she met the team from RoofSnap. RoofSnap offers a mobile app designed to let contractors use aerial imagery of steep slope roofs and outline the roof area to obtain accurate measurements. While geared toward the residential contractor, Mardee recognized that there was an opportunity to use this on commercial roofs. After she returned from the IRE, she needed to find someone who could bring her vision to life. That person was Lisa.

Lisa wasn’t a stranger to technology or Tremco. She had been at the company for 12 years and spent time teaching contractors about technology. Developing an app for commercial estimating and determining the number of materials needed for a job was a natural next step. Lisa was able to meet with the RoofSnap team in person several times since their office was a few hours’ drive from hers.

“This was an app originally developed for shingle roofing, so we had to create our own system for commercial roofing,” explained Lisa. “They did a lot of development for us to make it work.”

Figuring out the coverage rates for the products and developing the formulas that the app would use also was Lisa’s responsibility. “I am not a big fan of math, but it was good to be able to accomplish this because I not only learned a lot, I proved to myself that even though I might not like math, I was still capable of doing it,” said Lisa. “I had to teach myself how to use Photoshop so I could get all the product photos into the app.”

In about four months, the app was ready for use. They selected 10 supervisors from each of their regions around the country for a pilot program. While feedback was good, it wasn’t long before they realized that the supervisors weren’t the best pilot group since they weren’t always the ones preparing estimates. A second pilot was conducted with those who do the most estimating and the results were great.

By using the app, estimators are able to use the aerial imagery of the building to obtain measurements, drop pins to indicate potential problem areas, select the products and automatically determine the amount of product needed for that building. “This app has really standardized all of our reports,” Lisa said. “Everything is consistent, branded, professional and the finished product is a very nice report.”

The company has rolled the use of the app out over the last year and Lisa said she just finished the last training in July. Feedback has been positive overall. “It’s really helped our estimators be more accurate and more efficient,” Lisa concluded. “It’s been convenient for those estimators who no longer have to put up with traffic in urban areas or who don’t have to make a 200-mile drive to see a building in our more remote areas.”

As the roofing industry advances, consider working for a company that is leading the way in terms of implementing technology not only in their product development but on the roof and in their processes as well.

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Source: RoofersCoffeeShop

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