We are taking a nearly perfect 38-year history with FiberTite and turning it into a dedicated marketing effort. This started taking shape in my mind 2 years ago, when we were approached by a facility for whom we had never worked, regarding a 300,000+ square foot roof replacement. As the customer was walking us over a 200,000+ square foot section of the building with a 20-year-old, badly failing PVC single-ply roof, the owner was not happy and proceeded to walk us to another large roof section to show us what he wanted.
When we arrived at the other roof, he stopped, pointed out across this 800-square section and said, "We have never had a problem on this roof. We don't know what it is or how old it is, but it's before 1982. Whatever it is, we want this on the entire plant, and we want to replace this roof as well since it's so old." I immediately recognized the scrim and membrane as an early Seaman Corp. product now known as FiberTite. I also have another facility in Millersburg, OH, where we installed our first FiberTite roof in 1981, and that roof is still in service and we can still weld to it.
1981 was also the first year that I started roofing. This is a performance history and a story that I just can't allow to go to waste. In an industry where claims are cheap and performance rarely lives up to the sale, I am putting a large effort into using the performance history we have with that product and looking to the future of HRI with this: "After 38 years in the roofing industry, there is still one nagging question I can't answer: 'How long will FiberTite last?' "
With most of the PVC market currently is in transition to KEE (Elvaloy) modifiers, it seems like the timing is ripe for me to be able to capitalize on this 38-year history with the original KEE roofing membrane manufacturer.
I realize that not everyone reading this has an experience like mine, but I urge you to latch on to your own successes, discard your failures and focus on building a brand that the generations to follow you can be proud of.
Michael Hicks is owner of Hicks Industrial Roofing. See his full bio here.