Have you ever been in the middle of a project and realized you needed another tube of caulk? The big box store just down the street makes it easy to run in and grab what you need without taking too much time off the jobsite. They have just about everything you need and even carry products from some of our larger roofing manufacturers. It’s time saving and convenient, but don’t forget about your professional roofing suppliers that do a lot more for roofing contractors than a typical big box store.
Our roofing industry building product suppliers invest thousands and thousands of dollars into our industry to develop tools and services that help contractors be more successful in their businesses. For instance, many of our distributors offer mobile applications for material tracking, invoicing and improved communications. They offer financing programs and time-saving tools such as remote measurements and 3D visualizers. They are spending their money and making an investment into your business as a roofing contractor to help you succeed.
Big box stores do serve a purpose, they provide a quick fix, a time-saving trip where you don’t have to run back to the yard or warehouse, but they don’t typically invest specifically into the roofing industry like our dedicated suppliers do. Contractors that I have talked to all have different philosophies but for those that are doing a lot of weekend work or traveling look for multiple solutions to get materials quickly.
Our roofing distributors, like the rest of this industry, have an amazing heart. Many have established giving programs or foundations to support the communities where they do business. They also have stepped up to support industry programs that better the industry, like the Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the NRCA, and they also give generously to National Women in Roofing as sponsors each year.
So, convenience is ok when you need it, but don’t forget to support the suppliers who are committed to our industry.
Heidi Ellsworth is owner of HJE Consulting Group and a partner in RoofersCoffeeShop®. See her full bio here.