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Don't get left behind in AI integration

RCSI - Trent Cotney - Don
June 14, 2024 at 3:00 p.m.

RCS Influencer Trent Cotney says AI will play a bigger role in helping determine profitability in roofing.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Trent Cotney from Adams and Reese. You can read the interview below or watch the video.

Megan Ellsworth: Hello everyone. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at rooferscoffeeshop.com, and I am back again for an influencer response this month with Trent Cotney. And we're talking about AI, hot topic these days. Hi Trent. I'm excited to hear what you have to say.

Trent Cotney: Yeah. AI is on ... It's the hot topic, doesn't matter whether you're at a party or at dinner or wherever. That's what people are talking about. And in roofing, we had the opportunity during IRE, there are a lot of great presentations about AI, there's a lot of talk about it. Where I've seen it be implemented already is within marketing, customer service, automated responses, things like that. The one thing I would say with AI is it's still developing. You can see, I know when I get an AI response email and I've even called some clients and I was like, "You didn't write that, did you? That was AI." And you can kind of tell sometimes, but where I see it going in roofing, obviously beyond marketing, customer service, is I think AI will play a bigger role in helping determine profitability. So one thing I could see is implementing, for example, if you're doing storm restoration work, implementing AI to determine where you stand the most chance of being able to get the most profit.

And it doesn't matter whether it's storm restoration, residential, commercial, whatever. I could also see where AI plays a role in just both estimating and determining roof options, roof system options based on configuration of roofing. So I see it integrating with a lot of existing tools. Ultimately, I think the efficiencies that AI creates is going to help reduce some of the labor issues. Maybe not the roof installation itself until we get some better technology to do that or easier systems to install. But I think at the home office, you're going to see a significant usage of AI and if you're not using it, you're going to get left behind.

I mean, it's incredible what it can do when you play around with it, I know you played around with it, it's real easy. You can do everything from PowerPoints to come up with ideas and topics. And even if they're not spot on, they get the juice flowing and that's really kind of what you need is ... So I think it's going to play a big role in our industry. We desperately need technology in roofing, desperately beyond what we already have. So I see a big role in that, and I think AI will combine with automation, and that's going to usher in the sort of new era, the new industrial revolution, if you think of it that way.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Just curious, have you used any AIs and which ones have you liked?

Trent Cotney: Yeah, I've used Copilot, obviously ChatGPT. We have some advanced AI that we have access to here at the company that I've played around with. It's interesting when I am looking, it's primarily when I ... I use AI when I need marketing ideas or when I need maybe help with a PowerPoint or seminars or graphics or even video, that kind of stuff. And I'll use it and sometimes it's a hit and sometimes it's a miss, but you can see where it's going. And what's really interesting is, I don't know if you've seen the Gemini trailer yet, the Google AI?

Megan Ellsworth: I haven't.

Trent Cotney: Go watch it. It is absolutely incredible. I watched it and then I turned it on the main TV and we watched it at home. I showed my wife and son, and we're all, like, "Uh-oh" because you can see where it's going. It's a step above what I'm seeing right now, and that's already beta. It's coming out [inaudible 00:03:59] for the least.

Megan Ellsworth: Wow. Oh my gosh. That's crazy. Well, Trent, thank you so much for shedding some light on this topic. Any last words?

Trent Cotney: I think the best way to continue to learn about AI is obviously check in the Roofers Coffee Shop, because I know you guys are all over it, but when you're on the road, stop by vendor booths where I've got FRSA Expo coming up here soon, Western State, so on and so forth. Stop by those booths and talk to people as the software providers and technology providers, the tip of the spear type software that I think is really going to usher in sort of a new era for roofing. So I'm always, if I have a spare moment, at least on that last day of any expo, that's kind of what I like to do, is I like to travel around and say, "Okay, what's new?" I get the old stuff, I understand it, but what's coming up? So I encourage everybody to do that as well.

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. Well, we'll see you at FRSA and Western States.

Trent Cotney: Yeah, I'll be there. I'll see you guys in.

Megan Ellsworth: All right, see you then. Thanks, Trent.

Trent Cotney: Thank you.

Trent Cotney is a partner and Construction Practice Group Leader at the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP and NRCA General Counsel. See his full bio here.

The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.



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