Editor’s note: Charles Antis recorded a video response with Narciso Alarcon and Aaron Antis with their suggestions for contractors looking to strengthen their relationship with distributors. You can read the transcript below or watch the video.
Charles Antis: So, I'm super excited to welcome everybody to this month's topic of RoofersCoffeeShop®, which is for August, "How can contractors utilize distributors better?" Wow, what a time to ask that question with all, everything going on in the supply chain. But, the first thing that I get to when I think about what we can do better for us, for our team with distributors, it all starts with relationships. And, I know that everybody wants to talk about relationships, but I just want to talk about a particular part.
I went to dinner with one of our distributors last week. And, when I went to dinner, they told me when they first met me, and it was at a Habitat for Humanity build where I told a story about a little girl with a moldy mattress that I had to give a roof to because nobody else was there to do so. And, when I met them at that Habitat build telling that story, man, we have the best relationship ever. If I call them, they know me, they pick me up, they know what my intent is, and I know what theirs are. And so I, I want to start with relationships.
Build relationships, and when you're building relationships, do good things together. That's how you build it. But, I want to push next to some guests that I have on here. And, that is our VP over production in the field and over sales, Aaron Antis, and our director of all of our ops in the field. Narciso Alarcon. And Narciso, from your view, directing all of the boots on the ground and up on the roofs in the field, how can we utilize the distributors better?
Narciso Alarcon: I think the best way we can utilize those people is helping, giving them feedback. And they, same thing, communicate the shortages of the materials for us. Okay? Any shortage? Okay, everyday open communication. That'd be huge for us, that way we can place our orders in advance.
Charles Antis: Well, Narciso, let me ask you, do we ever have challenges? Right now with the supply chain that we hear about with supply out there, the shortage of wood and flashings? Do we ever have challenges when we open up a roof?
Narciso Alarcon: We're planning to start on a job in a few weeks. And, one of the problems is the materials, the felt underlayment and imagine we don't have that open communication with those. We can open a roof and wait for the materials. That'd be bad for us and for everybody.
Charles Antis: All right, Aaron, from your view. In sales, man, we've got clients. They're going to be breathing down our backs as they should, if we can't keep them safe and dry. So what's it look like from your view?
Aaron Antis: Yeah, so probably the biggest thing kind of encapsulating, what both of you guys have said is having multiple relationships. You never want to put all your eggs in one basket, if you do you're susceptible to being completely toast. And so, especially right now, you might need to source materials from a lot of different places. And so, in having multiple deep relationships that you can call and ask for favors or ask for help or source this one little piece, or this one little component from here and there to put it all together to get your roofs put together. That is huge right now.
Charles Antis: Thank you, Aaron. Thank you, Narciso. You've made me realize; we are developing more relationships with multiple distributors just so we can protect ourselves. And, also there's so many great people out there, but one of our new relationships, when I met the distributor was a rep for our area. We met him at another nonprofit event. It was the American Red Cross blood drive, just like we're having right now, today. He came in and he put out both arms and he said he was going to live with both arms. And, he sent me an email that night. This is my first time I met this guy.
And in that email, this man said, "Charles, when you said give blood with both arms, I was intimidated because it reminded me of a story when I grew up in Lebanon, when there was a civil war." And, this guy told this story about during the civil war, the loss of blood was so great on both sides that people were dying, but nobody would brave the war to donate blood because they were afraid they would die and tell this very large man in the village heard that.
And he said, "I must help." And so he braved the war. He stormed the hospital doors. He literally broke them down. And, when he broke through the doors, he said, "Take my blood from both arms and don't stop until you have all that you need." This is the story I heard the night I met another distributor. And, I have the same relationship with him. And, the way I understand it, we're about to utilize this distributor who's another big national distributor on a job. And, I'm excited that we get to build relationships this way, because we believe we sleep better at night, believing that when we need them, they'll be there.
So, that was great stories, guys, thanks for sharing with me and that we hope that we can help everybody else communicate better. Build relationships better. And, be there for their people in the community by having the product when we need it up on the roof. So thanks guys.
Narciso Alarcon: Thank you.
Aaron Antis: Thank you.
Charles Antis is the founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. See his full bio here.