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KPost Roofing & Waterproofing - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

rclub - kpost- podcast transcription - 2023
May 9, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Steve Little from KPost. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.

Megan Ellsworth: All right. Hello everyone. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at rooferscoffeeshop.com. I am back again for a Roofer of the Month podcast. This is for May 2023. I'm with Steve Little with KPost Roofing & Waterproofing. How are you, Steve? 

Steve Little: Megan, I am great and so honored to be with you today. Thank you for having me.

Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely. Thank you for being here. We're so honored to give KPost the Roofer of the Month for May. You guys deserve it. You do great things. So let's just dive right in and have you introduce yourself and tell us about KPost.

Steve Little: Okay, well, I can tell you that all of us, all 400 plus employees at KPost and 20 plus employees at KPost Residential are honored and excited to be the Roofer of the Month for Roofers Coffee Shop. It's really great what you and the Roofers Coffee Shop team are doing. It's amazing what you do for our industry. Thank you.

Megan Ellsworth: Aw, thank you.

Steve Little: KPost Company was started in November of 2003. My partner, Keith Post and Jayne Williams started with a humble bunch of eight folks opening our doors, after we started it in November of '03, on January 3rd of '04, 2004. We were just a bunch of hungry, excited, wanted to change the world type folks, and we've been blessed to... Well, we failed to be able to do that, to try to change the standard that you should expect out of any company, much less a roofing and waterproofing company in the industry. Today we are 400 plus strong. We have a couple divisions, like a lightweight insulated concrete division. We have a ES1 sheet metal shop and a sheet metal division. We have a residential roofing and solar company. We were just named the Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwall Company for Central and North Texas.

Megan Ellsworth: Oh wow.

Steve Little: We've been really, really blessed all along to be able to grow from those first 11 folks of which seven are still with us. We've had somebody that passed on and three people that left to go do other things. We are now talking about succession and talking about what the next step is for us as shareholders. So it's an exciting time for us.

Megan Ellsworth: That's really powerful and says something too that seven of the original 11 are still around doing their thing, so that's great. Wow. Congrats.

Steve Little: Yeah, we picked ourselves. But we're kept in check pretty well by Jayne Williams, our CDO. She's also our safety officer. You and Heidi and the team know Jayne, very active in our industry. When we talked about being involved with the start of National Women in Roofing, she exemplifies that position of somebody that has a family, that's somebody that's involved in a career, that somebody wants to give back. Keith and I are those typical type A personality folks, and she's kept us grounded and has helped us with our culture. I couldn't have a better partner than Keith Post, man of high integrity, great knowledge. He uses nitroglycerin in the morning where the rest of us have coffee and orange juice. That drive has really helped us become who we are today.

Megan Ellsworth: Very cool. Well, this might be a little redundant, but what types of services do you provide at KPost? What is your specialty? What would you say is your specialty?

Steve Little: I think we relieve the client's pain and we help protect their risk is what our specialty is. Our client base is made up of 18% healthcare and 12% industrial and 11% manufacturing, 9% high rise and office. Then that breaks down to smaller categories from there. In each of those areas we, go in and we, on the new construction side, which is typically about 42 or 43% of our business, and the remedial side, which is typically 57 or 58% of our business, we go in and we try to own the situation, not own the client, not own the building, but just take total responsibility for it.

We do that with our roofing and waterproofing services, both in the commercial side and on the residential side. I also think that we get 61% of our re-roofs from our service department. So when you take care of clients when they're in pain and you help them navigate their budgets like we do when we go in and give them a five year budget for service and a capital budget, and we do that for over 1,200 clients annually, we really give them a path to be able to deal with one of the most important things that we all have in our lives, which is food, water and shelter. We have the responsibility in the roofing industry to take care of the shelter. So I think I would say that was our specialty. That's the secret sauce that we focus on every day.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, absolutely. Well said. So this is my favorite question that we ask every Roofer of the Month, and that is share something special that your company celebrates that could be a part of your culture. You could celebrate actual holidays or birthdays, but what does KPost celebrate?

Steve Little: We celebrate getting our men and women home every night. Our focus on safety for our team, our family is foremost the most important thing I think that we do. When we're protecting the risk for the client, we're also making sure that the fathers and mothers and uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters get home every night and then be able to provide them an opportunity to make a living for their families. It's really important to us. It's something that the three of us, Keith, Jayne and I said in the very beginning, that we were going to have utmost respect no matter who was on our team. We have 90% Latinos that are part of our group.

Typically, a lot of the workforces that people have had, they're not the most respected folks. They're almost like the doers. You have the people that create the opportunities, the people that manage the opportunities, and then you have people that actually do the work. In our particular case, the people that actually do the work are the most important people to us. They interface with the client, they actually perform. However, the folks that sold it, the people that estimated it, the people that project manage it, the owners, these are the folks, the men and women every day that do it. So our thing that we celebrate is that we have a very low modifier rate, which means we have very few incidences, and I'm knocking on wood when I tell you that, if Jayne was here, quit bragging.

But I'm proud more than bragging that we celebrate doing that every year, every day. We have KPost charities, okay? So in our KPost charities, we give away scholarships to families. We give away backpacks to elementary students. We are very much involved with the Dallas Cowboys and the Salvation Army, that type of world that we give back to. So that's always exciting. That's kind of a fun time. We'll give away a roof a year and our residential side of the business, typically to a single parent family with children or a veteran, along the lines that we're giving back to people that have given back to our country or folks that maybe are a little less fortunate than we are. That's fun. That's kind of exciting. But I think I'm most proud that we get our men and women home every night.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, absolutely. You should be. You should absolutely be proud of that. So how do you define superior customer service?

Steve Little: That is a great question, I think for any business, because all of us are consumers. We go to restaurants, we fly on airplanes, we go on vacation, we buy consumer items. I think that we define customer service by setting the expectation and exceeding it. It's not that there's going to be a problem, because in construction, there's problems, okay? You've got 400 plus workers, you have 200 vehicles and cranes and sky tracks and all those different things. You're working at heights. Or if you're working in waterproofing, you're doing below grade.

If somebody has a leak and it's during three days of a storm and you're not the first person on the call list and they have water coming in their building, everybody's going to have a challenge. But our job is to exceed their expectation. We do that by treating them like we were treating ourselves. What would we want? That sets the standard for how we treat other people.

Megan Ellsworth: I love that. We've had so many different roofers and Roofers of the Month come on and answer that question, but I really love that answer because that's truly the most important aspect of it. So well said. So why should home or building owners work with your company?

Steve Little: Well, I think it's about stability when you're working with a service vendor. We noticed that at least in the residential world, we deal with a lot of folks that provide a service during the storm and then they go back to their particular homes. But we have our people that live here in the DFW metroplex. We have a five acre campus. We employ over 420 employees. We give back to the community. We are part of the community. We believe that we help set the standard for roofing and waterproofing services in this market. We are watched by the NFL per se, by being a roofing and waterproofing company of the Dallas Cowboys. To receive that honor is not just writing a check to Jerry and Jean Jones.

We have to be approved by the NFL because here you have these 200 vehicles and pieces of equipment that are going down the road at 65 miles an hour that have the big old star on the outside of it. We have an extra process of qualification that we have to go through to meet, that's harder than getting surety credit or bonding credit. So we pass that every year, knock on wood again. We realized that we represent more than just fixing your roof or providing waterproofing services to you.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. You represent a whole 400, 500 people worth of that community. So yeah, absolutely.

Steve Little: We're involved in industry organizations. I mentioned the National Women in Roofing. We're involved in the NRCA, we're part of the NRP family, the National Roofing Partners family. We're involved in ABC National, which is Associated Building and Contractors, all the regional folks. All of our people, if you get involved in one of these groups, BALME, IFMA, the things that work with our clients, we're not only part of that membership, but we are on a committee. We are doing something to advance the industry in that particular area that we're involved in.

I would think that a building owner or somebody that owns a home would want people to care about the industry they're involved in. They're not just trying to take, they're trying give back. I was raised by my parents that there are givers and takers and we were raised to be givers. Keith and I, Jayne have grown our company of being givers and giving back. As my mom told me when I was just a little boy, it'll come back to you tenfold. We have been so blessed. We're almost an $80 million company in one location in Dallas, Texas. We've been fortunate to have some success and so we believe that we should give back to our community.

Megan Ellsworth: Well done. Yes. As a consumer myself, I'm always looking for companies that are doing that exact same thing. So you're doing the right thing, you're on the right projection, obviously. You're doing great and that's why you're the Roofer of the Month, so.

Steve Little: That's exciting.

Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, it is exciting. So last question, why are you an art club member?

Steve Little: Well, really kudos to Heidi and her team, how they've set the standard for how the image of our industry. We wanted to be part of that. We're big fans of the things that she and her team have done to set the bar in this industry in many different areas. She's been doing it for more years than she'd liked me to say. But you guys have always been inclusive, whether it be manufacturers, whether it be contractors, actually, whether it be consumers too. When you bring somebody like Trent Cotney on board and you are helping us figure out what we're going to do with our future, or you're bringing somebody like Ken Kelly on board and he has done more than set the standard in our market. You just look at how you continue to invest in us. Well, we wanted to be a part of what you guys are doing too.

Megan Ellsworth: Aw, I'm so glad. I'm so glad you're a part of it. We are so honored to give you Roofer of the Month for May. Thank you so much for being a part of our community.

Steve Little: Thank you, Megan.

Megan Ellsworth: Yes, absolutely. So everyone listening, you can go find more about KPost on their directory, on Ask a Roofer and Roofers Coffee Shop. So go check out what they're doing. It's really amazing stuff. Thank you so much, Steve, and congrats.

Steve Little: Thanks. Do well.

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