By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.
Rackley Roofing was started in 1974 by gentleman named Bill Rackley. He sold his company in the mid 80s to a gentleman named David Frost and then they sold his company to Curtis Sutton in 2010. So, it's a third-generation company but no family ties whatsoever. Michelle Boykin joined Rackley in 2010 as well, and when at that point, they were a very small company with one service crew generating small revenues. Now Rackley Roofing is on the top 100 contractors list of roofing contractors and has about 25 service trucks.
Michelle is passionate about diversity in roofing, doing a lot of work with National Women in Roofing and promoting women within the industry. She contributes the growth of Rackley to supporting women. “We've really seen tremendous growth because of our support of women in the industry. We have women on the roof, we have women in the office.”
“What it does when you introduce women, or really any sort of minority group, you get different perspectives, you get different ideas,” says Michelle. “It's important to us we try to do everything that we can to promote diversity and get women and anybody with a diverse background in wherever they fit.”
Michelle speaks to how this mission is supported in her work with National Women in Roofing, "We empower women within the industry and we're trying to recruit more women into the industry because we see the need; we see the need to diversify.”
Michelle also speaks to how training has contributed to the success of Rackley. “We have a facility that we call Rackley university and it's half classroom setup and then the other half is hands-on set up,” says Michelle. “With an NRCA ProCertification™ becoming more prevalent we actually redesigned it to make it available for NRCA ProCertification™, so we felt that it was important to bring the industry as a whole in as well but we do a lot of trainings.”
Michelle also explains that company training is heavily aided by technology. As the RT3 Innovator of the Year in 2019, Rackley has incorporated technology that allows their teams to keep working without losing time, productivity or customers.
“We love EOS, which stands for entrepreneurial operating system, and for the most part it's a way to run meetings, but really it's a way to run your company,” says Michelle. “You go through some training [where] you create a leadership team [and] from that you create systems and processes that you put into place.”
She talks about how her business has been better now that leadership team meetings are dedicated to bigger picture conversations rather than day-to-day operations. “We're talking about ways to make the business better, and we're able to make quick decisions on things that typically would take contractors months or years to figure out,” says Michelle.
“We're able to just really drill down and solve problems as they arise. With that comes culture and core values and who you are as a company, and you implement that throughout the company.”
Especially during the pandemic and throughout 2020, Rackley’s comfortability with technology was a benefit to them. “We were already prepared for remote work, so it was very easy for us to kind of flip the switch and everybody was working from wherever they needed to work from.”
Michelle continues, “I think that what we've seen is more contractors having the necessity to move into a paperless system. I think that what we've seen as an industry is more of those contractors moving towards remote dispatching paperless systems and I think that's really helped elevate our industry to where it needed to be.”
In Michelle’s closing sentiments in the interview, she recommends contractors look into Roofing Technology Think Tank (RT3), “That's a great place to look for solutions to things. We've got a lot of great thought leaders in the industry and they're all part of RT3 and what we do with RT3 is share ideas.”