When I started with Pell Roofing, we were basically doing build-up roofs, which the company had been doing since 1938. In the last 20 years, that has completely changed, and we do single ply now. I have worked for Pell Roofing with Brad Pell for closing in on 30 years. We have seen a lot of trends come and go but we know that technology is here to stay. In the last 20 years, we've seen more technology changes than in the previous hundred years.
Our approach with technology at Pell Roofing is on the fairly simple side of life. We use Microsoft 365 that ties together our phone messages, work orders, contracts and billing for our office manager. Out in the field, Brad and I use RoofSnap, NOAA Weather, Google Earth to look at prospective projects and how to plan for them. We are looking at a couple of managerial apps for our foremen on the jobs to better track time and material use. The younger generation using technology to streamline processes and communicate better, and they are going to expect that we use it too.
Communication is really key, starting with the initial call and getting that information to the proper person through either phone, email or messenger. Our company is focused on customer service. While I’m really an old school kind of guy, I can see where the changes in technology in the near future will change how we do business on a daily basis.
I think probably the biggest challenge that I have seen is complacency. We get complacent about something that works really well, and we're never looking at something new. We're afraid of something new, because what we've got right now works well. We are seeing more solar fields and more solar panels go on buildings in the last five years than we've had in the previous 15. As a matter of fact, we just finished up a project for a university, fitting a standing seam roof, so they can put solar panels on it.
New technology like solar is going to require new technology in our office, trucks and on the job. I think that's going to be a huge aspect of our business. Of course, getting the guys to do it is going to be a big part of that process.
Bring on the young guns!
Jon Stantz is a supervisor, salesperson and repairman for Pell Roofing and Siding in Brazil, Indiana. See his full bio here.