By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
June 10th was the grand opening celebration of SRS Distribution’s Bridgewater, New Jersey branch of National Building Supply. Fortunately, for me, I live just a couple of hours away in Pennsylvania and was eager to get to my first industry event since the 2020 International Roofing Expo. It was a beautiful day for a drive, and I was able to catch up on my RoofersCoffeeShop® and RT3 podcasts along the way.
As I pulled in, I immediately saw the SRS Extreme Tailgating RV was set up with food trucks nearby and the Good Humor ice cream truck was in the parking lot outside the branch. There was going to be some celebrating today for sure! I made my way inside and met up with SRS’ Director of Customer Experience DJ Broccoli, who spoke with me about the unique, advanced technology features of the branch.
“We wanted to bring different pieces of technology into the branch to enhance the experience for our contractors who are looking for that,” explained DJ. “We have added a digital kiosk, paperless workflow, curbside checkout and job lockers. These features allow customers a true 24/7 access to their materials.”
DJ explained that the lockers function similarly to the Amazon locker model, where customers place their order and they can pick up the materials any time of day or night, whether the branch is open or not. “The customer will get a text message with a code to the locker so they can access it whenever they want,” said DJ. “It really helps our customers because for the first time they don’t have to upend their schedules to fit within our hours of operation. Instead of driving across town to get here before we close, they can stay at their job site or go to their kid’s soccer practice and come back later when they have a little bit more time.”
The digital kiosk that DJ mentioned functions like those you might use in a convenience store to place an order for a sandwich. Contractors can use the large touch screen to select the materials they need for a specific job and submit their order. They of course can use the SRS Roof Hub app instead at any time without ever stepping foot in the branch.
Another feature of the kiosk that was pretty amazing was the ability for the contractor to connect with an operator who speaks their language. This live video provides instant answers to questions or assistance with their order from a person who speaks the same language that they do. Very convenient and helpful for a non-English speaking contractor.
Once I took in the open counter area and employee workspace, I set off to see the rest of the branch and visit with the vendors who had tables set up throughout the branch, showcasing their products. A highlight of the event was an appearance by NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who greeted guests and signed autographs for everyone.
We were honored to be able to be part of this branch of the future open house. You can watch a video tour of the day below and then find your local SRS branch here.