By Cass Jacoby.
Learn about our latest trends report in a new Coffee Conversations episode sponsored by Beacon. Join Heidi J. Ellsworth and a panel of contractors comprised of Tim Brown with RGS Exteriors out of Utah, Sherri Miles with Miles Roofing and Joe Hoffman with Hoffman Weber Construction for a deeply insightful conversation on what contractors are reporting in regards to material shortages, labor challenges and overall business issues.
Looking at how contractors are purchasing and communicating with their distributor, the Trends Report finds that 63% of contractors do so by phone, and this is for purchases, 53% are in person, and 45% are sales reps in the field. Then at 37% is distributor technology platform followed by other communication methods.
“I am pretty blown away that many people are still faxing in orders. That's a technology that I thought was long gone, but it looks like it's still happening,” says Joe. “So looking at phone and in-person too, they strike me as pretty inefficient ways to call it in.”
“I think that the reason why phone and in-person's probably so high is I tend to think that a lot of that's on the suppliers as well, because a lot of these suppliers just aren't as tech savvy,” agrees Tim. “But as tech companies get more savvy and as suppliers get more savvy, anything digital is going to be the way to go. I mean there's a way to track it, because how many times do you say, ‘Well I ordered that. What do you mean you don't have it?’ ’Well, I do. Right here it shows that we have it.’ And vice versa.”
Roofing technology for communication has skyrocketed in the past few years, with many distributors launching hubs and platforms that make ordering and communicating easier than ever. However, it is clear from the results of the 2022 Trends Report that more than half of contractors are still connecting with their distributer over phone.
“This actually shows the importance of the relationships, and that relationships are still key when you're buying and when you're selling, both from the distribution side and from the contractor side,” says Sherri. “To me, the 72% of in-person or on phone, means that you're talking to a person. When we're talking about training our people and we're talking about propelling the roofing industry, we really need to focus on making sure we have those soft skills in place.”
Read, Listen or Watch the entire Coffee Conversation for more insight on industry trends for 2022. And download the 2022 Trends Report today!
Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.
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