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Wayne Heironimus and David Fuller - Manufacturer’s Reps Know What’s Hot! - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

Wayne Heironimus and David Fuller - Manufacturer’s Reps know what’s Hot!
August 10, 2021 at 11:45 a.m.

 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an live interview Wayne Heronimus and David Fuller. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Megan Ellsworth:
Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hell And welcome to another Roofing Road Trips. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and I'm with RoofersCoffeeShop. And today I'm road tripping virtually to Florida. One of my favorite states and some of my favorite people. Let me tell you, I am so excited today to have Wayne Heronimus from the Delta Group. One of the top, top manufacturers' reps and rep groups in roofing. We've been friends forever. I am so excited to have him on the show today. Welcome Wayne.

Wayne Heronimus:
Good morning, Heidi. How are you?

Heidi Ellsworth:
I am good. I am so excited for this podcast. I've been looking forward to it for a long time to share, get some of your wisdom on manufacturers' reps and all the great stuff that goes on there. But we also have asked David Fuller with Master Builders Solutions and many of you will know the manufacturer of NP 1 to be with us today. I have to tell you, the Delta Group has just taken on NP 1 and all the products of Master Builders Solutions into the roofing industry. David is making it happen from the technical side. Really excited to hear about all of this. David, welcome to the show.

David Fuller:
Thanks, Heidi. It's great to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Oh, it's fun how you have certain products that everybody knows and then you get to re-introduce it almost in a different way. And that is really NP 1, a sealant that just everybody knows the name, but now all of a sudden is brand new all over again. So first before we kind of get to that and talk a little bit about that, I would like to start out with Wayne. Can you introduce yourself for the few people out there who don't know you and tell us a little bit about Delta?

Wayne Heronimus:
Absolutely. So my name is Wayne Heronimus. I'm the one of the three managing partners of Delta Rep Group. We're located on the West Coast of Florida. That's the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. My partners are Dawn Holsinger of NWR fame, right?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, yes.

Wayne Heronimus:
National Women in Roofing and many other things, and Justin Burnham. We've worked together for many, many years in different relationships as employees to each other. Four years ago, we decided to form a partnership and Delta Rep Group, which is an independent rep firm in Florida. I've been focused on commercial roofing, representing commercial roofing and waterproofing for over 30 years and always in Florida, specifically North, Central and South Florida. I also believe heavily in associations. I'm the past president of the IIBEC Florida chapter.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow. Yes.

Wayne Heronimus:
I'm also actively on the board of directors of the FRSA. And one of my favorite groups is the Roofing Technology Think Tank, which is just an amazing group of folks. And I love visiting with them and I can't wait till we get back.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wayne, that is so true and that's how we met. We met through FRSA and then we were together on Roofing Technology Think Tank. And your group has just done so much of course with Dawn and National Women in Roofing. So I love that. We're going to get back to that, but first David, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about Master Builders Solutions and also just kind of the products as we were talking about NP 1.

David Fuller:
Sure, Heidi. My name is Dave Fuller. I'm Technical Services Lead here at Master Builders Solutions. So what that means is I I'm involved in our business in a number of technical capacities from investigating complaints out in the field to working with our research and development group for new product development. In the last 10 or 15 years, I've been heavily involved in our training programs as part of Master Builders Solutions.
And Master Builders Solutions, we offer technologies in the waterproofing and concrete restoration markets. So that's everything from sealants to waterproof coatings, to below grade waterproofing. Pretty much anything that touches the building envelope, even decorative flooring. And then our wide range of concrete repair materials for the restoration side. I've been about 30 years in the industry and the last 20 I've been with Master Builders Solutions.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wow, wow. That is so cool. Such great products. And I love the fact that as we're looking at the industry and what commercial roofing contractors are doing, they're diversifying so much. So when you're talking about concrete and about the building envelope, it's been a buzz, but it's getting more so right now. And Wayne, you and Dawn and Justin are always right there like the technology and everything else on the cutting edge.
So why don't you tell us about getting involved with Master Builders Solutions, why you guys decided to rep that and really focus on NP 1. You're the one who called me and said, "Hey, we are so excited about this product. So can you tell us kind of that story?

Wayne Heronimus:
You know, Florida's a really neat market for roofing and waterproofing. We roof and work year-round. It's a great place to do business. And in the last year or so, it's been extremely busy. As a rep group that have been bound many, many years, we're approached by manufacturers quite often. And the only thing we really have is our time and our knowledge. Everybody wants to do business in Florida, but how many are really committed to doing it?
So before we take a line on, we always evaluate it in three areas: the availability of the product, the accessibility of the product and the affordability of the product. So if you can't get it and it's not at the right price point or it doesn't offer the right features and benefits or it's code compliant in the state of Florida, we're really wasting everybody's time with the line. And we don't need to spend a lot of time until we know we have a good product and someone that's committed. So we always vet our manufacturers and particularly in NP 1, we knew it had been popular in the market.
We went out and we said, "We're going to talk to 100 customers and clients about the product before we commit to the line." The results were amazing. I'm talking 90% of the people that we talked to were aware of the NP 1 and over 90% were totally familiar with NP 1 with positive things to say about it. It was just a matter of reintroducing it into the market. So we at the fourth quarter last year started with NP 1.
We always learn something when we take a new line on not only about the product, but we learn something about the industry. First thing we found out that training and application of caulkings and sealants is critical to make them work. NP 1 has a fantastic name, reputation. However, unless it's applied properly, it's not going to work properly. That's when we found out how important training and how fantastic Master Builders Solutions technical support center is and to provide training.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wayne, first of all, I love what you said, availability, affordability and-

Wayne Heronimus:
Accessibility.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Accessibility. I mean, that is awesome. And I think that brings a lot of confidence into the minds of the contractors too when they have manufacturers' reps who are doing that due diligence. And I love the fact talking to 100 people before bringing it on, but really what we wanted to kind of add on to that is the fact that you can have a fantastic product, but if you don't have the training to go with it or if you don't apply it the right way it really doesn't matter.
That's where I wanted to bring in David and that's why David I'm so happy you're here. Can you kind of talk about a little bit that story that Wayne is talking about kind of how it's been in the industry, Master Builders Solutions and your other products. And then I want to get into with both of you to really talk about that training element that Wayne's bringing up.

David Fuller:
Yeah, sure, Heidi. The NP 1, like Wayne said ,it's been around for decades. Wayne always compares it to Kleenex. It's just the name that's out there. People go in and ask for NP 1 at a distributor when they're just looking for a sealant, for an urethane sealant. It's pretty amazing. There's a reason it's kind of the workhorse in the industry and it's really, it's been there for so long. It sticks to just about any building material that's out there. It's just amazing. It stays bonded, has great movement. When those materials start to move joints open and close, the NP 1 has a great movement capability to it.
And it's just that constant R&D for Master Builders Solutions. Our research and development people. I'm very good friends with a lot of them and they, they just eat, drink and sleep urethane sealants. And it's actually a little bizarre at times, but they're so passionate. They're constantly looking to improve our materials to come up with new technologies. And it's really exciting to be around them when they're discussing and their minds are churning.
So it's really the NP 1, it sticks to a number of materials out there, it moves and it's very easy to install. The installers love it. But going back to that training, you can have the best product in the world and it's really up to the person installing it that is really going to ensure whether that project is successful or not, or if there's a long-term performance to that material. And that's why we get back to that training so often.
I was really impressed when Wayne and his group came into the Master Builders Solutions fold. They just believe so heavily in training. Wayne wanted training for all of his employees and himself in all of our materials. And then I saw they're just going out into the industry and doing the training themselves. And that's just something they've all been doing. I've been really impressed with that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Speaking of which, Wayne, you just did a great training at the Cottony facility. You guys are doing this all the time working with contractors and training. Tell us a little bit about how about that's all working with your team and how you put these together.

Wayne Heronimus:
The first thing is it's nice to have people that listen to you, but you really need people that believe you. Heidi, we really believe in training and we're committed to it and educating the customer. So when you have the right products and they have the right support and the right availability behind you and you educate someone, it always seems to gravitate back to you. I had a situation where I went to one of my large clients, a very large building owner, actually a university. And we said, "We're coming out of COVID. We can start doing some training again. Are you interested in single ply, modified bitumen, insulation attachment, liquid applied fluid applied systems?"
And they just kind of listened. Then I said, "Also, we have caulk and sealant." And it was like everybody, "That's the biggest problem we have. On the entire envelope of the building all over this campus, we want to be trained on caulks and sealants." And so out of all these exciting things I offered them, they came back with caulks and sealants and we had 37 of their folks show up, spent the day with hands-on training and how to do it right. Okay?
Now, from a product standpoint like Dave was talking about, I've worked it down into three words, NP 1, the NP 1 line of family. The NP 1 does three things. It moves, it sticks, and it lasts. And if I can get people to remember that it moves, it sticks and it lasts, I've done my job.

David Fuller:
Like I said before, the person installing it has such control over whether this project is going to be successful or not. And with sealants specifically, there are a few main key elements that go into whether it's successful or not. And the first is surface preparation. And many people don't understand the impact surface preparation has on a sealant, in a joint or other location. And oftentimes, that's the part that kind of gets skimped on. One, because it's not easy work. I mean, you're in there and you're using grinders and things and it's messy and there's not a lot of glamor preparing a joint, but it's so critical because if that step isn't done correctly, anything after that, doesn't really matter. The material's not going to stick.
And Wayne already told us how important that is, but secondly is really just the installation, the depth, the thickness of the material. If it's put on too thin or too thick can cause issues in the field. Just the backing of the material, what is used for a backing material can really have an influence on that joint. So these little things that you wouldn't really think about, people get hung up on the material and what's its movement capability and references and things.
But it's really that person up on the wall installing it. It really impacts how successful that project's going to be. So again, I know we keep saying it, but that goes back to the training and why we're so heavily involved in training. And try to get to that person that's going to actually have that sealant gun in their hands and make sure that they really understand the control they have over that project. And how little things make such a difference in the field.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. And I love the fact that you're looking at obviously roofing contractors and training, but also building owners, facility managers, that service and maintenance element of it. That's huge because it's ongoing. And I really want to kind of touch on what both of you have been talking about with the building envelope. There's a lot of roofing contractors out there right now that are diversifying and bringing more of the full building envelope and waterproofing into their business. Wayne, what do you see? I know we talked about this the other day. What are you seeing from contractors who maybe are adding more waterproofing to their business?

Wayne Heronimus:
Well, when I went back to my introduction, I said I was the past president of the RCI, Roof Consultants Institute. And then I hesitated and I said IIBEC, which is the new name for RCI and the roofing consultants are moving more into an envelope direction with certifications and things to do or with skill sets and certifications. And the roofers I believe are following also. Okay? And maybe not to the extent of extensive waterproofing like below grade wall, but just general building envelope. Consultants and roofers are both moving more towards the entire building envelope.
But there's something else that's going on too and we know that we've never seen supply chain challenges as we have today with material shortages, raw chemical, feedstock chemical shortages, freight, availability more than ever. I really truly believe it's important to get it right the first time and not go back and have to do work over and over again, to take the time to do it right the first time. And I really think there's value in that. It's value proposition and taking the time to train to get it right the first time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I think that's really important because what we're seeing too is along the lines of the material shortages, yes. But then also just sustainability and longevity of projects and what building owners are expecting consumers want.
David, what are you seeing on that side? What are you seeing from working with different architects, contractors, consultants, everything. I mean, I know you see the wide range. Are you seeing a lot more of that need for what Wayne is saying that performance base and not having to come back and do it again? I'd love that.

David Fuller:
Oh, absolutely. Because just a small little detail when we're talking about some of these projects that might be up 10 or 12 stories that they have to stage. One little issue can just snowball into a very expensive undertaking at the end of the day. I'd also echo what I'm seeing the same as Wayne is that diversification from the specifier all the way to installer, they're not staying in that little lane or niche that they've always had. They realize to expand or even to survive in today's climate, they need to diversify, they need to expand what they've done. And that means maybe getting outside of their comfort zone and really needing some of that training. And understanding some of these products that maybe they've used before, but now they're using them in a different way. And that can be a challenge for them as well so.
With waterproofers coming more into the expanded arena of the building envelope, there are a lot of shared concepts. Waterproofing is waterproofing sometimes and it's all those details that matter. And those areas that leak first and concentrating on those. So there's a lot of crossover and I think it's a natural fit, but there's still enough differences in nuances that don't expect because this product worked one way on this part of the building that it's going to work the same way over here. So that's very important to understand from an installer's perspective.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah and that's a really good point too. And it really kind of, again, brings us all the way back around to training to understand which products work best where. And so, David, as you're doing trainings with contractors and especially let's talk to our audience, roofing contractors, how often are you hearing from them saying, "Hey, talk to us about the rest of the building, about the building envelope and kind of training across?" Because there's a lot of walls. There's a lot of everything when you're working on that.

David Fuller:
Yeah. Quite, quite often and I'll let Wayne comment a little bit more on that because most of the time those contractors are going to be going through a local rep like Wayne and he's discussing that. My job is to design or develop or deliver a training program that's right for them, the right materials and in the right locations. We can get very detailed in our training programs. I mentioned early on that I've been with Master Builders Solutions for 20 years. And I think one of the reasons I've stayed around so long is I'm very passionate about training. I think I missed my calling as a teacher when I graduated college. I don't know how I ended up in this industry, but it's been an awesome ride and I love it.
But the training that we do at Master Builders Solutions really helps kind of feed that passion of mine. They stress training both internally and to our contractors. We invest a lot into our training programs both in-person. We have virtual learning portals that are globally where people can have self-directed learning. So Master Builders takes it very seriously, enough so that they offered me the chance about seven years ago to go back to school and obtain my master's in adult education in training.
So I've been able to I feel bring our training even up a notch with some of that information that I've learned over the year so. And it's just really so important right now with, like I mentioned before, the diversification, the labor shortages trying to get skilled labor into our industry that takes a lot of effort and training to get people up to speed before they can be on the side of a building. Not only from a product point of view, but safety and all these things that these people have to learn. And that's only one facet.
The other facet is how do we keep these skilled workers in our businesses? And one of the things we can do is offer them development opportunities. And again, that goes back to training and that's one of the key aspects. If you want to keep a skilled worker and a good worker in your organization, provide them training and resources to develop themselves. We all want to get better at what we do. We all want more opportunities and training offers that to every business, whether you're in construction or computer technology.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. That is spot on. That is exactly what we need in roofing and construction overall. And I love the fact that Master Builders Solutions was so committed to that to send you back to get your master's. I mean, that's the kind of company you want to work with. And Wayne, I think this kind of just is perfect because it brings right around to one of the things that I wanted to really talk to you about also is how important it is for contractors to really build that strong relationship with their manufacturers' reps?
Because you're bringing this kind of talent from Master Builders Solutions, the talent, the training, the everything, plus the performance of the product. A lot of contractors may not know that if they're not working with someone like you.

Wayne Heronimus:
At Delta Rep Group, everything we do is about adding value. And so we're a manufacturers' rep. We specialize in an area, geographic area and we need to know everything that's going on there. The people, the buildings, the trends and everything. Our job changes from time to time. In a slow economy, people come to reps for leads for opportunities. What's going on? What's the news? In busy times, we're managing the flow of materials that ensure that our customers and clients are happy and satisfied.
And right now we're in a particular area where we're trying to provide information and get the facts out about our supply chain issues, what we see is what's going on and to come up with alternatives. And I guess that's something we're always looking for is to do alternatives, a better way to do something faster, smoother, more efficient. And I think another point that we need to get to is there's only three things that really make a roof or a building envelope, waterproofing a roofing system work.
It always gets down to three things. It's the products that we use and that's what we're in to be expert at. It's the design and it's the application. So any one of those is not in the right place or up to standard, you're not going to get the result that you want. So it comes down to products, design, and application. Your local rep can help designers pick the right products, can provide product knowledge and to the applicator, which is the application, the contractor, we can provide training, product information, be the eyes on the job. We can interface between the project and the manufacturer. There's a lot of things that reps bring value to.
My suggestion to a contractor, if you have a system that you like installing, if you have a system that you install regularly, I'm sure you know where to buy it. I'm sure you know what the price is, but is there a local manufacturers' rep that can provide that extra support for you? It's there. It's at no cost. That's what we want to do. And we go where we're asked to go. That's where we spend our time.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. This podcast is just perfect timing because there are so many people out there who are having problems getting product who don't know how to get it. And if they haven't built their relationships with their manufacturers' reps, with their distributors and their manufacturers, they're pretty low on the priority list. It's more important than ever. And so I love that, Wayne, I love how you're saying that.
So let's go to that next step. I always like to say, "Okay, great. We'd say all these great things and here's some nuggets, but now how do you do it?" So in Florida and then of course, Master Builders Solutions and NP 1 is across the country, it's actually global. But Wayne, I'm a contractor and I want to start building this relationship and maybe they don't know about me yet. Maybe the manufacturers' reps actually aren't coming by. What do I do? How do I get there? How do I start building those relationships?

Wayne Heronimus:
So if I were a roofing contractor and I had a particular product that I like putting down or I had a question or a concern, the first thing I think you naturally go back to is the person that you bought it from. So you go back to their distributor and you might ask, "Why is it doing this? Where is it? Why does it cost so much?" And if you're not satisfied with that answer or the knowledge that the distributor may or may not have just to ask, "Who's the local manufacturers' rep for this product?" Okay? And they'll know.
And if they don't know, go to that manufacturer's website and nine out of 10 of them list their local manufacturer or at least to a regional manager they have covered large areas. In Florida, we have just an exceptional group of employees that support us, but actually there's a total of five of us in Florida that we go to when we don't have the answers. But that regional manager may know who that local rep is. So the closer you get down to where the rubber meets the road, that's where your local rep is. And he has access to people like Dave Fuller that run the whole country. And we might be able to get you Zoom training, in-person training, all kinds of things that we know. We're the interface between the manufacturer and the ultimate customer and client, which is the contractor or the designer.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I have to say, just to give my small bit of validation to this, but I was a regional manager. I sold underlayments and synthetic slates in my past life and I'm telling you what, everything Wayne is saying is 100% build the relationships with the manufacturers' reps. And just like you said, if your distributor doesn't know, which would be crazy because they always do. But the manufacturers have it on the website and it is the best thing you can do for your business, because they're always [inaudible 00:30:48].
And for example, Wayne also brings information about RoofersCoffeeShop into district distributors and contractors and folks in his area so you're always able to find out stuff that you just aren't going to find out anywhere. And we've seen that in our surveys too. Manufacturers' reps, where to get information, always at the top, always at the top. It's something that most people know, but maybe not. And so I love this. How can contractors find their reps and how can they get the training and the product NP 1 into their business?

David Fuller:
Yeah, to echo what Wayne said. It all starts with that local representation on that local rep. And we have over 120 representatives in North America. And that's where you want to start. And then I work very closely with each one of our reps around the country to coordinate training, speak directly with the contractors what's available for training. Like Wayne said, we do a lot of hands-on training in-person. Last year, we've been doing a lot of virtually, but we have a virtual demo studio that we can do demos for people from the comfort of our headquarters so those work out.
We have a learning portal that's global that has free courses on all of our materials, recorded webinars, self-directed, instructor-led. We have a lot of opportunities, but it all starts with your local rep. And then they can point you in the right direction so we can get them the training that they need.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And I have to tell you, so everyone, you can find Master Builders Solutions on RoofersCoffeeShop. They have a full directory. Wayne was the one who introduced them. He brought it, knew that RoofersCoffeeShop needed to have NP 1 on the site. So we're so thrilled about that. And you can find all the information there. And most importantly, you can get to their website. And on their website, they have a full listing of reps for your area. So it's very easy to find them, find out who it is and just give them a call, and you'll be able to get their Wayne, last thoughts. Last thoughts on this for everyone out there.

Wayne Heronimus:
We Handle all types of product questions. And early on with NP 1, I had a designer asked me what's NP stand for? I'm like, "Uh oh." And a good rep says, "I'll get back with you" and immediately finds out. And it turns out that NP 1, the NP stands for non-priming. It's a primerless product. Typically, you don't need a primer. Sometimes you do, but most of the time it doesn't. I'm like, "Okay, that fed my trivia craving." I got that. But no, it was great that I found that out. So that's the deep dive that you need to do.
Yeah, closing thoughts. These times really show who your manufacturing partners are and who your business partners are in the challenging times that we're in now with labor shortages, supply chain shortages. And I just remind, I hope to remind everybody that it's not going to last forever. I think roofers especially have long memories on how they're treated and how they're taken care of in hard times. So we're putting a lot of effort into helping everybody through these challenging times.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Wayne, that's so good. That's so true. And I just have to say again, it's so true. There are long memories in this industry. So take care of each other and on do as much as you can. And be patient because everyone's working really hard. David, any last thoughts, anything you would like to share?

David Fuller:
I know we've been concentrating on NP 1 and the technology that Master Builders Solutions has is great, but that's only part of the mix. It's not just the technology, it's the people, it's the people testing it, the people selling it and really goes back to our representatives, to the local representatives like Wayne and our direct people throughout the country. I would put them against anybody. They are so technically knowledgeable. They're passionate. And that's really what puts us ahead of maybe some other companies out there.
I would put our local Salesforce against anyone out there from their technical knowledge and the way that they can work around job sites and the way they know and understand the building envelope. That really makes all the difference in the world.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, I think so too. It's all about the people. People making good products, helping each other, the training. It begins and ends there. And so on that note, I'm going to end there for today's podcast, but thank you, gentlemen. Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you for sharing this. There's just a special place in my heart for manufacturers' reps considering I worked with so many for so long and continue to. And I love the manufacturers who really understand that and bring it to market. So thank you so much for being a part of this today.
I want to thank everyone for listening. Thank you for listening to the podcast, being a part of them, please subscribe. Make sure that you don't miss a single one. And for all of you listening to this maybe for the first time, be sure to visit rooferscoffeeshop.com under the Read Listen Watch section and listen to all the Roofing Road Trips. We have some great information out there and some wonderful roofing professionals. So for everyone out there, have a great day and we will see you next time as we road trip across the country on Roofing Road Trips.

Megan Ellsworth:
Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.



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