If size matters, the commercial side of the industry has it in spades. The 2022 Roofing & Exteriors Power Players only emphasize that point, with exclusively commercial roofing and exteriors businesses undoubtedly representing the biggest companies in the industry.
The 12 Power Players that indicated they do only commercial roofing raked in more than $2 billion in annual sales. However, they also employ an army of workers totaling more than 8,600.
Big companies putting families first
But while the two companies are massive, they both treat employees like family. At Tecta, that means ensuring that workers get top-notch training and support.
"We invest in our employees' future and want them to have a longstanding career with Tecta," said Cat Engelby, the company's marketing manager. She noted that care extends to the many different training and safety programs the company offers, as well as its code of conduct that keeps everyone safe in a different way. "We care about our employees and others working around us. Tecta America's policy is to provide our employees with a safe work environment through training and reinforced supervision," Engelby said.
At CentiMark, that commitment to employees extends all the way to the company's ownership. "CentiMark is a family-owned ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) company. The Dunlap family leads the company, and the associates are part of a family," explained Kathy Slencak, the firm's public relations manager. "We have extensive training, rewards, opportunities for growth and celebrations of milestones like injury-free offices and sales successes. Many of our executives started working on the roof as crewmembers and progressed to management and the executive level through training, mentoring, opportunities and growth."
Not all commercial contractors on our list are massive, however. The lowest earner, Alois Roofing & Sheet Metal, brings in a smaller but respectable $3.4 million in annual sales and employs just 25 people. But like its bigger siblings, Alois is a family affair. As a third-generation roofer, owner Michael Pum grew up working for his father's roofing company until it was sold.
That sentiment continues with most other firms on the list. "We treat all of our employees like family, and they know and appreciate it. We are there for them when they need help, when they need guidance and when they just need someone to talk to. We are constantly striving to help all of our employees to be the best that they can be," said Kevin Froeter, president of Sterling Commercial Roofing, which has $54 million in annual sales and 215 employees.
Longevity is the norm for commercial Power Players
Beyond annual sales, this group distinguishes itself by its longevity as well. Half of the group has been in business for 31 years or more, including CentiMark at the ripe old age of 54.
Not far behind is MG Roofing, with 46 years in business and $4.7 million in annual sales. "MG Roofing has remained in business for 46 years while experiencing recessions, ups and downs in the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and most recently nationwide material shortages," said company owner Montey Gaisser. "We have also maintained relationships with architects, general contractors and manufacturers from the inception of our business. We have a long history of proving our company's superior reliability, reputation for honoring deadlines, and standing behind our work and service."
Just one of our commercial-only contractors, Absolute Roofing & Waterproofing, has been in business for no more than 10 years. But that doesn't mean the company doesn't have wisdom.
"Since March 2021, when we started hearing about raw material shortages, we started sending out 'state of our industry' bulletins to our clients," said Dustin Guess, Absolute's company president. "We wanted them to have the information to pass on to their clients (owners) to ensure they knew what was happening in our industry. We feel it is our open and honest communication about the specifics going on in our industry that allowed us to contract $11.8 million in new work in Q1 of 2022."
Owner type tells a similar story to longevity, with 75% of the companies being family businesses or sole proprietorships. Not surprisingly, the significant outlier is Tecta America, which is a large corporation, though it hasn't lost touch with its roots, which go back to the year 2000.
"Tecta's founding principles focused on the power of local operating teams that have been critical to our success. We started with a number of terrific roofing contractors that operated differently than each other but with common values of safety, appreciation for the importance of our workforce, and the recognition that our work is important and should be compensated fairly," said Mark Santacrose, executive chairman for Tecta America.
Big roofing and exteriors companies value innovation and growth
On the company strengths that make this group stand out, innovation and growth rises to the top, with 92% naming that their top attribute. For some, honing innovation and growth has meant adding new positions.
"In the last year, PB Roofing has made substantial investments into our people," said Michael Manziano, marketing manager for the company that has $25 million in annual sales and 48 employees. "We added new positions that support operational productivity, such as response & project coordinators, who have created and implemented new processes that effectively manage the day-to-day operations of our field crews. We added a new territory to our field operations, and we successfully launched a partner contractor campaign that attracted new subcontractor talent to help service customers in more geographic regions."
Others innovate and grow with the help of third-party systems. "Rackley Roofing operates with the EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System)," explained Michelle Boykin, the company's CFO, who is shepherding the company's $45 million in annual sales and its 230 employees. "Through EOS, we are working daily to ensure that we have a strong company-wide growth plan that is known by all."
Rackley is also one of the leaders in another method for innovation and growth: workplace diversity. "Through our employee recruitment campaign, we strive to show how inclusive we are by empowering people from all walks of life to excel within their company," Boykin said.
Big culture makes for big wins at commercial roofing and exteriors businesses
Culture creation is just behind innovation and growth on the company strength scale for commercial roofing and exteriors firms. Many firms have carefully constructed mission statements encouraging a stable and ongoing company culture.
For example, Gorman Roofing Services ensures its 165 employees maintain the company culture with a combination of vision (be No. 1 in service to our clients and team) and mission (build trusting relationships by understanding needs and providing exceptional value and core values—integrity, accountability, professionalism, adaptability, innovation and respect).
More often than not, culture is enforced and built through leadership from the top down. A great example is Tupac de la Cruz, owner and founder of Roofing Solutions, which has $76 million in annual sales and 59 employees. De la Cruz is closely involved in NRCA University, a program focused on the development of educational programs that create a pathway for advancement in the roofing industry. He also plays a leadership role in The Roofing Alliance, the foundation arm of the NRCA.
"The project team leaders at Roofing Solutions act more like coaches than managers. In the process, they seek to empower their people to become leaders and make their own decisions," de la Cruz explained. "The company values and respects the individual and their role on the team. As a result, their employees mirror the same energy, passion and drive of the company, and they feel pride in a job well done."