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4 Ways Power Players Innovate and Grow Amid Turbulent Times4 Ways Power Players Innovate and Grow Amid Turbulent Times

The roofing and exteriors industries face more challenges than ever post-pandemic. These elite companies show how to use training, consulting, planning and networking to grow and thrive.

Gary Thill

September 30, 2022

6 Min Read
Innovative Power Players lead image with main logo and SRS/IRE logos
Informa Markets

Among the many pandemic-related impacts on the roofing industry is the eye-opening need for companies to be innovative if they hope to grow—let alone survive—amid turbulent times. That’s why innovation and growth was one key factor we considered in choosing the 2022 Power Players.

While the pandemic is in the rearview mirror for many, roofing contractors are still dealing with the repercussions, namely ongoing material price increases, material shortages and a dire lack of skilled labor.

The NRCA’s most recent Quarterly Market Index Survey for Reroofing shows how volatile the roofing industry remains.

  • Forty-two percent of respondents indicated their customer inquiries increased during the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter in 2020. Twenty-one percent of respondents reported a decrease in customer inquiries during the same period, and 37% indicated no change in activity.

  • The survey revealed a similar trend for project contracts. Forty-one percent of respondents reported an increase during the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter in 2020. Twenty-four percent of respondents reported a decrease in project contracts during the same period, and 36% indicated no change in activity.

  • As of April 2021, 19% of roofing contractors reported no project backlogs, 36% reported project backlogs of one to two months, and 25% reported project backlogs of three to four months. Twenty percent of roofing contractors reported project backlogs of five months or more.


Reading between the lines of these results reveals that about a quarter of roofing and exteriors contractors report business is down and project backlogs remain near record lows.

All of these headwinds call for companies to be more innovative than ever, and our Power Players provide great examples of the many ways companies can use that pioneering spirit to grow and thrive. In fact, Power Players told us innovation and growth was their most important attribute, with 70% naming it a company strength—the most of any other in the group.

Here are four ways our Power Players are innovating and growing—and what you can learn from them:

1. Regularly updating a company-wide growth plan.

Of the Power Players who named innovation and growth a company strength, 88% said regularly updating a company-wide growth plan was integral to that process—the most of any other. Often, companies share growth plans with employees.

A good example is Rackley Roofing, which has 230 employees and $45 million in annual sales.

Rackley Roofing operates with the EOS/Entrepreneur Operating System,” explained Michelle Boykin, the company’s COO. “Through EOS we are working daily to ensure that we have a strong company-wide growth plan that is known by all. Our vision is clear, achievable and understood. We feel that by transparency we can together achieve goals, and everyone is rewarded when these goals are achieved.”

2. Working with a consultant on growth/innovation plans.

To achieve those goals, many companies—46% of our Power Players in this category—work with consultants to develop and implement their plans.

“We have internal company-wide growth plans that are updated regularly. We also work with consultants to develop these plans and equip us for success and growth,” said Dana Broom, marketing director for Corey Construction, which has $202.4 million in annual sales. “These plans reflect quarterly, annual and long-term goals (at Corey) up to 10 years. We have outlined our core focus, mission, strategy and steps to achieve these goals. We hold weekly and bi-weekly ‘Traction’ meetings with leadership and employees to track these goals, measure these goals and communicate issues and opportunities as they arise and take a proactive approach versus a reactive approach to ensure that we fulfill these goals.”

Many companies hire a consultant to help them develop a plan and grow in the healthiest way possible. “Advanced Roofing & Construction has grown exponentially in the last few years and continues to grow while implementing improvements for the future that will increase workflow efficiency and enhance the customer experience,” said Brandon Foote, president of the $5.9 million annual sales company. “Advanced created a business plan with a business plan consultant that outlines current business strategies and planned growth initiatives. This plan is updated as new strategies are planned and implemented.”

3. Identifying and training key employees for leadership positions.

Innovation and growth can’t happen without leadership and Power Player companies recognize this fact with 88% of them focusing on training key employees for leadership positions.

“We are always training and teaching our team new techniques for both sales growth and leadership opportunities. When we see someone who is interested in taking a step into leadership, we spend a lot of time mentoring them and really training them for those next steps,” said Devon Hudson, marketing specialist for Above Roofing, a company with $6.2 million in annual sales.

For many companies, such training is a key part of their company culture. “Allied Xteriors is investing in an executive leadership program to help elevate our company to become a professional roofing company,” said Melanie Smith, executive assistant for the company, which has $6 million in annual sales. "In our company, we encourage our employees to grow from talented workers to skilled workers. We offer promotions within our company for our current employees. As we grow and develop, we set the expectations of our employees to do the same.”

4. Participating in peer/industry leadership groups.

Learning from others is a powerful way to innovate and grow, and 71% of the Power Players in this category do just that through a variety of different programs. The industry offers numerous programs in this area.

With $61 million in annual sales, E. Cornell Malone Corp./Malone Roofing Services is a great example of the different methods available for capitalizing on peer/industry leadership groups.

“We have had great experiences with industry peer groups. We now have our third member participating in the NRCA's Future Executive Institute (FEI),” said Roman Malone, the company’s president. “This program has been a great resource to allow our leaders to meet industry peers and share best practices. At the same time, they also get college MBA courses in management and leadership.

"Another peer group that the ownership is involved in is the Hayne's Coaching Group's ESE 5 peer group. This group provides exclusive executive training from some of the top contractors in the country. Through this group, we have been able to learn from others about their vision and execution of high-level training. This has led to us being able to provide new training and peer group opportunities for our team members.”

If you missed the featured Power Players from previous weeks, you can view them here: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7Week 8, Week 9 and the complete list

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Power Players

About the Author(s)

Gary Thill

Gary Thill is a nationally recognized independent writer, editor with an extensive writing and editing background in the residential and commercial construction sectors. He produced the Remodeling Big50 for five years, served as editor of the Replacement Contractor e-newsletter for five years and has contributed regularly to Remodeling and other construction-focused publications for several decades. Thill has distinguished himself with national awards for his writing, editing and social media work including several Neal awards for outstanding editing and leadership as well as the American Business Media’s Timothy White Award for Editorial Integrity. He lives and works in Portland, Oregon.

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