Most Popular Posts

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Certainteed Roofing, the Other Big Gorilla

Hello Homeowners. Today we do another Maury Povich type interview with one of the local giants in the industry, Mike Harrison. He and his compadre, the man with two names, Gary Keith, are two very experienced and hard working manufacturer reps. Deciding which one to interview was decided scientifically, a coin flip. We tried to do paper, rock, scissors but that is hard to do when there are only two contestants.
Here's some music to listen to while you read. (right click)

How did you get started in the roofing business and what were some of your stops along the way? In 1995 I was running a commercial landscape company. My step brother managed a branch in Houston for CHAMPS - 'Perfection Roofing Materials' (part of the old STONE Metals group). At the time they had just acquired the 3 SHR branches (South Houston Roofing) and his right hand guy was moving to go run the Conroe branch. He called me and asked if I wanted to get into the roofing distribution business. At the time they were doing really well - they serviced new construction for this little community called 'The Woodlands' and also were one of the first full service tile and slate branches in Texas. I took the job. I still remember my first day - I was checking roof packages on the trucks for order accuracy - My first question was "What do you mean by squares?"
I worked my way up, from operations to inside sales, and then to outside sales. I would call on all types of roofers - commercial, reroof, residential, new construction, etc.
ABC Supply purchased the CHAMPS group in 1997. In 1999 John Yonkin (regional VP sales - ABC Supply) offered me a management job at his worst branch at the time in Corpus Christi. I liked management and ABC kept sending to new places - that is how I ended up in Ft. Worth
How long have you been with CertainTeed? Almost 4 years - I started in April 2007. Funny thing is I needed very little training as I was very familiar with the product line due to my distribution experience.
What is the newest product you have now? Highland Slate. This will bring our Impact Resistant shingle offering to 6 shingle choices - 3 times as much as our closest competitor! Highland Slate looks just like the heavier Centennial Slate but is a bit lighter to reduce costs. Our goal is to offer a Lifetime shingle with a Luxury look, but at a price point just a bit higher than the typical 30 year laminate.
what exciting things are happening at Certainteed? (solar) The 'solar' additions that are in development are very exciting. Our R&D group right now has at least 4 different systems they are developing. The most advanced of those currently is a product called 'EnerGen', which is actually being sold right now on the West Coast and Hawaii. We have 2 strong positions in regards to 'solar roofing': The 1st is that we don't want to create a system that is attached to a roof - we want the roof system itself to be the component that creates the energy. The 2nd position is that we want our roofers to be leaders in 'Energy Roofing'. Basically, if your a building owner or homeowner and want some sort of solar/energy generating roof system then we feel you should call your roofer - not someone who is part of some new cottage industry. Not to sound cliché, but Roofers know roofing, and therefore should be the ones installing these systems. I cannot tell you how many homeowners I've met that have solar panels on their roofs but also have 15 leaks because the 'solar engineer' just drilled the panels to the roof without any thought about how those panels effect the roof system. Free electricity is nice, but if it comes with water in your house and moldy sheetrock I'll pass.
How would you compare your products to others? There is no doubt in my mind that our shingle is the best made product available today! You'd expect me to say that, but the bottom line is that it is true. Our entire business model revolves around making the best product available - heavier weights, more asphalt, stronger warranties, etc. We are the 'Professional's Brand' - other manufactures' business models are different and that works for them. They strive to be the new Construction brand, or the DIY brand, or the most inexpensive. We just want to be the BEST.
Your service? We are 1 of the 3 'major' shingle manufactures - that is roofing materials sold in all 50 states. We are the 2nd largest but continue to grow. In April of this year we will be opening our 10th shingle plant in Ennis, Texas. It will be a 2 wide laminator and make our Landmark 30 shingles. Everything in this plant is brand new and state-of-the-art technology. It is a huge investment given the current economy conditions, but we believe it to be the right move. The plant will offer 40 full time jobs and at least 20 part time jobs when running to full capacity.
Anything else?
Is Bill Sharp a little weasel? He should be arrested

Your words of wisdom are like snow flakes.
Thank you for your insight Mike.

Jon Alan Wright

Jon Wright Roofing, Siding, and Windows

1915 Peters Rd., Suite 310

Irving, TX 75061

972.251.1818 Office

214.718.3748 Cell

972.554.8090 Fax

Master Elite Roofer: (Scroll to the bottom)

No comments: