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The school bells are ringing again and KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing, in conjunction with KPOST Charities, helped about 550 North Texas families get ready. As a part of its commitment to support its employees and the community at large, once again this year KPOST donated back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies.
In addition to giving 550 backpacks to KPOST employees’ children, the company donated 220 packs to the girls who attend the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) at Bill Arnold Middle School in Grand Prairie, Texas. The academy serves sixth through tenth grade students in an all-girl setting. It is a “School of Choice” for the school district and focuses on students who are college-ready and college-bound.
“We partnered with Pure Salon and their charity drive thru the Acts of Joy organization and chose the YWLA for our contribution this year because of the great things they are doing with young women,” said Jayne Williams, KPOST Chief Financial Officer. “This academy inspires critical thinking and inspires confidence in these students, getting them prepared for success in college.”
“As for our donation to our employees, KPOST is a family and this is our way of giving something back to our family,” she said. “We have to remember the reason that our employees come to work every day, to provide for their families and we wanted to show the kids we were thinking about them”.
Like just about everything else, the cost of school supplies continue to rise with the average being $55 per child. Each backpack KPOST supplied contains over 15 items that are appropriate for any school district and contain all the tools the kids will need to have a successful start to their school year.
When it comes to community support, the teams at KPOST make it a point to be involved year round. This type of investment not only allows the KPOST team to give back, but also infuses the culture throughout the organization.
“Our employees see us supporting them and others in the community on a regular basis. It’s who we are at heart, and it’s important that everyone who works with us understand that and believe in it,” said Williams. “We expect every employee to be an active participant in giving back to their community.”
KPOST supports many different organizations in multiple ways. Following is a sample of the type of charitable action they take:
Aileen Struble, Senior Estimator serves on the Board. KPOST provides employees to help pack gift boxes for hundreds of Troops.
We collect throughout the year for Petey Parker. Petey and her husband, Jim Fite, dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and deliver a stuffed animal to every patient in several hospitals. So far we have collected almost 150 bears this year.
We collect from our employees Toys for Tots every Christmas.
It was the Savage Race where KPOST partnered with National Roofing Partners to collect monies for ACT, an autism charity. We had 5 employees brave freezing weather to run and even swim in ice water.
Collect money and items for Operation Kindness. The last one raised almost $2,000 and 100 lbs. of food and toys.
Every year KPOST employees participate in the work day at the annual convention of National Roofing Contractors Association and Midwest Roofing Contractors Association. We perform landscaping, painting, roofing, and other projects on 2 or 3 houses in the host city.
The idea of giving back is ingrained in the KPOST culture and is evident by the many charitable organizations that the company has supported over the years. The Back to School Backpack Program is emblematic of the corporate culture and the values instilled in the employees to give back. KPOST prides itself on having a strong set of corporate values enhanced by high ethics and superior service, which establish the company as a highly desired partner in the commercial roofing industry.
The highly anticipated annual startup index from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was released in the final week of May and it suggests a phenomenon which the leadership of KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing has known for many years. The Kauffman-funded researchers found that immigrants and Latinos started new companies or became self-employed at nearly twice the rate of native-born Americans.
According to a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, “Immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5 percent of new businesses in 2014, up from 25.9 percent a year earlier and just 13.3 percent in 1996.” The report noted that this group created an average of 520 businesses per month per 100,000 people last year.
This tendency toward entrepreneurship is even more impressive when it is compared to the percentage of immigrants in the U.S. population. This most recent data show immigrants accounted for only 12.9 percent of the U.S. population in 2012, up from 9.3 percent in 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“We see this entrepreneurial spirit every day,” notes Keith Post, CEO of KPOST. “Our company, along with the other building trades, employs a great number of Hispanic workers and we have first-hand knowledge of this group’s self-starting attitude, honesty and tremendous work-ethic. These are the three of the traits of a successful entrepreneur. We promote our employees to position of leadership and reward them for their team’s performance therefore creating mini profit centers (companies) and fostering that entrepreneurial spirit”
Immigrants have traditionally had to struggle to find salaried employment because of language barriers and other obstacles. It is for this reason that many start “mom and pop shops” rather than joining larger companies. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted by Alberto Davila, chairman of the economics and finance department of the University of Texas-Pan American College in this research, “it is really Mexican self-employment that is carrying this growth.”
“We start with respect,” noted Jayne Williams, Chief Financial and Safety Officer of KPOST. “We don’t just tell our employees how much we appreciate their hard work. We show them with our actions, such as promoting talented employees like Luciano Perez.”
After a few minutes talking with Luciano Perez, it is obvious that he is the type of self-starting, intelligent worker which this Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation could have easily counted in their entrepreneurial index. His enthusiasm for his work – he is the company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health Official, a crucial position in the KPOST organization – is palpable. However, he also has a rare gift which allows him to mentor other Hispanic employees: he is a born teacher.
“I conduct all our safety meetings in both English and Spanish,” Perez notes. “This shows our Spanish-speaking co-workers that we respect their heritage and skills and we are committed to doing everything we can do to ensure they come home to their families every night.”
Does he think his position and longevity with the company (he’s been with the company since it was founded) have an effect on building trust and rapport among the Latinos who work for KPOST?
“Maybe,” he modestly notes. “Because I stand up in front of these guys every week and I make it a point to try and get to know them and their families, I sometimes end up being a sounding-board for their future plans. I’m hopeful that my leadership demonstrates the respect KPOST has for our employees”
“If someone comes to me and says they are thinking of doing something else, I always say ‘what does your wife say,” he chuckled. “That’s always the first and most important question. Then I say, what does your heart say? I also ask them to consider the long-term consequences and opportunities of going to another company, or becoming self-employed. Some stay and some go, but they all know our company cares for them and want the best for their future.”
This understanding of the growing impact of Latinos on America’s future is also evident in the company’s long-range planning, let by KPOST’s President, Steve Little.
“Without our Latino families who work at KPOST, we would not be able to sustain our company…period,” notes Little. “As such, we are a microcosm of the rest of the United States. Immigrant workers are absolutely critical to many industries in our country, not the least of which are the building trades. It’s because of this that we have built human resource programs and promoted talented workers to support the retention of these valuable workers. As the Roofing and Waterproofing Partner of the Dallas Cowboys, we have an obligation to run our team like the Cowboys knowing that we have “fans” (clients) that depend on the KPOST TEAM to be there for them.”
“When one of our talented employees – Latino or Anglo – approaches me to talk about their moving on to start their own company, I ask them to give us a year. Let us teach them more about being a leader/manager and then they can make the decision. We want them to become an “intrapreneur,” using that entrepreneurial skill and energy to build a future within KPOST.”
The booming North Texas economy has allowed commercial building owners and property management groups to consider re-investments in their holdings. Based on its completion of more than $280 million in roofing and waterproofing construction in the past 10 years, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing company has some suggestions for property owners and managers which will likely pay long-term dividends.
Spring is an excellent time to consider building infrastructure investments such as waterproofing, specialty installations, repair and maintenance, lightweight insulating concrete and commercial roofing. The highly-trained, safety-focused teams at KPOST are experts at executing any and all of these improvements.
Property managers can realize the best return on investment on two types of improvements. These are:
By investing in construction projects which lead to these ends, the property owner or manager can not only realize a better ROI, but the building can earn LEED certification. According to its website, “The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, was formed in 2000 and has become a cornerstone in building standards and environmental concerns.” LEED certification is now mandated by many cities for all new building projects and extensive remodels or renovations.
According to the U.S. Environmental Agency’s “Energy Star” program, commercial buildings in the United States consume 17 percent of the nation’s energy at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. They also generate 17 percent of our country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Even small reductions in this energy consumption can result in substantial improvements to a commercial building’s bottom-line.
“There are several areas where commercial property managers can make their building more energy efficient and watertight,” noted Scott Bredehoeft, sales manager for KPOST. “For example, additional insulation in the roofing system can substantially decrease the energy consumption of the building. This is true for both the summer and the winter.”
“Another tactic for energy savings is to use a white reflective coating for your roofing project,” he said. “This reflection is measured by the percentage of radiation that strikes the roof’s surface and is reflected away from it. If the energy is not reflected, it is absorbed and in the hot, Texas summer this means additional energy is needed to cool the building.”
“By covering the old roofing system with reflective coatings or film, it can become more reflective.,” he noted. “And this makes it more energy efficient.”
“Our clients have saved between 20 percent and 70 percent in the cost of energy by coating or recovering current roofs with reflective material,” Scott noted. “In many cases, the return on investment (ROI) was realized in less than 3 -5 years.”
Not only is this a smart investment in a commercial building, since coating the roof is recognized as a maintenance item by the U.S. Tax Code, 100 percent of this cost can be written off in the year the project is completed. This is another excellent ROI for the owners.
As noted in a previous post, one of the specialties of KPOST is waterproofing commercial buildings. This will result in making the building water and air-tight and it improves its energy efficiency. The waterproofing also helps to accomplish another valuable improvement: improving the air-quality of the building.
“Property managers know how toxic mold and mildew are for a commercial building,” Scott noted. “These conditions can dramatically impact the air-quality of the structure and result in diseases being spread among the people who work there. They can also result in costly clean-ups.”
“Waterproofing the building prevents moisture – either from leaky windows or condensation resulting from a combination of cold and warm air – from accumulating,” he said. “When the building is water and air-tight, the air-quality will be improved and the building’s inhabitants will be more comfortable and safer from contagious disease.”
Although the new reflective roof will reduce thermal impact to a building, properly waterproofing the structure will make it air-tight and reduce the cost of energy.
Savvy commercial property managers are always looking for ways to increase the return on investment of their properties and while nothing can be done about the North Texas weather, the experts at KPOST are here to help in that process. If you would like more information on improving energy efficiency and waterproofing your building, contact us.
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There is no shortage of iconic commercial buildings in North Texas. These “statement structures” such as the Perot Museum of Nature & Science, the Omni Hotel, the Hunt Oil Headquarters and the AT&T Stadium, all designed by architectural visionaries, have transformed the skylines of the DFW metropolitan area over the past decade. However, as a contributor to the construction of each of these magnificent buildings, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing, understands the most innovative designs are only as water-tight as their most vulnerable areas.
It has been noted by many structural engineers that the windows and walls of a building – regardless of its design elegance and environmental efficiency – are the last barrier between the outside elements and the occupants inside. Because of this, waterproofing these windows and walls is absolutely critical to maintenance of the integrity of the envelope of the building.
It is for this is the reason KPOST has a business unit dedicated exclusively to waterproofing commercial buildings. This unit is led by twenty-year industry veteran Shawn Morgan, Waterproofing Division Manager.
“Each job presents different challenges,” notes Morgan. “For example, if it is a window glazing, masonry project or concrete repair project, KPOST makes sure we have the qualified workforce on the job who specialize in those particular trades.”
The company has extensive experience in all phases of waterproofing. “Although we have 40 years of waterproofing experience in our service leadership, our waterproofing workforce has more than 300 years combined experience in this area,” he said. “Because of this, there is typically no situation where we have not had experience in dealing with it before and can recommend the best system or repair.”
KPOST is also a member of the prestigious Sealant Waterproofing Restoration Institute (SWRI) and over the past decade Luis Diaz Deleon, the Waterproofing Operations Manger for the company, helped to develop the concrete guidelines for The International Concrete Repair Institute, a professional partnership with the SWRI.
In explaining why these professional relationships are important to KPOST customers, Luis notes,“It shows our dedication to quality, workmanship and professionalism. We have been involved in developing the specifications for concrete repairs on an international basis, not just local. My teammates and I work hard to bring the best practices to the entire industry,” he said.
Waterproofing is offered as a stand-alone contracting service or as a part of KPOST commercial roofing projects. Besides protecting a building from water infiltration, the company offers:
Morgan notes, “Because we can offer waterproofing and commercial roofing to a general contractors and multi-facility owners, we can help them save money on the entire building envelopes scopes of work. Plus, there is a convenience factor of hiring us to manage the complete projects and the warranties tied to a water-tight buildings.”
The construction industry has taken note of the company’s approach to building envelope innovations. Recently, one of the Dallas skyline-defining KPOST waterproofing and roofing projects – the Perot Museum of Nature and Science – won the 2014 NRCA Golden Circle Contractor of the Year Award for innovative solutions for new construction. There are only four NRCA Golden Circle Awards given annually and KPOST has won it three of the past five years.
Having extensive experience as a waterproofing sealant manufacturer’s representative before joining KPOST, Shawn Morgan has first-hand experience with the myriad sealant products and techniques available nationwide. This knowledge is invaluable for the company’s clients, consultants and the KPOST team.
“While many times we base our estimates on the specifications of the consultant or architects, there are many types of sealant materials, each with a little different warranty advantage and disadvantage,” he said. “We know which sealant material works best for the specific substrate being utilized on the building. One size does not fit all,” he smiled.
“Waterproofing is absolutely essential for preventing water damage which can lead to equipment and inventory failures as well as downtime of your manufacturing and employees,” he said. “Leaky windows and walls which can result from inadequate or improper waterproofing product installation, can lead to mold and mildew in the building and health problems of your employees, the remediation of which can be extremely expensive.”
KPOST has the team to ensure the safety, quality and value for all your building envelope projects.
The thunderstorms which can cause a deluge of rain in North Texas during the spring, can wreak havoc with buildings that are not properly waterproofed. For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!
In the competitive world of construction, sports references are often used to communicate goals, objectives, strategies and the exponential strength of a company’s management and employees working for a common goal. Just as the Dallas Cowboys must train year-round, strategically plan for each game and execute every Sunday, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing contractor must also bring it’s “A” game every day because its projects are high-profile; such as the construction of the roof of the AT&T Stadium where those Cowboys play.
At first glance, the expression, “The best defense is a good offense” seems like another sports reference. In fact, it originally came from Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz from his book ‘On War.’ According to the book, if one side does nothing but defend itself from an opposing side, he will inevitably be worn down and defeated because the other side is free to constantly regroup and attack endlessly. The general opined, “the only option to successfully defend against an opponent is to go on the offensive.”
Whether it’s on the sports field, battlefield or construction site, being pro-active – having an aggressive offense – about safety issues is the absolute best defense against work stoppage and fines which can occur when the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors show up unannounced at a job site. This the approach KPOST uses.
Why do these inspectors aggressively pursue worksite safety? The statistics tell the tale.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. On average, that’s 12 workers killed every day. The agency notes that 20.3 percent of these fatalities (1 in 5) occurred in the construction industry and the leading cause of death was falls, followed by struck by object. Better training and safety practices can lower the number of workers killed on the job.
In terms of violations reported by OSHA in fiscal year 2014, here are the top-five, most frequently sited:
1. Fall protection, construction
2. Hazard communication standard, general industry
3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
4. Respiratory protection, general industry
5. Powered industrial trucks, general industry
The KPOST game plan for defending every project starts with an emphasis on proactively training and re-training every employee and rigorously instilling a culture of safety. This effort is managed by KPOST CFO and Safety Officer, Jayne Williams
As the Chief Financial Officer and Safety Officer, Jayne Williams is laser-focused on the bottom line. She has seen, first-hand, the business advantages of KPOST’s impeccable safety record.
“We want our jobs to run on-schedule and on-budget but even more importantly we want our employees to come home every night,” she said. “On-going safety training is critical to meeting these three objectives.”
“Our company has one of the best workman’s compensation insurance rates in the roofing industry because we are relentless in the pursuit of safe practices,” Williams noted. “This emphasis on safety is more than just a way to avoid OSHA fines or work-stoppage. It’s also good business. The less we have pay on insurance – due to our low low rates driven by our safety record – the more competitive our estimates for construction can be,” she noted.
If Jayne is the coach of the KPOST safety team, Luciano Perez is the quarterback. As the company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health Official, Luciano has been recognized by the construction industry on numerous occasions, the most recent being his being awarded the TEXO Specialty Safety Professional of the Year in December 2014.
“Our approach to safety is unique in our industry,” noted Williams. “We have people such as Luciano who are absolutely dedicated to safety management in all KPOST work . With his training, he has the equivalent of a ‘Master’s Degree in Safety,’” she smiled.
“We have built a culture of safety at KPOST,” she said. “From the time an employee joins our team, we instill this culture with on-going, rigorous training and incentives for excellence. Again, the most important objective for us is that our employees make it home to their families every night.”
In addition to building a great defense for OSHA, for more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!
Luciano Perez does it again! Perez, KPOST Company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health official, was honored at TEXO’s Holiday & Awards Gala December 18th, 2014, with the coveted Specialty Safety Professional of the Year award. TEXO confers this distinction only once per year, selecting its winner from a competitive pool of national contenders whose work exemplifies values-driven innovation, leadership, and commitment to safety.
“Luciano puts a lot of effort into forming great relationships with our crews so they can have on-going dialogues about safety,” said KPOST Company President Steve Little. “He has been known to quiz the guys on safety issues and pass out spicy lollipops for correct answers. He has a true talent for bringing safety regulations to life in a meaningful way.”
Perez is no stranger to the awards scene; TEXO honored him in June 2014 for his outstanding contributions as chairman of the TEXO Latino Safety Committee and Forum. Here is a piece we ran in November, featuring Perez and KPOST’s stellar safety rating. Making Texas a Safer Place.
How hard could selling this place be?
27-year-old CEO Melanie Wong looked around the expansive building, which had housed her family’s business Applied Data Resources (ADR) since 2001 in Richardson, Texas. Her father had worked tirelessly to get ADR off the ground. George Wong saw potential where others did not and he had managed to work his way into the enviable position of office supplier to some of this country’s most successful companies. He had started small in 1985, believing a healthy work ethic and strong relationships would set the tone. He was right. Eventually he had bought this building and the one next to it, which he leased to a tenant. As he began to ease into retirement, Melanie had stepped up and ultimately become CEO. And here she stood, facing the gargantuan task of negotiating both buildings’ sudden sales while George was away visiting family in Hong Kong.
Upon his retirement, George had placed the buildings for sale with a brokerage firm. He experienced headaches and, ultimately, no deals. After six months, he had declined to renew the agreement.
“It’s so important to identify a disinterested third party you trust who specializes in the type of property you are trying to sell,” says Nat Klein, Senior Vice President of Lincoln Property Company. Klein has closed more than 900 commercial real estate transactions over the course of his career. He encourages sellers to ask around for recommendations, understanding that a great broker can connect a seller with other high quality brokers. “I will usually push off a downtown building to someone who specializes in those. Make sure you do your due diligence and hire the right sort of specialist for the property you have.”
Soon enough, an old friend approached the Wongs assuring them he was the right person to sell their building. He did just that, and far faster than anyone anticipated. They chided themselves for not asking him in the first place. Though the building had been up for sale for a while, when things began to happen, they happened fast. The family was caught off guard. George never meant to leave Melanie to handle the inspection, the closing, and the move single-handedly, but that’s exactly how the chips fell.
“My biggest lesson? I learned to approach every deal as if it’s really going to go through. Have your ducks in a row and be organized. Be prepared and have an exit strategy,” says Melanie, who is still amazed the transaction closed in just thirty short days with minimal negotiations.
Commercial real estate in the Dallas Fort Worth area is hopping. Almost every day The Dallas Business Journal shares the good news:
From January to November 2014, DFW added 441,000 new jobs, which is 1/3 of all new jobs added in the United States.
Development plans for stunning high rises and Billingsley’s exciting rejuvenation of entire city blocks in Dallas spur on the commercial real estate boom. Explosive growth along the Dallas North Tollway and the arrival of heavy-hitters like the world headquarters of Toyota and the famed Nebraska Furniture Mart leave little doubt that this is a great time to sell a commercial building. The cranes seem to crowd the skylines these days.
“Luckily we see the leasing velocity helping to push the capital markets, and helping to push people’s underwriting. Buyers are interested in Dallas and being aggressive on pricing because they feel good about the prospects of leasing and releasing the buildings in virtually every sub-market,” says Evan Stone, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL), a professional services and investment management company specializing in commercial real estate.
When sellers look around their buildings, they often wonder how to prioritize repairs. Should they replace an ailing HVAC system? Broken window seals? Is it necessary to address each repair before placing the building on the market?
“No, it’s okay to leave a few small things undone, but not being upfront about the status of your building is fraught with risks,” says Stone, whose own storied career encompasses the sale of properties like Galleria Dallas and Plaza of the Americas. In total, Stone has sold nearly $1 billion of single tenant and sale/leaseback transactions.
While it’s acceptable to leave a few strategic repair items for the negotiating table, Stone feels sellers should understand the value of their asset and openly communicate about the building’s deferred maintenance status. If roofs and chillers should have been replaced years ago, Stone suggests sellers make those changes or provide detailed recent estimates for replacements. He stresses the importance of transparency and great documentation to enable the buyer to conduct his due diligence and get an accurate view of the asset.
“This is the best way to have your transaction go without a hitch. There is no stupid money out there. I believe an educated buyer is your best buyer and a surprise in due diligence is not a good thing for anybody,” says Stone.
Make sure all of the building’s leases are available, current, and valid. Buyers expect and deserve to know what they are buying. Stone suggests sellers do a document review in which they verify all the amendments are signed, all the start date letters are in order, and that the certificates of occupancies are readily available.
Quality commercial roofing companies offer building maintenance. Keep the roof in great condition to avoid costly repairs down the road. A well cared-for roof reflects well on the seller.
“You want to be perceived as someone who clearly cares about the property and has made the effort to keep the roof under warranty and well-maintained. The appearance of a leak, no matter how small, has the potential to shake a buyer’s confidence and dupe the deal,” says Steve Little, President of KPOST Company, a commercial roofing company recognized as an industry leader thanks to its highly effective preventative maintenance track record, innovative leak detection methods, lightweight concrete solutions, and building envelope maintenance.
1. Make sure all mechanical systems are in good working order. Consider hiring an inspector to gain an objective view of the building’s condition.
2. Roofing companies, like KPOST Company, offer detailed roof and building envelope assessments and will provide documentation for all completed repairs and estimates.
3. Now’s the time to plant flowers and clean up the landscape. Drive up appeal counts.
4. Know how much income your building generates and be prepared to share documentation to this effect. Its income, minus its overhead, helps lenders to determine the building’s value.
5. Be aware of the tax implications of selling a major commercial building. Hire a seasoned accountant to advise you on the ins and outs of capital gains taxes, state taxes, and recapture taxes, if relevant.
6. Don’t underestimate the value of social media. A few well-placed posts on social networks can make all the difference.
7. As Melanie discovered, have an exit strategy in place. It’s a good idea to figure out what to do with the current contents of the building. Arrange a storage unit or office furniture consignment shop contract well ahead of time so that, when it’s go time, there is no problem clearing out quickly.
For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!
It’s commercial roofing contractor’s dream. Our skylines are morphing; our cities are growing at unprecedented rates.
Frisco city officials refer to the stretch of land along the Dallas North Tollway between Plano and Frisco as the ‘5 BILLION DOLLAR MILE’ thanks to the extensive building projects happening there. The Dallas Cowboys franchise, BMW, Lexus, as well as scores of retail and restaurants have rushed onto the burgeoning scene. Not far from the Tollway, Toyota is setting up its new corporate campus to the tune of $350M and Nebraska Furniture Mart is bringing scores of assets to The Colony.
This is a great time to be in the construction and commercial roofing business, but the poseurs and profiteers will also be coming out in droves to cash in on the prosperity and land work. Now, more than ever, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff.
“Massive building developments are going up all over DFW and we are proud to be at the center of so many of them. No one wants their project to serve as this community’s cautionary tale. The most important aspect of a new build or repair decision is who gets hired. The general contractor matters. The architect matters. The subcontractor matters,” says Steve Little, President of KPOST Company, a Dallas-based commercial roofing company specializing in leak detection, lightweight concrete, and building portfolio management.
Read on to discover the simple litmus test topics that can help property owners distinguish a marginal commercial roofing company from a truly great one, sparing themselves the costly mistakes and setbacks that sideline companies.
Good Tools and Attitudes
Does the roofing/waterproofing company’s employees carry quality tools? Quality equipment reflects the company’s devotion to safety and respectful attitudes toward employees. Is the overall attitude one of calm and kindness? Beware of stressed out or impatient demeanors, which indicate a dysfunctional workplace.
Great Safety Rating
A company that values and protects its employees is a sure bet. Check the company’s safety ratings. How does it stack up against peers on the OSHA.gov website? If a company’s name search returns no results here, it has had no violations. The fewer violations, the lower the Experience Modification Rate (EMR). Always ask for it. KPOST Company’s EMR is .56, which is an extremely low and attractive rating, especially since KPost has over 320 employees. The EMR industry average is 1.0, but those with claims above industry average will see their EMR rise above 1.0 and those with a history of below-average claims will see their EMR below 1.0.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Also ask if the company provides Workers’ Compensation Insurance to its employees. This insurance is not required in the state of Texas, but its presence speaks volumes about the company and its attitudes about its workforce. This insurance protects the property owner and the individual worker from liability in case of an accident. It also provides lost income for a worker, should he sustain an injury on the job.
So much of the commercial roofing industry consists of cookie-cutter black and white trucks driving around town. If a company makes the effort to brand its trucks and employees’ uniforms, this indicates the company’s commitment to the long haul. Branding symbolizes an all-in approach to running the business. It is a truly important indicator of company health, pride, and success.
Does the employee wear a badge featuring his picture and a synopsis of the trainings and completed certifications? Again, great sign. Always ask to take a look. Certifications might include OSHA, CPR, forklift training, etc. When in doubt, ask. The commercial roofing company should always send trained, qualified professionals to meet with customers. A trained employee provides better quality work!
References should be offered without hesitation. Subcontractors should feel proud of their past work and eager to share it with new clients. Companies like roofing contractors in Austin, Transition Roofing always call the references and ask questions, that is why you know they are the best.
“I always believe the differentiator happens not when everything is going great, but when there is a problem. How do we manage it? This is construction. This is service maintenance. We are working on top of living, breathing buildings,” says Little, whose own workforce processes over 100 projects and 10,000 work orders per year and is adept at problem-solving thanks to extensive training.
“There is going to be a problem, that’s just the odds. It’s not if you will have a problem. It’s how you manage it. So ask about those things. Find out how the company resolved issues for past clients.”
Hire a great company that will protect your assets, and you are home free. Partner with a company hyper-focused on the bid and not the client, and there is no telling what level of calamity awaits.
KPOST Company stands ready to partner with clients on small and high stakes jobs alike, offering an unequivocal guarantee that work will be completed to code and completed safely, on time, every time.
“At KPOST Company, we do it right. Clients never need to worry that we have unskilled, unsafe, unknowledgeable workers on their roofs. This is an important time in DFW as tower cranes once again are changing the city’s skyline. We are excited to lead the way with innovative and amazing roofing projects that will stand as a testament to Texas and its work ethic for decades to come,” says Little.
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Research tells us that when we pause to turn our focus outward and participate in a community project or help a person in need, our feelings of satisfaction and purpose soar. Michael Steger, a professor of psychology at The University of Kentucky, has extensively researched the impact of good deeds on the psyche, finding that people who perform acts of kindness and charity are significantly happier than peers who pursue feel-good activities. And little bonds two people more rapidly than working together for the common good.
‘Do good, be happy’ was borne out in Dallas last week as the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association’s (MRCA’s) Young Contractors Council (YCC) held a giving back event in association with Rebuilding Together of Greater Dallas. The young contractors partnered with their mentors to rehabilitate two area houses, one inhabited by veterans, in dire need of repair. It was tough to discern who was happier at the close of one of the projects: the crowd of contractors, who had volunteered in shifts, or the rejoicing elderly woman who had been stuck inside her home for three years with no functioning wheelchair ramp.
Tracey Donels, Service Manager for KPOST Company and original founding committee member of MRCA YCC, was gratified to see that homeowner’s enthusiastic response, knowing that the YCC’s inaugural act of community service had hit the mark. They built a wheelchair ramp and a new porch awning that Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas Executive Director Dennis Luellen had previously worried might topple over in a strong gust of wind.
“Her reaction made our day. She was confined to a wheelchair with no functioning ramp. Think how scary that had to have been for her, knowing that if there were a fire or a gas leak, she couldn’t leave on her own. We really gave her freedom back to her. It was our pleasure to build that ramp, as well as fix up her house,” said Donels, who had come up with the idea of adding a charity component to the MRCA meeting after participating in a community service project with Rebuilding Together at a national roofing show (International Roofing Expo – IRE) last February.
“Tracey looked over at me at the end of that day and he said, ‘We’ve got to do this with the MRCA and the Young Contractors Council.’ He put in a ton of work and he made it happen this week,” said Kevin Gwaltney, Diamond Roofing President (Dodge City, Kansas) and YCC Chair.
Steve Little, President of both MRCA and KPOST Company, heard how willingly the YCC members went about their tasks at the Rebuilding Together event, as if there were an intrinsic tendency to volunteer engrained in each of them. He believes that by creating opportunities for people to experience the rewards of community service, they will come to seek it out and find satisfaction waiting for them there.
“I encourage our individual commercial and residential roofing companies to go home and seek out ways to volunteer together. This proved to be an excellent team-building exercise, and, most importantly, two women received the gift of safe homes and beautiful yards just in time for the holidays,” said Little.
The YCC performed a full-service overhaul of the two properties. 45 volunteers hauled trash and debris, planted new landscaping, painted, repaired, installed security lights, rebuilt a hazardous front porch, constructed a solid wheelchair ramp, and spread a lot of love in an effort to make life better for the women who call those houses home. One of the women is a veteran who takes care of her four grandchildren often and the transformation of her backyard means to world to her and the children who will play there.
“With projects like the ones Tracey and the crew worked on, you walk away and you look back and you say, ‘Wow, look at the difference we made.’ We absolutely could not do what we do without this great orchestra of volunteers,” said Luellen. His organization, Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas, is a nonprofit committed to reaching into blighted neighborhoods and transforming the homes there. Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas has affected 300 homes with the help of just over 11,000 volunteers since its inception 12 years ago.
The YCC’s charity project added volunteerism to this month’s Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) 65th Annual Conference, which was already packed with 141 manufacturer and vendor booths, a full complement of educational opportunities, a brand new “Women in Roofing” initiative, and 950 roofing professionals ready to learn, network, and share their best practices. It was novel for YCC mentors and protégés to spend some of that time volunteering together, shoulder to shoulder, out in the community. They agree they reaped the benefits of working toward a common goal and that volunteerism should definitely be a component of future meetings around the country.
“When we work together, we learn more about each other. That strengthens our relationships and gives us a better atmosphere for learning and interacting,” says Gwaltney, who has already reached out to Rebuilding Together, Kansas City, in anticipation of the YCC’s community outreach project at the MRCA’s 66th annual conference next year. The committee intends to recruit even more volunteers for next year’s project since this year was so meaningful and satisfying to all.
That warm atmosphere, so intrinsic to the roofing industry, was surely felt by two grandmothers who were reminded in a spectacularly personal way, that their community cares for them.
“MRCA is a great conduit for community service projects and I look forward to many more. MRCA made a difference not only to the community, but to our colleagues and friends, who just felt good. That feeling simply produces more good deeds,” said Donels.
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