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Supreme Roofing, located in Dallas with locations in New England, Colorado, and Oklahoma
Sr. VP Craig Rainey
Service Manager Will Messer
Service Scheduling Manager Melissa Stafford
DH: Craig Rainey – I read that you actually started working at Supreme in high school. Tell us how you got your start and where the path led you.
CR: My dad started Supreme 32 years ago. I remember driving down the road and him saying “see that building? We put the roof on it.” When I got to high school, in the summertime looking to make a little money, he said come on. I thought I would be putting roofs on, instead he had me counting screws and putting plates and screws together. Counting inventory, putting screws and plates together. I went to college at University of Alabama, studying finance. My plans were to graduate and move to New York and work in finance. Things changed, and I decided to move home and work in the family business, and that’s where I’ve been since 2006.
WM: I didn’t come from the roofing industry but came from more of a general contracting background. When the recession hit, I left contracting and went back to personal training, where I ended up training a former Supreme employee who talked to me about joining the Supreme team. I started in sales and worked my way up. When Craig was promoted to VP, I took over the role of Service Manager.
MS: I moved from Lubbock to Dallas in 2000, where my father worked in Carlisle Distribution. I worked as an account admin for DFW, San Antonio, Austin, Vegas, all the satellite offices. I had a couple of babies, the company ended up going under, we moved on. Then I worked for a smaller roofing contractor, then a larger company, and I’ve been at Supreme for about 2 years.
DH: Tim Rainey started Supreme Roofing over 30 years ago, as a small operation in the Dallas market, doing service work for manufacturers, right?
CR: Yes, doing just warranty work for manufacturers.
DH: Fast forward to today, and you’ve become one of the largest contractors in DFW. What has changed?
CR: I don’t think anything has changed, as far as the way we do business. We make sure the customer is taken care of. Do what is right. The reason why we have expanded, with Dallas as our headquarters, we moved to Massachusetts 6 years ago, then Oklahoma City, then Denver, all of that is because our customers were asking us to expand. I think that speaks volumes. It isn’t so much that the economy in those areas was booming, it was more “hey, y’all are taking care of us, we’ve got buildings over here, do you have an office there?” We’re still doing business the way we were 30 years ago. That resonates with our customers. I don’t want to say it is a ‘ma & pa’ feel, but it is a ‘ma & pa’ feel. You call our office and speak to a person. There’s no recording asking you to choose an extension. Someone answers the phone “Supreme Roofing, how can I help you?” Everything is so automated today; it is nice to actually speak to someone on the phone. My parents are from Chicopee, Massachusetts originally. Opening an office there was a no-brainer for him. He grew up there, and wanted to give back to the community. RoofConnect approached him about a need they had for a service provider in that area, and he knew he could do it.
DH: Supreme is a founding member of RoofConnect. What are some of the benefits of working with a national organization?
WM: Honestly, I thought some of the things we went through in the beginning with RoofConnect were a bit of a pain. But we learned through being a part of RoofConnect how to handle large portfolios, and we learned how to document really well. You have to with national accounts. We’ve taken that and spread it to all of our business. Learning through RoofConnect how to do that, has helped everything we do, from communicating with the customer, documentation.
MS: Every single one of them is different.
CR: The thing is, once you think you know everything, something comes along, and you think why haven’t we been doing this all along? Even though we’ve been in business for 32 years, we are always learning something new, and a lot of that comes from RoofConnect and providing us new perspectives.
WM: Another good thing is being able to talk to other contractors in other markets. They aren’t our competitors. We can take best practices from other contractors.
When we first started doing work with RoofConnect, we took on all this new paperwork, over the top documentation, before and after photos, these weren’t things we were already doing, and it was all new to us. The industry is changing, and that has become the norm. So, thanks to RoofConnect, we were way ahead of the curve. Technology has become a big thing too. Four or Five years ago we started buying iPhones for our technicians, and people told us we wouldn’t be able to do it. Now, they all do it, and it has automated the process so much. We used to have a second admin person whose job was to scan papers and pictures; it took extra time. Now techs can upload from the field, and we have real-time information.