Roof Connections Podcast: Episode 02 – The PaveConnect Story

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Hello and thanks for tuning in to Roof Connections

My name is David Huval and I’ll be your host. On today’s show, we are going to discuss the creation of PaveConnect, the newest division of RoofConnect, the largest commercial roofing services provider in America.

David Workman, President & CEO
Tony Grout, General Manager
Dale Walters, Capital Project Manager

DH: On the last episode, we had Mr. Workman on to discuss the creation of RoofConnect. Similarly, today we will be discussing the creation of a new paving division called PaveConnect. So, David, thanks for joining us again. Can you tell us how a roofing company got involved in paving, and how that eventually led to the creation of PaveConnect? 

DW: Right. We are really excited about PaveConnect. What we saw in our marketplace was that so many people who are dealing with roofing are also dealing with paving. We thought that we had put a model together that would be easily replicated in the paving industry. What we see in the paving industry is, while I really thought roofing was behind the curve a little bit, but paving is a little bit further behind, in terms of professionalism and quality in a national company that can best assist the customer across a big portfolio of projects. We saw a real opportunity to take what we have done in the roofing industry and replicate it in the paving industry. So that is what we are really excited about in this launch. We didn’t just wake up a few weeks ago and decided we would get into it. We spent a couple of years researching, asking our customers if our model would be valuable in the paving industry. Looking at some projects slowly, getting a few projects under our belt before this roll-out. We are confident now that we understand the paving industry. Just knowing that there is a market out there that can benefit from the model that we have.

DH: Is this something that was just a pain point for our customers, that we identified? 

DW: Absolutely. Once we started asking them about it, they were like, “Oh, you can help us in with our parking lots? Absolutely.” So, we saw that as definitely a pain point for the customer. Because oftentimes, finding a paving company that might be dedicated to a market, not just traveling through doing a job or two. We felt that the best value that we could provide is to put a network together so that when a need is identified we have a contractor in the market for the need. Bring the right solution to the table. 

DH: That makes sense. Tony & Dale, y’all were brought on at PaveConnect in the last year to manage the day to day operations. Tell us a little about your history in the paving industry.

TG: Sure. I started in the paving industry in 1994, I’ve been in this industry for about 25 years. Much like the roofing industry, once you get in, it is very difficult to get out. So here I am today. I started out from the bottom, working on a paving crew, working my way up to managing several multi-million dollar projects in South Florida, from Miami to Orlando. That company that I spent 15 years with, ended up getting bought out by a conglomerate out of Spain, the team kind of broke up, and so I started working for another local company that was focused on the private sector. Hiring a project management team, along with 10 project managers, I was moved into VP of Operations, running 10 crews all together. Four milling crews, four paving crews, patch crews, stuff like that. On a whim, I ended up having a conversation with a buddy of mine, who put me in contact with David Workman. He had a vision to grow a paving company on a national level, much like his very successful roofing company, and so since the beginning of the year I’ve been here. 

DW: Talk about that for a minute. Rob Kornahrens, of Advanced Roofing in Florida, is on the RoofConnect Board. And like I stated earlier, we’ve been working on this for a couple of years. So, Rob said I’ve got the guy you need to work with. Operationally, he knows what is going on. He is a friend of Rob’s son, Michael. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We have a sales and marketing company that can easily bolt this on to our offering. We have the customer service staff to support the efforts that we need. And Dale can talk about his role a little bit, but we already had a Capital Projects Managers on staff. What we really needed was that expert in the paving industry, so that we can provide our customers with competitive pricing, that we are identifying best-in-class contractors to add to our base. Tony can go look at projects to make sure the contractors know what they’re doing, that they have the equipment to do what we need them to do. To work with a national client, to educate them on what they need in paving. So Tony is coming to us operationally, with 25 years in the paving industry is exactly the perfect marriage for us.

DH: How about you Dale?

Dale: Well, before June, I didn’t really have any experience in the paving industry. Before that my professional career, for the last 13 years, has been in transportation. I worked for one of the biggest, if not the biggest flatbed carriers in the nation. Like with paving & roofing, I thought the same thing, once you get in trucking you can’t get out. But I did, and now I’m here. As project manager, the day to day that I deal with is putting together proposals, find contractors, vetting contractors, making sure they meet our requirements and that sort of thing. 

DH: I imagine like roofing, the processes involved in it. 

DW: Yes. We hired Dale, Dale has been a great grab for us, to help us with our roofing proposals on the capital side. And as our business has started in paving we’ve quickly moved him over there. He and Tony work really well together. On the capital side, Dale’s responsibility is to take the information from the customer, to make sure we have a good specification from the customer, or help produce a specification for the customer, and then get that into the hands of a good paving contractor, or if a customer needs a couple of bids, we can do that as well. But to get the spec in, to the right contractor, get the answers to the questions they need so that we can get the right proposal. Get the proposal turned in to the customer, make sure we have everything covered, that the contractor has everything we’ve asked them to do. Then get that turned into the sales team to turn to the customer. Once a project begins and is executed, we make sure that the scope of work is clearly communicated to the contractor all the licensing and permitting is put into place and get that project in motion. Track the project for the customer, keep the customer updated on what is going on with their project. As you can imagine, there are so many things involved in a project, from when can we work, when can we start? What equipment is needed, how will that effect the owner, so many things involved in that. Dale, with his detail, was the perfect guy for us with Tony to get this thing moving.

DH: So as a sister company to RoofConnect, PaveConnect will share a similar model, which has helped them become very successful. This year they are having their best year, $100 million mark, correct?

DW: Absolutely. 

DH: So, what are some of the advantages of using a national paving company like PaveConnect?

DW: Just getting, similar to RoofConnect, it is finding the best contractor to fit the right project. As we are developing and building our contractor base, and we have already done a good job, as I said earlier we’ve been at this a couple of years, when a customer has a project, it is our job to identify for the customer the right contractor for that project, and get that team together by facilitating that on our side. So, it very much is a hand in hand fit with what we’ve done in the roofing industry. The model that we’ve built is so easily transferred to the paving business. Because it is the same processes and procedures, just with a different product. With the addition of Tony & Dale, we’ve got the perfect marriage I guess for a lack of a better word, to put these guys together, and really service the paving industry. That’s what we are really excited about.

DH: What all services does PaveConnect provide for their customers?

TG: We provide a multitude of things, everything from paving, milling & paving, concrete, ADA specifications, bring your building up to specs. Striping, sealcoating, crack filling, you name it. Drains. 

DH: To be clear, this is all parking lot work, right, we aren’t talking about DOT?

DW: Yes. We are focused on the owners’ parking lots. Retail, public, K-12, municipalities, cities, anybody that has a parking lot, we are the perfect fit for. 

DH: When you think about it, along with your roof, the parking lot probably experiences the most abuse out of everything on your property. From the traffic to sun and weather. So, you already have a network of paving contractors around the country, I know you are always looking to fill the footprint. What are you looking for in a contractor, and what are some of the benefits for a paving contractor to team up with PaveConnect?

TG: First off, we are looking for companies with extreme professionalism. They not only represent themselves, but they are the face of PaveConnect while they are on the job. We are also looking for detail-oriented contractors, perfectionists, ones that go out there and worry about the small details. Making the project shine at the end of the day. 

DW: Yeah, I mean that is it, we have to find someone who represents the RoofConnect and PaveConnect brands well. What the value to the contractor is really that we have a national network, and that we have a sales team that already has a customer base that needs them. So that is what the value is to the PaveConnect contractor. There is work here, for good clients, that need good work, and so we have to identify who those are that are going to do the good work, so we can get them on our team. 

Dale: A lot of the customers are now used to the professionalism of our roofing contractors, so they expect the same from the asphalt contractors. 

DW: In my experience in roofing over the years, what we’ve done with the national network in working with the local roofing contractor, is help them raise their level of professionalism because of the expectations of the national accounts that we work with. I think we are able to bring a lot of best practices to the paving contractors that can help them become better for their own customers. There could be others that could offer advantages as we grow. It is a great thing for the paving contractor. Who doesn’t want a sales and marketing team working on their behalf? 

DH: How would a paving contractor who is interested reach out, or who would they need to reach out to?

TG: We are always looking for good contractors. The easiest way to become a partner, get in touch with us, go to our website: www.paveconnect.com. We have a Partner with PaveConnect tab, you can fill out your company name, all the things you bring to the table for us. Whether you’re a paving outfit, concrete outfit, a striper, or if you do all of it. That is the best way to get in touch with us. Also we’re really excited about having our first ever contractor summit. January 15-16, 2020 at the Mirage in Vegas. We already have a bunch of good contractors from around the country that are going to join us there. We are going to have the whole team there. Talk about things we’ve talked about today, our vision, where we are going, and get these guys on board so that we can get great and responsive contractors that give us great and competitive pricing so that we can perform this around the country.

DW: Yes, I would encourage you, if you are a paving contractor listening to this, is to reach out. Tony’s email address is [email protected] – reach out to him via email, or through the website. Reach out to us. Don’t miss this event. If you’re interested in working with a sales & marketing organization that is going to be out there promoting to a big book of business, be here. 

DH: That’s going to wrap us up for this week. If you have any questions or topics you would like for us to cover, send an email to [email protected]. Be sure to give us a listen and like on iTunes or Spotify and share it on social media. Until next time. 

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