Dick Fricklas and Jerry Teitsma Visit Duro-Last

On Wednesday, May 11, Duro-Last was pleased to host roofing industry luminaries Dick Fricklas and Jerry Teitsma at our corporate headquarters in Saginaw, Michigan. Dick and Jerry came as part of a plant tour arranged by Duro-Last independent sales representative Tom Allen of Aurora, Colorado.

Dick and Jerry are esteemed throughout the roofing industry as reliable and informed resources, and they make it a point to keep abreast of manufacturing trends and other roofing industry developments. From all indications, both gentlemen were impressed with the production capabilities and attention to detail in Duro-Last’s manufacturing operation.

Dick Fricklas is an educator and author. Before retiring from full-time employment, Fricklas was technical director at the Roofing Industry Educational Institute (RIEI), which is no longer in operation. He co-authored the Manual of Low-Slope Roof Systems, considered one of the most important reference books in the commercial roofing industry.

Jerry Teitsma, a roofing and waterproofing consultant, was the Director of Educational Services for the Roof Consultants Institute from 2001 to 2010. He is currently the Assistant to the Director of Educational Services.

Duro-Last President, Tom Hollingsworth; Dick Fricklas; Duro-Last Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Steve Ruth; Jerry Teitsma

Pilot Held Hostage by Rogue Roofing Manufacturer!

A year and a half ago the U.S. Green Building Council initiated a new program to allow for the testing of potential new LEED® credits. Titled “LEED Pilot Credit Library,” this collection of pilot credits allows project teams to test potential new credits and work with the USGBC to develop future LEED credits and categories.

Pilot Credit 2: PBT Source Reduction: Dioxins and Halogenated Organic Compounds has been greatly misunderstood and misrepresented by some roofing manufacturers. Some of them have used this credit as a negative promotional tool by misrepresenting the purpose and content of the credit. To receive a point for this credit, the submitter must do the necessary research and provide the results and documentation to USGBC. The research could either support or reject the intent of the credit.

In this credit, it is required that for each alternative product, the submitter must “…conduct and submit a multi-parameter alternative product analysis that includes at a minimum one (1) other product that serves the same function.” The study must also “…include at least 4 parameters (in addition to absence of halogenated materials) associated with the products manufacture or service life . . . used to assess suitability of the product selected.” So the research done must be very extensive and supported with empirical data.

Recent information shows that of the fifty or more submissions for this credit, all have been rejected. The main reason is that no supporting documentation or studies were done to suggest awarding a point either for or against the use of halogenated products (PVC being one). If a credit were to be awarded, it would be through the Innovation category of LEED, not for “non-use” of PVC. If it is determined that there is enough interest and data to consider adding a new credit category, then it would still be necessary to go through the typical public review process prior to being established.

The LEED process for approving new credits is extensive and (hopefully) transparent. By being armed with the facts and understanding how the process works, no one should be able to storm the flight deck and take over the plane.

Social Media. So what? Part II

Continuing from last week’s post regarding social media; the second session from the virtual conference I attended was presented by Neal Schaffer, President of Windmills Marketing. Neal took a closer look at the strategic role that Twitter plays in the social media landscape, provided potential usage scenarios for any business on Twitter, and provided tips on how to strategically maximize Twitter for businesses.

So why is social media, Twitter specifically, so important? Well, 23% of our time on the Internet is spent on social media sites, with Twitter being one of the most popular social media tools. Tools? Twitter is not just a place for you to let people know what you had for lunch. It gives you the opportunity to communicate with your customers, prospects, partners, and network. It works in two directions: Twitter enables you to keep your followers educated by posting information about your business and industry, which positions you as an expert in the field. You can also use Twitter to follow others in the industry and keep abreast of trends, conversations about products, etc. Re-tweet the good stuff to your followers, and polish your image as the expert.

Below is a brief summary of three popular social media sites. Use it to help you decide which social media network will be best for you and your business.

I hope you enjoyed this series and will seriously consider using social media to help grow your business. And remember; social media is a commitment, NOT a campaign!

Oh and by the way, here are the links to our social media sites!




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Social Media. So what? Part I

Recently I attended a virtual conference about social media. Five “experts” each discussed a different social media outlet and how they can help users connect with “followers” and “fans,” i.e., customers and potential customers.

Some of you may be thinking, “social media, so what? I’m a roofing contractor and social media doesn’t apply to me.” You may want to think again, because social media is here to stay! Social media is all about engaging with your customers and positioning yourself as an expert in your field so people look to YOU when they have questions. After reading this post I challenge you to do a search on YouTube or Twitter for Duro-Last Roofing or even roofing in general. I think you will be surprised at what you find and how many of your colleagues are using social media to talk about roofing, showcase projects, offer installation tips, and promote their businesses.

In this blog post and the next, I want to share some notes from two of the speakers that I felt were important to think about – not only with social media, but for marketing your business in general.

President of UnMarketing, Scott Stratten’s definition of unmarketing is doing what comes naturally, vs. being forced to do things that make you ill. What does this mean for your business? Staying true to beliefs. Focusing on the customers and prospects that matter and becoming the expert in your field. Here are my take-a-ways (Scott speaks in Twitter which means he uses 140 characters or less) that can be applied to any business:

  • Everybody’s a marketer in your company, not just the marketing department.
  • Know, Like, Trust. People do business with those that they know, like, and trust.
  • People spread awesome.
  • Social media doesn’t make something better, it just amplifies it.
  • Choose one social media platform and build from that.
  • Social media doesn’t change the fact that relationships take time.
  • The worst thing a business can do is set up a social media account and not listen.
  • People do business with people, not logos.

Building relationships (followers/fans) through social media is just like building traditional relationships with customers. It takes time for them to trust you. By engaging in social media such as Twitter you need to listen to what people are talking about and offer your expert advice on the subject. Engagement is vital for both social media and building relationships with your customers. After all, how many of your customers come from referrals?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject and invite you to share with us links to your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

In my next post, I will discuss Twitter’s importance for business.