Presented by CEI Group

Category: Trends in Commercial Roofing (Page 1 of 3)

Trends that are Driving Change in the Roofing Industry

In our monthly newsletter, we have been highlighting five trends in the roofing industry that are sparking changes in how we go about roofing. The NRCA presented an article on the topic, and we decide to share with you our thoughts on the subject.

As you can see, the roofing industry is not the same as it was 50 years ago. Multiple advances have happened to the products we use, regulations for roofers, and even in the information needed for bidding. We can’t turn a blind eye to several trends that are forcing change to happen in the industry today.

Trend 1: Extreme Weather

As we experienced in 2018 and 2019, the weather is getting more unpredictable. From hurricanes and tornados to wet and rainy summers to snowy and cold winters, our weather conditions are not what they used to be. Across the broad more extreme weather is taking effect on the performance of roof systems. Hurricanes across the south boards with high winds and heavy rain are a threat. Just in Michigan, we have been experiencing tropical storms with heavy winds and shower along with the winters being below 15 degrees one day, and the next is 45 degrees and wet. High winds are the most concerning because it can pull up roof coverings and expose the roof deck to water.

These quickly changing conditions are forcing the roofing industry to take a look at the old roofing system to make the appropriate modification. The goal is to make roofs more durable and more protective to withstand the unpredictable weather.

Trend 2: Insurance Standards

With the threat from the extreme weather conditions, Insurance companies are influencing how often roof systems are replaced, the type of products that are being installed, and how they are installed on the roofs. Insurance companies are forcing building owners and contractors to install high quality performing roof systems by making better products and installation methods more attractive. Therefore there are fewer insurance claims due to damaged roofs.

“As a trend in 2020 and beyond, you can expect to see IBHS standards and others like them become more common throughout the U.S. and Canada as roofing contractors make them part of their businesses,” Jack Gottesman writes in the NRCA article.

Trend 3: Building Codes

Like insurance standards, building codes are adapting to severe weather conditions as well. State and Local governments are incentivizing more robust, weather-resistant, and efficient roof systems to protect the citizens from damage to their homes and buildings.

They are mandating roof systems that stand up to high wind, heavy rain, and snow. Along with mandating more efficient roofing materials. For example, in California, they require solar-reflective shingles to help with energy use.

Trend 4: Innovative products

With the new building code and insurance, standards come new products to meet them. The roofing materials that offer minimum protection is no longer good enough. Manufacturers are bringing forth products that provide more options. For example, products that a wind-resistant, impact-resistant, and heat-reflective shingles, helping contractors meet demands.

Beyond 2020 manufacturers are bringing new innovative products to the industry that will give contractors the ability to offer higher protection to their customers.

Trend 5: Informed Consumers

One of the most important trend that is shaping the roofing industry and other industries as well- is the fact that consumers are more informed than ever.

For multiple years we haven’t seen significant changes in the buying and selling process of roof systems. During those days, building owners had little knowledge of roofing products and even less interest in them; they simply relied on the contractors. Nowadays, consumers can’t help but be more informed on what products are higher quality and the methods used for installing the roofing systems. With media blowing up everywhere, consumers now are better educated, savvier, and more skeptical.

Back then, consumers were buying the contractors, not the material brands. But consumers are barraged with information on weather conditions, natural disasters, and how to save a few bucks. So the bottom line when it comes down to their roofs, they are going to do some research before making a purchasing decision.

This forces contractors to be informed of the trends in the industry and to make better decisions on their methods and products that are being used or that they recommend.

Despite these constant changes with the industry, one thing has stayed the same: Good looking roofs. Although these trends may be a burden on contractors at first, they are necessary to continue to keep people safe and keeping the building looking good.

New Shop Additions

Business growth is the process of improving some measure of an enterprise’s success. Over the last 5 year CEI has been innovating, growing and expanding. One of the biggest growths has been in our sheet metal department. This growth has shown in CEI’s expansion in the yard.

  In the early 70s, CEI began to innovate in the sheet metal side of construction. They saw that this was another division of the business that could help them expand and grow into a versatile business. Since then there has been the exponential growth of this department. It is the highlight of much of our best work. In 2015, CEI moved the company out of the small office and shop space that they had occupied for about 36 years. One of the biggest reason is we they were outgrowing there shop. There was little storage for materials, they were unable to upgrade to larger equipment and so on. The company moved to a much large office space with a large pole barn in the back that could house much more storage and equipment. Only 2 years later, they expanded again adding another pole barn to the yard for extended storage for metal and other materials.

Now, we have walked into 2019. The metal business is continuing to expand and grow. With purchases of bigger and better equipment we are out growing the space again. CEI has looked to expand their shop with a new addition to the sheet metal side of the building. For everyone at CEI this is a very exciting event for 2019. Our permits have all come back for the warehouse expansion. As soon as weather breaks we will start the addition. The plan is to have it done as soon as possible.

Understanding “Keep Swinging For the Fences”

Every year the CEI senior leadership team gathers together to discuss our annual kick-off meeting and the yearly theme. The theme is generally a phrase, word or mantra for our employees for the year. It serves as a reminder of the goals that we set for our company every year. With goals being set in 2019, the main theme that came across for our partners and management team members was to simply “keep going.” CEI is on an amazing growth track and with the economy, in line, we are moving toward being even better. As a company we don’t want to deviate from what we are doing, we want to continue on the path toward greater excellence. With that goal in mind, we decided on the “Keep Swinging for the Fences” theme.

For most baseball fans this phrase is easy to understand. But for the non-fanatics, this could be a confusing phrase that seemingly has nothing to do with CEI, its mission, its customer base, or roofing and sheet metal work. The phrase “Swing for the Fences” is a baseball term that has its origin beginning in the 20th century with early baseball reporting. Since then it is grown in popularity to have meaning not related to baseball.

In baseball terms, it means to hit the ball as hard as possible with hopes of hitting a home run. The figurative meaning is to “go all out” or give maximum effort into what you are doing. The task at hand is like stepping up to the plate and you always want to step up with your best self. Then when you go to swing the bat, it is like doing the task. When you attempt to do the task you want to bring the maximum effort.

For CEI, “Keep Swinging for the Fences” means a couple of things…

First, it recognizes the effort that is already been put in. “Keep” is an important word because there is not a time where we weren’t trying our best. It’s just important to bring that motivation and hard work into every day. Just because you continue to hit home runs does not mean that you should take a step back and not bring the max effort into swinging. When it comes to being the best, you have to be the best in the little details. Bring the max effort into every day will show when you are trying to hit it out of the park in that job, project, month, year or with that customer.

Kick-Off Meetings

2019 marked the 6th year that CEI has been hosting annual kick-off meetings. 6 years ago when the meetings began they were put together to be a Sandler leadership training day. In the last 2 years, CEI has taken on the planning process on our own. The first year this posed a challenge. It was a daunting task to specify exactly what to address, how to bring the team together and how to make sure that everyone felt it related to their job at the end of the day.

The theme of the 2018 meeting was “Everything Counts!” it was a year of refocusing. The previous year there was no annual meeting. We looked at the big pictures and all of its components and how they worked together. Everything Counts symbolized all the details and spoke to each one as equally important.

2019 brought a new challenge, 2018 was CEI’s best year yet. With a big focus on the details and expectations high, the year turned out with an amazing ending. In 2019 we wanted to repeat that. It’s important to keep motivation high and to keep working hard even when you are at the peak.

CEI’s 2019 Annual Kick-Off Meeting was hosted at Cleary University on February 8th, 2019. The team is getting together to do team building activities, express job concerns, talk about the industry and learn about how to lead there a team more effectively. The kick-off meeting is for the leadership teams at CEI. This includes Management, Office Staff, Estimators, Service Staff, Superintendents, and Foreman. It gives time for each department to gather together, work together and express concerns that they have. A big part of the meeting is to hear the other department and how they work and understand the importance of each member of the CEI team.

In addition to the meeting this year, we are adding a charity piece. We are packing backpacks for Comfort Cases. They support foster kids by providing them with supplies as they transition into new homes. Their story is touching and CEI is proud to support them and their mission.

2019’s theme is “Keep Swinging for the Fences”. The theme is a reminder to simply “keep going.” CEI is on an amazing growth track and with the economy, in line, we are moving toward being even better. As a company we don’t want to deviate from what we are doing, we want to continue on the path toward greater excellence. We want to keep moving up and keep motivation high. Just because last year was our best does not mean it can’t get better.

Overall, our kick-off meeting was a success. At CEI we are always working hard, pushing for excellence and are dedicated to “Keep Swinging for the Fences!

OSHA Safe and Sound Week 2018!

Safe + Sound Week

At CEI, we value keeping our workers safe and healthy on the job and making sure they go home to their families every day. That’s why CEI is participating in Safe + Sound Week, August 13-19, 2018.

Safe + Sound Week is a nationwide event to raise awareness and understanding of the value of safety and health programs in workplaces that include management leadership, worker participation, and a systematic approach to finding and fixing hazards.

About 7 years ago, CEI decided that they were going to add a full-time Safety Director to their team. This was the beginning of the Safety Department. In 2016, they created the Safety Manager position. At CEI, we always met our safety requirements but in 2011 we decided that as a company we wanted to excel at safety. to have a safe job site and overall workplace it involves everyone being apart of the Safety Department. When it comes to this department, everyone must focus on the details to keep our projects safe and quality for our customers!

During Safe + Sound Week, we will show our commitment to safety by sharing information about our safety department and articles on safety through our blog/social media. These are designed to raise awareness of workplace safety and highlight the hard work that CEI’s crews and staff put into reaching our safety goals!

Safety Counts!

Safety is all about details! When details are focused on we produce a better, safer and more efficient job. When you focus on the details ahead of time then they won’t slow you down later. This has been and continues to be the focus of our Safety Department. CEI safety team is holding themselves to higher standards, working on a constant pursuit towards excellence. Their overall goal is always to create a safer work environment for all CEI employees.

Disclaimer:  This document was created by the Safe + Sound Campaign organizers, OSHA, AIHA, ASSP, CPWR, NIOSH, NSC, and VPPPA. The Safe + Sound Campaign organizers do not necessarily endorse or sanction the company-specific statements in this document.

 

About CEI

CEI Group has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most progressive roofing firms. They pioneered single ply roofs in the late 70’s and 80’s, were one of the first roofing companies to maintain their own sheet metal shop, and today, they are leading the way in green roofing projects, sheet metal,  and composite wall panel projects.

As a union-shop, CEI is also known for their trade craftsmanship. Some of the lost art and techniques for working on architecturally-challenging or historical elements have been preserved and passed down from veteran roofing pros.

CEI customers appreciate the company’s disciplined project management, communication during the project, and ability to consistently meet challenging deadlines.

“We take the stress and uncertainty out of your toughest roofing challenges.” Eric Cook, President, CEI Group

Founded: 1969

Focus: Challenging Commercial Roofing Projects

Specialties: University & Historical Roofs, Slate Roofs, Multi-Level/Multi-Roof System Projects, International Government Work

Services: Leak Hunting & Repair, Extended Roof-Life Service Agreements, Coatings, Waterproofing

CEI Insight: Stretch and Flex Program

Workplace stretching programs are on the rise and a new hot topic for the construction industry. Roofers and other construction employees are often subjected to routine movements, heavy lifting, and strenuous body positions. This daily wear and tear can leave employees with pain and discomfort. After years of being in the industry, this can result in soreness and injury. A 2018 goal for CEI was to craft and implement a Stretch and Flex Program for our employees. Our program was recently launched, checking that goal off of our list!

Benefits of Stretching

  1. Flexibility
  2. Promotes Strong, Health Muscles
  3. Improves Joint Range of Motion
  4. Improves Performance in Physical Activities

Most of the benefits of stretching come from developing better flexibility. Being flexible and having long and lean muscles can result in prevention of injury and can reduce pain. Athletes do it all the time, they focus on muscle groups specific to the sport to stretch and strengthen the ones that are actively used. Our workers do just as much as most athletes, they bend, lift, climb carry and so much more. Why shouldn’t they have the same routine of stretching? The answer is that they should! Stretching before doing physical work can only help.

CEI’s Daily Stretching Routine

As a new add-on to our safety program, all field and service crews are required to perform a daily stretching routine every morning before getting on the job. This is to length and strength there muscles before getting to the physically demanding part of their day. Most of the crews enjoy it and believe they feel better after doing it. Each morning on the job, the foreman host a huddle with the crew. In this huddle, they talk about the day’s event and go through there checklist together. Before this program, they would head onto the roof after that was complete. Now that this has been put in place the foreman leads the stretching session with the entire crew. Every day he goes through the same stretching checklist and signs-off that the crew participated in the Stretch and Flex program. Since this has gone into place, office staff have also taken to doing the stretches. They believe that it helps them stay loose and not get sore from sitting or working on a computer all day. It also allows them to break up there day and add some movement.

CEI’s Stretch and Flex Program-

  1. Neck stretch
  2. Quad Stretch
  3. Calf Stretch
  4. Inner Thigh/Groin Stretch
  5. Chest Pull
  6. Forearm and Wrist Stretch
  7. Shoulder Stretch
  8. Lower Back Stretch

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-stretching

#NATIONALROOFINGWEEK: Picking a Professional Roofing Contractor

National Roofing Week is coming to a close today! CEI wanted to close out the week with a blog post on the main topic of the week, which is to stress the value of a professional roofer for any project.

CEI is a member of the NRCA. This gives us access to leading industry education, safety information, and programs to keep our company serving at high-quality standards. The NRCA is one of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice of roofing professional. They are a large source of information for CEI and we are proud to be a member. CEI is a lead company in the commercial roofing industry in the mid-west. Yet, the NRCA has a focus on both the commercial and residential roofing industry’s. It is important to search out a quality roofing contractor, no matter what your project is so that it gets done right the first time. Often times our blog post are more suited for a building owner looking for information but when it comes to selecting a contractor the guidelines can be followed by both home and building owners.

NRCA has consumer-focused resources. Their main source is a blog that is focused on helping consumers be educated on there roof and roofing contractors (everyoneneedsaroof.com). Through their resources, they touch on a hand-full of things to look for in a roofing contractor. To help spread awareness, CEI has compiled the resources for customers on the Roofer Madness Blog. As a company, we want to provide customers with the quality resources to help them make their contractor selection. The following list of qualifications that your roofing contractor should have according to the NRCA’s consumer advisory bulletin.

  • Permanent place of business
  • Knowledge of roofing systems
  • Affiliated with an industry organization
    • Ex: NRCA or any other local, state or national organization
  • Committed to education
  • Insured and committed to safety
  • Licensed and bonded
  • Financial Stability
  • Application expertise
  • Insist on a written proposal
  • Warranties
  • Completed projects list
  • References
  • Provisions for on-site supervision
  • Professional maintenance program

The video below was created by the NRCA to help explain these points. You can also read more from the NRCA here or visit http://www.everybodyneedsaroof.com/

 

#NATIONALROOFINGWEEK- Employee Training

Happy National Roofing Week to everyone! Yesterday we kicked off with a wonderful employee appreciation day! All of the  CEI team had got pizza or breakfast delivered to them as a token of our appreciation. It was a great start to an exciting week.

Every day this week has a theme or focus to be talked about. Today’s (Tuesday) focus is on Employee Training!

A key part of being a quality roofing professional is ensuring that all members of your team are properly trained. CEI focuses its training efforts in two major areas; safety training and job skills training.

Safety Training

CEI started a bigger push on safety about 7 years ago.

“We had a couple of tough safety years before that and there was also a big push from our Consumers to step up safety. It had always been something we did, but we started to make it something we live everyday.” -Kristine Cook Lindsey, Vice President

CEI always met safety regulations but after those couple of years, they decided it was going to be one of their main goals to excel in safety. They posted a large board that read “Days since an accident”. The goal was to publish what was happening in regards to safety and make everyone responsible for safety on the job.

Joe Fulton- CEI Safety Director

In 2011, they added a full-time Safety Director to there team. He was tasked with keeping up with regulations and revamping the training program.

Jacob Rosiek- CEI Safety Manager

CEI safety standards started to grow and in 2016 they added another full-time position to the Safety Department, a Safety Manager.

 

 

 

In 2017, CEI was awarded the NERI safety excellence award for there efforts. Today, CEI’s safety training looks like this.

  • Monthly Foreman Safety Committee Meetings- To review how the company is doing and identify where and how to improve. Critical feedback from the field participation is key in these meetings.
  • Six Company Wide Safety Meetings- Every other month there is a different focus presented by our Safety Director or we bring in guest speakers to keep safety in the minds of the Foremen.
  • Weekly Toolbox Talks- These also focus on important safety issues but are run by the Foremen to stimulate discussion on safety and provide training opportunities for our crews.
  • Daily Hazard Identification Checklists
  • All Foremen are required to be 30hr OSHA Certified 
  • All other workers are encouraged to be at least 10hr OSHA Certified 
  • CEI’s insurance group also has its own Safety Requirements that CEI is annually audited on.

Job Skills Training

The other focus area for training is skills training. CEI as a union contractor is supportive of apprenticeship programs that serve to develop skilled professional Roofing and Architectural Sheet Metal Journeymen. Some of the ways that CEI supports skills development are-

  • Manufacturer Training-  CEI is certified in almost every type of roofing system. CEI sees this as a way to open doors for new and interesting projects. We want to know how to do it all so we can take on any project start to finish.
  • Local 70 Union Block Training- CEI helps support their local union by participating in block training programs. They often help with the Crane and Lift classes.
  • Employ apprentices- To provide critical field training experience

#NATIONALROOFINGWEEK: What is National Roofing Week?

To raise awareness of the significance of roofs to every home and business, stress the value of professional roofing contractors, and promote the good deeds of the industry, CEI Michigan, LLC will recognize National Roofing Week taking place June 3-9.

Organized by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), National Roofing Week is a reminder that the roof is one of the most important components of every structure. It is the first line of defense against natural elements, such as rain, snow or wind, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair.

National Roofing Week enables roofing professionals to engage in their communities and inform the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community, as well as the importance about making informed decisions about maintaining or replacing any roof system.

NRCA has planned a social media campaign for all of its members to be involved in. CEI will be participating in the weeks worth of posts to help engage its customers. This week will involve a series of blog post that will give details into how CEI keeps a quality reputation in the commercial roofing industry. It will also give the company a chance to reach out and help the community through charity acts, recognize their staff, provide important information to their customers about roof maintenance and most importantly have some fun taking pictures of the celebration.

To see all the action follow CEI on Facebook, Twitter or Blog

Additional information about National Roofing Week can be found at www.nrca.net/National-Roofing-Week.

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