According to IBISWorld’s annual industry report published in March of 2019, there are currently 104,914 roofing businesses operating in the U.S. According to Sageworks—a financial information company—2018 was the fourth consecutive year in which U.S. roofing contractors experienced “improved profitability and double-digit increases in sales.” In their 2017 Construction Survey and Business Outlook, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), in conjunction with Sage, reported that increased competition was among the major concerns for 48% of firms. They also noted that this is sparking more adoption software tools. 69% of businesses are using estimating and bidding software and 44% are using or plan to use cloud-based software.
Suffice it to say, all signs point to continued growth and steep competition. Roofing companies and their owners are being forced to face some hefty challenges and answer some difficult questions: How will my business stand out? How can we make more profits and manage costs? How can we improve efficiency? How can we win more business? The numbers show that many firms are already taking advantage of technology and augmenting their labor through automation. Here is a breakdown of four of the industry’s biggest challenges and how they can be overcome by doing the same.
Profitability is a complex machine with many moving parts. If one breaks down, the others may cease to function. The entire workflow can be equally affected for the better if one piece is replaced or fixed. Workload, quality, cost, savings, labor, and efficiency are all component parts that combined, can either drive profitability or impede it.
By simply enhancing your data, how you acquire it, and how it is analyzed, each aspect of the work becomes refined. Retrieving better data in half the time means potentially tripling bid output with more accuracy and less cost. More accurate bids result in higher close-rates and happier customers, opening the door for new business through referrals. Gathering data from the ground equates to significant savings in worker’s compensation premiums, and a staff of safe, satisfied employees. This no doubt contributes to labor demand and retention of qualified contractors. Overall operational efficiency both affects and is affected by all of the above. With features made possible through drone platforms like IMGING (such as high-res imagery, automated flight, on-site measurements, damage detection, 3D models, and sharable reports), organizations are well equipped to streamline processes and power profitability.
Roofing sales are tricky enough without the added pressures of keeping up with competitors. Having to compensate for outdated processes or tools are setting businesses back, especially since industry front-runners are turning to technology to increase the quantity and quality of their output and decrease costs. Drone roofing not only provides several ways to improve roofing sales, but it gives roofing companies a unique competitive advantage. The information obtained is more detailed and reliable, and the intelligence used to obtain it allows you to get more done, faster.
With a new breed of roofing companies implementing a drone strategy, traditional roof inspection methods are simply insufficient for the future. A digital approach to planning, bidding, and selling helps companies avoid cumbersome, costly, and ineffectual processes, and keeps them on their A-game. The ideal drone roofing platform requires only a drone, a smart device, and an app to generate a roof inspection report and make a sale, all of which can be done in under an hour for optimal time savings. Simply put, if cost and quality are what distinguish one company from the next in today’s roofing industry, drones in construction yield favorable results.
Keeping People Safer
One of the greatest challenges for roofing companies, and one that has unfortunately cost lives, is safety. Keeping teams out of harm’s way is just as important, if not more so than keeping them productive. Similarly, the risk of injury or death is just as pressing as the risk of human error when conducting manual inspections. Alleviate such risk altogether by eliminating the need to have someone climb on a roof. Employing drones and drone platforms to supplement your staff’s knowledge and know-how will ensure not only that the work gets done well, but that the people doing it are prioritized in the process. Not to mention the thousands of dollars you may be able to save in worker’s compensation premiums.
The most influential of these four roofing challenges is that of boosting image and building reputation. Seeing as roofing leads often come from customer referrals and reviews, the grade of service that your company provides has a critical and substantial effect. Not only that, but because 96 percent of people say customer service is essential to brand loyalty and 51 percent say they won’t do business with a company after just one bad experience, roofing companies cannot afford to get comfortable.
In a booming market with a somewhat fickle customer base, roofing companies need something to guarantee first-rate service the first, and every time. Drone roofing more dependably secures accuracy, speed, detail, and complete customer satisfaction, cementing your credibility in the eyes of prospects. Making a good first impression and maintaining a good name both matter when it comes to growth, and drone roofing enables the impressive level of service required to achieve them.
Moving forward, a roofing company’s position in a highly saturated market will depend entirely on their willingness to champion technologies and adapt processes. They can continue to grapple with the industry’s toughest hurdles, or power a polished, productive machine using automated drone flight and robust software. Examining the benefits estimators have already seen by utilizing drones, and in light of the challenges ahead, perhaps it’s time for your roofing company to consider the latter.