By Tom Watts
When storms wreak havoc, Lon Smith Roofing and Construction in Fort Worth, Texas, provides a calming effect for those affected.
As one of the largest re-roofing contractors in the United States specializing in insurance-funded storm damage, don’t be surprised to see Lon Smith contractors on site to repair structural roof pain in the aftermath of a storm.
There are a lot of freak storms in Texas, so David Cox, President of Lon Smith Roofing, said the company keeps busy year-round, to the tune of $46.8 million in revenue last year.
“Our residential business expands and contracts based on the amount of storm damage in any given year,” said Cox, whose company ranked No. 11 in Roofing Contractor’s Top 100.
“Our commercial business is significantly more affected by economic conditions,” Cox continued. “Many commercial organizations consider roof repairs or maintenance as expenses they can put off when times are slow.”
Cox said the recent credit crunch emptied the pipeline of construction lending that will take 12 months to recover, but that won’t slow Lon Smith Roofing’s residential work.
“We will work very hard every day to deliver beautiful new roofs, on time and at competitive prices,” Cox said. “That will not change.”
David Cox said managing the volume elasticity in the company’s business model requires “strong controls, dedicated employees and a commitment to relationships with all of those who support you.”
“From manufacturers and distributors to customers and insurance industry personnel, all are vitally important,” Cox said. “Strong employee benefits (including Health, Life, 401(k) and a performance based bonus program) have allowed us to keep turnover very low, grow and empower managers, and make partners out of employees.”
The bonus program has published volume and profit gates that all employees are aware of and can see.
“When we realized they were watching it, we knew we were on to something,” Cox said. “They spend company money and make decisions like it was their own. In reality, it is their own. I heard someone say once that ‘you can buy their hands, but they have to give you their hearts and minds.’ I have found that to be true. They have a lot of pride in what we do.”
In addition, Lon Smith Roofing and Construction makes use of all the technology they can find.
“We do both steep- and low -slope roofing, metal buildings, insulation, ventilation, gutters, and a variety of other home improvement services,” Cox said. “It is our approach to business more than the products or services we provide. We desire to be more than an installer of products, more than an employer, more than a customer of distributors and manufacturers. Part of this is being the best, most knowledgeable and accomplished with any products you work with or sell. But it is more than that.”
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