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Case Study: How National Roofing Experience Drives A Family-Owned, Customer-Focused Business

Executive Summary

If that last name sounds familiar in the commercial roofing industry, it should, because several family members helped form the legacy of what is now known as Sodexo | Roth, a nationally recognized building services and construction company.

Established in 2015, TEMA Roofing was created to fill a gap in customer-centric service within the commercial roofing industry. Decades of delivering superior results to enterprise-level clients in all 50 states lay the foundation for the company’s ideals, and their focus on “family” is central to everything they do.

With that mindset in place, the company set forth to be the leading, most well-respected commercial roofing company throughout northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

TEMA’s business model is proactive, as opposed to reactive, and places a large focus of educating customers on the size and scope of each project. Multiple assessment tools and advanced technologies are used to help team members address expectations and review system specifications. TEMA always covers the “when, what and how” of every project, and they make a point to provide data to back up their recommendations.

The time and effort put into each job is significant, but TEMA recognizes the importance of a trusted and valued relationship. Educating the client and delivering the best quality services are paramount.

For this reason, TEMA has incorporated numerous company initiatives to help facilitate a seamless experience: their Design-Build process, a strong focus on investing in industry technologies and assisting in cooperative purchasing.

With initiatives in place like the Design-Build process that saves customers time (up to 33%, as compared to non-Design-Build projects) and money, TEMA Roofing is on pace to become northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania’s most trusted expert and partner in the commercial roofing industry.

Getting to Know TEMA

Family-owned companies are often driven by a vision to better their industry. Each generation grows up learning the nuances of the business and is sharply focused on keeping the business’ original ideals in place. Today, some of the largest businesses in the nation are still family-run!

TEMA Roofing began the same way — created to give all local and regional commercial roofing customers the kind of treatment received by the top 1% of nationwide, enterprise-level businesses. But, in order to deliver that type of service, previous national roofing experience is obviously a requirement. Luckily, the staff (and owners) of TEMA Roofing Services are loaded with it. 

History

Despite being recently founded in 2015 by Tom and Margaret Froelich, TEMA Roofing abounds with industry expertise, starting with Tom himself. 

Previously the executive vice president and part owner of Roth Bros. (now referred to as Sodexo | Roth), a 93-year-old national building services and construction company, Tom had been working in the industry since college.

Beginning as a roofer himself, Tom advanced into roof consulting at Koppers after graduating college and ultimately spent nearly 30 years with Roth Bros., ending as part of the company’s executive leadership. His mentor? His own father-in-law, Bill Charles, who himself established the roofing construction division within Sodexo | Roth in the ’70s. Fast forward a generation and two of Tom and Margaret’s sons, Adam and Tommy Froelich, were part of Roth Bros.’ experienced staff, working in roofing sales and project management since  1999.

These decades of experience spanning three generations of TEMA Roofing help the family to stay laser-focused on their founding principle: provide trusted, high-quality commercial roofing service and maintenance throughout all of northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.Family Picture

Establishing the Business

TEMA bases their approach on the type of service provided by large national roofing competitors.

“We treat our customers and projects like the top 1% of nationwide leaders in this industry,” says Adam, TEMA VP of Operations. “We may be family-owned, but we hold ourselves to the highest level of accountability. We want long-standing relationships not only with our roofing clients but also within the commercial building industry itself.”

The family’s work at Roth meant more than simply being employed by the company. It meant that they were part of the great company’s legacy, and they want to continue that type of legacy, centered around exceptional quality and service, for their own family.

Laying the Foundation

Building a family-owned business puts a lot on the line. With so much at risk, well-run, family-owned operations understand that when hiring, it’s essential to find other like-minded people who are focused on quality growth and continuous development.

For that reason, TEMA has made several strategic hires outside of the family, including Carla Catheline, who has over 35 years of experience in various aspects of the commercial roofing business. Working alongside Tom for many of those years, Carla’s focus is to continue fostering growth by streamlining processes and adapting procedures to specific client needs.

“I see in the Froelich family what I saw in the Roths – integrity, drive, customer-centric mindset,” says Carla. “The knowledge of this company is unmatched, from sales to ownership. And, because of our experience with high-end national customers, TEMA Roofing is providing next-level service locally and educating customers in the process.”

Building Business the Right Way

According to a recent article by the Business Journal, the demand for commercial roofing installation, repair and maintenance is on the rise, both locally and nationally. Add to that an increased number of roofing solutions and options, and you can see that the landscape of commercial roofing is changing significantly.

“In the trades, it’s often easy to grow quickly. However, not all growth is good growth,” says Tom. “ For that reason, we work diligently to manage our expansion so that we’re working with the right customers and growing at the right pace. After 40 years in the industry, you gain a solid understanding of what a good match looks like.”

If you’re looking for a sales-focused, transactional relationship, TEMA may not be the company for you. However, if you are looking for a long-term, educated partnership that will work on behalf of your best interests, then you’ve come to the right place.

Union Employees

TEMA sees its affiliation with local unions as an essential element in delivering exceptional service. Union laborers make a career out of their roofing trade, meaning that their “work” is more than just a “job” and that they’re bringing a high degree of professionalism, safety and expertise to the table. 

This mindset parallels the core beliefs of the family’s previous employer, who was also a strong proponent of union labor for the commercial roofing trade. Laborers from both Local Union 71 (roofing) and Local Union 33 (sheet metal) are employed by TEMA Roofing. They are career men and women: reliable, knowledgeable and educated extensively on the trade. Even more, they benefit from good wages, vacation and retirement plans. 

“In the Valley, there’s a long history of union affiliation. Our team members go through a four-year apprenticeship program (classroom and on the job) and then become a journeyman. They’ve chosen this as their profession,” says Tom. “They benefit from steady employment, healthcare, pensions and the ability to make a living wage that keeps them in the business. We benefit from their reliability and expertise. It’s a win-win.”

Industry Challenges

Although new “solutions” hit the commercial roofing industry all the time, not all of them are appropriate, and it’s important for customers to understand which options will work and which ones should be avoided.

For this reason, education is a cornerstone of TEMA’s services, and it is especially important in today’s market.

“Building owners get taken advantage of when roofing companies are solely price-driven. When you talk with us, you might find that we’re not the cheapest option, but I guarantee that we’re going to deliver the best results,” says Scott Froelich, VP at TEMA. “Our intellectual property is our experience and the thoroughness of every project we complete. We do the research before we make recommendations and we work to build trusted relationships with materials companies and customers alike.”

Presenting the Best Solutions

TEMA’s goal of being seen as a trusted expert and partner is evident in every single project they complete. In order to achieve that goal, the time and effort put into each job, both pre- and post-installation is significant.

Additionally, multiple assessment tools and advanced technologies are used to help the customers understand their individual roofing situations.

For this reason, TEMA has incorporated numerous company initiatives to help facilitate a seamless experience: their Design-Build process, a strong focus on investing in industry technologies and assisting in cooperative purchasing.

Design-Build Method

Using the Design-Build method helps to anticipate possible change orders from the outset of design discussions. Additionally, it speeds up delivery significantly, allowing your business to get back to normal sooner than expected.

As a result, Design-Build isn’t just easier — it’s better. Not only does it streamline the roofing process (you sign one contract and have one point of contact from start to end) but it also provides solutions to roofing problems quickly and without conflict. 

Essentially, with Design-Build, the designer and the contractor are on the same team, cutting out the need for a “middleman.”

Outside architects and engineers are not needed, allowing customers to bypass the fees and delays associated with their conceptual plans. Without Design-Build, the need for an architect/engineer lengthens the process (and increases the cost) as they put their designs out to bid with document preparation, pre-bid meetings, contract selection, negotiation and so on.

In fact, in comparison to the traditional design-bid-build delivery method, Design-Build speeds delivery by about 33.5 percent.

“Our Design-Build process reduces cost because you’re not paying 10% on top of the cost of your roof for an architect,” says Tom. “In addition to that reduction of cost, without Design-Build, your opportunity for change orders goes away, meaning that, oftentimes, our competition isn’t as agile or adaptable as we are.”

If you take a look at the top echelon of commercial roofing companies across the nation, you will find that they implement this same type of strategy.

“Much like the big national companies, we’re here to figure out the specific needs and find the best solutions for our customers,” says Adam. “Our execution is where TEMA really excels. From safety to quality materials and workmanship, everything is top notch.”

In addition to the company’s focus on educating clients, an ever-present focus on customer interaction and involvement (from start to finish) is also a top priority. TEMA’s mantra? Pre-plan, engage and complete projects correctly and efficiently — always.

Investing in Technology

In today’s landscape, there are more industry-specific products being developed than ever before by virtue of technology, materials and testing (research/data). This evolution can be seen virtually everywhere – right down to the ladders being used on job sites. 

Additionally, organizations like OSHA are providing employers with a multitude of opportunities to increase safety.

How do these things impact the customer? Better safety, products and tools help to expedite the building and repair process, of course.

TEMA Roofing Services has worked diligently to introduce new technologies and safety measures whenever possible—from CRMs and various software programs (for proposals and general organization) to drones, infrared scanners, mobile fall protection units and solar powered roof fans.

“Technologies like drones and infrared scanners are used more so for roof assessment and client education,” says Scott. “Not only is it important for us to get an accurate, holistic view of the problem, but we also want to give the client a better understanding of what’s going on in the process.”

The evolution of industry-focused CRMs and software expedites communication and helps to provide easily accessible updates throughout the various stages of a build. Essentially, today, all the details you need are right at your fingertips!

Most importantly, TEMA is diligent about team member safety, which ultimately means customer safety, too. In addition to various life-saving technologies, the company’s ever-present focus on safety is also a major reason why they employ union-affiliated team members (knowing that these men and women have a strong background and familiarity with commercial roofing and its potential hazards).

“Our expectation in regard to safety is exceptional,” says Carla. “We go above and beyond to implement life-saving measures because we look out for our employees just like we would look out for members of our own families.”

Cooperative Purchasing

Cooperative purchasing with TEMA Roofing gives clients in certain industries and sectors an alternative method to purchasing roofing services.

Who might qualify for commercial roofing cooperative purchasing?

  • State & Local Government Entities
  • Public & Private Education
  • Nonprofit Organizations (Tax-Exempt)

TEMA Roofing Services’ strict compliance standards and competitive bidding requirements set the stage for its partnerships with The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) and OMNIA Partners. Through these organizations, TEMA’s services can be obtained with the benefit of cooperative purchasing.

TIPS and OMNIA Partners offer members access to competitively procured purchasing contracts, often alleviating the headache of completing the process without a knowledgeable support.

The TIPS program is housed and managed by the Region 8 Education Service Center, located in Pittsburg, Texas, and the organization serves all fifty states and the District of Columbia. 

Public sector cooperative purchasing through TIPS helps schools, colleges, universities, non-profits, cities, counties, and other government entities leverage resources through contract purchasing solutions. 

Translation: organizations can save time and money by eliminating the RFP contracting process and avoid the risks of low-bid, low-quality work.

OMNIA Partners is the largest purchasing organization for public sector procurement in the United States. The organization has over 170 combined years of public procurement experience, over 300 years of cooperative purchasing experience and is a founding member of the National Coalition for Public Procurement. 

“Our alignment with cooperative purchasing programs like TIPS and OMNIA Partners simply allows us to streamline the installation or repair process for government entities and nonprofit organizations,” says Scott. “It reduces timelines significantly and gives potential customers access to competitive pricing and quality service. Even better, it can reduce the stress that is sometimes associated with purchasing, because members have support throughout the entire bid process.”

Conclusion

When you boil it down, anyone can set out to start a family-owned business. But, in order for a business to make its mark amongst local, regional and national competition, that business needs to set itself up for success.

Planning for sustainable growth, implementing time-tested processes, incorporating new technologies and employing the right team members are all major factors in a successful outcome. And, TEMA has it all.

From the beginning, TEMA focused intently on laying the right type of foundation for the business, understanding that not all growth is good growth and that quality partnerships with employees, clients and vendors are key to long-lasting success.

“It’s easy to see that the company is set up well, especially with initiatives in place like the Design-Build process and the cooperative purchasing programs,” says Carla. “As a family-owned organization, we adapt easily. Things are discussed as a team, the customer always comes first and personal attention is given to each and every client.”

Even more, TEMA’s focus on technology and safety should speak volumes to customers and individuals looking to make a career in the commercial roofing industry. Investing in life-saving measures and technologies that enhance and expedite the build process show that the company’s leadership looks out for all team members as if they were members of the Froelich family itself.

“At the end of the day it’s all about family,” says Tom. “I want to see everyone in the company pull in the same direction. We respect one another and come to work everyday challenging the status-quo. When those things are the focus of an organization, it will come across to the customer every single time.”