Company Name: Cole Roofing Co., Inc.
Owner: Cole Family
Location: Baltimore, MD
Open since: 1919
What you do: Commercial Roofing, Wall Panels, Vegetated Roofing, Solar, Roof Maintenance
RC: What are the top reasons (3 to 5) why the company is still successful? And how do they help explain the company’s longevity?
We have remained true to our values; Integrity, Dependable, High Quality, Team Oriented, Relationship Oriented, and Problem Solvers
Over time we have developed a culture of learning throughout our organization which allows us to adopt new products, processes, etc. This change meets a general resistance that comes from being a legacy company creating a healthy friction between new ideas and proven process.
We believe that our reputation is built when we make mistakes. How you act in the toughest of times shows your true spirit
Treating our people right and trusting them to do right.
RC: Who is your longest-serving active employee? Are they or a recent retiree available to interview?
Longest-serving active employees: John Sealover 4/89; Steve Wilson 8/91
RC: What are the challenges in your market and how have you overcome them?
Labor and price pressure. Commitment to recruiting the right people, then training and rewarding them. Find efficiencies in our indirect costs as well as our direct costs.
RC: What are the advantages/disadvantages to being a company with such a long tradition?
Resistant to change as described in #1. This is good and bad. Prevents us from moving too fast and making the big mistake, it also holds us back from evolving as quickly as we can usually resulting in price pressure.
RC: What does having a 100-year history mean to you and your employees?
It means we have had the amazing opportunity to provide meaningful employment to so many in our community. To our team it means they are responsible to carry on the legacy and it fills them with pride.
RC: What advice do have to current or future roofing contractors that can only dream of being in business for a century?
Figure out what you do well and get better at it. Understand the cash flow and don’t take too much work.