Each November, KPost Company in Dallas hosts a strategic partner dinner, and invitations are handed out to vendors, distributors and others who’ve helped the company in its quest to set the standard for quality in the North Texas roofing industry.
“We not only ask the banker, lawyer, and CPA, we take out our vendors and their spouses,” says Steve Little, president of KPost. “We ask the sales reps from the manufacturers to attend, and we ask our insurance agent and we invite our bonding company. We’ll have a room full of people. We share with them the year, the success that we’ve had - the challenges. We’re happy that they have networked with us. It has become an annual event. All year long dealing with them - it’s our time to show we appreciate them.”
As president of one of the nation’s fastest-growing roofing contractors, Steve Little has what he believes to be “the best job in America.”
“It starts with our owner, Keith Post - a very low-key, non-ego-driven, generous person,” says Little. “Keith passes the credit on to everyone else. He takes a position of ‘How can we do something special to make it better?’ When it comes to roofing in Texas, they know Keith Post.”
The company was established on Nov. 28, 2003. Day-to-day operations are run by Post, Little, CFO/Safety Officer Jayne Williams, and Director of Operations Kelly Lea. “Keith focuses on the project management side of business, I handle the day-to-day business, Jayne is responsible for safety and finance, and Kelly manages all field operations,” Little says. “We are all like player-coaches. We manage four aspects of business. We could have kept it a small company or made it a very large company. We chose to make it a large company. We currently have 180 employees.”
KPost is a full-service roofing contractor that offers roofing, waterproofing, sheet metal and lightweight decks. “We are a 100 percent commercial business,” Little says. “Our most current high-profile project is the new Cowboys Stadium at Arlington, Texas. We re-coated the existing roof on the current Texas Stadium on budget and ahead of schedule and were chosen to construct the new roof at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. We take pride in our commitment to “Safety, Quality and Value” and our passion to set the highest standard in the commercial roofing industry.”
Lifting the RoofWhen KPost first started its company, about 75 percent of the business was new roof installation and 25 percent was restoration. At the end of 2006, business had switched to about 67 percent restoration and 33 percent new construction. “Our goal is 75 percent restoration to 25 percent new construction,” Little says. “When you start a new company and have a reputation that this team had before starting KPost - 25-plus years experience, $450 million in projects - you tend to become a very large company. When you start a new company, get licenses with manufacturers and approvals through the customer base, people want to see how many years you’ve been in business. From the genesis there was a startup period, and the easiest way to start a business is with new construction. Now you go back to property managers and establish you’ve been in business for a certain amount of years. We went about our business by creating credibility with that process. We have evolved from a startup focused on new construction to transitioning. As we continue to grow, the emphasis is on restoration and multiple systems in new construction.”
In its first three years of the roofing business, KPost’s gross revenue was about $38 million. Currently, the company is on pace to do $21 million worth of business in 2007. “We built a new facility on three acres and we’ve moved three warehouses and two offices into one new facility,” Little says. “We expanded our parking lot and installed an on-site fueling station with unleaded and diesel tanks and propane to help the crews start in the morning. We also have a 13,000-square-foot warehouse to house our vehicles and sheet metal shop. We wanted to provide convenience for the crews so they can gas up, load up supplies and go directly to their jobs. We are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiencies and improve job performance, which enables us to provide greater value to our customers.”
Value in SafetyThe management team at KPost Company believes safety is one factor it can control, and safety is always a key focus. “I think it’s important that the CFO be in charge of safety,” Little says. “We feel that’s a revenue area. We look at our company as a business. We look at commercial roofing as our byproduct. Whatever the services, based on the scope and spec of customer and manufacturer, it’s important that we set the standard for each service. Having a strong business that can provide careers for employees and set a standard by example, the end result has been tremendous growth and extensive customer base in short period of time.”
KPost’s goal is to create a culture of safety, and the company backs it up with $88,000 a year in man-hour safety training. “We hold bilingual safety classes, we follow the MRCA Sharp Program, and twice a month we talk about burns and fall protection,” Little states. “We try to take them through real-life situations. In the last two years, we have received the North Texas HCA platinum and ABC Platinum STEP safety and safety training awards, recognizing us as one of the safest contractors in this market. We are proud of our safety training awards.”
KPost realizes that the top priority is to keep employees out of harm’s way, Little notes. “We believe in getting you home at night to your family,” he says. “We try and create a family culture. All our employees are covered by workers compensation. We have two OSHA 500 certified trainers on staff. We don’t want accidents or injuries, so we have created a corporate culture around safety as a priority.”
KPost spends every other Saturday teaching employees English or Spanish. “We take our superintendents and take them to supervisory classes,” Little says. “It is important to us that our offices and employees have state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology in order to increase project productivity and also convenience for our customers. Instant messaging, Internet access to project files, mobile devices with video and photo access from jobsites and digital estimating systems are just a few examples of the tools we use at KPost Company.”
Most recently, KPost Company was honored by Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) North Texas with the Subcontractor of the Year Safety Star Award for 2007.
“This program is designed to honor the best of the best in safety,” said Toby Cummings, President/CEO of ABC North Texas. “A managed safety program is essential for every successful contractor and subcontractor, and this award honors the ones who go beyond the minimums to develop a high level of safety awareness and company culture that supports a safe working environment in all of their projects and among all of their employees.”
Cummings said the real credit for the award goes to all 210 employees at KPost, notably CFO Jayne Williams and Luciano Perez, the KPost field safety coordinator.
Looking to the FutureKPost Company will continue to invest in employees and systems as it grows its business. “The next three-year plan is for us to become more efficient and capture more market share,” Little says. “We started in roofing and sheet metal year one, added waterproofing year two, and this year we’ve added lightweight concrete decking. Now customers can make one call for full-service building envelope services for their multiple facilities.”
The driving force of the company remains its owner and employees, Little states. “All of us are engaged in the business,” he says. “We believe our culture we’ve created is one of partnership, ownership and safety. At end of day, we all bring value to the equation.”
Another key to the company’s success has been input from other businesses. As president of National Roofing Partners, Steve Little says KPost is proud to partner with about 70 other contractors who make up about $1 billion in annual roofing business nationwide. “We created an organization of independent contractors that share best business practices,” Little says. “Business owners that actually share nationwide practices to improve their local businesses while being a supplier for national and regional accounts. We also combined our purchasing power nationally to achieve lower prices via group pricing of business services and products.”
“We’ve met multiple times,” Little continues. “We have Web-enabled database software, and the last 90 days we’ve been running test work orders to make sure we can give timely response to our customers. We recently earned the business of our first national customer that has 650 locations. National Roofing Partners is the way of the future, count on it!”
For more information about KPost Company or National Roofing Partners, call 972-910-8777 or visit www.kpostcompany.com.