The desire to create a better product or service than what’s currently offered can be a very useful motivator in starting a business. So what happens when two experienced contractors with a wealth of knowledge make the revelation that there’s a necessity for a skilled roofing and sheet metal business in their area? Well, if you’re Don Springer and Brooke Peterson, you go out and start your own.
The pair founded Springer-Peterson Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. in 1981, and only three short years later, Peterson left the company, which allowed Rob Springer to join in as vice president and owner. Recognizing that the company brand was synonymous with quality and integrity, the decision was made to keep the Springer-Peterson name.
That same year, the company moved to its Lakeland, Fla. location, which currently employs 200 non-union workers in a large, 10-acre facility. The business is divided between 75 percent commercial work and 25 percent residential, while new construction and reroofing are split at an even 50-50 ratio.
The experienced crews at Springer-Peterson have quite the track record, showcasing remarkable careers spanning over the last three decades. And when your employees work together successfully, and co-workers feel more like family, it’s safe to say the work environment breeds success.
The company reported $20.8 million in revenue in 2015, good for 46th on Roofing Contractor’s Top 100 Roofing Contractors List. That’s an increase of nearly 58 percent from the $13.2 million reported for the 2015 list.
A Family Environment
Creating a constructive work culture for employees to prosper is arguably the most important aspect of any business. If your employees are happy, odds are, your customers in turn will be happy as well. The management team at Springer-Peterson recognizes the benefits of a productive working atmosphere, and strives to create one for its employees.
“We provide a positive and upbeat environment, paying attention to the employees and treating them like family. It’s a family environment here,” said Cam Raby, operations manager. Raby boasts an impressive 34 years of experience in the commercial and industrial roofing markets.
In addition to paid vacations and holidays for those who qualify, employees who meet certain requirements are also allowed a paid day off for their birthdays — a seemingly small gesture — but one that goes a long way in the eyes of the employees.
Springer-Peterson invokes the mindset that the details matter, even the little ones. Company vehicles are kept clean and organized. “They are all of the newer variety so the guys can be proud to been seen in them and be proud to promote the Springer-Peterson name,” Raby said.
Building positive, long-lasting relationships with their employees has set the tone for the same type of relations with customers and manufacturers alike. Through this approach, the company has laminated its pristine representation of quality workmanship by completing high-profile jobs for the Florida School Board, Publix, Pepperidge Farm and many more household names in their market.
“Springer-Peterson will be recognized as a leader in the roofing industry and the community,” said Don Springer, owner and founder of the company, whose vision has guided employees over the past 35 years.
Keeping in tune with their company mission to “Effectively provide high quality, cost-effective roofing systems that meet the needs of commercial, industrial, retail and residential markets,” the employees at Springer-Peterson know what it means to provide great customer service. They also recognize the importance of placing the customer’s needs above their own.
“We make sure to offer quality, pay attention to their needs, and offer them the best solution for their situation,” said Diana King, whose two-decades of experience in customer service landed her in her current role of service department manager.
The team utilizes many different tools to maintain quality on jobsites and insure quality craftsmanship wherever needed. Pre-hire orientation is conducted for all new employees, and crews are equipped with daily jobsite checklists. Random inspections are completed to guarantee that standards are met. Very often when a system from a designated manufacturer is installed, inspectors from said company are sent out to supervise installations and ensure quality workmanship.
Monthly trainings with the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA) are conducted in-house, in addition to regular viewings of safety training videos. In addition to following OSHA requirements, an in-house safety committee enforces strict safety policies created within the company.
Having done work on several multi-million dollar facilities, such as the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, workers at Springer-Peterson know that maintaining integrity is of the highest importance always, even when challenges occur. Working at night on jobs that require a great deal of coordination, as well as respecting time constraints and avoiding interruptions to businesses that must remain open through construction are common occurrences for the crews.
With 35 years of experience under their belts, both Don and Rob Springer are prepared to tackle any job that comes their way. Their focus on integrity, superior customer service and treating employees with great respect is what sets them apart from their many competitors in the Florida market.
“As with most companies, people come and go, but when you find a company with integrity that still believes in quality and craftsmanship, it’s hard to pass it by when you yourself believe in those same qualities,” Raby said.