When it comes to the pros and cons of being the young president of a roofing company, Charlie Dunigan generally has a good fix on the situation.
Sure, there are disadvantages, says the president of Jackson, Mich.-based North-Ply Contracting Co.
But for the most part, it has worked in favor of Dunigan and his company.
“I serve as a good mediator because I can relate to both younger and older generations,” says Dunigan. “We work together and respect each other’s point of view. The greatest benefit is that I am not much older or younger than our workforce.”
As one of RC’s 2019 Young Guns, Dunigan offered some insight into his career and company — specifically, where both have come from and are headed.
RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
C.D.: I have been in the roofing industry four years, and in the construction industry for over 15 years. I started working for my family’s construction company when I was in high school during the summers. After college I worked for a national contractor as a project engineer. I then returned to my family’s underground construction company as a project manager/estimator. Prior to starting North-Ply Contracting I worked for a commercial roofing company. Milestones in my career including starting a successful company in 2015, receiving the Gold Medal for Quality from a major manufacturer, as well as successfully transitioning from a project estimator to a business owner and operator.
RC: How long has your company been in business and what its story?
C.D.: North-Ply Contracting Co. was founded in 2015 by Tom Adams and I. Today, North-Ply Contracting employs 12-15 full-time employees.
RC: What are the big challenges in your particular market and how is the company addressing them?
C.D.: There are many challenges in our particular market. One that is a daily challenge is building a dependable workforce. We are striving to hire and retain great workers by providing competitive wages, training and benefits. From the start of North-Ply we have developed a culture of quality workmanship and professionalism. We adapt and set ourselves apart from our competitors.
RC: How has your company changed in recent years? Have you implemented any new programs that have helped your business be more productive?
C.D.: Our company has changed quite a bit from its founding. We have implemented safety and roofing system training, and several other programs focused on labor retention and performance. Our standard operating procedures allow us to not have mistakes, limits the amount of time for payment/invoicing, and allows us to focus on upcoming projects.
RC: What types of new technology have you recently adopted? What are some technology trends you are seeing, or what do you hope to see in the future?
C.D.: We do pre-construction, progress and post-construction photographs and videos for our customers utilizing drone technology. We use Field Force Manager for jobsite management and True Roof for roof inspections/service. Lastly, we have been using a sales CRM from early on in the business, to track customers, sales, and secure work.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
C.D.: I would say there are advantages and disadvantages. Advantages would be that I can relate to our workforce, they are generally young adults. I see my age as an advantage because most of our customers were young entrepreneurs as well.
RC: Are you involved in any trade associations, youth contractor councils, professional organizations that you’d like to highlight? How has that helped you in your career and why is it important to you?
C.D.: We became active in many associations immediately. We are members of the NRCA, and many local and state organizations as well as serving on nonprofit boards and community organizations. This has helped in my career immensely by learning. Learning the roofing industry, meeting new people, and partnering on projects.
RC: What’s next? What are your future plans for the business?
C.D.: The plan for our business is to continue to build our reputation, becoming the roofer of choice. We are a growing company, and we want to grow at the pace that allows us to continue to perform exceptional work.