Young Gun Jake Woods: Well-Suited for Change and What the Future of Roofing Holds
An internship with a contractor opened Jake Woods' eyes to new possibilities for improving his company's operations.
RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
J.W.: I grew up in and around the construction industry helping my father who, at the time, owned a construction company involved primarily in light commercial construction.
During college I took an internship in Dallas/Fort Worth for a large general contractor and was able to see firsthand how large commercial projects are managed. I learned as much as I could about specialty trade subcontractors, as I knew I eventually wanted to return home and focus on a specialty sub-trade.
RC: What are the top reasons why the company is successful?
J.W.: First, I think we have been extremely blessed, which has just as much to do with it as any amount of hard work. However, more tangible answers would be safety, professionalism, and quality; each being equally important as the last. When I took the internship in Dallas my goal was to absorb as much information as possible with the intention of bringing my findings back to our company locally. The three things I observed that all “tier 1” contractors had in common were a commitment to safety, professional appearance, and a dedication to quality work.
When I returned home, we revamped all things safety, went through a total rebranding phase, and focused on producing the highest quality finished product.
RC: Do you see your age as an advantage or disadvantage in this business?
J.W.: I see my age as an advantage. Being a millennial, we have been witness to revolutionary change and innovation for most of our lives [e.g. iPhones, electric cars, social media, automated vacuum cleaners (my wife’s personal favorite)]. We are well-suited for change and adopt new technologies very quickly.
RC: What would you say are the most significant achievements or milestones in your career thus far?
J.W.: I have been trusted to estimate several very large commercial roofing projects in the past, many of those we have been awarded while only leaving a few hundred dollars on the table. For me, in a way, this is extremely validating, that even at 24 I can compete with roofing estimators often twice my age.
RC: What are your future plans for the business?
J.W.: The opening of our new office will be a big part of 2020. Our goal is not to become the largest contractor, but rather focus on producing the best possible quality for our clients and maintaining excellent profit margins. The future certainly looks very bright, as the average age of employee at DRI-CON is 31.