There’s a saying that goes, “tough times never last, but tough people do.” It’s true enough, but today, a more modern spin may be in order: “Tough times never last, but tech people do.”

Such is the case for Quality Discount Roofing in Jacksonville, Fla., where the company’s proactive approach to adopting technology has not only helped it stand out from competitors, but easily weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have seen great results and our sales numbers have not taken a hit. Business feels usual for us and for that, we’re very thankful,” said owner Jimmy Soderlund.

From its tech-savvy staff to its focus on taking care of customers, Quality Discount Roofing has become a celebrated roofing contractor by both its community and roofing manufacturers.

Adapting to Meet Challenges

From the onset of his career, Soderlund has always been a survivor. He owned a framing business when the housing market crashed in 2008, so he switched gears to a business that was needed year-round. In 2010, he began Quality Discount Roofing.

When he first started the business, managing proposals and sales was easy enough with only one crew and a single employee working in the office. As the business grew and more clients came in, he began adding more personnel, but those simple processes soon became outdated and cumbersome.
That’s when Soderlund once again adapted, this time with the help of Vice President Rob Daily and General Sales Manager Stephen Knuth, to begin transitioning his roofing company into the digital realm. 

“We have always wanted our team to learn and grow,” Soderlund said. “We challenge them to try new things out of their comfort zones. Most people want to learn new things and our team has always risen to every challenge we have presented to them.” 

Knuth said when he first came to the company about two years ago, it was using Mircosoft Excel to build pricing for proposals. As an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, Knuth attended one of Owens Corning’s Business Building Days, where he was introduced to many of the programs and software they use now, including the roofing manufacturer’s own ProSell.

Quality Discount Roofing began utilizing an iPad with ProSell, allowing it to show customers how a roof is installed, what products it proposes and why. Knuth said this opened the door to embracing newer technology. 

“We had guys who were going back to houses two or three times just to get them information. Now it’s right at their fingertips and right in front of the customers,” Knuth said.

The company also turns to AccuLynx business management software and Google Suite to manage documents and sales processes easier. 
Daily said the technology all blends well together, including the use of iRoofing for precise aerial measurements.

“It’s all seamless and we have a lot less paperwork, which tends to get lost if it’s not in the system,” Daily said.

This isn’t to say integrating technology has been easy. Daily said the implementation is a work in progress, saying in March they were around 70% to where he wanted to be with rolling out technology.

“A lot of the older sales guys that were here before me, they ended up not making it because they didn’t want to embrace it,” Daily said. 

The technology has played a huge role in enduring the COVID-19 crisis and the uncertainties brought with it. In addition to equipping employees with gloves and masks so they remain safe, ProSell and iRoofing lend themselves to social distancing. The company has also leaned heavily on Podium to generate leads and communicate with clients via text messaging. 

“This is a great time to start using new technology and systems that you’ve been wanting to try,” Soderlund said.

Customer-First Approach

The methods and technology may have changed, but the company’s approach has remained steadfast. Soderlund said his focus has always been on the customer experience, and technology has only helped in that regard. 

Its review rating is at 4.5 out of 5 on both Google reviews and HomeAdvisor, while its Facebook reviews are at 3.9 out of 5. He credits these high ratings to responding quickly to any issues or complaints, turning what might have been a negative experience into a positive one.

“It may sound like an oxymoron because normally, when you do things electronically, it’s not as personalized, but it’s just the opposite, because we’re communicating with them a lot more...and the customer appreciates that,” Soderlund said.

It’s not just customers that recognize the efforts made by Quality Discount Roofing. In March, the company earned the 2020 MVP Award from Owens Corning, making it the only contractor in Florida to win the award this year. The company is also a three-time winner of Bold City’s Best Roofer award from 

If other contractors are looking to upgrade their own company, Daily has three words of advice: research, research, research.

“There’s a lot of different programs out there for roofing and construction, and just because one fit for us does not necessarily mean it will fit for everybody,” Daily said.

Soderlund agreed, but added the caveat that technology is a tool that will never replace customer interactions, gaining trust and ensuring the quality of the work.

“My favorite saying is ‘We do not participate in slow downs.’ You need to change with the economy,” Soderlund said.