Roofing has been in Patrick Cochran’s blood for generations, including his grandfather and father. He followed in their footsteps while earning a master of business administration, forming a roofing company whose name is an homage to his grandfather.
A decade later, Red Dog’s Roofing operates in Massachusetts and Florida and is working with local organizations to develop training programs that will create career paths for the next generation.
RC: What types of work does your company do?
PC: We focus mainly on residential reroofing and some commercial reroofing and roofing maintenance/repairs.
RC: How long have you been in the roofing industry and how did you get your start?
PC: I grew up around the roofing industry. My father and grandfather were both in the industry, so I have been around roofing my whole life. I started like most people with cleaning up the grounds, then learning how to install and find leaks. While finishing up my MBA, I had the opportunity to start a business and work with a few commercial realty companies helping them with roof repairs and preventative maintenance. This allowed me to build great relationships with local business owners and gave me the opportunity to bid on some large projects.
RC: How long has your company been in business and what is the history behind it?
PC: I started Red Dog’s Roofing 10 years ago. The name is very symbolic for me. Red was my grandfather’s nickname, and I would always hear people say he worked like a dog, so I combined the two and created a company mascot to personify him. He was an honest man with great integrity, so I wanted to create a business that really represented everything he was. The apostrophe was put in the name to show ownership and symbolize that we stand behind our work and reputation.
RC: What are the top reasons why the company is successful?
PC: The top reasons for our success are our team, our system, and our passion for the industry. As for our team, we have staff that work very well together and focus on service to others. Whether that be their teammates, customers, or anyone else they interact with at work, we train our employees to focus on the service they provide to others and leaving people with the impression of increase, meaning leaving people better than we found them. I was always taught that if I focused on doing a good job and providing great service the money would follow, and I always explain that to new employees when they start.
RC: What are the big challenges in your particular market and how is the company addressing them?
PC: I think like most companies right now we are working through supply chain issues and labor shortages. Regarding supply chain shortages, we have a great process in place to ensure we are allocating material as contracts are signed. We also make sure we keep in contact with distribution and manufacturing to anticipate any changes and try to stay ahead of them when possible.
As for labor shortages, we are very fortunate with the reputation we have built, and we have consistently attracted great employees. We also have a great interview process to help us get to know potential new hires. We continue to create a unique message about our company and the roofing industry being a great place to start a career.
RC: Do you see a generational difference within your own company? If so, what are the biggest benefits and biggest challenges that it poses?
PC: The median age at our company is 33. We have employees that are both older and younger; however, they work well together. We do see the difference such as the older generation struggling with new technology changes and the younger generation needing more personal time and accommodations.
I see my age as an advantage. I am old enough to have seen the older generation and their craftsmanship and work ethic, but young enough to see the recent changes in the world and how the industry is/needs to adapt. I feel the next generation entering the workforce is a little misunderstood and for us to attract them to the roofing industry we must meet them where they are at and provide an opportunity that will give them purpose and opportunity to have a career.
RC: What are your future plans for the business?
PC: Currently in Massachusetts, I volunteer at the local Chamber of Commerce and sit on the Board of Directors for MassHire. Working with these local organizations has helped me stay informed about the local labor market and hear what other companies/industries are doing to recruit, onboard and train employees.
Over the next few years, we will be growing our recruiting, onboarding and training programs to help create a great career path at Red Dog’s Roofing.