RC: How would you assess the state of the roofing industry in 2022?
Jeff Williams (JW): Agility was one of IKO’s core values long before the onset of the pandemic. This principle guided us through challenging times during these past few years and helped enable us to consistently serve our North American customers with local support, backed by a global roofing network with 70 years of experience.
We have, at times, suffered from inefficiencies and work stoppages just like everyone else. Additional PPE requirements and distancing mandates can create a challenging manufacturing environment. We sense a lot of industry uncertainty when talking to our ROOFPRO contractors, but as we enter year three of COVID disruptions, we know that we have a proven formula for tackling challenges together.
RC: What do you think was learned and how will that impact the industry moving forward?
JW: It’s really been a question the last couple of years of how to problem solve on the fly, and using things like remote learning tools to resolve issues and share knowledge in real time. Many things that were only done face to face we’ve now established can still be accomplished from across a closed border. It’s going to make us better and more responsive in the long run, even when there are technical challenges. It’s also a great tribute to the outstanding people who work for us and the flexibility that they’ve demonstrated in what has often been really less than ideal circumstances.
RC: How did you help support contractors as their needs changed throughout the pandemic?
JW: IKO is doubling down on digital training opportunities. During 2021, IKO filmed and produced 19 educational videos, which will serve as a reboot of our popular Blueprint for Roofing series. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of roof installation. Training videos have traditionally been our most popular content on YouTube.
RC: What are you optimistic about in 2022?
JW: The roofing industry is made up of hard workers who demand the most from themselves and expect the same from the materials that they use. IKO is optimistic that our customer base will continue to insist on best-in-class products, partnering with us to raise the bar (or raise the roof).