Next month, Roofing Supply Pro’s sister publication, Roofing Contractor, will release its annual State of the Industry Report based on an annual survey of its readership. The report checks the pulse of the industry, from product preferences to the challenges contractors face.

The information is important for contractors looking to the future, but it also contains helpful information for roofing distributors. With that in mind, RSP will present its findings on the report in February to give you the edge in serving your customers better, with data on everything from product use to how contractors prefer to train their employees.

In the meantime, below is a preview of five key findings from the 2024 State of the Industry report.

Top Product Choices

Knowing what products to stock and prepare for contractors is a critical task suppliers face each year. According to the survey, single-ply roofing and low-slope asphalt are the most frequently used product types by most contractors, accounting for an average of 36% of sales revenue. Look forward to a breakdown of these product findings in the full report.

Roofing Contractors Optimistic About the Future

Roofing contractors on both the commercial and residential sides expect sales to increase in 2024 and in the coming years. Of the respondents, 78% said they anticipate sales to improve in 2024, while an even more significant amount (87%) are looking forward to sales growth over the next three years. More sales for contractors means more business for the suppliers that help them.

Biggest Challenges

Roofing distributors can often provide resources and solutions for contractors, thereby increasing trust and building relationships. In that regard, distributors need to know what problems their customers are facing. In this case, the current economy and inflation are among the most significant challenges, with 59% saying it affects them, followed by increases in material costs (49%).

Next month’s full report will fully explore contractors’ challenges, including a breakdown of residential versus commercial.

Technology Use

Undoubtedly, roofing contractors and the roofing distributors that support them and are willing to adopt new technology will be the leaders in their regions. Seventy percent of contractors say estimating software is the most commonly used technology in their businesses, followed by enterprise software at 68%.

Training Methods

Labor shortages continue to be a problem in the roofing industry, so when a contractor does hire someone, they want to train them in the best way they know how to retain them. A total of 83% of contractors look to in-house, on-the-job training, followed by formal in-house training programs and manufacturer training at 51% each. Distributors looking to help customers can consider hosting training programs in their branches with manufacturer partners.