Case Studies

Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc.

Celebrating 60 years and reinventing for the future

Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc. (B&S) is one of the mid-Atlantic’s leading roofing solutions and service providers. Founded in 1956, this year marks the Pittsburgh-based company’s 60th anniversary.

With additional offices in Ohio, B&S works primarily in the commercial market with 15 percent of the company’s business coming from the residential side. This year the company is celebrating that anniversary with the launch of two new companies that will complement its existing roofing and building envelope services.

Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc.

Founded in January 2016, NexGen Design Services will bring the fabrication of aluminum composite material (ACM) wall panels in-house at B&S. The company had previously relied on an outside manufacturer to fabricate ACM panels, but is now looking to vertical integration to help B&S retain greater influence over its supply chain.

“Now we’re in better control on the supply side,” says Jack Scalo, president of B&S. “We’re also looking to do some third-party business with that company as well.” NextGen has already fabricated ACM panels for a number of high-profile projects in the Pittsburgh area, including Southside Works Apartments and a class-A commercial office space spec building, coined The Bentley.

This year has also seen the launch of Burns & Scalo Roof Asset Management (RAM), a startup that leverages the company’s proprietary software and industry connections to provide roofing service to customers over a much wider geographical area using a network of qualified roofing contractors.

“Companies want to deal with one person, have all information come through one pipeline and if there’s a problem, they want to make one call. We dispatch work to other roofing contractors and then we manage it,” says Scalo. “We’re really just managing that information flow and acting as a single point of contact that is responsible for managing their needs.”

The new venture allows B&S to expand into new regions and establish relationships with a diversified client bases while also addressing one of the most consistent challenges in the industry: maintaining a team of qualified employees.

“We’ve really figured out a way to use technology to drive our business, not just support our business.” — Jack Scalo, president of B&S

The company’s work with PNC Bank stands as an example of the efficiency of RAM. The company works with 50-plus contractors to manage 2,200 locations in 18 different states for PNC. “RAM really took off after we landed the PNC account because it became scalable at that point and warranted its own staff,” says Jesse Scalo, director of marketing for The Scalo Companies.

B&S also grew through acquisition in 2015 with the purchase of a 90-year-old roofing contractor. The acquisition has allowed B&S to expand its presence in the residential market as well as its geographical footprint. “We started as a residential roofing company ourselves but we’ve really seen most of our success on the commercial side. This was an opportunity to put a little lifeblood back into residential and expand our reach,” says Jesse Scalo.

In 2015 the company was also recognized with two prestigious industry awards. The company beat out 126 other entrants to be named Commercial Roofing Contractor of the Year by Roofing Contractor Magazine. B&S also earned the distinction of becoming the second company in the nation to reach 2,000 Perfect 10 installations with roofing manufacturer Carlisle.

“Combine that with our 60th anniversary and it’s really a great, iconic period of time here at our company,” says Scalo.

Greening the roof

While the two new companies and acquisitions are expected to drive growth at the company well into the future, the B&S team is currently focused on expanding the company’s services to include a focus on the entire building envelope, including not just roofing but also walls and foundations.

On the roofing side, the company has made a push into roof-mounted solar arrays and vegetative, green garden roofs for the commercial market. “Flat roofs on commercial buildings have been identified as wasted space, so customers have asked us to solve that problem by providing environmental and energy solution for roofing,” Scalo says. B&S practices what it preaches when it comes to vegetative roofing and solar power, using both approaches on the roof of its own headquarters.

“We’re adding to the core by providing components that complement the roof. This is what sets us apart from our competition and provides added value,” says Scalo. “We want to grow and these new ventures are like spokes on a wheel, but we’re focused on not getting too far away from the core business of roofing.”

B&S entered the solar market in 2010 in the midst of the economic downturn. While this might seem like an inadvisable time to expand into a new niche, Scalo says it’s just that kind of risk-taking attitude that separates the company from its more conservative competitors.

“People who were willing to experiment, reinvent, and reinvest in different areas of their business have been the most successful companies that have recovered from the recession. That is truly our case. We have recovered and became stronger from the downturn and our last few years have been the most successful years of the company,” Scalo says.

Tapping the next generation

As the company prepares for the future, Scalo is focused on integrating the next generation of workers into the team at B&S. While millennials can often bring an exciting roster of technological skills into a workplace, their expectations in employers are markedly different from those of past generations.

“They are looking for a company that is growing and that can challenge them to come up with creative solutions to problems. They are looking for a company that has invested heavily in technology,” says Scalo. “Millennials are also looking for other younger co-workers. They want to see a path for growth opportunity within the company. It all comes down to winning. People want to be on a winning team.”

Two of Scalo’s own children currently number among the company’s 300 employees. Scalo is currently in the early stages of drafting a succession plan for B&S that will likely include his children. “The fact that they want to work here says that this is a company with a legacy,” he says.

While the president can objectively recognize that the company has been very successful as of late, it hasn’t changed Scalo’s general approach or attitude. “People always say ‘Jack, you’re pleased, but never satisfied.’ I am constantly looking for a better way and there are so many moving parts within our company, so there’s always something that needs attention,” he says.

B&S will celebrate its  60th anniversary with a number of projects and events throughout the year. The company recently installed a timeline wall in its headquarters that traces B&S’s history throughout the years.

“It’s a museum-quality exhibit that is really a detailed recognition of how we got to where we are now in seven panels,” says Jesse Scalo. “They describe in detail who we are as a company, how we got started and major events in the company’s history.” In a particularly apropos nod to B&S’s progress, the timeline documenting the company’s past is wrapped around one of the ACM panels that could well shape its future.

With 60 years of trusted service and new lines of business poised to keep the company growing well into the future, Burns & Scalo Roofing Company Inc., along with Scalo Solar Solutions, NexGen Design Services and Burns & Scalo Roof Asset Management, will continue to provide superior roofing solutions to customers across the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

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Spring 2018



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