Gulfeagle Supply Inc.: Providing the Best Roofing Products for Professionals
- Written by: Gulfeagle Supply Inc.: Providing the Best Roofing Products for Professionals
- Produced by: Gulfeagle Supply Inc.: Providing the Best Roofing Products for Professionals
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Gulfeagle Supply Inc. (Gulfeagle) is a nationwide distributor of residential and commercial roofing and building products. Gulfeagle, headquartered in Tampa, Fla., offers jobsite delivery from any one of the company’s 60 branches. The majority of Gulfeagle’s locations are in the Southwest and middle of the country, with new branches recently opened in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Jim Resch, owner and CEO of Gulfeagle, founded the company in 1973 with one, single branch. Jim has since grown Gulfeagle through a series of acquisitions and new start-ups, as well as the diversity of products the company offers. In addition, the company’s employees are among the best of the best. “Gulfeagle’s people are what have lead to our success as we continue to diligently serve our customer and take pride in superior customer service,” says Jim.
Gulfeagle offers products to serve residential and commercial roofing needs, plus metal products, tools, accessories, protective coatings, masonry, drywall, siding and more. The company also provides estimates and flexible financing for its clients. In addition to jobsite delivery, Gulfeagle can provide rooftop and crane loading or the equipment can be rented by contractors.
With multiple locations, Gulfeagle employs upward of 900 people. The company takes pride in the level of training each employee receives when joining Gulfeagle and throughout each employee’s tenure.
Slow, Calculated Growth
The company began as Gulfside Supply Inc. shortly after Jim graduated college. His first job was as an entry-level sales trainee in the commercial roofing field with Allied Chemical’s Barrett Division. In that capacity, he made a sales call on Loftin Roofing Supply only to discover the Tampa-based company was going out of business.
This was a sign of opportunity for Jim, who learned about the roofing industry through his years in sales. “Most of my competitors were much older, both in age and experience, and my customers were even older and wiser,” says Jim in a 2008 Roofing Contractor article. “Fortunately, my customers became my mentors and assisted me by providing a fast start in the building material business. My experienced competition contributed by forcing me to build and maintain a strong business ethic.”
By 2004, Jim positioned himself to buy Eagle Supply Group, which was the primary supplier of roofing and other building materials in the 1960s. With that acquisition, the company was named the designation it is today.
Jim feels the company success is based on its slow growth even throughout cycles in the shelter industry. “We were certainly anxious to conquer the world, but we were also cautious not to overextend our resources,” Jim is quoted in the article. “Our cautious growth strategy allowed me to say that our company has never missed taking our allowed cash discounts for prompt payment of our business bills.”
Jim also attributes success during his 40 years owning the business to his strong work ethic and an early life lesson that people respect being respected.
Roofing in the Future
Despite exponential growth over the years, Gulfeagle remains a private-owned company. Brad Resch, Jim’s son and current president of Gulfeagle, moved up the ladder from material handler to sales and now his current position. His daughters also hold pivotal roles within the company. Stephanie Rich, vice president of purchasing for Gulfeagle, and Jill Buhler, vice president of human resources for Gulfeagle, are proudly set for the future as a private-owned enterprise.
Servicing contractors from startup to large, well-established companies, Jim feels it is important to maintain a small business feel. Maintaining a private-owned business means the company’s branches can develop a close relationship with customers that corporate entities prevent. Gulfeagle is dedicated to provide all customers with quality products and superior service and has employees assigned to maintain customer relationships.
Gulfeagle’s business model also allows each branch to maintain its own level of independence. Jim believes this fosters entrepreneurship and ownership in the management team. This also helps Gulfeagle run business on the motto: people buy from people. Many large corporations don’t have owners like Jim who are deeply involved in day-to-day operations.
Having a strong reputation and happy clients is important to maintain a roofing business even in an economy that has been difficult for the construction industry. Even though new construction has slowed, the company has still seen business in roof replacement needs. Jim believes it is increasingly important to keep an eye on trends to capitalize on opportunities as they happen.
With the next generation already involved in the business, it is clear that the company will remain private-owned. There is also no question that Gulfeagle Supply Inc. will continue to be a leader in the roofing industry.
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