Case Studies

Sterling Commercial Roofing Inc.

Building the Best Value

Sterling Commercial Roofing Inc. (SCR) is on a mission to prove that the lowest price is not always the customer’s best option. Owned and operated by the Froeter family, the company has been working on commercial roofs across northern Illinois since it was founded in the 1940s, and SCR’s emphasis on safety, quality and customer service remains steadfast. It is SCR’s ability to treat every project as an opportunity to build value for the customer that is responsible for the company’s sterling reputation and strong following of repeat clients.

“We want to be sure that if a customer calls us, that customer doesn’t have to call anybody else,” asserts Kevin Froeter, president of SCR. SCR is based out of Sterling, Ill., which might be a sleepy prairie town but also one that positions the SCR team within a two-hour reach of clients across northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and eastern Iowa. The company works will all types and manufacturers of roofing systems from traditional built-up, hot-applied asphalt roofing to top-of-the-line single-ply membrane roofing systems, ensuring no customer is ever left out in the cold.

Quality and consistency are top priorities at SCR, but the company’s primary performance indicator has always been the satisfaction of its clients. “Dollar values matter, but we want to be in the market where we can put out a product that will actually last for a minimum of 20 to 25 years,” asserts Froeter. “We had the lowest price mindset for a few years, but we quickly realized that we could survive by working with clients who really care about the quality of work.” As a result, SCR has been able to build on the company’s client base even in recent years following the economic downturn.

Masters of All Roofing Systems

One of SCR’s most recently completed projects was for the new Central Intermediate School in Ottawa, Ill. The school was designed to pursue LEED Silver certification, calling for a mix of sustainability-oriented roofing products that the SCR team had to install.

“We installed a Soprema SopraStar reflective roofing system along with 64 Solatube skylights and a small green roof on a very tight schedule,” adds Froeter. SCR had to complete as much work to the basic roofing structure before the first snowfall so crews could continue work inside the structure until the SCR team could return in spring to finish up.

Froeter attributes part of SCR’s success in recent years to the company’s ability to meet the needs of clients at any stage in the roof’s life cycle. SCR emphasizes the importance of regular inspections and preventative maintenance programs to extend the lifetime of any roofing system and protect the customer from major system failures and loopholes in warranty coverage.

SCR’s longevity and enthusiasm for new products has kept the company at the forefront of roofing system technologies. SCR will even serve as a consultant to develop a solution that will deliver results even when existing systems don’t quite meet the challenge. The company will begin later in 2012 on a project in Cherry Valley, Ill., that has seen many years of litigation, stemming from an improperly applied roofing system. “We’re really excited about it because we came up with a solution that basically mimics a standing seam metal roof system that will still look sharp and fix the leaking roof once and for all,” asserts Froeter.

Chasing Challenges, Not Dollars

SCR treats every project like a learning opportunity, which motivates the team to push for always on-time deliveries without cutting corners. “There’s always a lesson to be learned and if a project ends up costing you money, you better make sure you learned from it,” laughs Froeter. SCR recently pushed itself to complete work at one of Exxon’s nuclear power stations during a tight plant shutdown window. At 7,500 square feet, the project was not one of SCR’s biggest reroofing jobs to date, but SCR was challenged to complete the section in five days, with no extensions or opportunity for failure.

“We love the jobs that nobody else wants, because the greatest reward is proving to the clients that they can count on us,” adds Froeter. SCR has consistently displayed a remarkable diligence, completing work on a six-phase reroofing project totaling 1 million square feet. The completed roof will comprise 880,000 square feet of standing seam metal roofing along with 120,000 square feet of Tremco BURmastic cold-applied roofing that currently stands 90-percent complete.

“We want so badly to complete that last 10 percent and take a photo already,” jokes Froeter. “We’re really excited because we had never completed a job of that size or complexity before.” The project is currently waiting to secure additional funding, but SCR will be waiting to pounce on the remaining portion as soon as the project receives the final green light.

Froeter hopes to keep SCR on its current path in the next few years, focusing on building a strong client following and solidifying its place as the roofer of choice in northern Illinois. Sterling Commercial Roofing Inc. will set a sterling example for roofers everywhere by focusing on chasing challenges, not dollars, and approaching every roof as an opportunity to build value and a relationship to last a lifetime.

Published on: July 29, 2013


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