Tecta America Corporation
Since its founding in 2000, Tecta America Corporation (Tecta) has embraced a strong vision for changing the commercial roofing industry. When the owners of 10 mid-sized roofing businesses came together to form Tecta, the founding team set out to offer better roofing solutions through a better business structure; Tecta’s slogan, Roofing Redefined, is much more than a catch phrase.
At a time when consolidation was at a peak in the roofing industry as an exit strategy for many owners, Tecta stood apart by acquiring companies whose owners wanted to stay active in the business and use the resources of Tecta as a growth platform.
“There were many small- to mid-sized family-owned roofing companies who were getting bought out in the late ’90s,” explains Dave Schupmann, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Tecta. “When Tecta acquired a business, it was as much about the people that Tecta was gaining as it was about a healthy balance sheet and strong local reputation. Their experience and early evolvement in the business really helped Tecta grow and was a differentiator from other large roofing consolidations that were happening at the time.”
The history of the business reflects Schupmann’s own experience in the industry. In college, he started working for a men’s clothing company. A customer came in and asked if he would come to work in sales at his business, FJA Christiansen Roofing. Schupmann took the job, starting part time and took on full-time work after graduating.
“In 2005 Tecta acquired a number of locations from a large bankrupted competitor that had rolled up at the same time as Tecta, giving the company a national footprint,” Schupmann explains. “I was part of the experience moving to Tecta’s headquarters office to start a strategic accounts program.” Schupmann refers to the two original founding architects of Tecta, John Miller and Don McNamara, affectionately as the company’s godfathers.
The former owners help retain a sense of local identity for Tecta today. The business continues to grow organically, as well as through acquisition. In 2000 Tecta had 10 operating units with 16 locations and it now has 28 operating units with 47 locations. In addition to advancements in traditional commercial roofing, Tecta has made very successful plays in vegetative roofing, metal wall panels, as well as solar. Tecta has also been purchased twice since its initial roll up, and most recently by Oak Tree Financial, which offers the large team a strong corporate backbone and financial stability.
Service All Over
While commercial business is Tecta’s niche, the business also performs government, industrial, institutional and even some residential roofing in certain markets. With broad capabilities and an experienced team, Tecta has become the country’s largest roofing contractor. As a full-service contractor, the business offers new construction roofing, retrofits and repairs. Tecta’s projects include: schools, hospitals, government facilities, stadiums, shopping malls, manufacturing facilities, high rises and even historical renovations.
Altogether, the business employs 2,800 people and has both union and non-union operating units. The company’s 47 physical locations are wholly owned operating subsidiaries, not franchises. With such a broad reach, Schupmann estimates his team can serve 85 percent of the populated United States. Tecta’s operating units are more concentrated in the northeast and southeast U.S., though the corporate headquarters is located in Illinois, just outside of Chicago; Tecta has offices in every major city in the country to ensure clients’ needs are met.
With a strong reputation across the country, Tecta has attracted a number of major customers, often on a repeat basis. “Recently, State Farm Insurance was looking to strengthen their green footprint,” Schupmann recounts. “Tecta installed a 500-square-foot green roof, including five inches of soil media and drought-resistant sedum plants on top.”
Tecta has even left its mark on major American landmarks. One notable project was replacement of slate roof areas at the White House. “Our local operating unit removed and replaced the old slate,” Schupmann says. “The workers were very careful with the old slate and the operating unit made plaques out of it as historical souvenirs. They gave them to our workers and some of the White House staff.”
After 18 years with the business, Schupmann is able to clearly pick out a favorite project. “A few years ago we worked on a Coca Cola plant in Hollywood, Fla.,” He recalls. “The 300,000-square-foot plant was hit by a hurricane and one of this plants largest customers is Disney World. With such a huge client, they could not afford to lose out on any shipment. Michael Winant, our dedicated, local operating president, worked countless hours. He scrambled more than 100 workers to the location from several different Tecta operating units in less than 24 hours and had the entire roof water tight allowing the plant to restart production in just four days after the hurricane hit.”
Tecta has a number of ongoing initiatives that help the business stand apart from other contractors. First, Tecta is the largest green roof installer in the country. Mark Gaulin, COO of Tecta, was instrumental in spearheading the U.S. green roof manual while he was president of the National Roofing Contractor Association.
In addition, Gaulin’s foresight on positioning Tecta for the solar industry has allowed the company to become one of the top commercial solar companies in the country. Ken Beiser, managing director of TectaSolar, and his team have helped a number of clients save energy and capital while reducing environmental impact through the design and installation of both ground mounted and roof-top solar projects.
Beyond specific products and services, Tecta is always looking for ways to operate more efficiently. “We are looking to revolutionize the way we offer service work,” Schupmann explains, “We will be the first major contractor to introduce a flat-rate pricing concept to the roofing industry. It will take a lot of the guess work out of things for our customers.”
Tecta is also working to improve the method in which it dispatches service work and responds to customer needs. “In addition to our state-of-the-art customer solutions center that our customers can utilize for their needs nationwide, we are improving our technology in the field that will allow us to provide quicker, more efficient response to our customers and increase the speed and detail of our communications with them,” Schupmann continues.
While much of the country is finally feeling the economic recovery, Schupmann says there are still challenges to overcome. “There is an aging workforce in roofing industry, so we are working hard to recruit and develop skilled employees,” he continues. “As time goes on, we certainly have to stay on top of technology and roofing trends, but we also have to continue to make strides building our company culture: One Team One Tecta. We have a melting pot atmosphere, which combines our corporate identity with many family philosophies of running a small business. It’s like a really big family here.”
According to Schupmann, the company is starting to see rent building vacancies decline and rents increase in many markets. “This is an indicator that new construction will soon be on the rise,” he details. As the market makes a turnaround, Schupmann and his team are preparing to take on incoming work. He remains cautiously optimistic, and says growth is in the near future for the business. Tecta is open to new opportunities for acquisitions, looking to serve an even greater share of the national market.
Regardless of how large Tecta gets, the philosophy is simple and remains unchanged. “Our people are the foundation of the business,” Schupmann says. “What gives me the greatest sense of pride about this company is that we are always evolving. We are always trying to transform what people think about roofing, from a technology, sales and delivery standpoint. We are always improving and innovating.” In the coming years as the business expands, Tecta America Corporation will continue to revolutionize the roofing industry with experience, professionalism and integrity.
Showcase your feature on your website with a custom “As Featured in US Builders Review” badge that links directly to your article!
Copy and paste this script into your page coding (ideally right before the closing