Article by Alan Dorich, Construction Today
After nearly 40 years, J Reynolds & Co. Inc. has set itself apart with its service, owner Matt Skipper says. “We really try to communicate and ensure the customers are satisfied with the products they get,” he says.
Saginaw, Texas-based J Reynolds specializes in commercial roofing and water proofing projects across the United States. Founder Jerry Reynolds started the company in Chicago in 1976 and opened a Dallas office in 2002.
That year, Reynolds partnered with Skipper, who now owns the company and manages its sole office from Saginaw. Currently, it employs a staff of 145 and serves a customer base that includes hotels and the service industry.
“We do a ton of work for high-end hotels,” Skipper says, noting that it has a successful track record in roofing these locations, despite the level of difficulty. “You have many patrons inside and you have to be accommodating to many people.”
Other areas of focus for the company include hospitals, which also can be challenging. “We usually get stuck with the hard jobs, including the critical areas, such as operating rooms and NICUs,” he says. “[But] we don’t have any leaks.”
J Reynolds stands as a leader in its market, Skipper says. “Our position is real strong as one of the larger roofing companies in the area, [but] no one really knows that so we’re quietly doing a lot of work,” he says. “We’re in the upper echelon in terms of contractors in the area.”
OPENING NEW DOORS
J Reynolds continues to grow, Skipper says. In 2012, he added a new partner, Vice President Kyle Crawford, who is a third-generation roofer.
“Kyle has come in and really helped with the business aspect,” Skipper says. Crawford’s involvement has developed better insurance connections for the company and enabled Skipper to change his focus. “He allowed me to do more with sales operations and running the company,” Skipper says. “Kyle handles the day-to-day operations and some sales.”
Another important hire is Marketing Associate Amy Aubuchon, who helped J Reynolds create its marketing department. “We never really pushed it and it’s really opening a lot of new doors for us so we can expand our business and grow,” Skipper says.
So far, under Aubuchon’s tenure, the company has changed its logo, added a new web site, attended trade shows and grown its focus on work in the Dallas area. “We’re pretty proud of our numbers that have come up in the Dallas market,” he says.
J Reynolds also has moved into a new corporate office. “It’s a top-of-the-line facility with a full-on sheet metal shop with all computerized equipment,” Skipper says, noting that the company is ANSI/SPRI ES-1 certified, which allows it to do its own metal work.
Previously, “We had to buy from manufacturers,” he recalls, noting that J Reynolds’ ability to do its own edge and coping metal work means less costs for the customer. The company also has increased its amount of after-sales service. “We now follow up with a survey for every customer to make sure their needs were met,” he says.
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
J Reynolds’ industry is constantly evolving, Skipper says. For example, J Reynolds used to complete many asphalt roof products in its local marketplace, but those numbers recently changed.
As energy requirements have increased, reflective roofs have been in higher demand. “If you work in the city of Houston, you have to have an ENERGY STAR-rated roof,” he says.
The company also has struggled with introduction of new, less expensive products that have not been time tested. Although J Reynolds’ clients often may want to use those, “We’d rather fall back to a time-tested material that will last for the warrantied period and meet their expectation,” Skipper says.
Fortunately, “With the economy going up, we’re seeing a turn,” he says. “We’re seeing a lot of people spending more money now, so hopefully, they’ll get away from using the cheapest roof.”
A 22-year veteran of the roofing industry, Skipper worked primarily on the manufacturing and consulting side of the business before joining J Reynolds.
“I was a vice president for two roofing companies prior to partnering with Jerry Reynolds,” he recalls.
Skipper notes that work at J Reynolds requires those who can operate in a fast-paced environment with long hours. “If you want a nine-to-five job, go work in a bank,” he says. “Everybody steps up to the plate to get the end-result we need.”
Going forward, “The future of the company looks really bright with our [initiatives],” he says. “We probably want to grow our business another 40 to 50 percent in the next three years.”
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