Raise the Roof

How to keep a roof over your store — without going broke. Expert tips from
Anthony Armato, Director, Facilities & Energy Management, Ulta Beauty,
and Jennifer Poultney, VP National Sales, Simon Roofing.

Roofs may seem like an afterthought (every building has one, right?), but roof maintenance is critical to protecting not just customers and employees
but also merchandise and other contents inside your facility. Roofs also maintain facility integrity, which is why investments in new roofs and roof maintenance are a major factor in all FM budgets.

Anthony Armato, Director, Facilities & Energy Management, Ulta Beauty, described a roofing case study — from a previous retail employer — that shows how to reduce roofing costs and work with suppliers to create a win-win scenario.

The History

Before being hired by Ulta, Armato worked for a large retailer in a construction and facilities capacity. The retailer had 4,000 locations, with
aging and failing roofing systems. “These represented very expensive CAP projects that already had more than a decade of depreciation and would
exceed lease terms or time the store would be operating,” Armato said.

A new roofing system typically has a 30-plus-year life span. Considering the number of store closures scheduled, the company was hesitant to overinvest in roofing, but wanted to provide a safe and dry environment
for employees and customers.

The company partnered with three roofing companies. Before awarding the work, suppliers were educated on the financial situation, lease challenges
and risks to associate and guest safety in addition to protecting assets from damage

The Challenges

The company did not want to invest more in a property that could close or one in which the lease wouldn’t be renewed. Solutions needed to solve safety issues and reduce or eliminate potential damage risks, plus
provide a warranty and ongoing service program, Armato said.

One supplier, Simon Roofing, responded with a coating vs. a full/partial roof tear-off proposal that provided short-term solutions with these added benefits:

  • The roof coating could be quickly rolled on/applied.
  • The cost was a small fraction of a total roof replacement.
  • The roof would support the store for one to five years without overinvesting in the property.
  • The proposal included a full warranty based upon the product applied; one to five years.
  • All leaks and service issues would be covered during the warranty period.

The Winning Solution

Simon Roofing was able to complete the job and provide additional benefits. “As a standard practice in recommending solutions for problem roofs, we
utilize repairs, restorations and replacements — in that order,” said Jennifer Poultney, VP National Sales, Simon Roofing. “Therefore, instead of assuming all problem roofs needed to be replaced, we used SR PreVision to predict the remaining useful life of each roof through inspections, infrared scans, laboratory testing and Simetrix analysis.”

Simon Roofing summarized the findings into a comprehensive condition report that provided a customized solution based upon their specific
needs and plans for each building. Plus, the report was detailed by roof section, allowing them to prioritize issues and implement solutions within the time frame.

A Better Process

The SR PreVision evaluation, testing and analysis for approximately 80 stores with problem roofs revealed that Simon Roofing could complete restorations on more than half of the roofs instead of replacing them.

“Because our recommended solutions were significantly less costly than total roof replacements, they were able to afford a warranteed, watertight solution on more than twice as many roofs as they could have had they opted to replace them,” Poultney said.

Discovery Voyage

“Fact-finding conversations to determine our customers’ needs and truly listening to what they say is the best way we can assure we meet — and hopefully exceed — expectations,” Poultney said. “Building a partnership with Anthony helped us better understand different scenarios associated with how the stores were prioritized based on profitability, owned vs. leased and longevity at each location.”

As a result, Simon Roofing was able to create value-engineered solutions designed to meet both budgetary and building needs, allowing both parties
to succeed.

Read more from the July/August issue of Connexus here.