Certainteed shakes up its shingle offering
Certainteed introduced Northwoods Single 7-inch Straight Edge Perfection Shingles, the company’s newest profile. Perfection shingles provide a smoother, more precise siding option for homeowners seeking more contemporary curb appeal.
While all profiles in the Northwoods line feature a deep, rough texture to look like hand-split cedar, the new Straight Edge Perfection Shingles offer cleaner, crisper edges and more uniform shingles that deliver a beautiful, sleek look, the company explained. All Northwoods products feature a TrueTexture finish molded from real cedar shingles for the classic look of wood without the maintenance.
The Northwoods profile comes in 17 colors.
“The new Northwoods profile adds a groomed, modern style that is affordable for most homeowners and can be used on any home,” said Robert Clark, marketing manager for CertainTeed Siding. “We want every homeowner nationwide to have access to our high-quality, durable products, so this collection was manufactured to meet the strictest building codes and standards for homes in any region.”
A product for heavy-duty jobs
Pleasanton, Calif.-based Simpson Strong-Tie launched large-diameter stainless-steel screw anchors for concrete and masonry. Designed for severely corrosive interior or exterior environments, the new stainless-steel Titen HD heavy-duty screw anchors deliver an advanced standard of performance for bridge, marine and water treatment plant construction and retrofit applications, the company said.
The nation’s aging wastewater treatment plant infrastructure is facing a critical turning point, with the American Society of Civil Engineers projecting $206 billion in increased costs to households and businesses if the upgrade and replacement of old treatment plants are not completed by the year 2020. In addition, according to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s 2018 Deficient Bridge Report, 54,259 US bridges are structurally deficient. In fact, almost 9% of all bridges in the country have at least one key structural element in poor enough condition to need repair, the report finds.
Available since April 2017 in 3/8″ and 1/2″ diameters, THDSS is now offered in larger 5/8″ and 3/4″ diameters suitable for heavier civil construction where corrosive elements pose a hazard to standard carbon-steel screw anchors.
“There is definitely a need in the market for larger-diameter screw anchors,” says Simpson Strong-Tie senior product manager Mike Steiber. “Other wedge anchor or adhesive options often have drawbacks with spacing or difficult installation, so for applications that need stainless-steel anchors, this is a first-of-its-kind solution for the market.”
Labor Savers: Back-office booster
In a tight labor market, efficiency can be a game changer.
The following article is the part of a series of interviews with companies offering solutions designed for speed and efficiency at or near the job site. The series ran as “Labor Savers” in the March 2018 issue of HBSDealer.
There’s a fundamental truth in the home building industry: If the cabinet guy isn’t finished, the countertop guy has got nothing to do but twirl his thumbs. And that’s just one of hundreds of job-site examples that Hyphen Solutions CEO Felix Vasquez uses to demonstrate the interconnected, time-sensitive, labor-intensive process of home building. Vasquez, a former executive with home builder D.R. Horton, spoke with HBSDealer about a solution to profitably manage all of the moving parts.
Are you seeing increased interest in saving time on the job site?
Absolutely, and the other thing we’re seeing with today’s labor crunch is that cycle times are starting to extend in this market. For us, the entire tool set is really geared at labor savings of all kinds, whether it’s back office, front office, scheduling your people or using up the latent capacity so you don’t have downtime.
How does Hyphen respond to all of that?
With Hyphen, we say “one log in, one website, one process.” We try to bridge all those technologies and user websites and user IDs. If you look at the way some companies operate: There’s one site for a schedule, another website for the purchase order, another website for any inspections and another for documents and another for warranties. Five different processes for five different ways of doing things, and that’s just for one builder. We’re in the business of streamlining all that.
How does the lumberyard fit into the equation?
We kind of sit in the middle, most of the builders have an ERP system. The way they’re built, they throw these big walls around their data with moats and castles and make it impossible for anybody to get to that data. And that’s cool, except for the fact that 75 to 80% of the activities on the job site are outsourced. So in order for you to get a home framed, you’ve got to take your data and publish it in a way that your LBM dealer can consume it — and in a meaningful time frame. What we do is pierce through the armor of the ERP systems and liberate the data.
Sometimes you sound like a builder. Sometimes you sound like a Silicon Valley guy. How do you think of yourself?
I am a technologist at heart. I’ve been programming computers since I was in second grade, but I love what we do in this industry. Think of this: the top 5 automakers control 70% of the market, but the look at the top of the 200 builders are just a little north of 50% of the market. The problems that that creates are pervasive, but the opportunity to use technology to overcome that are really cool.
How do you stay current?
The biggest driver of change for us is our user groups, having builders sitting in a room and telling us, “we need this” or “we need that.” Dealers in the same room talking to builders about changes and improvements. Collaboration in this business is impressive.
What’s your message for the pro dealer?
I would say, if you’d like to create economies of scale in training your people in receiving your orders and getting the lowest cost per order of getting orders into your system, you’ll use Hyphen Solutions. You can’t integrate into 50,000 websites. It’s not possible. You integrate into mine, and I’ll take care of connecting into everybody else.
Catch Up: HBSDealer published one Q&A every day this week with someone from each of the following companies regarding its labor-saving products: Hyphen Solutions, White Lightning, Georgia-Pacific, Epicor and E-Z Gutter.