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LIVE From IRE With FlashCo!

FlashCo Live from IRE
March 19, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.

Greg Morrow talks about the growth of FlashCo and how prefabricated accessories save contractor's time. 

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an interview with Greg Morrow, the founder of FlashCo. You can read the interview below or watch the recorded livestream

Karen Edwards: Hello everybody, and welcome back to the RoofersCoffeeShop sound stage at the International Roofing Expo 2022 in New Orleans. And I am so excited to welcome Greg Morrow from FlashCo. Greg, welcome. 

Greg Morrow: Thank you, Karen. 

Karen Edwards: I just learned, I didn't know this, Greg founded the company and we were just talking about 20 years. 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, 20 years in 2000. It's easy to remember how long we've been around. 

Karen Edwards: Wow. So tell me that story. 

Greg Morrow: Yeah. So I was in the roofing business selling through another company and then they got acquired and I went to work for another company. It was in the lead business and lead's used quite a bit in roofing for tile roofs and also for built-up, which is still around. And then I went to work for another unrelated company that was selling other lead products and then that wasn't working out, so I started FlashCo in 2000. I called up my dad and I said, "Dad, what do you think about me starting my business?" And he's like, "Well, you're 35 now. You don't want to be 45 and be regretting that you didn't start your business." So, that was it for me. 

Karen Edwards: Right. Wow, congratulations. 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, thanks. 

Karen Edwards: That's a long time in business. It's good stuff. 

Greg Morrow: Started in Northern California. In Sebastopol, California, right outside Santa Rosa. 

Karen Edwards: So started with one location in Northern California, and where are you today? 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, today. So, we opened up in 2004 in Woodland, Washington, right outside Portland. We serve the Seattle area. 

Karen Edwards: Okay. 

Greg Morrow: We just announced our eighth location, which is in Fife, Washington, which is in between Seattle and Tacoma. We have other locations in South Carolina, in Texas, in Utah, in Illinois, and then down by you in Southern California in South Gate. 

Karen Edwards: So, pretty much wherever somebody is in the country, there is a FlashCo location not too far away. 

Greg Morrow: That's right. Probably one more to go in the Northeast, I hope. 

Karen Edwards: Okay. Well, good stuff. So if you do don't know, FlashCo makes prefabricated accessories for single-ply roofing applications, in any residential? You mentioned lead for some. 

Greg Morrow: We do, yes. Single-ply is not too prevalent in steep slope, but it is in low slope. We do a lot of steep slope lead roof flashings, which is how we got our start in 2000. We got into single-ply in 2008. 

Karen Edwards: Nice. Most commercial roofing contractors know that if they're in the field fabricating accessories, there are challenges that come with that, right? It's a windy day. Your membrane's flying all over the place. The cuts aren't exactly spot on. So prefabrication, you were like a pioneer, because this is becoming a thing now. Build it offsite. It's done in a controlled environment, so the quality is assured. 

Greg Morrow: Absolutely. That's absolutely right. You know, back in the day, roofers had to make all these accessories themselves and that takes a lot of time up on the roof. So we developed the single-ply prefabricated accessories, probably pretty much from the beginning. Now we do injection molded ones as well. In today's world with the challenges that we're having with labor, they really make sense. 

When I was first walking up on jobs, I remember one down in Phoenix where I walked up there and I saw a guy wrapping a T-top and I asked the foreman, I said, "Man, that's a lot of work. How long is he taking?" And he said, "Man, he takes about 45 minutes of penetration." I was looking at all these penetrations on the roof. 

Karen Edwards: How many penetrations were on that roof! 

Greg Morrow: And he's got his top guy doing it. I said, "You know, we sell those things pre-fabricated and all's you got to do is fasten it, weld the perimeter and you're in business." 

Karen Edwards: Pop it on and weld it. 

Greg Morrow: So, that's really a big thing. Saving the contractor time has been our motto from day one. Prefabricated is, like you mentioned, made in the factory, controlled environment. It just makes sense. And then the time savings. Roofer's time is very valuable and it helps them get off the job sooner. 

Karen Edwards: Exactly, and on the next one. Now I'm going to ask the question because certain materials have been really hard to get. There's shortages, there's shipping issues. How available are these? 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, that's a great question. We partner with major manufacturers, so we make warranted accessories for them as well. So we're a big buyer of all the different membranes. We deal with most major manufacturers and we sell the accessories back to them for a segment of our business, but most of our business is through roofing wholesale distribution. Our director of supply chain has a lot of sources to where he can buy membranes, so we've done very well through. We've grown 39% this last year. 

Karen Edwards: Wow. 

Greg Morrow: We've done that, I think, largely because we've had product on the floor. 

Karen Edwards: Right. 

Greg Morrow: Recently, in the past few years, we've gotten more and more are into injection molded parts. We have the universal boot, we have the sealant pocket, we have the universal corner. These are all readily available and shipping and they're actually spiking, I tend to think because we had them and others didn't. 

Karen Edwards: Right, yeah. You need the material, you've got. I'm glad you mentioned the other manufacturers, because I was thinking about how that would affect a, a warranty for a new roofing system, but you've got agreements in place. 

Greg Morrow: That's right. If it is a warranted job, then the job goes through the manufacturer. What FlashCo does is it partners with them based on trust and we sell the products back to them and then they sell it through their distribution chain out to the roofing contractor. But that doesn't preclude the roofing contractor from contacting us directly because they just want the stuff, and they want to know when they're going to get it. So they call FlashCo and they say, "When can we get it?" And we say, "Hey, we'll take care of it from here. We'll call the manufacturer. We'll handhold it through and get it to you when you need it." We typically ship our products in one to three days, standard or custom. 

Karen Edwards: That's fantastic. And contractors can order from your website? 

Greg Morrow: Yes, they can order from the website and then they can fill out request lists from our website as well. It depends on the job, if it's a discretionary job or if it's non-discretionary. 

Karen Edwards: If someone's not used them before, and maybe wants a little bit of hand-holding or a little bit of training, are you guys there for them? 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, that's a great question. Sample requests are available online, so we can ship out the sample. We'll call them, ask them what they're doing, give them tips on application. But the manufacturers mostly handle the application training, so we're not quite there yet. Maybe someday we'll be training, offering training. Nowadays, most roofers know how to do heat welding, but it was interesting back in the beginning, a lot of them did not know how. 

Karen Edwards: Right, yeah TPO, PVC, it's all becoming much more commonplace than it was when you started. 

Greg Morrow: That's absolutely true. Right. 

Karen Edwards: BUR is still all the old tried and true. 

Greg Morrow: That's right. 

Karen Edwards: It's been around for a long time, probably still will and so you've got the lead boots and drains that go with built-up roof. 

Greg Morrow: Yeah, most built-up contractors that I know of still like to use lead. Lead's a preferred metal. It expands and contracts with the membrane. You don't have to fasten it to the deck. On the residential reroofing contractor, the lead roof flashing is still very popular amongst the reroofing contractors. You have these shingle roofs that are lasting 40, 50 years. They want to put a flashing on there that's going to last. As long as a squirrel doesn't eat it then they're going to be okay. 

Karen Edwards: That's wonderful. So, your booth number is 1845. 

Greg Morrow: 1845. I knew I'd forget that. 

Karen Edwards: 1845. If you're coming to the show, you want to go by their booth, 1845, and see it, touch it, feel it. See it, get a sample, right? Have one sent to you. Try it out. If you're not able to be here at the show, you can go to FlashCo's directory on rooferscoffeeshop.com. We have recent podcasts, we have literature, information, we have how to order. Everything that you possibly need to know, links to the website, it's all right there. But, if you're here, definitely swing by. See him in person, say hi and see what's new. 

Greg Morrow: Yeah. Thank you, Karen. 

Karen Edwards: Thank you for being here and thank you all for tuning in. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel if you're not already and hit that little notification bell, because we're going live all day long and we want you to be there and to know about it. Until next time, we'll see you real soon. Bye bye. 

Learn more about FlashCo in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directory or visit www.flashco.com

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