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Mark MacDonald - What Can MetalVue do for You? - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

February 22, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Mark MacDonald from Sherwin-Williams. You can read the interview below, listen to the podcast or watch the webinar. 

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And welcome to the first ever Metalcast. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and I'm with MetalCoffeeShop. And we are here to bring to you everything that's happening in metal. Metal construction, from roofing to walls, you name it. We are exploring through this Metalcast series what's happening. And I could not be any happier today than to have our very first guest be Mark MacDonald with Sherwin-Williams. Mark, welcome to the show.

Mark MacDonald: Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Hey, first show. Metalcast, here we are. And it's going to be launching January of 2023. We're so excited. And I have to tell you, this is a great topic for our first Metalcast out there. We're going to talk about how MetalCoffeeShop started, and Metal View. And really focusing in on that Metal View program and how important it is for contractors out there who want to grow their metal business.

Mark MacDonald: Absolutely. Yeah, it's exciting stuff for sure.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Okay. First off, can you introduce yourself and tell everybody a little bit about yourself?

Mark MacDonald: Yes. Hello, my name's Mark MacDonald and I work in the Sherwin-Williams coil division. And I'm a sales marketing manager with a focus on business development.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Perfect. Okay, so you and I have been working together for about five years, if not longer. And you had this great idea, this great plan on how to bring all the necessary resources into two roofing contractors so they can do more metal. It's been great. And so we've been working on this for a long time. From that came MetalCoffeeShop, which now, here we are. So exciting. But let's start out with, what is Metal View, and how did it all get started? Tell us a little bit of the history.

Mark MacDonald: So Metal View is a way for contractors who maybe do little to no metal, or maybe a little bit, to make more money with metal. That's what it is. That's the program in a nutshell. We want people to feel confident and comfortable that they have the right tools, services, and partnerships to get into metal roofing. And we want to make it as easy as possible. And I think we've done that, we being a large team. How it came about was really starting with a conversation with you years ago. Taking us down that technology journey that started with one of our key partnerships with EagleView. Getting in to understand, to make estimation easier for metal roofing.

And we've done that with the Sherwin-Williams Roofing Passport. And as we began to explore the market needs, when we looked at the... we had to ask the right question. And I think that took us a while. And the right question was, when we look at asphalt at this, it's basically level set at 87% year over year. And just 87%, 87%. And why is that? And I think we figured it out. We have a market that serve. Our customers, our manufacturers and their customers. The roofing and the metal roofing contractors have been servicing that market successfully for years. But it's not a market where we sell to consumers. It's a market where consumers generate that demand themselves, come in, and we service that demand.

And we do it quite well. We have a great community of manufacturers and contractors across the United States that do that every day, and they do a great job. But to grow, to move into and take additional... To gain additional share over asphalt, you have to sell to the homeowner. And that's really the genesis of Metal View, is that how do you do that? And the answer is you have to find contractors who sell to homeowners. That's really the program. That's the genesis of the program.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Exactly. And make it part of the every day, because that's always the hardest part, for contractors to incorporate it, the processes, the systems. Everything they need in order to sell more metal to really grow their business that direction. So on this chart, really this kind of explains Metal View in one big infographic. And so let's start with the metal manufacturers. Well, actually let's start with the most important, the contractors. Whether that's an exterior contractor, roofing contractor, general contractors who want to get in and do more metal, this is the way to do it. And so if I'm a contractor and I'm starting, why don't you walk us through getting started with the Metal View program?

Mark MacDonald: Yeah. The first thing is obviously reaching out to us. In some cases reaching out directly to a participating manufacturer works as well. But if they don't know one, they can come to us and we've got several participating manufacturers that we can point them to depending on their geography and their region. And basically it starts with, do you want to make more money with metal? Is metal something you've wanted to do? And a lot of what I've seen across the board with not all contractors but a lot of contractors that do home exterior remodeling, hybrid remodeling, or maybe they do bath and deck and also they've got roofing in there as well. Maybe it's a full service remodeler. Maybe it's an asphalt retail. Any of those folks, for the most part, have looked at metal as an opportunity but just haven't been able to capitalize on it because we haven't pivoted until now to service them as a market.

And so contractor's looking... the number one thing that they're looking for is an OEM or a manufacturer who's going to service them in a way that they need to be serviced. And that basically starts just like it is on the chart there, is, "Hey, I need a good, better, best system to sell." Now, that's going to be different for every contractor. Some of them are going to want maybe one profile, maybe two. Some are going to want all three. Very few might want four, but unlikely. It's usually three. Good, better, best.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. Yeah. Good, better, best.

Mark MacDonald: Good, better, best.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah.

Mark MacDonald: And from there, this is where the big pivot is. The big... it's a seismic shift. But the beauty of this is, because our manufacturers already service a large customer base, it's really doing the same thing that they do, just five degrees off of what they normally do with these new customers. And basically from there it's giving them sales training. So they told them, "Here's the products to sell." Because the contractor's going to want to know, "Hey, what am I selling, and then how do I sell it? What are the benefits? How do I this?" And they've got to be confident in that product. They've got to be confident because they're the ones who are going to walk in a homeowner for hours upselling this metal product for the manufacturers. So they've got to get educated on it.

And that's a commitment. That's a process. That's going in multiple times with these contractors and servicing their sales reps and educating them. It's giving them sales demo kits that are hand-carriable into the home. So that's really what is expected and required, and that's what these participating manufacturers are already doing. Across the country it's happening, and that's exciting.

And then from there, if they have installation support it most likely... some of them have good, pretty solid metal crews already. A lot of them don't. So there's some installation training there, and the manufacturer's going to pick that up as well. And sometimes that's in conjunction with the sales training, sometimes it isn't. But the bottom line is that step one, two, three, four that you've outlined there is just beautiful because that's exactly what the contractor expects and it's exactly what our participating manufacturers are doing.

Beyond that, you can see these services. Every contractor is different. We'll walk into some contractors that say, "Look, I see all these tools and support that you have, and for the most part I'm good." And that can happen. And that's okay because at the end of the day all we want is a Sherwin-Williams coated metal roof by a Sherwin-Williams-approved participating manufacturer putting that roof on a house. That's what we want. But without these services you're really excluding or not allowing a contractor to realize an opportunity, like you said, to grow their business.

So walking through some of these, let's start on the left. One of the most basic, fundamental things here in the market is one-visit-close sales training. Some cases two-visit-close. And we've partnered with industry leaders right here, Grosso University. And Rick Grosso started this whole shebang decades ago. And we are proud partners of Grosso University. Additionally, you've got the Certified Contractors Network. That's been around for decades. The Certified Contractor's Network has not just sales training but business process training, financial training to round out your whole business, which is exciting.

Partners like that allows us to take a contractor who's interested, and we've had many who are interested in that and say, "Oh yeah." Some of them are saying, "Nope, I've already got what I need. Don't need it." Many of them have said, "Yeah, I'm very interested in one of those things. Please get me in touch with them." And that's a key-

Heidi J. Ellsworth: You know, Mark, that is... no, I was just going to say it with you, that is a key part of it. Because if you have been doing something different from metal roofing, whether that's asphalt roofing or maybe, like you said bed and bath or decks or whatever it is, really understanding the dynamics and the profitability and how it works with metal roofing is so important to... and being able to sell it in the right manner. So with Grosso and CCN, you've got two companies there who can help you across the board, whether that's from profitability, looking at how it fits into your business, along with obviously being able to sell and close.

Mark MacDonald: Absolutely. And these are world-class organizations. And that's really what you're going to see across the board with our partnerships, is best in class. Everyone that we're going to work with. Everyone that we're either working with or looking at working with is world class, best in class. That's a theme that you're going to see from Sherwin-Williams. The other thing that's foundational to a contractor that's in this market is they want leads. Many of them have multiple layers of market ad spend. And if you don't have an answer for that, you're in the wrong game. So you've got to come to the table and say, "Oh I've got good news if you need it." Some people are like, "Look, I'm comfortable with what I have." And that's okay. Again, it's their business. They know their business better than I do.

But if they're interested in another opportunity, for example, we have two partnerships in the area of homeowner lead generation. We started the program... in fact, the foundation of the program is Spectrum, our predictive sales AI. And they're on the program, and they're an exciting company to work with. We also just developed a new relationship with a company called Socius, another well-represented company in the market.

And again, both these companies, world class. And they're going to take care of you. I've talked to many of their customers already and they love these guys. And they love them because they're the best at what they do. They're the best at creating a web architecture that is going to go after a specific homeowner, to find that homeowner that's really interested in buying a premium product by market, by product. And there's not that many companies that can do something like that. So it's very exciting stuff.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That's a whole new thing for a lot of contractors, too. Being able to get these kind of leads that are using artificial intelligence that really bring them into exactly what they need. And when you're talking about the metal, that's what you want to get the right homeowners who are going to want those systems. And so these leads are priceless.

Mark MacDonald: Yeah. And we're just developing a relationship with Socius but I can say we have quite a bit of experience with Spectrum, a predictive sales AI. And watching a company like that work with a customer is incredible. It's just unbelievable to watch. I've learned so much over the last year just listening to them talk to customers about how they can help them on their site. So being partnered with these types of folks is really key to the program because we're handing value to people who want it. Not that they have to have it, but if they want it, we're giving it to them.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. And Mark, as I just want to remind everybody out there too, as we're going through this, this Metal View program, the center, the key as you see, in the middle, the center is your metal manufacturers. So at the top, once you choose that metal manufacturer, then you can start adding these services in varying degrees to whatever fits your business. So that's really where it all starts coming together to grow your business. Sorry Mark, I just wanted a remind everybody because we're getting to one of my favorite parts, what really is revolutionary.

Mark MacDonald: No. I think, to me, that you have to say that, because without the manufacturer there's no program.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Right. Exactly.

Mark MacDonald: The manufacturer is the heart and soul of Metal View, period. That is it. We're just trying to help bolt on value and capability where we can, but it's not the heart. The heart and soul is the manufacturers servicing that... absolutely good. That's fantastic. And we always have to come back to that, for sure.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Well, especially as we move into the measure, bid, and contact, because this is really where everything, the magic happens. Obviously you need to have the business processes, you need to have the leads, you have all the other technologies. But this part, when we look at EagleView and what you've done with Roofing Passport, this is really kind of the secret sauce.

Mark MacDonald: Yeah. It took us a long time to develop the Roofing Passport. It's the most sophisticated tool that's been built in the market for roofing estimation. And it's needed because of a couple of things. With these folks, these contractors, they want a couple of things. They want speed of turnaround so they have the information they need when they get in the home. But also they want to have confidence in the estimation, that when they give an estimate to a homeowner, that it's going to correlate pretty tightly with the final product order. That's all money in the bank.

And so with the Roofing Passport you have that trust. You have the ability to say... because we've done thousands and thousands of bids at this point with it, and we know how accurate it is. And we know. We can say that, "Yeah, there's contractors out there that are putting final product orders in that were within $100. $100 to $200 of the initial estimate," which is incredible.

And the only way that you can do that is through a partner like EagleView. EagleView has the ability to mine that data in their database, and there's no one else that has that kind of data. The type of accuracy that they have developed over a fairly long period of time now is unequaled in the market. And I think for asphalt, it's important but they can take more risk because of how they apply their product on the roof.

With metal, when you're cutting metal panels and sending them out to a job site, you can't tolerate as much risk. So you have to have a higher level of accuracy. And that's what we have. So it is an exciting tool. This year we executed a partnership with Roofing Works that we're really excited about that allows us to do blueprints, plans, and drawings. And there's many of these contractors who will process blueprints, plans, and drawings.

And additionally, there are services out there like [inaudible 00:16:31] Covert that contractors use. And we can actually process that XML file directly into that system, directly into the Roofing Passport and get the same output, which is a full material takeoff. And that can include labor, if desired. So it is a key part of the process. It's in the field today. It's working, bidding. And we're going to continue to roll that out. So that is something that we have spent a lot of time on. And I think that... but what the contractors are looking for is more of a seamless integration with their systems and processes.

And that's really something that we've started conversations with some folks. You can see on the chart there, we're starting to investigate and look at developing interfaces to people like One Click Contractor, Leap, AccuLynx. And those are large systems that some contractors use. Many contractors use those types of systems. And we have the ability to bolt in or plug in Roofing Passport data into those systems and so that if that's desired or when that's desired, we can do that.

So that's another... and that's because of the approach that we took to our APIs. So we're very excited about the opportunities that that can present in 2023. And it's just yet another way to add value to this new customer, this new contractor that we're very excited about.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: So Mark, just to bring that down because sometimes I am wondering if the overall industry, if all these contractors and exteriors, if they really realize how magical this is. Because as you know, I was with EagleView when they first started. And to be able to get exact measurements for metal wasn't happening eight, 10 years ago but today is happening with full... when you see the reports that come out of that, it is full cut sheets. And this goes directly to the manufacturers through the Roofing Passport. So for the contractors, this becomes seamless. And I'm just really thinking about that. Putting in an address, getting exact measurements, doing the bid, the cuts, getting everything to the manufacturer, and then getting that planned and shipped and delivered to your job site. That is pretty incredible. That is really what's happening here for everybody out there.

Mark MacDonald: Yeah, it is exciting. I think for the contractors it's just another example of a tool that's available to them. We don't require the use of the passport for the system. That's really between the manufacturer and the contractor, although it's almost an implied requirement because of the turnaround time and the requirement for having connectivity between the estimate and the order process. Because that can be very complicated when you start running a large number of bids, you really do want to use the Roofing Passport. So it's not a stated requirement, but pretty much everyone's onboarding with it for those reasons, which makes sense.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: It'll make your life easier.

Mark MacDonald: Yes.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Now, one of the things you and I have talked about a lot is that, okay, this is all great. We've got the leads, we've got the jobs. We're getting it measured, we're getting it estimated. We're doing all of these things. But do we have the skilled labor to install it? And you have also attacked that one too. It's great.

Mark MacDonald: Yes. We're really lucky again. Through you, Heidi, and some of the introductions that you've had and some other folks, we were able to pull on a couple of folks that have really changed the dynamics of the program. So we have Sheridan Tools with John Sheridan who's, for manufacturers that might want to augment their certification for installers, he's available. He's already up and running. He's going to be running around the country in 2023 conducting training for different participating manufacturers and their labor force for these contractors.

So without that kind of augmentation it's hard to scale up these products. But with it, it's a game-changer. So now we can say, "Yeah, we can be on site. Yes, we can train your folks." And that's something that the contractors frankly expect. They expect you to be able to do that. And we can. Our participating manufacturers are already in the process of doing it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And don't forget, Sheridan also is doing it in Spanish. Spanish and English.

Mark MacDonald: Yep.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Key.

Mark MacDonald: Absolutely. Sheridan Tools is just what... you talk about world class. This is probably one of the premier installers. Forget training, installers and trainer in the United States for metal, period. And he's exciting. Well, actually I'll run through Toolbelt now. So I guess one of the... everything on this program we get through networking. That's how we... we've been to a number of shows that have been fantastic. We've been to CCN, we've been to Grosso, we've been to Top 500, which is all these great communities. Just incredible communities that've really helped us grow our program through their introductions.

And one of the companies that we got through our network is Toolbelt. And Toolbelt is just an absolute game-changer in the industry, period. And they are someone who's out basically providing an application, a phone application or desktop to these contractors that they can get on-demand labor. So Toolbelt develops a labor pool and then that contractor can access it. So let's say they go, "What's the number one thing that these contractors care about?" It's ticket size. So how big is that ticket at the house? How much can they get? What share of wallet can they get at that house? And then how easily, how seamless can they go get labor demand? And that is what Toolbelt is providing.

Right now they're on the west coast. They're looking at launching in Florida coming up, and then other states. And they're going to have, I think, most of the country wrapped up by the end of Q4 of 2023. And that capability cannot be understated, how powerful that is. And I've talked to some people who currently use Toolbelt and it's just been a game-changer for them. The ability to bid out jobs, know what their margin's going to be upfront, know the quality of the labor, know that the labor's going to show up when they need them. That' just an incredibly powerful tool.

The other thing that they offer to the manufacturer, which is just fantastic, is the ability to develop a proprietary lead program so the manufacturer can go find new business, so they can go find new contractors in their market. And that is unique to Toolbelt. And they are very, very good at it.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah.

Mark MacDonald: So it's really a beautiful synergy between the manufacturer and Toolbelt and the contractor because Toolbelt can serve both of those folks equally well at the same time, which is... and they're already doing it. And it's really helped our program get a tremendous amount of traction in markets where I don't know how we would've gotten traction, to be honest, without them. I don't know> we didn't have anything. And then suddenly, "Hey, we have new business there."

Heidi J. Ellsworth: There we go.

Mark MacDonald: Yay.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: That that's really how this network has worked too, Mark. Everybody coming together with the sole purpose of the success of the contractors, of selling more metal. And with the sustainability, the energy efficiency, everything that's going along with metal. Everybody wants it. And this is really, this program... and I know we had one more here, Visualize, where we are looking at, again, giving the tools. Because this is what homeowners want to see. What's it going to look like on my house? How is it going to work? So these are the types of technology tools that are all part of these resources that are accessed through Metal View. You've just done an amazing job. What a great ecosystem

Mark MacDonald: It is. And I think you mentioned the visualizer. That's with Renoworks. And what's amazing about that is our participating manufacturers, many of them have already made that investment. So what a beautiful thing. The contractor can come in and leverage that investment. They don't have to do all the material upload. That's already done. They can white label it and get it done. And why do they care about that? The reason they care about that is because the contractor is going to want to increase their close rate.

So they're going to have market ad spend. That's going to turn into leads. The leads will turn into appointments at a given rate. Those appointments will have a closure rate depending on the product line and the contractor. And that visualizer will help increase the closure rate, which means more sales, which means more money in everyone's pocket. So it's a great opportunity. A lot of them are already pursuing that with the different participating manufacturers. So it's a very exciting thing that we've gotten involved with. And it takes a village, Heidi.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yes, it does. It really does. Well, and I have to say right smack dab in the middle of all of this, we are so honored to have MetalCoffeeShop. And MetalCoffeeShop, a brainstorm we had I think at a Metalcon a couple years ago, Mark, where we are able to bring all of these resources to everyone. So you'll be able to find directories on all of these vendors. You'll be able to find all your participating metal manufacturers so you could talk to them, get involved with them.

You can get ahold of Sherwin-Williams. Plus we're going to have ongoing education. Installation education, and we're going to be doing sales training. We're going to have Grosso on here. We're going to have CCN. We're going to have a lot of... everyone on this network be coming on to Metalcast and onto our new webinars on metal too on MetalCoffeeShop. So Mark, it's all coming together.

Mark MacDonald: Absolutely. Yeah, we couldn't have done this without you, Heidi. We really appreciate it. And I think MetalCoffeeShop is the hub for all of our networking that's happening on this program between manufacturers and vendors. And so if you want to find out what's going on with metal, go to MetalCoffeeShop.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: Yeah. I love it. And sign up and get more information, and get involved with Metal View. It's a revolutionary program. And Roofing Passport will change your business processes. So Mark, wow. This has been a lot of information. I'm really excited about it because I think, as we're talking to the contractors out there, this is exactly what they need. It's almost like going into a new age of what is being demanded in the market when it comes to metal with sustainability, energy, all of the different things that are going on. And now to have the solutions, to incorporate that into your business at a whole new level. So congratulations.

Mark MacDonald: Thank you. Yeah, it's been... couldn't have done it without the 100 people that are involved.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: And you can see it. You saw them all on that chart. I want to say thank you to all of you for being part of our first Metalcast. This is going to be happening monthly, and you know how it goes around the MetalCoffeeShop. It could be even more. A couple times a month. But we're going to be starting out monthly. And you'll be able to find us not only on MetalCoffeeShop, but on your favorite podcast channels. So be sure to look us up, MetalCoffeeShop. Subscribe and get your notifications so you don't miss a single thing about the metal construction industry. Again, Mark, thank you so much for being on our first episode.

Mark MacDonald: All right, well thank you, Heidi. And looking forward to 2023.

Heidi J. Ellsworth: 2023 is going to be great. Everyone have a great day, and thank you for being on Metalcast.

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