Customer Service Above All Else
Ace Roofing and Construction proves ‘Nothing beats an Ace’
When Rodney Stovall founded Ace Roofing and Construction over 18 years ago (2001) in Indianapolis, he made a name for himself through top-notch customer service above all else. “We get there in 24 to 48 hours instead of the week most roofing companies take,” says Stovall, who brings more than 30 years of experience in the commercial and residential construction industry. “We’re upfront about our pricing, and we go out of our way to keep our customers informed of our progress completing the job.”
Stovall stands behind everything he says, especially keeping customers informed. Typically, Ace Roofing and Construction focuses on residential roofs and some small commercial projects. When his team is on-site, his clients can expect step-by-step texted or emailed photos of the work so they can follow the progress and the project’s completion throughout the day. “I always say it ain’t what you do, but how you do it,” he adds. “We give our customers peace of mind.”
And that’s been the hallmark of his minority-owned business—the time and attention he gives his clients.
Attention to Detail
His customers agree that he provides quality workmanship with no shortcuts and no price changes. Corey Greenwood, a local Indianapolis homeowner, says he was expecting the roofing project for his large home to take two days. Ace Roofing and Construction did it in half a day.
But what really blew him away was the company’s care and attention. “I was more amazed by the attention to details, like covering my flower beds to make sure no debris was thrown into them,” he says. “The cleanup process was as efficient as the roof job.” Greenwood appreciated the constant updates as well.
“This company is amazing,” he says. “This company’s attention to detail, timely manner and professionalism is outstanding.”
Stephanie Keller, who owns a home in the Butler-Tarkington area of Indianapolis, used Ace Roofing and Construction after her home suffered storm damage. She too was really pleased with Ace Roofing’s personal touch.
“Rodney and the crew arrived on time and worked all day to complete the job,” she says. “During the reroofing process, he sent pictures to show the work being done. After completing the roof, the crew cleaned up all debris. I was very happy with the whole process, and I continue to refer Ace Roofing to all my friends and family.”
Finding a Niche
Before founding Ace Roofing and Construction, Stovall started at the bottom working extremely hard for other companies—from lead man to foreman and finally maintenance foreman—being the frontman to many businesses, factories and strip mall stores. Years later, he saw an opportunity to start his own business.
“Like any small business, it started slow, wishing the phone would ring,” Stovall says. “But we do quality work, and now it has picked up so much over the years that we are comfortable, but not satisfied!”
Each year, Ace Roofing and Construction serves hundreds of residential clients, bringing in large profits, but it wasn’t always like this.
The company has seen its struggles, especially in the beginning. Stovall started focusing on major commercial roofing projects. Although he had years of experience, businesses were hesitant to hire him for major commercial jobs like malls.
“The struggle is that bigger general contractors weren’t confident I could do the work,” Stovall says.
The solution for Stovall was obvious, start out small and grow from there to find a niche. After all, the company’s motto is “Nothing Beats an Ace.”
“It’s challenging when no one knows who you are,” Stovall says. “There’s so much competition in the big jobs, so I found a niche in the smaller jobs. I went after the work no one wanted.” By smaller jobs, Stovall means his company took on more of the residential roofing projects. At the time, the company was just Stovall, a truck and a ladder taking on small jobs.
Major commercial projects offer bigger payouts, so larger construction and roofing companies don’t take on more residential jobs. At first, Stovall solved the problem by keeping his business tight to get more profit with less overhead.
“I tried to do everything myself to keep costs down, and I put everything back into the business,” he says. “Every time I took on a job, I’d put as much as I could back into the business.”
Rather than focus on the bigger commercial contracts that take months to complete with tons of overhead and insurance, Stovall created a business model that uses residential and small commercial jobs that take a week or two with minimal overhead. He achieved the same profit results, but from a different angle.
“We make up for it in volume,” he says. “We get more customers than the big guys. One big project can take three to four months, meanwhile I can take care of 20 customers in the same span.”
And before he knew it, the roofing jobs exceeded what he could do on his own.
A Lean, Mean Roofing Machine
Once again, Stovall found a simple but elegant solution—make Ace Roofing and Construction agile as well as lean.
At this point, his company added a staff member or two, but the elegant solution was to create a company made up of a series of standing subcontractors (many of whom Stovall has currently worked with for more than a decade). In this way, the company not only sees more profit overall by taking more jobs, but customers get even better pricing.
“Less overhead means better pricing,” he says. “Other companies may be charging 20% to 30% more just to cover their needs and still make a profit.”
Stovall went from being the sole worker/owner to a sales rep and estimator. And his company grew from a single truck to divisions of subcontractors.
“What I realized early on was that smaller jobs mean more money and bigger jobs mean less,” Stovall adds. “It’s too much paperwork, red tape and issues just to get qualified for those major commercial jobs, and you only end up with a fraction of the money when you add in the background checks and bonding. You make more in a residential job without those things. You see more pure profit.”
The other side of his business is its agility in the diversity of services offered. Stovall divides his subcontractors into internal and external jobs—roofing, painting and drywall, siding and gutters. The company has a lot of moving parts that allow it to serve all the needs of his clients no matter the time of year or the housing project. Nowadays, his company doesn’t see the seasonal lulls between jobs that bigger companies experience.
“A lot of times roof repair work turns into a whole roof,” he notes. “But it also can become interior work for us, and we do it all. There’s always something to do, and like an HVAC guy, we’re busy all year long.”
And this is all possible because of subcontractors like Simon Barron, the crew leader of the company’s A-team, who handles all the company’s big commercial and residential roof jobs. “He is the hardest working sub and one of the best workers overall that I have ever meet in 30 years,” Stovall says. “And he works on Sundays doing our roofing and siding repairs, too.”
Over the years, Ace Roofing and Construction has roofed churches, car lots, senior apartments, banks, restaurants, grocery stores and military bases, like Fort Benjamin Harrison. The company has taken projects all across the state of Indiana. It has received the Pulse of the City Award each year from 2015 to 2018 and was recognized among the TOP 3 Roofing Contractors in Indianapolis by Three Best Rated in 2017 and named Indianapolis’ Top Roofing Contractor in 2013 by the Indianapolis Business Journal.
The next phase of growth for Ace Roofing and Construction is to gain a national presence within the industry. That’s the reason, he says, he partners with The Blue Book Network. “The Blue Book makes us visible within the industry and around the country,” he says. “It makes us more noticed by other contractors who we can network with and continue to grow.”