Roofing contractor explains appeal of the business
On the wall at Mahaney Roofing is a picture of East High School under construction in 1923. The company did the roof, as it did many of the city’s early landmarks.
The commercial roofing company has been a going concern since 1888 when Charles E. Mahaney came to Wichita. The current owner, Mark Bolt, bought it in 2009 after working at the company since 2001. He is the company’s fifth owner.
Bolt, a native of Maize, got into construction because it’s satisfying. He likes “to see something tangible develop every day,” he said. “It’s putting a project together, having a finished product.”
The company is about one-third new construction and two-thirds re-roofing and service, Bolt said.
Best business advice you have received: It was from a customer early on in my career. He let me know that the service that I provide may be valuable, but it’s not necessarily the best thing for that organization every time. For us to tie in our services to the customer’s vision was the most important thing to do. It’s what the customer wants no matter how much I think I understand it.
Best business advice you have given: Pain is coming and whether we choose to change or (change comes) from an external force, the pain will be the same. So we might as well as change on our own, rather than waiting for the external force.
What sets your company apart? Service, communication and transparency. From the service aspect, we dedicated ourselves to become a service organization whether that is roof leaks, small jobs, whatever. All the little things we do that adds up to a satisfied customer is really where we’re at. And, the transparency, everything we do is photo documented and available to the customer.
What have you learned about your company by going through this process? Honestly, the shared vision that everyone in the organization has.
Why do you prefer to run your own business as opposed to working for someone else? For me, it’s more about the pace of life. I have the ability to recognize change, I have the ability to quickly adapt, I can slow down, if necessary. When the organization has the need to put the pedal to the metal, we can.
How has your business changed in the digital age? It’s everywhere, from educating everyone in leadership to use and communicate through an iPhone, to photo documentation to emails. Every one of our service tickets is run through an iPhone, our estimates and take-offs. We barely have blueprints anymore. Everything is just so fast: the speed at which you can make an estimate, the speed at which you can look at data, the speed at which you communicate is unbelievable. The things when I started that would take two days now take two hours.
What's your company's next goal? Our next goal is to be able to offer a formal training program for people in the technical roofing, the leadership, and the soft skills side, and be able to do that in a formal, measurable way.
Name of business: Mahaney Roofing Co.
Year founded: 1888
Owner: Mark Bolt
Address: 2822 N. Mead St.