In 1996, commercial contractor Mark Carpenter incorporated his new business, Columbia Construction Services, Inc., which you probably know as Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal in our city of Tualatin. As an Army Veteran and roofing industry professional with over 40 years of experience, Mark knew of the challenges and pitfalls that many companies in this field would face. In some cases, roofing companies may not even last more than 5 years per industry trends. This uncertain forecast is what drove Mark to pursue a variety of diverse and innovative strategies to add value to his organization, setting him apart from the competition and allowing Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal to successfully grow for over 24 years.
But Mark’s business didn’t start out with huge leaps and bounds. He started small, like most family-owned businesses, by performing small repairs and other services that eventually grew his client base and allowed him to develop a lucrative business model with a focus on helping owners make financial sense out of roofing repairs and replacement.
“When I started Columbia Roofing, I wanted to be different,” Mark shares. “As I worked in the early days, I did what I needed to do to stay in business and put food on the table. That is how small business works. I did it and survived.”
Mark did want to be different and wished he could obtain what he called an ‘unfair advantage’ to be successful and create strong relationships. This is where the Columbia Roof Advantage was dreamed up and successfully executed; a membership level program designed to provide security and worry-free roof maintenance to business owners. It has become one of the differentiators of who Columbia is in the marketplace. These relationships are important to Mark and his team, and they provide a solid source of recurring revenue through this innovative program.
After years of dedicated service for our Northwest are businesses with proven record of highly technical construction skills, Mark and the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal team have earned recognition by the Carlisle Construction Materials company as one of their top contractors in the United States. Carlisle is the largest manufacturer of flat roofing materials in the US and are considered the leader in the business, and the most coveted product line to be associated with. This prestigious certification along with recognition from the Roofers Captive ‘Top 150’ commercial roofing contractors are what continues to set Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal apart in the industry.
For more information on the Columbia Roof Advantage and other services provided by Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal, visit https://reroofnow.com/commercial-roofing/
What problem does your product or service solve?
Today Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal provides services in 4 Northwest States, including Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho. With a permanent staff of over 60 people, Mark’s team can provide 24/7 leak repair service, full commercial replacement and recovers, sheet metal work and roofs, plus commercial repairs and maintenance.
Mark’s company mission statement says it all, “Expert solutions, Guaranteed Results.” And that is exactly what you get with Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal.
What is your business philosophy?
Mark and his team have developed strong core values over the last ten years that define their approach to service and employee care. They conduct each client interaction with a consultative approach, explaining and educating their customers on the many issues that confront a business both internally and externally. Simply put, Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metals core values are ‘Safety First, Integrity, Relationships, Respect and Results.’
“We do not get these all right every day, but they guide us, and we learn from them about our short comings,” Mark Explains. “They quickly explain poor results and quickly get us back to great results!”
As a company, Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal are members of the Roofing Contractors Association and the Western States Roofing Association. These groups provide many learning opportunities at conventions regarding trends, human resources, contracting, web development, legal issues, safety, and wide array of other issues relating to business and finance, and where Mark has also served as a presenter at the regional and national level associations.
As a part of Mark’s internal customer mission for his employees, he has created opportunities for some of his top managers to attend the National Roofing Contractors Association Future Executive Institute in conjunction with Northwestern University Kellogg School of business. This immersive two-year course teaches skills in finance, legal issues, marketing, and management; all of the knowledge needed to successfully run or create your own business in the construction industry.
How does your business give back to the community?
Mark and the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal family are heavily involved in a variety of charities, most notably the Alzheimer’s’ Association of Oregon & SW Washington. Mark also provides free roofing installation and maintenance services to local non-profits like the Rolling Hills Community Church, which houses the Borland Free Clinic and the Tualatin Food Pantry within its walls.
If you could say one thing to the people of Tualatin, what would it be?
“Business owners need to stop and take a step back to look at what they’ve done, their challenges and successes, and say, ‘Hey, we did a pretty good job.’ Look at the bigger picture and try to appreciate the things you have, no matter how small. I bet you’ll find that you’ve accomplished so much more than you ever thought possible. So focus on that.”
Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal
Mark Carpenter, CEO