Aspen Contracting

Aspen raises expectations for the roofing and restoration industry. When Chris “L.C.” Nussbeck set out to start his own roofing contracting firm, he wanted to set the bar high for customer satisfaction in the industry.

“We have a higher standard and level of integrity that doesn’t exist in our industry,” Nussbeck says. “We do the right things, and when we make commitments, we follow through on those commitments. That’s not only for our customers, but also for insurance companies and our strategic partners in manufacturing, distribution and technology.

“Saying what you do and doing what you say is a critical piece of running a sustainable business,” he adds.

The formula must be working because Aspen Contracting has grown into one of the largest roofing contractors in the United States just four years after its founding. With headquarters in Lee’s Summit, Mo., Aspen Contracting has 192 employees and a 15,000-square-foot facility that the company grew into by 2009. The company has strategic locations in 42 states.

Joining Forces

As of this year, Aspen Contracting is a member of the Consumer Contractors & Carriers (3C) Network, which is a group of contractors brought together by invitation to share best practices in the roofing and restoration industries. Nussbeck says the organization has played a key role in providing operational and financial support for companies such as Aspen Contracting, including programs such as a 10-year warranty that covers labor and materials on all its members’ work.

“The purpose is to drive higher standards and integrity to raise the bar in the storm restoration industry,” Nussbeck says. “It is designed to keep the consumer, contractor and end-user in mind.”

The organization also allows members access to the latest technological advances in software related to the industry. Aspen Contracting uses Eagleview Technologies, which offers aerial measurements of roofs within striking distance of weather catastrophes. The technology measures these roofs within 2 percent accuracy, according to Nussbeck, which he says is far more accurate than any measuring tool he has ever used.

As part of its membership with 3C, Aspen has mandated that every estimate include an Eagleview aerial measurement. This year alone, Nussbeck says Aspen expects to measure about 100,000 roofs this way.

Aspen has used Eagleview Technologies’ applications for five years, and will add a new technology to its capabilities this year. Accurence has developed a solution for the network called “ScopeAssist,” which equips each contractor with a digital pen and paper smart form – developed in collaboration with 3C – to capture inspection data on-site about the roof.

Digitized inspection data is transmitted wirelessly to Accurence’s “Decision-Intelligence Engine” which validates inspection data for thoroughness, integrates the 3-D roofing model (Eagleview’s aerial CAD data), applies material types and damage characteristics to the model, analyzes building science requirements, local rules, pricing, and completes algorithms to generate a roofing scope of work, before sending an electronic report to 3C’s cost estimating partner resulting in a pre-qualified draft estimate.  “And once the contractor uploads his inspection data on-site, all of that happens in just 86 seconds on average,” Nussbeck says.

“With this mandatory combination of Eagleview and ScopeAssist technology, we are more reliable for insurance companies and the end-user most certainly receives a highly accurate estimate of what a roof repair or replacement will cost,” according to Nussbeck.

“Our technology platform is going to save consumers and contractors hundreds of millions of dollars,” he predicts, “and the estimate creation process will be faster, more consistent, and more accurate than ever before.”

Constant Improvement

Even with its quick ascent to the top of the roofing and restoration industry, Aspen Contracting continues to improve its operations. One way is by providing ongoing training for its employees through the University of Aspen.

This mandatory training program is based on the Six Sigma approach to education, according to Nussbeck. Each employee must complete 180 hours of training and testing annually. Instead of “belts,” Aspen Contracting employees start at the white “glove” level and earn yellow, green and black gloves as they further their studies.

“One of the most important things we have is a measurable process in place so we can measure the performance of each employee in every part of their daily lives at work,” Nussbeck says. “We can diagnose weaknesses and help build strengths. Also, it identifies where employees need improvement so we can better serve companies and customers.”

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