FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Monday, January 31, 2011

"Time Management", and "Left Side Of The Line"

The roofing industry is quite unpredictable, due to weather, equipment failure, affect on deadlines, while making an attempt to secure new work. Certainly, there will be a few exceptions to what I am describing to you, but you will find yourself far more productive, and conderably less stressed if you consider, or better yet, implementing this technique.

When you consider everything as an "emergency" and make decisions based on "knee jerk" reactions, you are making the so called "emergencies" of others, your own. Rarely are they true emergencies, but the complete lack of planning by others.

"Left Side Of The Line"

1.) Take a piece of paper and draw a line straight down the middle.

2.) On the left side of the paper, write your itinerary, or goals for the day. A numerical list of what you want to get done that SPECIFIC day.

3.) After you've completed a topic, take a pen, and strike it off. This will give the feeling of accomplishment, or "Perceived Reward".

4.) Make it widely known that you have an itinerary, that is important for you to complete, and this will reduce the number of "walk ups" to your desk, as they will think before presenting you with a "crisis" that you have not created.

5.) At the end of the day, any topic you were not able to strike off, goes to the top of the list for your next day.

I know how elementary this may sound to you, but very few people have an itinerary. They just "React" as it comes, rather than being proactive, and planning ahead.

Your telephone is a huge waste of time, or your most important tool, dependant upon how you use it. You will be shocked at the time wasted on the phone, just chit chatting. If it's not relevant, get done with it already. For everytime you allow someone to disrupt your motion, you find yourself on the "Right Side Of The Line", exactly where you do not want to be. For every "emergency" on the right side, you will be unable to achieve three items on the left side.

Kind of like riding along smoothly on your bicycle, and having someone put their foot in the spokes. You go flying over the handlebars, and are in complete disarray. You MUST work in a very controlled fashion, or you will fail. There's a difference between success, and lying in the street with torn pants, and a scraped elbow.

Another exercise is to keep a simple log of your phone calls. Simple: again put a line down a paper, and simply check each time you have an "incoming" or "outgoing" call, and add up each side at the end of your day. Soon, you will realize the amount of very wasteful phone calls, that are making you nonproductive.

I'd be willing to bet that without time management, you accomplish approximately 3 hours of work, in an 8 hour day. Very common, and easily corrected.

I mentioned "Perceived Reward" earlier. It is an actual achievement, but your brain needs to be rewarded in some way to feel good, and keep going. You are literally "Rewarding" yourself when you cross a task off your itinerary. Few people wake up to an itinerary, because "It takes too much time". Well, I can tell you that 30 minutes spent on that itinerary, will wsave you 4 hours of work that would otherwise be spent living in a "Pinball Machine".

People will respect your space, and you will understand that you must respect theirs.

Nobody wants to hear a story about a big bass you caught, or the softball game. It may be interesting to you, but believe me, others don't feel as energetic about it as you do.
Okay folks, that's the topic for today, and for those of you who implement this practice, I would love to hear your results.

It's so easy "A Cave Man Can Do It"

I am deeply thankful you've chosen to visit with me today. I think we'll talk about quality roof coatings, and application tomorrow.

As always, "Reject Negativity In All Forms", and keep looking "UP".

Much respect,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
CCC1325620 Florida

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Roofing 101 Sales Advice"

Entry Level Sales and Reality. This information has been gathered over many years of having my skull crushed, and I am making an attempt to spare you the pain.

My Young Friends:

I would like to take a brief departure from my normal rambling to address entry level sales. You must realize a few things, and focus:

1.) The client has no interest in YOU.
2.) They have a problem they want to go away, and they want it gone NOW.
3.) They are not remotely interested in anything you need.
4.) People who own buildings are not typically illiterate, or they wouldn't own buildings.
5.) They do not want to see your rehearsed "slapstick" show. They can stay home and watch "The 3 Stooges" for that.
6.) They do not want to be "passed off" to anyone else in your company.
7.) They expect you to answer your telephone when it's convenient to THEM.
8.) Straight talk is how they live, and you are expected to provide it, either good or bad.
9.) Do not give excuses, nor accept them.
10.) Say what you mean, mean what you say.
11.) You are not their equal, so don't act like it.
12.) You are not doing anyone a "favor".
13.) Money comes from somewhere, and is not simply numerals in boxes.
14.) Eat your loaf of bread one slice at a time.
15.) DO NOT LIE. DO NOT STEAL. DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR INTEGRITY. If you don't believe me, try it sometime and call me from the unemployment line when you do.

Next time, we'll discuss time management and staying on the "Left side of the line".

In sales, you will fail far more than succeed, so let's grip that as a reality. If your sales capture ratio is too high, you are doing something wrong. You are almost certainly selling by price, and they can get a prairie dog to do that.

In order to conquer the natural fear of rejection, I would suggest you incorporate personality with whatever training you may have. People can sense "sincerity" vs. a sales rap P.O. chaser every time. Fear is your enemy, and once you accept that being afraid does nothing but make you queasy, you will free yourself to focus on things that are important. They may say "no", but they will not bite your legs off. I can almost guarantee that.

I once had (many years ago) an elderly gentleman look at my business card and say "I don't need any roofing", and promptly throw it in his trash can in front of me. I repeat: "IN FRONT OF ME".

The scenario was so hilariously weird that I decided to participate rather than react. "Sir, may I please have the card back, because my boss makes me account for each and every one of them, or I'll receive a payroll deduct". He laughed, retrieved my card, and placed it in his file. He said he'd never seen anyone smile in the face of rejection that way. He gave me a building to look at, which we subsequently got. This old guy was as stiff as they come, but those are the challenges of what you do.

Believe it or not, but some people don't like me. There will be people that don't like you either, so don't act surprised when someone doesn't find you funny or charming.

Honor and Integrity seem lost in many of today's transactions, but believe me, there are many people who appreciate the "Old School" handshake approach. But know this, if you fail to keep your word, it's over. NQA.

"In this world everything changes except good deeds and bad deeds; they follow you as the shadow follows the body" (unknown author)

I do a lot of work in Africa, and they are fond of saying:
"Lies, they may bring flowers, but at the end of season, do not bear fruit"

I'm not quite sure what compelled me to share this message, other than to illuminate stark reality, and solutions for young people just getting started. Certainly, I will have many "experts" suggest I am insane for telling you these things, but I promise they will work.

It is not my intent to downplay the importance of specific training, as I've been through every sales exercise known to humans. But this note was more 101 stuff and not technique.

Thank you for visiting with me today

"Stand For Something" , and remember to keep looking "UP"


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Roofing Consultants "Fear And Absence Of Knowledge"

I have never seen a roofing consultant at any energy conference, "Green" Roofing forum, or seminar. Never seen one nominated for an environmental award either.

I'm sure there are exceptions, but few try to think of anything except sales, basic roofing, and details. I am of the opinion they are uneducated regarding the impact of their decisions.

I know many, many roofing consultants (I am a licensed consultant myself), and never once do I hear them discuss the following:

1.) Taxpayer Value. I have no idea why they cannot understand the financial impact of specifying singular dimension, out of date, hideously unsafe, and very environmentally unfriendly.

2.) Energy Savings: If they were paying an additional 20% of the energy demand they create, I bet they'd study and specify energy saving roof systems.

3.) Environment: Are you kidding me? No roofing Consultant cares one bit about clean water, nor are they interested in understanding how roofing impacts our tiny fresh water supplies.

4.) Safety: They only have to type a specification. It's not them who have to stand out in the blistering sun, working with torches, or molten asphalt. The air conditioned office does not translate to inhumane working conditions, and I am appalled that concern for the workmen is
not the slightest consideration.

5.) Boutique Manufacturers: Consultants REGULARLY get caught up in "Proprietary Specifications", and kickback schemes. Well documented here:


I will ask my consulting friends to research topics listed above, so the roof you specify does things other than keep water out of a building.

"Stand For Something"

Thank you so much for visiting with me today, reject negativity in all forms, and keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
CCC1325620 Florida

"DOW Ceases PVC & TPO Operations"

Apparently DOW has better things to do than compete in a fierce product competition from GAF, Firestone, Carlisle, Manville, etc. Here is the official notice:

From Building Design & Construction

Dow Roofing Systems ceases sale of TPO and PVC membranes, accessories in North America

MIDLAND, Mich. January 11, 2011 – Dow Roofing Systems LLC, (DRS) will cease the sale of TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) roofing membranes and accessories in North America, effective January 31, 2011.

DRS, which aligns with the Dow Building Solutions business unit, was formed through the acquisition of Stevens Roofing Systems in 2008. Dow Building Solutions’ strategy is to focus on its market leading insulation and adhesive solutions along with ongoing development of differentiated roofing innovations for the future. “The DRS product line represents a small percentage of our overall building solutions business and we are confident that we can better serve the roofing industry long term by refocusing our efforts on our core business portfolio,” says Scott Young, president and general manager of Dow Roofing Systems.

Products that will no longer be sold to the North America market include TIEMPO™+ 2000 TPO membranes and accessories, VIENTO™ PVC membranes and accessories, and TERMICO™ polyisocyanurate insulation. All existing warranties for these products will continue to be honored.

“Dow Building Solutions remains committed to the roofing market and will continue to provide the roofing industry with our preferred portfolio of products,” says Young. “These include STYROFOAM™ Extruded Polystyrene Foam Insulation products, INSTA STIK™ Quik Set Commercial Roofing Adhesives, TILEBOND™ Roof Tile Adhesive, THERMAX™ Polyisocyanurate Insulation and DOW™ POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles from Dow Solar Solutions.”

About Dow Building Solutions

Dow Building Solutions has a 60+ year legacy of providing energy saving solutions to the global commercial and residential construction industry, which began with the launch of its flagship STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam Insulation, one of the most recognized brands of insulation in the world. A market-facing business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, Dow Building Solutions offers building science expertise to help builders, designers, architects and home/building owners reduce energy costs and protect against wind, rain and moisture, while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. More information about Dow Building Solutions can be found at www.dowbuildingsolutions.com.

About Dow

Dow is a diversified chemical company that combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to constantly improve what is essential to human progress. The Company delivers a broad range of products and services to customers in approximately 160 countries, connecting chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. In 2008, Dow had annual sales of $57.4 billion and employed approximately 46,000 people worldwide. The Company has 150 manufacturing sites in 35 countries and produces approximately 3,300 products. On April 1, 2009, Dow acquired Rohm and Haas Company, a global specialty materials company with sales of $10 billion in 2008, 98 manufacturing sites in 30 countries and approximately 15,000 employees worldwide. References to “Dow” or the “Company” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

For further information, please contact Jan McKinnon, senior marketing communications manager, The Dow Chemical Company, on (519) 541-0336, jmckinnon@dow.com; or Liz McDonnell, Gibbs & Soell Public Relations, on (203) 613-6463, emcdonnell@gibbs-

Thank you for visiting today, and keep looking "UP".

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
CCC1325620 Florida

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Robert R. Solomon & 1968 ElectroVoice "Aries" Speakers

Hobby Photos for AudioKarma:

1968 ElectroVoice "Aries".

Hope you enjoy the photos.

"Thicker Single Ply Membranes & and VALUE"

This article was written by my friend, Mr. Rob Realle of Carlisle-Syntec. Carlisle does not foray into the petroleum market, and for good reason.

I'd like to thank Rob for being gracious enough to grant permission to use this very lucid description of why thinner membranes (.045) may be fractionally less expensive in up front cost, but are not a value for long term service. I am not disparaging .045, and may see an application if the owner was in a short term investment scenario, but personally do not specify anything under .060 (20 yr.), and actually prefer the .080 (30 year) for reasons Mr. Realle masterfully describes. The article is posted in it's entirety:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Exceptional Friends & Supporters"

I'd like to take a moment to thank the many contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, and supporters who depend upon me to tell you the truth. Each "Trusted Professional" is well known to me, and since I am not "Politically Correct" at times, requires a measure of courage by them to be listed here.

While the intent is to be docile, the thousands of words written here will ultimately offend someone. This is not a social "friend finding site", but a place where data (not opinion) is shared. I've said before that we deal in "measurable units", and not hypothesis.

Recently, my friends Mike Black, and John Kenney of Sutter Roofing have come on board. My dear friends Ms. Camille Austin (Elite Roofing), Mr. Stan Pratt (Prattco, Inc.), Mr. Jeff Anderson (Service Works), and Carlisle-Syntec have come on just today. I'll be doing some feature posts on each of you, so stay tuned.

Judging from the amount of mail I receive, a huge number of honest, fair minded, contractors will be added soon. If your firm believes in fair competition, and does not participate in "Proprietary Specification" scenarios, you are welcome to communicate with me at :


I will research your firm, and list it here for free of course. I would encourage contractors throughout North America to come on board, as this isn't just for Florida. And thank you to the person in Moscow who visits rather often.

There is no need for Garland, or Tremco applicators to contact me. I would prefer to leave you to your normal operating procedure, as it is contrary to what we discuss, and believe here.

Happy 01/11/11. Reject negativity in all forms, and keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon
CCC1325620 Florida

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I will continue my mission this year advocating against petroleum based roof systems. I'll try harder to make inroads with government officials to grasp the most basic concept of "Solar Reflection" vs. "Radiant Absorption". A middle school student would know this.

So, here it is straight from the respected scientist (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories).

Michael Kanellos: December 28, 2010
The World’s Most Efficient Green Technology?
The third part of our interview with Art Rosenfeld. The subject? White roofs.
A few weeks ago, we wrote that videoconferencing might be the best green technology available in terms of bang for your buck, according to data culled from a green retrofit at software giant SAP.

It turns out there is something even cheaper.

White roofs cost less than conventional roofs, require almost no maintenance and can offset tremendous amounts of demand for heating and air conditioning, according to Art Rosenfeld, the former California Energy Commissioner who is also often described as "The Father of Energy Efficiency."

1,000 square feet of white roofing can offset ten tons of carbon dioxide, he told us in a recent video interview. (See segments one and two on energy efficient homes and technologies here and here.). The technology -- and bear in mind that calling changing the pigments in roofing materials a 'technology' is a bit of a stretch -- is effective in a wide range of climates, too. Installing white roofs from Chicago to Sao Paolo would offset 25 billion tons of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, he said.

Worldwide, white roofs could eliminate 44 billion metric tons, according to a 2008 research paper from Lawrence Berkeley Labs written by Haskem Akbari and Rosenfeld. (He's in his 80s and still publishing scientific papers: one more reason Rosenfeld is in the Greentech Hall of Fame.)

California has already mandated that flat roofs like those you see on Walmart stores must be white. Aesthetics aren't really an issue. In fact, the aesthetic issues on homes can be eliminated: it just takes a little acclimation.

Happy viewing.

Back in the 1970s, Rosenfeld, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley Lab (and Enrico Fermi's last grad student), determined that the power consumption in California and the nation would someday outstrip our ability to produce it. He kicked off a massive effort to get the state to pass efficiency regulations. Appliance makers fought vigorously, but California passed appliance and building regulations (Title 20 and Title 24) anyway.

"They all claimed it was the [expletive] end of civilization as we knew it," he told me in 2006. "Autos were getting 14 miles a gallon. Energy efficiency wasn't part of the American ethic whatsoever."

The result? Per capita power consumption has remained relatively flat in California but nearly doubled in the rest of the country. The results can only partly be attributed to the "Rosenfeld Effect." Still, the impact has been huge. Modern refrigerators consume half or less the energy consumed by fridges back in the '70s, hold more food and cost less when adjusted for inflation. Pilot lights consumed close to 10 percent of the energy in homes. Electronic ignition has capped that work and has likely been responsible for hundreds of billions in energy savings.

The interview took place at the Emerging Technologies Summit in Sacramento for a series of videos (thanks to Jonathan Livingston for setting it up).

Giving the facts on energy efficiency and how to help.

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