The customer centric journey of No 1 Roofing

No 1 Roofing, a family-run supplier of roofing products based in Sydney, Australia, has rapidly grown to become a leader in the industry. Founded by the Scali family, the business has expanded to 10 locations in just two decades. As a one-stop shop for roofing needs, it alleviates logistical concerns for roofers and builders alike. The company prides itself on customer service, supporting everyone involved in the construction cycle. Focused on innovation and productivity, it invests in the latest roofing solutions and technologies. Its forward-looking approach includes a focus on labour productivity and condensation management to meet evolving industry standards.

Since opening their first roofing and building supplies store in Sydney around twenty years ago, the Scali family has seen No 1 Roofing go from strength to strength. Now a leading wholesale supplier of roofing products, with the largest geographic footprint of any roofing business in Sydney, No 1 Roofing remains true to its core mission: creating a customer-focused business with an emphasis on serving the needs of roofers.

Celebrity designer, James Treble, with members of the No 1 Roofing team. Keep an eye out for his Channel 9 TV series—James Bought a House—airing later this year which features No 1 Roofing's Snap-Line® and S5 system.

An immigrant success story

As a young migrant from Calabria working as a roofer in suburban Sydney, Tony Scali saw the need for a one-stop supply shop – where a roofer could turn up or send their employees or subcontractors, without worrying whether their materials would be delivered on time or in full.

Matt Hennessy, general manager of No 1 Roofing & Building Supplies said, “When most people think of roofing, they assume that the only materials required are the COLORBOND® steel sheets, but there is so much more that is needed. Often there will be 15 to 20 different products required from 10 different suppliers.” 

“Managing the logistics of this, and ensuring everything arrives on-site, in time is a huge undertaking. There can be lots of errors if orders aren’t handled correctly, which can have a huge impact on the productivity of a roofing business.”

Fast forward to 2002 when Tony’s son David came to work with his father – and together they came up with the concept of No 1 Roofing. Starting in Sydney’s Northern Beaches where Tony lived and worked, the company grew slowly at first, adding a few branches around Sydney. But from 2015, that growth has accelerated, with David Scali taking over the reins as director last year.

“We’ve added six branches and now have 10 locations,” Matt said. “We’re at a stage now where we’re also doing a lot more of our own manufacturing. We still buy in a lot of products from our great suppliers, but we’re backward integrating into manufacturing so that we can really make sure we can support our customer’s time line demands.” 

Taking a people-focused approach

According to Matt, it is No 1 Roofing’s exceptional customer service that sets it apart – not only for roofers and builders but stakeholders across the construction cycle, such as architects, specifiers, and designers. This allows the company to see the project right through from concept to delivery.

“We have dedicated people who help architects ensure that they can deliver a great aesthetic outcome that is also functional and practical,” Matt said.  “We work very closely with thousands of customers to make sure that the materials delivered are in line with the requirements of the homeowner or builder, as well as the specifications of the architect.”

No 1 Roofing is built on the ethos that a business can only be as successful as its customers. In line with this principle, the team take a long-term approach that puts the customer at the centre of everything they do – with satisfied clients returning time and again. 

Matt said, “We want our customers to grow, and we get a lot of satisfaction helping a small customer grow their business. We will take risks to help them grow, like extending credit and funding beyond what we may be comfortable doing at times, but we’ll take risks and back customers.

Dedicated support across NSW

As roofers are nomadic, they’re required to travel all across Sydney and New South Wales. Having the largest geographic footprint in Sydney, and access to facilities statewide, allows No.1 Roofing to ensure local support for its customers.

“In Sydney, the roads and traffic are hard to navigate at the best of times,” Matt said. “That’s why our customers can deal with their local branch to place orders and get technical advice, and then pick up goods from any of our locations, all managed in a completely seamless way.”

Because roofing is a complex job, mistakes and miscalculations are easily made – and can result in damaged materials on-site. Flashings are the last part of any job, so any delays in installing them will also push back invoicing and payment. This is why No 1 Roofing manufactures flashings at eight of their 10 locations, and can often supply them with a turnaround of just an hour or two.

Matt said, “Often roofers need flashings (or other components) urgently. Because of our geographic spread across Sydney, and our ability to manufacture, the wait is never long. Customers can phone us, place their order, and the product is ready for them in no time.”

And when it comes to delivering specialist support, No 1 Roofing’s team have extensive technical expertise and knowledge of roofing processes and products. Many are long-term employees who have worked in the business since its very beginning.

“We’ve been around for 23 years now, and some of our employees that have been with us for that entire journey,” Matt said. “We’ve got somewhere between 800 and 900 years of roofing industry experience in the business.”

Rent A Space self storage facility, for which No 1 Roofing & Building supplied Snap-Line45® Panelling to cover the whole of the facade

A passion for innovation

Thanks to strong partnerships with major roofing product suppliers, No 1 Roofing is able to provide almost any product that a customer may require. And they’re always on the hunt for the latest roofing solutions, attending a major roofing expo overseas every year to look for innovations they can bring to their customers.

“More and more, as we develop our own manufacturing capability, we are offering some really innovative products,” Matt said. “We’re also focused on manufacturing innovation and have invested heavily in this.”

The company is one of just a few with a fully automated flashing line from SWI, an international leader in sheet metal machinery. This technology drives a huge amount of productivity in the business, allowing No 1 Roofing to produce more with the same amount of people – with much higher accuracy.

“This type of advanced machinery has helped us continue to employ more people,” Matt said. “We’re constantly looking at how we can be more productive ourselves and then pass that benefit onto our customers.”

One of the company’s fastest growing, innovative products is the Snap-Line 45® profile for roofing and walling applications, featured in the façade of all the Rent A Space self-storage buildings as well as the new facility for the West Tigers NRL team.

According to Matt, “It is a concealed clip fix system, which is very quick to install, and doesn’t require any post-fixing, like exposed screwing or button punching. The aesthetic outcome is just exceptional. The product is very versatile in application and can be used in high-end residential projects, right through to commercial projects.”

No 1 Roofing is one of only three distributors in Australia for an innovative roof mounting system called S-5!, which is imported from the United States. Together with the GRIPPERFIX system, the S-5! series offers solutions for attaching almost anything to a metal roof – from solar panels, HVAC units, and duct supports, to walkways, roof safety anchor points and pipes. Made from stainless steel or aluminium and boasting superior engineering strength, the S-5! clamps can be attached directly without violating the integrity of the roof or the roof manufacturer’s warranty. 

Their versatility means they can even be used for working at heights as fall security and enhancing wind protection loads on vulnerable metal roofs. S-5! is so confident in the quality of the S-5! clamps that they offer a life time warranty against defects.

Snaplock profile roofing gives this classic weatherboard home in Balgowlah a chic avant-garde look
A residential project in West Pymble, for which No 1 Roofing supplied Snap-Line45® Matt Finish Night Sky®

Ready for future opportunities

After materials, labour is the major cost item for roofers – and the greatest opportunity. For Australian steel businesses, new technology can play a valuable role in boosting productivity, from both a product and a service perspective. 

Matt said, “The question is always how can we ensure our labour is more productive? That’s why we’re constantly looking for ways to improve labour productivity with innovative materials that are fast to install. What can we do differently and better so that we are an innovative industry?”

The changes to the National Construction Code offer further opportunities, particularly in the area of condensation management. No 1 Roofing is currently talking to a whole range of suppliers, both in Australia and internationally, for the best products around vapour, sarking, and underlayments.

“We’re working very closely with suppliers, particularly insulation suppliers, and looking for innovative products such as Vent-a-Roof to assist with solutions like passive ventilation. This is a big opportunity that we need to tackle, and will,” Matt said. 

But for now, the company is planning to build on their recent success by doing what they do best: serving their customers well to help them grow, and bringing innovation to their customers and to the market. Matt said, “We have an insatiable desire for growth and will continue to expand at the same pace we have over the last five years.”  

Custom tapered Standing Seam in the Matt Monument profile adds a modern touch to the Storey Park Community Hall in Hornsby.


On point

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