Simon Roofing Case Study

Simon Roofing deploys Microsoft Dynamics 365 to continue improving customer services and outperform the competition.

Simon Roofing collaborated with Sikich to replace legacy CRM with a modern cloud solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365. Dynamics 365 allows the company to manage its operations with unprecedented transparency, enhance how it serves customers, and drive improvements throughout its processes.

Leading the Industry with Continuous Improvement

For Simon Roofing, a collaborative technology modernization project with Sikich was a great opportunity to drive progress on the company’s unique path. Simon Roofing Co-Owner Marian Nolletti says, “We are a continuous improvement company. We will never look at something and say, ‘This is good enough.’ When we consider what our competitors in the roofing industry are doing when it comes to technology, we’re already light years ahead. But there’s always an opportunity for ongoing improvement.”

Unusual in its industry, Simon Roofing is a vertically integrated company. The family-owned business founded in 1900 and based in Youngstown, Ohio, manufactures roofing products; markets, sells, and installs them; and provides warranty support. Simon Roofing teams at more than 60 locations across the U.S. take care of customers, many of them property owners and managers responsible for hundreds of buildings. “Vertical integration allows us to be customer-focused and provide the best possible end-to-end services,” Nolletti explains.

Outgrowing Legacy Solutions

Many Simon Roofing team members are long-time employees who spend decades with the company and share its core value of ongoing improvement. Sales and many other roles are fully remote, working from anywhere. As Simon Roofing grows and recruits talented job candidates to take care of customers and manage operations, it aims to help them succeed with technology that fits their roles. That meant Simon Roofing needed to review possible solutions when the company’s Sage software was near the end of its lifecycle and no longer received scheduled updates. It also lacked a mobile app and didn’t offer the ease-of-use of newer solutions. Exchanging data with other business systems to provide team members with a complete view of customers and business processes required time-consuming, manual interventions from the IT team.

Simon Roofing had some customer relationship management (CRM) functionality in the Sage ERP system and also relied on a separate, additional software tool. Melanie Whistler, Customer Service Manager at Simon Roofing, says, “As a leader in the commercial roofing industry, we’re always looking to be one step ahead of the competition, be the best that we possibly can for our customers and offer them something that nobody else can. We began to be limited by the technology we had in place.”

We are a continuous improvement company. We will never look at something and say, “This is good enough.” When we consider what our competitors in the roofing industry are doing when it comes to technology, we’re already light years ahead. But there’s always an opportunity for ongoing improvement.

Marian Nolletti

Simon Roofing Co-Owner

Optimizing Processes Before Deploying New Technology

As Simon Roofing extensively uses a variety of Microsoft solutions, it made sense to determine whether the CRM capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 could meet the company’s needs. Kevin Rast, CIO at Simon Roofing, says, “Microsoft Dynamics 365 is module-based, and that’s something we had to have. Dynamics 365 is designed to scale with your business and with the growth of Simon Roofing this was a must have. We are a Microsoft shop, so going with Dynamics 365 was a perfect fit for Simon Roofing.”

Through a referral, Simon Roofing came in touch with Sikich and began discussing its technology opportunity with the consulting team. Rast says, “The Sikich consultants made it their job to understand what we did and why it was so important, why we needed to move ahead, and why we couldn’t keep doing what we were doing. Without their understanding, I don’t think that this would have been nearly as successful of a project as it was.” Nolletti also appreciates that the Sikich consultants gained familiarity with Simon Roofing’s business processes. “It’s easy to dump an old process into a new software program,” she says. “But it’s a lot more valuable to work with a team that looks at the current process state, finds ways to improve it, and then move it into the new system. Feedback based on the Sikich consultants’ experience in working with many other companies gave us really valuable insight. We were able to improve processes tremendously.”

On-Time, Below-Budget Implementation

Together with Sikich, Simon Roofing verified that Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service, Field Service, and Sales provided the CRM capabilities the company sought and could easily support its processes. With the pandemic in full force at the time, most of the ensuing collaboration between Simon Roofing and Sikich happened virtually.

Rast describes, “We performed a full assessment upfront. Based on that, Sikich prepared a detailed project scope which we reviewed and signed off on. That was the basis for our project plan. We had zero issues. The project was under budget and completed earlier than the anticipated time frame.”

Integrated CRM, Available Anywhere

National and regional sales teams, service organization, and executives were the first users of Dynamics 365. Soon, the solution also became available to the billing department. Because Dynamics 365 runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud, Simon Roofing associates anywhere can securely access the technology on their devices.

Dynamics 365 integrates with SharePoint and Microsoft 365 applications such as Teams and Excel. It also exchanges data with Simon Roofing’s analytics and business intelligence, production, and service management software. In addition to deploying and configuring Dynamics 365, Sikich built many dashboards to deliver data intelligence to individuals and teams across the business.

We had zero issues. The project was under budget and completed earlier than the anticipated time frame.

Kevin Rast


More Quality Time to Spend with Customers

Discussing the use of the new CRM solution at Simon Roofing, Nolletti says, “I could talk forever about the time-saving aspect of Microsoft Dynamics 365. We have so many different departments that work together on the Dynamics 365 platform that it’s like the glue that keeps us aligned and in the know.”

Today, if a customer with a need for new roofing or roofing-related services contacts the company through the website or the customer service center, the service team creates a work order in Dynamics 365. From then on, sales, services, post-installation support, and other account activities, including customer interactions and touch points, are tracked in the system. Many templated emails for common situations, previously found in multiple software tools, are readily available in Dynamics 365, allowing sales and service representatives to quickly customize and send them, keeping customer connections alive. “We’ve saved so much time by eliminating some of the manual email sending that fell on our salespeople,” Nolletti says. “That frees them up to get more customer meetings on their calendars.”

Automating Routine Tasks to Enable Exceptional Results

When field technicians at customer sites record work order-specific information and take pictures of the completed assignments, those images and details are captured in Dynamics 365 and forwarded to customers. In this process and several others, Simon Roofing introduced new process automations that became possible with Dynamics CRM. “Process automations were a really big part of the implementation of Dynamics 365,” Whistler says. “That was definitely something everybody was hoping to get out of this project.”

How did these high expectations turn out? Whistler continues, “Across the entire work order process, we were able to create automations — of which we didn’t know that they would be possible — because of the ability to integrate where previously we couldn’t. We’re successfully and efficiently managing our workload and have capacity for more. It’s going to get even better from here.”

Automations make it easier for data to travel where it can be most helpful for Simon Roofing associates. Rast explains, “We could remove many manual steps in enabling integrations, because we can now ‘talk’ through an application programming interface directly from the field back into Dynamics 365. That’s a huge benefit of this solution.”

Shining a Light on Business Events

One of the key outcomes of the Dynamics 365 project is greater transparence throughout the business. “We have visibility at every level of the organization,” Whistler comments. “It’s one of the most valuable results of the Dynamics 365 implementation. For example, in customer service and dispatching, we use reporting, views, and dashboards which we can customize. Visibility of the current workload of each team member enables us to do a better job of prioritizing and redistributing workloads. We can ensure that customers are taken care of and we’re meeting our goals. If we’re not quite hitting our mark, we can see that, too, which is just as important.”

We’ve saved so much time by eliminate some of the manual email sending that fell on our salespeople. That frees them up to get more customers meetings on their calendars.

Marian Nolletti

Simon Roofing Co-Owner

Seamless Communications and Service Delivery

Efficient process automations, enhanced transparency, and role-optimized dashboards have revolutionized how Simon Roofing team members communicate and how the company serves its customers. Instead of relying mostly on emails, the sales, service, support, and billing teams today communicate more quickly and efficiently by using the leads and opportunity management capabilities in Dynamics 365.

“There’s nothing lost in translation, and we also have less redundancy,” Whistler says. “Customer requests come directly to the dispatch, service, and billing departments. The process of setting up orders and getting them to technicians is much simpler than it used to be.”

Data Insights for Real Business Roles

Sikich set up the initial dashboards accessing Dynamics 365 data for Simon Roofing and showed stakeholders how to create and customize additional dashboards. “I couldn’t believe that I was actually able to do this, but today I create dashboards and templates for my team,” Whistler explains. “The software is highly familiar, like other products we use in our everyday lives. Through the dashboards, we can study and understand trends in our departments based on information that previously wasn’t available.”

Dynamics 365 users at Simon Roofing continue to discover more ways to benefit from the CRM solution and role-tailored dashboards. For example, they’re exploring in-depth use of dashboards to improve the timeliness and completeness of business processes, such as a work order being set up promptly after somebody creates a new lead in the system. In the billing department, managers rely on dashboard tracking to ensure that team members perform their immediate and follow-up tasks to satisfy customers’ requests and exceed their expectations.

The process of setting up orders and getting them to technicians is much simpler than it used to be.

Melanie Whistler

Customer Service Manager

Intelligence to Boost Sales Outcomes

Offering modern technology like Dynamics 365 makes a difference in attracting and retaining the right talent for the Simon Roofing sales organization. “The salespeople love Dynamics 365 because they can access it on their tablets and smartphones and use it on the fly,” says Rast. “Working on a cloud foundation is a huge benefit.”

Sales leaders and executives closely watch activities like calls, meetings, email communications, proposals, and wins generated by the sales teams and intervene when they see an opportunity to help. “Dynamics 365 gives us clarity on what’s going on with customer accounts,” Nolletti comments. “It allows us to review our activities and come up with a plan, so we don’t continue to make the same mistakes but learn from them.”

Extending the Partner Collaboration

Now that Simon Roofing is taking full advantage of the CRM and data insight capabilities of Dynamics 365, it’s considering expanding the solution to other business areas. “Our goal is to be holistically under the Dynamics 365 umbrella,” says Rast. “We’re already engaging with Sikich regarding ERP for accounting and are in the process of preparing a due diligence assessment of our manufacturing processes, so we can bring manufacturing operations into the Dynamics 365 environment.”

Rast expects that Simon Roofing will continue consulting with Sikich on technology projects, and he’s also recommending the firm to his peers elsewhere. “Other companies considering CRM and ERP solutions are asking me how our project is going,” he says. “I’m getting them involved with Sikich because I believe in Sikich and what they do.”

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