Numbers of construction projects have gone up in recent years, correlating to population growth and movement across the country. As the number of such projects increases, the importance of quality building supplies becomes more apparent than ever. To explore what makes a quality building supplies company, we turned our attention to TAMKO, a leading manufacturer of shingles and other building materials.
TAMKO was founded in 1944 in Joplin, Missouri. At the start, the company focused on producing roofing shingles exclusively, which started rolling out the doors of its first factory the year after it was created. From that humble beginning, the company has since grown its presence across the country with several additional manufacturing locations. These locations now provide jobs to thousands of employees who have repeatedly singled out the company as one of the highest paying employers in the regions where it is based.
The company’s story over the years has been united by an overall drive toward progress. This is apparent in the implementation of its continuous improvement plan in the 1980s, which was based on the methods of well-known statistician Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Beyond that, the company has integrated numerous LEAN manufacturing techniques and its own Six Sigma program to continue to reduce variation and increase quality of products and services. These initiatives have benefited from the company’s focus on vertical integration, which increases control over raw materials and as a result, helps it more closely control the quality of each part of a product’s creation process. Taken as a whole, these efforts begin to illuminate why the company has reached such heights in such a competitive industry.
While the company does offer a range of building supplies, its focus remains on the product for which it has long been known – residential laminated asphalt roofing shingles. It still carries a modern variation of the asphalt shingles that were a mainstay of its early years, though its selection of options has vastly expanded. Now customers can choose from one of many collections that provide the ability to customize based on style and color to match a customer’s preferences or building style.
In addition to asphalt, the company also offers steel shingles to customers seeking a different material to suit their preferences. To match the shingles to the building project accurately, the company has an extensive online set of tools that showcases the shingles on offer in a certain region and even allows customers to use a roof visualizer to predict the final look of a selection. This tool allows users to work with an existing model building or upload a photo of their own home to aid in the purchasing process.
In addition to the visualization tools to aid in shingle selection, the company’s website also hosts a range of information aimed at acquainting users with roofing information so that they can better understand their own needs. One example of this is a resource aimed at familiarizing homeowners with the different types of natural aging that a roof may undergo over time. The resource is framed from the standpoint of informing users how to gauge the state of their existing roof and includes insights into some of the possible causes of damage, the different types of common shingle damage, and which issues are causes for concern.
Other information from the company’s website is aimed at assisting customers with unique interests and needs that may not be shared by many other customers. One example of this is a case study that the company featured on replacing roofs on historic buildings. In the case study, the company explored the process of restoring the roof of a 130-year-old mill building that had a host of challenges to consider. The piece details how customers can tackle projects related to unique structures that have historical significance or other special concerns.
Work in Community
Beyond its reputation for quality in the building supplies industry, TAMKO has also built a name for itself with its efforts to support the communities where the company operates. These efforts take a variety of forms, such as donations to charitable initiatives like relief efforts by the American Red Cross in the wake of a deadly tornado in Joplin. The company also works with the Ronald McDonald House to benefit families staying in the house during times of need. Youth sports are another focus of the company’s efforts, sponsoring teams, equipment and travel to competitions.
TAMKO is a major supporter of military veterans, engaging in a range of efforts to express appreciation for those who have served in the country’s armed forces. Examples include the company’s sponsorship of events to honor veterans and participation in a program to provide free air transportation to those wounded in combat operations. Beyond the support of these and other programs, the company also seeks to hire veterans whenever possible to add their numerous talents to its large and growing team of professionals.
It is abundantly evident why TAMKO has made such a positive reputation for itself over its many years of existence. Through a focus on aiding homeowners in making decisions for their roofs, the company shows its emphasis on customer service. Through its wealth of free online resources, it shows its desire to spread information in a sometimes misunderstood field. Through its philanthropic outreach, it shows the priority that it places on giving back to the community. All of these actions show the firm commitment to quality that TAMKO has instituted to reach its current place as a leader in its field.
More about TAMKO at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCebf46SG1KC557GrGa9donQ