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A Long-Term Company

benny
Benny Briggs

Over the years, Benny Briggs, founder of Muskogee, Okla.-based Briggs Rainbow Buildings Inc. (dba BRB Roofing), started several businesses and was involved in a variety of industries. As his son, Doss Briggs, president of BRB Roofing, explains, in the early 1970s, he was buying undeveloped property, building on the property and reselling, when he came across a machine that would field roll and arch heavy gauge (as low as 18-gauge) structural standing seam metal roof panels. He purchased the machine and began constructing arched buildings. When a friend asked him if he could install his standing seam metal roof panels over a worn out and leaky flat roof, Benny called his new system the WeatherBoss standing seam metal roof system and BRB Roofing was born.

"No one else seemed to be converting flat roofs to slope at the time, and my dad saw the opportunity to enter an untapped market," Briggs explains. "Dad steadily grew the company year after year until he passed away in 2009. He was always looking for new opportunities and ways of improving our industry. He never wanted to peddle a product. He always wanted to provide something of real value to society. He felt that providing a long-term fix to a leaky flat roof was valuable to people who were stuck in a patch-and-repair cycle."

brb2Roofing and More

The first panel BRB Roofing manufactured was a 12-inch-wide pan shape with 4 1/2-inch-tall ribs still used in applications where its strength is required. In most retrofit roof applications, a lower profile, 24-gauge panel is used.

"The WeatherBoss product line has grown to include pan-and-batten type panels, and our DuraLock line, which includes snap-together panels with 1-inch-tall and 1 3/4-inch-tall ribs, our WeatherBoss 216 pan-shaped panel and our original panel," Briggs says. "We have the capability to arch most of these panels and most are available in multiple widths and in 24- or 22-gauge. We also have a DuraLock flat soffit panel and various screw-down panels."

Under a 2007 challenge from Benny to develop three new products, the company developed a metal fencing product that is now sold by its sister company, Thunder Canyon. "The Bruce," a standing seam clip system for high wind-load applications was also developed, tested and patented as a result of the challenge. BRB Roofing also has a snow retention system called SnoBoss, and has developed its own ladder-stay product to protect gutters from extension ladders and to keep ladders from sliding on the gutter. Additionally, "We are currently in the process of developing a system to protect roof penetrations, such as vent pipes and heater flues, from sliding snow and ice," says Briggs.

 

brb3Standing Out

In the early years, Briggs explains it was primarily the fact that BRB Roofing could rollform roof panels on the job site that differentiated it from the competition. "This meant we could install roofs with no leak-prone panel endlaps, no shipping errors, and panels could be custom produced to meet actual field conditions and so on," Briggs says. "Not many companies could make those claims in the '70s and early '80s." Now that more companies field roll roof panels, Briggs says it's their attention to detail, installer training and deliverance of a quality product that sets them apart. "We feel that craftsmanship is the key to setting ourselves apart from others. There are many panels similar to ours on the market. It is the quality of the installation that makes the biggest difference."

"Quality and craftsmanship are key components to a successful installation and a successful business," Briggs goes on to say. "We know we are not the only company who is dedicated to these concepts, but we are one of those who invest a considerable amount of time and money on making sure we stand out in these areas."

Over the years, BRB Roofing has been recognized for its quality projects and manufacturing achievements, including receiving Oklahoma's "Governor's Manufacturing Leadership" award from Governor Mary Fallin; a "Local Expansion Award of Excellence;" eight "Reroof of the Year" awards for various entities; and nine "Honorable Mention" awards in various re-roof of the year contests.

brb1Secrets to Success

Working in Oklahoma and parts of Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas, Briggs says its employees that have helped the company grow over the years. "We are very fortunate to have employees who care about the company and work to improve our productivity and lower overhead," he says.

Each of the company's project superintendents have been there for more than 10 years, with two working at BRB Roofing for almost 20 years. "They understand our company and what it takes to deliver a quality project on schedule," Briggs adds. "It's not just in the field, we have excellent employees in every facet of our company working hard to make us profitable every day."

Briggs adds that there is a high value of good people working to make the company successful. "I learned a lot from my dad before he passed away," he says. "He was a creative thinker and innovative person. He taught me many things, but I think the most important was the value of good people and of taking care of those who make you successful."

Safety is important to BRB Roofing, and training is the key to its success. "We want every person installing our roofs to understand safety, to be aware of their surroundings and to watch out for each other," says Briggs. "We are always looking for, and trying out, new safety-oriented products. We will try a new product once or twice, get our employees' opinions and make a decision on how to process. Our employees take an active role in suggesting new procedures or products to improve our safety performance."

Growing Through Rough Times

In this tough economic market, Briggs notes that being involved in the niche market of retrofit metal roofing has also been helpful to the company's success. As Briggs says, buildings still have worn-out and leaky roofs, and while some owners try to get by until better times, many see the value in a long-term solution.

In addition, the state of Oklahoma has done fairly well overall. Anticipating some hard economic times, Briggs says BRB Roofing began considering options six or so years ago, stepping up the marketing, purchasing a new facility allowing them to grow, and taking steps to increase productivity.

BRB Roofing recently celebrated its 10 millionth square footage of roofing installed. Looking to the future, Briggs adds that the company will continue to be innovative, and is actually stepping up its marketing efforts this year. At the forefront of the planning efforts is finding enough workers to equal the sales volume, while increasing productivity.

 

Company Profile

Year Founded: 1975

Location: Muskogee, Okla., and Purcell, Okla.

Geographic Areas of Service: Oklahoma and parts of the surrounding states

Services Offered: Standing seam metal roofing for new and retrofit construction, canopies, walkways, retail sales

Number of Employees: 80

Building Square Footage of Roofing Installed

for Last Four Years: Averaged 425,000 square feet for the last four years

2013 Total Revenue: Approximately $6,600,000

Management Team:

Doss Briggs, President

Shahn Corter, VP of Roofing Division

Townsil Lane, Project Management

Chris Laymon, Superintendent

Chris Mills, Superintendent

Dean Laymon, Superintendent

MCN Awards:

1999 Re-Roof of the Year - Wynnewood Schools, Wynnewood, Okla.

2000 Re-Roof of the Year - Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, Taft, Okla.

2002 Re-Roof of the Year - Tulsa Schools (Three buildings), Tulsa, Okla.

2003 Re-Roof of the Year - Frontier Schools, Red Rock, Okla.

2004 Re-Roof of the Year - Polk County Courthouse, Bolivar, Mo.

1993 Honorable Mention to Reroof of the Year

1994 Honorable Mention to Reroof of the Year

1996 Honorable Mention to Reroof of the Year

1997 Four Honorable Mentions to Reroof of the Year

1998 Honorable Mention to Reroof of the Year

2005 Honorable Mention to Reroof of the Year